For more on Kingston’s Welcome Home parade, see this post.
Source: Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16. Negatives scanned with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and digitized at the Boston Public Library in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth)
Another Memorial Day is upon us. Here are a few photos from the Local History Room collections which provide a glimpse of one of Kingston’s Memorial Day parades sometime before 1961.*
*This date is based on a flag carried by the color guard, which reads “U.S.S. Des Moines.” This heavy cruiser was launched in 1946 and decommissioned in 1961.
Source: LHR General Image Collection IC7
In honor of this most American holiday, here are a few views of one of our favorite floats from the inaugural year: the “Guardians of the Clam Flats.”
Source: LHR General Images IC7 (top two); Hathaway Collection MC21
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Armistice Day, 1918
Ninety years ago this week, at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the War to End All Wars, the Great War, now called the First World War, ended. The following year, President Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, and by 1921, Congress declared the federal holiday.
Kingston celebrated news of the armistice with “the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles” according to the Old Colony Memorial on the following Friday, November 15, 1918. Businesses and schools closed and patriotic speeches and songs filled the air. The next day, an impromptu victory parade “traversed the principal streets of town…followed by a mass meeting on the Town Green.” Here are two views of the parade.
A more formal recognition of the war’s end took place in 1919. In March, Town Meeting appropriated $500 to celebrate. An appointed “Welcome Home Committee,” visited all returning servicemen and nurses, presenting each with a bronze token of appreciation for service to town and country. In October, a special “Welcome Home Day” was held with a parade, band concert, decorations, speeches and a turkey supper at the Town House.
Ninety years later, Veterans Day honors all who served. Thank a veteran when you have the chance.