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Easter, 1919

An estimated 55,000 people participated in an Easter egg roll and picnic in 1919 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., according to the Smithsonian.

This State Journal editorial ran on April 21, 1919, five months after a ceasefire was signed with Germany in World War 1:

True to traditional form, the weatherman delivered a glorious Easter day. We were out in our brightest bonnets and best tweeds. We indulged ourselves in the brilliant coloring and fragrance of flowers forced into bloom under glass roofs. We heard anthems of praise and went about greeting friends with smiles and words of cheer.

The day before, in the ecstasy of national triumph, we witnessed our victorious aviators turn somersaults in the heavens. And yesterday afternoon, a beagle tank rambled playfully around the Capitol Square, while on the flatcars on railroad sidings thousands of our citizens viewed mortars, guns scarred by service, sea bombs and wrecked German planes — grim reminders of the horrible scenes which a criminal government forced on a peaceful world.

We smiled and lifted our voice in song and cheered as the Jackie band that came to us sent stirring martial music in the air. All because our soldiers and our sailors, our heroes, had won the victory that gave our nation a new life, gave liberty new meaning, and gave democracy a new hope.

One-hundred and forty-three years ago we were struggling for our national independence, a poor, weak little country without money enough to buy powder to fill the horns the minute men carried into battle. Today we are the most powerful nation in the world. We are not the greatest country in area or in population, but we are the greatest power in the world because we are the nation of the greatest spiritual as well as material wealth. ...

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