Memorial Day 1918

Collections Spotlight

A day to remember and honor soldiers who died in service to their country, Memorial Day is observed by Americans who attend parades and ceremonies as well as decorate veterans’ graves. For many, Memorial Day is also a day to celebrate the start of summer with barbecues, family outings and plenty of time outside.

A recently processed Y.M.C.A. newsletter, The Daily Rumor, highlights how one group of soldiers observed Memorial Day 1918 “Somewhere in France.” The “Great Memorial Day Celebration” began with a military parade and ceremonies in the cemetery followed by an athletic meet and games. Some of the athletic events had a military twist including a 100-yard dash carrying guns and a hand grenade-throwing contest. There was also a baseball game between members of the M.P.’s [Military Police] and the Trench Mortars. The day ended with a program of music and speeches.

Scan of a newsletter called 'The Daily Rumor' with the headline 'Great Memorial Day Celebration'
Newsletter titled "The Daily Rumor", Volume 1, Number 4. Learn more in our Online Collections Database.

(In case you were wondering, the M.P.’s won the baseball game 6-5 in 13 innings. Corporal E. J. Hussey won the 352 yard dash – carrying a gun – by default since he was the only soldier who conformed to regulations.)

Unit numbers were removed from the newsletters, indicating that it was probably censored.

This newsletter came from the collection of Gerald J. Ford, Company A, 117th Field Signal Battalion, 42nd Division, AEF. Explore more items from his collection.

Newsletter called 'The Daily Rumor'
Newsletter titled "The Daily Rumor", Volume 1, Number 5. Learn more in our Online Collections Database.

Learn more about Memorial Day activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.