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Reporting the Great War: World War I Online Newspaper Collections from the Library of Congress

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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.

“Armistice Signed, Says Washington,” Bemidji Daily Pioneer (Bemidji, MN), Nov. 11, 1918.


“Armistice Terms Put Allied Front Beyond the Rhine,” The Stars and Stripes (Paris, France), Nov. 15, 1918, p. 6.











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.

“Peace Monday, November 11, 1918–New York’s Carnival on History’s Greatest Day,” New York Tribune, Nov. 17, 1918, Tribune Graphic.
“Scenes of New York’s Spontaneous Rapture in Celebrating an Early False Report that the Armistice had been Signed,” The New York Times, Nov. 17, 1918, Rotogravure Picture Section.
“War Over,” The Evening World (New York, NY), Nov. 7, 1918, Final Edition.

Coverage continued to include those in the U.S. Armed Forces who had died–perhaps even more poignant so near the war’s end.

“The Field of Honor,” New York Tribune, Nov. 17, 1918, Tribune Graphic.

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:

Want some especially quick results? See sample articles and search strategies in Chronicling America’s World War I Topics Pages:

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.

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