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100 Years Ago the Great War Ended

by Barbara Rimkunas

This "Historically Speaking" column was published in the Exeter News-Letter on Friday, November 9, 2018.

In the early afternoon of November 7, 1918, Helen Tufts was attending a short lecture on the “History of Hymns.” She was, after all, the organist at the Unitarian church and the talk was a welcome distraction from war news. Helen, like many Exeter residents, was still recovering from a bout of influenza that had taken the lives of over 25 in town. As the speaker began her talk, “whistles began to blow and bells to ring & we discovered that perhaps peace had been declared. I helped to ring the town bell!” The Exeter News-Letter reported the following day, “the welcome news of midafternoon yesterday that Germany had agreed to the terms of armistice was followed by the prolonged din of bells and whistles and an enthusiastic demonstration by townspeople and students. The feature was the parade of snake dancing Seminary girls. In the evening the town a…

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