The Richmond History Podcast

Thursday, November 8, 2012

1918 RVA

In the beginning of the 20th century, it would have been a common sight on significant birthdays, Decoration Day, which later became Memorial Day or really any celebration to see Confederate vets parading down Monument Ave in Richmond, VA, but the footage below is from an 1918 Liberty Bond Drive with the US Military.  
The Federal Reserve, established in Nov 1914, issued Liberty Bonds to fund WWI.1  WWI Liberty Bonds were issued Apr 24, 1917, Oct 1, 1917, Apr 5, 1918, and Sep 28, 1918.1  The first issue raised $5 billion.  Eventually they raised more then $15 billion and financed 2/3 of the war expenditures.2  The film is tagged as 1918 so I assume this is from the Sept release of bonds because the trees are lacking leaves.  The war ended in Nov of 1918.

The first scene looks like Broad St.  Not to be left out of any festivities in Richmond, the next scene is a group of Confederate Veterans waiving their canes at the parade on the median of Monument Ave a block east of the Lee monument.  The VA State Capitol comes next with some great tank looking things in the shadow of The George Washington Equestrian Statue.  If you can locate the last scene with the trucks or  can identify a more specific location of the Broad St scene, please let me know.

2. Woodrow Willson byJohn Cooper

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  1. Greetings: The main body of the parade shown in the opening of the film seems to be passing Ninth and Broad; the large building in the center background -- judging from the curves of the second floor windows - appears to be the big Lyric Theatre.

    The ending footage is somewhat disorienting as downtown Richmond has, believe it or not, made some terrible radical changes to its streetscape. My wonder is if the film shows the parade in sequence or if it was edited. Going from Broad to Monument, then down to the Capitol and back up through a narrow city street seems somewhat backward to me. The crenoloated structure in the background of the final bit of footage is a puzzle to me. Several major churches were razed in the 1950s due to shifts of congregation.(Second) All Saints Episcopal, 300 W. Franklin St., (1898-1961) was a guess, due to the massing of a center tower, but the crenolations and location don't make sense. A more likely candidate is the First Cavalry Regiment Virginia Volunteers at 7th and 8th St. Marshall, back-to-back with the Howtizers armory, both long gone.

  2. That is a great pull on the Broad St Location. I thought the same that it was out of order but the last segment seems like it may still be a Mystery. Thanks

  3. Great stuff!

    fyi: Change the year from 1818 to 1918. I was very confused.

  4. Thanks, how embarrassing. I need to get my head out of the 19th century.