100 years ago in The Record
Monday, Nov. 11, 1918
At 2:30 a.m., just as The Record’s early edition goes to press, the Associated Press wire reports that Germany has signed an armistice agreement effectively ending the world war. An unconfirmed report of an armistice on November 7 led to wild celebrations throughout Troy and much of the country, only for disappointment to sink in the following morning. This time, however, the U.S. State Department confirms the story at 2:45 a.m. It’s too late to do more with the early edition than stop the press long enough to add “GERMANY SURRENDERS” at the head of the front page. That’s enough to let our editors boast that “The Troy Record was the only paper in the state to carry this fact in its early edition.” At the same time, Record staff notifies Troy mayor Cornelius F. Burns, who calls fire chief Cornelius Casey, who puts his engines on the streets with sirens blaring, bells ringing and horns “belching forth the glad tidings in rather hoarse tones.” The mayor hops in Casey’s car and leads the trucks north to Lansingburgh and all the way back to South Troy to spread the news. By the time the motorcade gets back to headquarters, “an immense gathering of men and women” has crossed the Congress Street bridge after the Watervliet Arsenal stops work, while the students of Russell Sage School of Arts make a “very noticeable and significant addition” to the crowd. Three hours before sunrise, a victory parade gets underway on Fifth Avenue. The mayor joins in with a Sage student on each arm, “but the girls did not want to march in the ordinary way. “Measured strides meant nothing in their young lives. French heels turned on the granite block pavements but what meant a little physical discomfiture. ‘Goose step!’ one of the officers ordered and the mayor, colonel [from the arsenal] and about 100 girls and soldiers executed a serpentine dance block on block that would turn the R.P.I. boys green with envy.” Meanwhile, The Record cranks out an extra edition detailing the signing of the armistice and the abdication and flight into exile of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Yet another edition offers more details “an hour before any other newspaper carrying the story of the armistice reached the city.” The war officially ends at 6 a.m. Eastern time, or 11 a.m. Paris time. In Troy, a War Chest rally scheduled for tonight turns into another massive victory “jubilation.” This one has a casualty, however, as former Troy policeman Bernard J. Halligan drops dead suddenly at the corner of Broadway and Second streets.