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La Grande Observer Paper 08/20/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow When did La Grande conduct its first Veterans Day parade?

When did La Grande conduct its first Veterans Day parade?

The parade, which included a salute of Civil War veterans, was conducted Nov. 11, 1919, on what was then known as Armistice Day.

The parade celebrated the end of World War I in 1918. Armistice Day 1919 provided one of the first opportunities for soldiers and the public to celebrate together, since it took many months for some soldiers to get back home following the the end of WWI.

La Grande’s first Armistice Day parade started downtown at the old YMCA building, which was located in the Washington Avenue and Elm Street area. A La Grande band led the parade and was followed by members of the American Legion, veterans of the Spanish American War, war nurses, representatives of Civil War veterans and many others, according to the Nov. 12, 1919, edition of The Observer. 

A total of 200 servicemen participated in the parade.

Immediately after the parade, the servicemen conducted a short program of street games, including a relay race and tug of war between Marines and Army soldiers then known as “doughboys.”

Events conducted also included an afternoon football game between La Grande and Wallowa high schools.

An evening dance at
La Grande’s old Rex Hall was the “crowning event” of the day. The hall was filled with overseas divisional insignias, streamers and flags. The dance hit a high point at 11 p.m. when “everyone vied to make the most noise” by blowing horns and throwing serpentine tape from the balcony.

Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. Congress, in 1954, established Veterans Day to honor all American veterans.

Is it true that on Sunday the time in Ontario was briefly the same as it was in Pensacola, Fla.?


Early Sunday morning the time in Ontario and Pensacola, Fla., was identical for an hour because of the switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time. The switch was made in each time zone at 2 a.m.

The times in Ontario and Pensacola are normally one hour apart because one is in the Mountain Time Zone and the other is in the Central Time Zone. This time difference is erased for an hour each year when the switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time is made. 

At 1 a.m. Sunday, the time in Ontario and Pensacola, which is part of the Florida panhandle, was the same and remained so for an hour.

At 2 a.m., of course, the time difference was erased because clocks in Oregon were switched back an hour. 

Contact Dick Mason at 541-786-5386 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Dick on Twitter @lgoMason.

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