It’s been 100 years since the Great War, “the war to end all wars”, finished with the signing of an armistice between the Allied powers and the Central powers. As the guns fell silent on the battlefields of Europe, thousands of people back home were waiting to hear the good news, and the Guelph Evening Mercury brought it to them.
When word came down that the armistice had been signed, it was pretty early in the morning here in Guelph. Editors were roused from their beds, a special eight-page edition of the paper was put together before 6 am, and the newsboys were sent out to deliver 6,500 copies to the town, a copy of which is now on microfiche in the archives of the University of Guelph library.
Washington Post publisher Philip Graham once called journalism the “first rough draft of history”, and we will look at that through the lens of the immediate reporting after the end of World War in the Guelph Mercury.
As Guelph celebrated, the effects of the war reverberated throughout Europe as peace brought out a bunch of new problems. Families on the homefront here in the Royal City were still getting word about their sons, fathers and brothers fighting overseas, some of whom were still months away from being shipped home. And as the dead were counted, the pages of the Mercury were filled with concerns about the next deadly crisis, the Spanish flu.
So let’s read today’s paper, 100 years ago, on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!
Remembrance Day ceremonies marking the centenary of the end of the First World War will happen in various locations here in Guelph, and around the world, at 11 am.
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