This Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, honoring those who served in the United States Armed Forces has unique significance. It is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I.
It is a particularly fitting time for us to focus on newspapers of the era. These newspapers provided the day-to-day news of the war. Not only was there no television, commercial radio had yet to be established. Newsreels, posters, magazines, and censored letters couldn’t provide daily information.
On November 11, 1918, banner headlines proclaimed “Armistice Now Signed,” “War Over,” “Peace!” Coverage on the 11th and over the next few days highlighted President Woodrow Wilson’s statement, news that draft calls had ceased, text of the Armistice agreement, and reports of Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication and of revolution and chaos in Germany.
Photographs of crowds celebrating in the streets of New York and other cities were featured in newspaper pictorial sections that appeared in the days following. These included jubilant celebrations that had taken place prematurely on November 7th when the United Press news agency erroneously reported that the war was over and several newspapers ran the story.
Coverage continued to include those in the U.S. Armed Forces who had died–perhaps even more poignant so near the war’s end.
Every page featured here is from one of the four major Library of Congress online collections of digitized newspapers covering World War I.
How about taking a look yourself? You can search these databases by keywords, browse chronologically, and more:
- Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers—Currently over 14 million newspaper pages, 1789-1963, with over 2 million pages covering from late June 1914 through December 1919.
- Newspaper Pictorials: World War I Rotogravures, 1914 to 1919—Sunday rotogravure sections from The New York Times, 1914-1919, and the New York Tribune, 1916-1919, as well as The War of the Nations: Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings, a compilation of The New York Times Mid-Week Pictorials, published in 1919.
- Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers’ Newspaper of World War I—Complete run of this military newspaper published in France by and for the American Expeditionary Forces of the U.S. Army from February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919.
- World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926—NEW! Vast collection of World War I-related clippings from an 80,000-page set that includes full newspaper pages, clipped articles, editorial cartoons, and more from mainly American newspapers, including some in foreign languages.
Want some especially quick results? See sample articles and search strategies in Chronicling America’s World War I Topics Pages:
- Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
- Christmas Truce
- Female Spies in World War I
- Lafayette Escadrille
- League of Nations
- Mata Hari
- Pigeons in War
- Planes in WWI
- Red Cross
- The Sinking of the Lusitania
- Tanks in World War I
- Treaty of Versailles
- World War I Armistice
- World War I Declarations
- World War I Draft
- World War I Poetry
- Zimmermann Telegram.
World War I Centennial, 2017-2018: With the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation, the Library of Congress is a unique resource for primary source materials, education plans, public programs and on-site visitor experiences about The Great War including exhibits, symposia and book talks.