Curious Historian

Stories on local history

World War I Bridgeport

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Bridgeport had a great deal to rejoice about on July 4, 1919. Most of the troops were home from the World War, and the Treaty of Versailles had been signed in June. Everyone came out to celebrate, including the troops that had returned from overseas.

The City of Bridgeport sponsored a Service Recognition Week, with seven days of events to celebrate the return of the troops. Ads in the local paper still looked for women to work in the factories, however many of the men were encouraged to return to their old jobs.

A parade marched down Main Street. A sea of Kiwanis Club members, marched down the avenue, holding a sign that said, “Kiwanis Club Members—We Welcome Every Man Home—His Old Job Back.”

The heat of summer greeted the men in uniform. A comic strip that appeared in the newspaper said that the men in uniform were sweating as they “marched bravely along,” however the cartoonist drew a picture of how the should have marched, showing a man being pulled in a bathtub.

Residents also enjoyed a giant firework display in Seaside Park. The trolleys and jitneys were packed with people flocking to the shoreline park. At 9:00 the paper reported that a burst of rockets flared continually, with a burst of magnesium flares at 10:30. The pyrotechnics were extraordinary.

The crowd was huge. There were 60,000 people on hand to see the fireworks, who stayed in the park until midnight. Even as the trolleys were no longer on the streets, hundreds of people were seen walking home.

Categories: General

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