Armistice Day and Veterans Day in Golden

The original Armistice Day in Golden – November 11, 1918 – at 13th and Washington

One hundred years ago, Golden was preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of Armistice Day with a “parade, speeches, and general jollification to mark the first anniversary of peace.” The plan was to meet downtown at 7:30 for a parade, which would be followed by a bonfire, speeches, and patriotic songs, ending with a dance at the Armory. So said the November 6, 1919 Colorado Transcript.

The November 13th edition reported that the parade and bonfire had been canceled due to inclement weather, but the speeches, music, and dance went on as planned.

The “day” began at one minute after midnight, when bells around town rang. The boys who were in the trenches last year or overseas were the fellows who made the most of it and as one said, “Let me ring that bell awhile; no one is more glad to celebrate this day than I am. Last year at this time we were in the dugouts and we had orders to move in the morning. If the armistice hadn’t been signed when it was I’m afraid you would have had a long list of boys on that card above the Liberty Bell, who made the supreme sacrifice.

The celebration of Armistice Day lost popularity after World War II. “The Great War” was supposed to have been “the war to end all wars.” The second World War showed that the promise of ending war had failed. In 1954, “Armistice Day” was renamed to “Veterans Day,” to honor all U.S. veterans.

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for their ongoing efforts to digitize our historic newspapers, and thanks to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!