Wanda Wednesday: The End of World War One

My book (Wanda Gág by Augur H. Winnan) arrived, and it is everything I had hoped for. The book contains lots of art, and, best of all, many diary entries and letters of the time! This real and specific slice of history continues to fascinate me: American history as told, day to day, through the eyes of an amazing and unique person. I immediately dove right in and started reading. You may remember that Growing Pains ended with Wanda getting a scholarship to go study art in New York City. The following is a diary excerpt from November 10, 1918, New York,

"A few people found streamers. Others, lacking the regulation kind, used toilet paper instead. In fact, no one who was on the Avenue that day will ever blush at the sight of that article again. It dropped from windows and floated across the streets unfurling itself into graceful serpentine ribbons, it turned itself about people and grew from the trees. And all this time the snow went on, thicker and faster and gayer. You could see balconies dripping them, windows shedding them, trees bearing them. It lay on the window sills like snow in winter, one waded through it as one does through leaves after a sharp and sudden frost in autumn. The streamers hung like icicles from buildings, trees and vehicles.

"I passed a big silk store. They had snipped paper of blue and white, but needing also red, they had mingled red silk cuttings with the rest.

"By this time, of course, people had recovered from the first shock and were making noise in all the different ways they could devise. All bells, horns, tin pans, pie-plates, old kettles, pails and iron pipes were brought into service and pandemonium reigned supreme. People were positively silly with joy. One man had long hair and a beard made of orange crepe paper streamers, others had strips of toilet paper tied about their heads with a big foolish perking bow in front. Horses rejoiced in the same idiotic trimmings. All vehicles from auto trucks to Black and white taxis were crowded with a motley mass of people, who waved and yelled and held up the extras, which bore in big legend:


(Page 209, Wanda Gág, compiled by Audur H. Winnan)

Picture from Clickamericana.com (Wanda is in there, somewhere.)
Then comes the entry for January 6, 1919,

"It was a fake peace announcement. But real peace came several days later with much the same commotion and excitement." (Page 210)


  1. Three letter omissions made for interesting reading: lacing for lacking; fist for first, and hand for had. I assume they weren't Wanda's...but not impossible I guess.

  2. I think I spotted her toward the back center of the pic.

  3. Okay, Oroboros! I corrected the errors. They weren't Wanda's-- although Wanda's original diary has been edited for the book, because she wrote it in a kind of shorthand. Thank you for reading so closely!

    Yes, I see her there, too, Jono! She's the happy one in black, white, and grey. ;)

  4. Someday I'll send you image files of the letters Hugh Darby sent to Wanda.

    In a word: Steamy.

    1. Maybe you really should write that book, Professor. The truth is so interesting.