One hundred years ago this November 11th the “war to end all wars” came to an end. The armistice treaty was signed by the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France and the truce went into effect on Nov. 11, 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
The U. S. had entered the war on April 2, 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war. During the 19 months that America participated in the war, over 100,00 U. S. military personnel lost their lives. New York State lost over 13,000 soldiers. Total military deaths during the four-year war are estimated at 9 to 11 million.
In previous blogs we have talked about some of Western New York’s contributions to the war effort – the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, the Crosby Company and the Spencer Lens Company. These local manufacturers produced the aircraft, helmets, and medical microscopes that aided the war effort. In fact, ninety-five percent of Allied pilots learned to fly in Buffalo-made aircraft. To find out more about Western New York’s war efforts, please visit Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I exhibit at the central library.