Laura M., age 15, North Carolina
November 11, 1997

No school. I was 1st up at 8:30! Typed up poems. Woke girls up at 10:00. Me and Ashley played pool, etc. She cracks me up. Em came at 2:45. Went 2 work from 3-5 with Brooke and John. 🙁 Came home and did homework. Evan came 4 guitar lesson. He’s cool. Ate. Did more homework and watched “Mad About You.” Sleepy as hell.

Laura M., age 14, North Carolina
November 11, 1996

Woke up and felt better. Eddie took me to Dr. Silber’s and Bryan came. She said she’s going to write a note that’ll help me to get a transfer to Cary. 🙂 Eddie took us to “Friday’s” for lunch. Very full. We hung out at his house for a little bit. The 2 of us came home and watched “Sex in the 90’s.” Good. Emily came and Bryan left. 🙁 Watched story and did homework. Mom got home at 9:30ish. Said it’s easy to get transfer out of Apex…

Anna L., age 75, Illinois
November 11, 1960

No mail and no school today. Mrs. B called me to say window man there so went over. She came in too. Quite a job but he managed.

Marcy S., age 17, Tennessee
November 11, 1941

Dear Diary — Another Armistice Day. Exactly twenty-three years ago today the great guns ceased and the white dove of peace flew over the bloody battlefields of France. Last night I saw “Hell’s Angels” at the Webbo, an old picture, but with excellent fight scenes. Photography has certainly improved, as well as make-up, action and unity of plot. There was a short subject on American history and was very interesting. I came the very nearest I ever have to swearing when it showed the horrors of war in Spain and China — little children, Barbara’s age and younger, hobbling around with crutches — legless, armless. It was so pitiful, and so maddening! I nearly screamed! 

This morning dawned bright and cold — I was glad the weather had improved for the sake of the parade, the Legion program, and the game, but I love cloudy Armistice Days — they seem more in keeping with the feelings you have (or I do) on that day. Slept till 8:30, due to no school. Daddy left about 9:30 to tend to some business (the parade was scheduled for 10:15). I kept the home fires burning while Mother went next-door to seek Clure’s aid in concocting a salad for the Legion “feed.” Then, just before I left for school, I went over my piece once more, and got Mother’s stamp of approval. 

At 10:15, dressed in Glee Club uniform, I arrived in the high school gym, where the other members were also gathered. Rufus was beginning to get nervous. We went over our two pieces once and then started for the auditorium. Before we left Mr. Walters came in with his camera, having been too late to get a picture of the parade (for the Arrow). He is quite good-looking, but for some reason I don’t like him. Perhaps it is because I’m off all members of the male sex for life! Anyway, when we got to the auditorium there were quite a few people there and the State Guard (Home Guard, I suppose it should be called), Legion, Drill Team (part of it) had already assembled, the parade being over. Ruth and I, with the help of Clay, got the piano on the stage opened and the bench transplanted from the other piano to that one. Then we sat down front until the speaker, Daddy, and others went up on the stage, and we followed. 

About ten till 11:00 Daddy (Commander of the Legion) asked for the colors to be advanced and Mr. Adkisson, a veteran of the last war, and his son, who is in the present army, carried the two American flags to the platform. It was very impressive. Then the chaplain of the post, Mr. Taylor, gave a beautiful invocation, followed by the singing (group) of “America” (two stanzas), with me trying to carry the men in front along, who didn’t seem exactly sure of the words. At 11:00 Bobby Rutherford, also on the stage, arose and stepped to the front. We all faced the west with him, as he played “Taps.” It certainly put me in the right mood for my reading, which was next on the program. 

Ruth sat down at the piano and I went to the edge of the stage and announced “The Unknown Soldier” by Billy Rose, to the accompaniment of “I Wonder Where My Buddies Are Tonight.” Silence — I waited for Ruth and she waited for me. After what seemed an hour to me, but what in reality was only a few seconds, I gave up and plunged in, Ruth following. I wasn’t a bit nervous, and dared to look people right in the face, as I asked my questions from side to side. Rufus didn’t play the bugle call as I had expected her to, but it didn’t matter. And she ended up fine, a moment after I had finished, with the chorded climax. Instead of standing there until she finished, I forgot myself and turn to go off, but remembered just in time, and waited. We got quite a good hand as we left the stage to take our seats with the Glee Club. As I stepped over Jean Robinson she whispered a nice compliment. 

