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Veterans Day began in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 Armistice Day. It became an official holiday in 1936 when Congress passed an act declaring the date to be “dedicated to the cause of world peace.” It was largely regarded to honor the veterans of World War I, but in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making Armistice Day Veterans Day, in honor of all servicemen.


Still, it all began with the end of the Great War. At the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month of 1918, World War I ended with the German signing of the armistice. But the world had been abuzz for nearly a week anticipating the oncoming peace. On Nov. 7, WWD’s cover featured an illustration of soldiers arriving in New York Harbor with the words “The Future” emblazoned above the city’s skyline. The focus of the issue was reconstruction and, of course, the victory colors. “It cannot be white — that is no color,” said Mme. Simone of Marshall Field & Co. “It cannot be red. Too much red blood has been shed.”


It wasn’t until Nov. 12 that the victory colors, navy and cherry, were officially announced by the Textile Color Card Association of the U.S. WWD’s page one that day, in true trade style, nailed the specific hues: navy S-6925 and cherry S-2063 on the Standard Color Card.


But unfortunately, peace wouldn’t last forever, and by 1939, the world was at war again. On Aug. 14, 1945, the Americans celebrated V-J Day or Victory Over Japan Day. The following day, WWD’s headline proclaimed “War Won,” but then the paper got down to business. The issue focused on how the fashion trade prepared to “resume responsibilities of peace,” store closings and their economic impact and consumer reactions, along with a few pictures of the flood of confetti that drifted from Times Square into the Garment District.


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