World War I ends
At 5:00 am on this day in 1918, the Allied powers and Germany signed an armistice document in the railway carriage of Ferdinand Foch, the commander of the Allied armies, and six hours later World War I came to an end.
In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National
Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of
Washington, D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.
Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier
was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in
France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial gestures all took place on November 11,
giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m.,
November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became
known as “Armistice Day.”