The Stand

Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy to be commemorated Nov. 9-11

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LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. — On Nov. 11, 1919, during a parade celebrating the first anniversary of Armistice Day (Veterans Day), a long-simmering conflict between the Industrial Workers of the World (“Wobblies”) and the local American Legion erupted in violence. It resulted in six deaths, additional wounded, multiple prison terms, and an ongoing bitter dispute about what exactly happened that day.

The burial of IWW member Wesley Everest, with an armed National Guard unit. Everest was arrested in connection with the events of Nov. 11, 1919, and that night was taken from prison and lynched by a mob. (via WikiCommons)

On Nov. 9-11, 2019, the communities of Centralia and Chehalis will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy. Here are some of the exhibits and events planned:

SATURDAY, NOV. 9 — Lewis County Historical Museum will be continuing its special exhibit on the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy. This exhibit displays many artifacts from that significant period in Centralia history of 100 years ago.
599 NW Front Way in Chehalis — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, NOV. 9-10 — Pop-Up Museum for the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy. Display of artifacts and items pertaining to the shootout in Centralia 100 years ago, on the first Armistice Day and World War I items.  Living History personnel will be on hand displaying and answering questions.  There will be a newly printed walking tour brochure to take you around the area, to give a feel for what happened on that first Armistice Day, In addition to these events, a newly printed walking tour of the sites associated with the Armistice Day Tragedy will be available. It was put together by the Lewis County Historical Museum and sponsored by the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council.
622 N. Tower in Centralia — Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, NOV. 10 — Veterans Day Parade in downtown Chehalis.
Downtown — Starting at 1 p.m.

MONDAY, NOV. 11 — Veterans Day Ceremony hosted by the Centralia American Legion Post. In Washington Park in front of the Sentinel Statue. Bean feed to follow at the Legion Hall, across the street, 115 W. Main St. in Centralia. They are expecting around 500 Veteran Bikers to this event. It is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the 100th anniversary of the Centralia, Grant Hodge Post of the American Legion.
Washington Park, 100 S. Pearl St. in Centralia — Starting at 10:30 a.m.

MONDAY, NOV. 11 — Pop-Up Museum for the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy featuring living history displays, sponsored by the Lewis County Historical Museum and Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council. Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown will speak at 12:30 p.m. on organized labor in Washington state today and our roots of 100 years ago. Author Sandra Crowell will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. to sign copies of the book, The Land Called Lewis, the history of Lewis County.
622 N. Tower in Centralia — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MONDAY, NOV. 11 — Lewis County Historical Museum will be continuing its special exhibit on the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy. This exhibit displays many artifacts from that significant period in Centralia history of 100 years ago.
599 NW Front Way in Chehalis — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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