By Stuart Irwin
The Fourth of July holiday is an occasion for the United States of America to celebrate and commemorate the birth of the nation. It is interesting to recall how this holiday was celebrated during the years America participated in World War One. The entry of the United States into the war provided a massive boost to the Allied powers and marked a significant moment in the conflict.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the July 4 holiday excited much interest among the Allied powers. In 1917, The Times newspaper, in London, claimed that ‘[t]here have been many memorable Fourths of July in the past one hundred and forty-one years, but never one so pregnant with the drama of great events as this’. For example, by the order of the King, the stars and stripes flew from Victoria tower.
The celebrations in France were even more extravagant. The New York Times reported on July 4, 1918 that ‘Paris turned out today as almost never in its history to celebrate the Fourth of July. The French capital not only extended a royal welcome to the Americans here, but made a thorough holiday of the day on its own account.’ The events included American troops marching through the city, where they were welcomed by ‘[c]rowds of people that jammed every available inch of space and every window in the buildings along the line of march, on roofs, and even in trees, cheered themselves hoarse’.