'The World Is At Peace'

November 11, 1918

To the people of Memphis:
Autocracy is defeated.
The world is at peace

American and allied armies have established democracy through the world.
The German hordes, which ravished Belgium and swept almost to the gates of Paris, have been conquered.
The kaiser has abdicated. He is no longer in a position to make war on defenseless women and children.
Certainly, no more joyful tidings could be received in Memphis. All of us are deeply moved by the announcement, but none of us will appreciate its meaning as well as the mothers and wives who have sent sons and husbands across the sea to fight for freedom.

Realizing the importance of the occasion as I do, I would not feel that I had done my full duty as mayor of this great city should I fail to call for the citizens of Memphis to stage an appropriate celebration. We should not fail to thank God for our deliverance from autocracy for this is moment of joy, not sadness.

Fraternal and civic organizations, bands, choral societies and singing clubs should assist in making this demonstration an event to be long remembered. We should make this celebration the greatest in the history of our city. Certainly this is the greatest event in the history of the world.

In order that the working man and women may be given an opportunity to share in the celebration the festivities should not be started before 7 o’clock this evening.

— Proclamation issued by Frank L. Monteverde, mayor, and carried in its entirety on the front page.

November 12, 1918

Memphians took the mayor’s words to heart and turned out to celebrate in a “riotous, noisy joyfest” as The CA described it.

Thousands of victory-crazed Memphians stormed the city’s downtown district yesterday and last night and wildly celebrated the complete triumph of Civilization over Teutonic barbarism. No one estimated the night crowd at less than 100,000 ... It was a celebration unparalleled in the history of Memphis, yet only a reproduction of joyfests in every city and village from Maine to California, from the lakes to the gulf and in every land where liberty is cherished.