Peace on the Breeze

The end of the war to end all wars was not a small thing in Tacoma. In the same way the citizens of Tacoma voted two to one to purchase and donate 70,000 acres for the construction of Camp Lewis before the First World War, they flooded the News Tribune with cash for a building sized flag to celebrate its end on November 11, 1918. The Perkins building housed two of the city’s daily newspapers and faced the Federal Building at the corner of 11th and A Streets perhaps the city’s most eventful address.. For all the festivities and relief over the cession of warfare in Europe, Tacoma, like the rest of the country, was in the grip of a pandemic flu epidemic when this photograph was taken. For every American killed in the first world war 10 died at home from the flu and Tacoma, due to railroad traffic and troop movement from the nearby military post, suffered far worse than most cities. But none of that mattered on the first Armistice Day when the only world war the world had ever seen had come to an end and peace seemed to float on every gentle breeze.



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