As I said yesterday I intend to do deeper dives into the various reviews that took place in late 1918/early 1919 when the time comes. In the meantime I wanted to note the 98th anniversary of Governor Charles Seymour Whitman’s 1918 visit to the Brooklyn 13th Armory. I knew that there were parades and such in the aftermath of the Armistice, but it did not occur to me until these last few days just how ubiquitous they were. I suppose that in those heady days after the Kaiser’s abdication and Germany’s surrender that people felt that war really might have been rendered obsolete. Wilson was certainly optimistic while in Paris.
Governor Whitman of New York had lost to Al Smith in the November 5 gubernatorial race. Smith was the Democratic candidate and Seymour the incumbent Republican and Prohibition candidate. It’s almost a cartoon of late nineteenth and early twentieth century New York politics: Smith was a Tammany man and Whitman a Union League Clubber. The old and new were mixing in this period. On Memorial Day 1918 Whitman was in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza for the GAR parade; a month after he was at the state GAR encampment in Ithaca. Still, his Prohibitionism and Smith’s Catholicism show hints of what was coming in the 1920s.
(images/Library of Congress and Brooklyn Daily Eagle)