Then, out of place (the Glee Club was scheduled to sing at that point) Mr. Smalley, after reading a poem suitable to the occasion, introduced the speaker, Mr. Dausset, past State Commander. He immediately mentioned “that beautiful musical reading” just rendered, which was very nice of him. He is a fine speaker, but “carried on” just a bit too long, repeating himself rather frequently, and some of us began to get restless. I was on the verge of doing something desperate when he at last took his seat and the Glee Club was introduced. Oh, yes, once during his speech, my mind wandered and when I came to, everyone was clapping. A fine time to day-dream! 

Well, the Glee Club rose to the occasion, and we took our places in front of the stage, below it. Our numbers were “Taps ’Til Reveille,” and “God of Our Fathers.” I looked out in the sea of faces when my courage permitted, and there near the back was little Barbara, sitting dreamily on her mother’s lap. She showed all the signs of having just awakened. We were then asked to lead the audience in singing the national anthem. Jean Robinson, next to me, took my hand, and I felt so nice and friendly inside. I sang with all my heart, with my eyes on the flag draped in the center of the balcony. Mr. Taylor then delivered the benediction and the program was over. We Glee Clubers went back to our seats for wraps, etc. 

Maggie L., age 24, Illinois
November 11, 1899

Done some sewing for Mrs. Strauss at home. Mrs. Campbell came and engaged me to do some sewing. Lora and I went down town in the after noon. Zella and I went down in the evening.

Henry S., age 25, Michigan
November 11, 1886

Practiced writing and studied some this forenoon. I went to Whitmore Lake this afternoon to see about a class in book-keeping, but it was time lost, guess I better quit now. Clear weather this afternoon and tonight. Kate and Effie went to Dexter this afternoon.  *(R. Henry Scadin Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville)

Abbie B., age 22, Kansas
November 11, 1871

This is a rainy Sunday. The stars were shining when I went to bed, but it is raining now. We expect to get to the land office this week. Friday eve the boys brought home two turkeys and a prairie chicken. Five turkeys in one week. P is a good marksman. Sent Lanes some turkey. Prairie chicken we had barbacued for dinner. It was better than turkey. Will have turkey and sweet potatoes for dinner.

It still smells skunky. The other day when the boys came from Jakes, they saw seven skunks along the branch—I am drying the skin of a large gray wolf. If it gets dry, I will take it home with me.

*(kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply) 

Cornelia H., age 25, North Carolina
November 11, 1861

Warm & pleasant. I made Zona a quilt. Mr. Henry bought some jeans from old Mrs. Bates for pants. No other news. The mail boy brought the news tonight that the yankee fleet had landed at Port Royal Beufort Dist. I fear they will be troublesome yet & it really seems our people are dying by doing nothing letting Lincoln’s men come among us. Report 13,000 landed.

*(Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family, Eds. Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell, used with permission.)

Samuel P., age 27, London
November 11, 1660

(Lord’s day). This morning I went to Sir W. Batten’s about going to Deptford to-morrow, and so eating some hog’s pudding of my Lady’s making, of the hog that I saw a fattening the other day at her house, he and I went to Church into our new gallery, the first time it was used, and it not being yet quite finished, there came after us Sir W. Pen, Mr. Davis, and his eldest son. There being no woman this day, we sat in the foremost pew, and behind us our servants, and I hope it will not always be so, it not being handsome for our servants to sit so equal with us.

This day also did Mr. Mills begin to read all the Common Prayer, which I was glad of.

Home to dinner, and then walked to Whitehall, it being very cold and foul and rainy weather. I found my Lord at home, and after giving him an account of some business, I returned and went to my father’s where I found my wife, and there we supped, and Dr. Thomas Pepys, who my wife told me after I was come home, that he had told my brother Thomas that he loved my wife so well that if she had a child he would never marry, but leave all that he had to my child, and after supper we walked home, my little boy carrying a link, and Will leading my wife.

So home and to prayers and to bed.

I should have said that before I got to my Lord’s this day I went to Mr. Fox’s at Whitehall, when I first saw his lady, formerly Mrs. Elizabeth Whittle, whom I had formerly a great opinion of, and did make an anagram or two upon her name when I was a boy. She proves a very fine lady, and mother to fine children.

To-day I agreed with Mr. Fox about my taking of the 4000l. of him that the King had given my Lord.

*(The Diary of Samuel Pepys M.A. F.R.S., edited by Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A., London, George Bell & Sons York St. Covent Garden, Cambridge Deighton Bell & Co., 1893.)