In the meantime, the Great War ended. To everyone's relief, the Armistice was signed. Oshkosh mayor, Arthur C. McHenry lifted the evening closing ban. Churches, moving picture houses, lodges, and theaters reopened. Schools, however, remained closed. The mayor commented, "It is the greatest day in the history of humanity. It is the crowning triumph of justice." Although some uncertainty remained whether the Armistice was in fact signed, Oshkosh citizens immediately started to celebrate. From noon to 2:00 p.m., whistles, bells, and chimes rang continuously. Occasional shots were heard. Flags were displayed everywhere in the city. Work stopped. The factories were unable to get their crews back to work. The Paine Lumber Company announced a halfholiday for its crew at full pay. The Elk's Fife and Drum Corps and the Arion Band marched in full force. People in cars, trucks, or on foot marched with them. Horns honked and telephone operators could not keep up with the number of phone calls as people attempted to communicate with friends in other parts of Oshkosh. Everyone left their homes to celebrate.

On November 11th the Armistice was confirmed. An extra edition of the newspaper was published. City police went into the State Street firehouse and began ringing the fire bell. Local mills started their blasts. The blasts and whistles rang incessantly from 3:45 to 8:00 a.m., as the people began to arise. Curtains were raised. Home lights were turned on. Church belfries trembled and rocked. School and fire department bells continued to ring. The newspaper added that if there was anyone in Oshkosh who was not awakened, they were either stone deaf or dead. Ecstatic community members hastened to dress and made their way to Main Street. "Night shirt" parades were evident. Cowbells, horns, squawkers, rattles, and tin pans added their sounds to the celebration. Some beat on dishpans and wash boilers. The celebration was spontaneous and uninhibited. Even nature came to celebrate the event. When daylight appeared, there was a brilliant display of the Northern Lights in the sky.

Later in the day, there was an even larger parade, including over 250 automobiles, the Fife and Drum Corps, bands, and various employers marched in the streets-Oregon and Sixth to Tenth and Oregon to South Main, then north to Merritt. It continued to Menominee Park where a huge bon fire was lit. The crowds became huge and noisy. Some rowdies shot revolvers and shotguns. There was a big victory dance at Armory B with Holzer's Harp Orchestra playing. The First Congregational Church held a peace service that night.

During the celebration, the community forgot about Spanish Influenza. Unfortunately, this public outburst contributed to a second wave of flu in Oshkosh. By celebrating the war's end, members of the community had created the perfect environment to spread the virus. By November 14th, the police record indicated an increase in the number of flu cases. Mayor McHenry issued orders to Police Chief Henry Dowling to rigidly enforce the "no spitting" ordinance because he believed this might be a contributing factor to the spread of flu in the community. One citizen claimed to have counted 108 marks of expectoration on the sidewalk between Algoma and Church Street.

The Committee on Teachers of the School Board announced that schools would reopen Monday, November 20th. Several parents wrote letters to the editor of The Daily Northwestern, expressing concerns about allowing their children to go to school with an epidemic still in progress. These concerns prompted the city ban to remain in place. As Christmas drew near, black wreaths were placed on the doors of homes where another had perished.

Just as flu cases began to decline during the second wave of the outbreak, another disease crept into Oshkosh-smallpox. On November 26th it was announced that the Health Department quarantined 11 individuals afflicted with smallpox. Fortunately, a potent vaccine was available and effective measures were taken at once by the tormented but indefatigable health commissioner.

The influenza ban was finally lifted on November 29th and schools reopened on December 3rd. Children with the sniffles were not permitted to attend. The first day that classes resumed, attendance stood at 75%. The library fumigated every returned book. The theaters ventilated their buildings between performances.

On December 11th, the newspaper reported that there had been a total of 2,083 influenza cases to date and there was a marked drop in the number of cases. Flowers continued to be scarce, coupled with the heavy demand for artificial flowers for funerals. On December 26th, the smallpox quarantine was lifted and twelve individuals were released from quarantine.

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