The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Feb. 21, 1919
PLANNING ROYAL WELCOME HOME FOR LOCAL TROOPS
The general committee recently appointed at a mass meeting in the library to arrange for a big reception entertainment and banquet for the returned and returning soldiers and sailors, their fathers, mothers, sweethearts, next of kin and friends, met with Mayor Gates Thursday and made the preliminary arrangements for the biggest event in the history of southern Oregon. The date of the banquet and entertainment will be fixed a few days after the boys of the 65th arrive home which will be in about two weeks, the reception at the station to be held when notice of the arrival of the boys is received and announced by the fire whistle.
Mayor Gates was selected as general in charge. He appointed Geo. Collins as colonel, who will appoint majors and they in turn will appoint captains to get out the crowds and prepare suitable yells and noise for the occasion, and will be known as a welcome home regiment.
It is the intention to have vaudeville and other stunts, patriotic songs, dancing, eats for everybody and a general good time at the Natatorium, with plenty of good music and a royal good time.
They were great days, days never to be forgotten, when from time to time we gathered at the train to bid our gallant boys Godspeed as they went forth to war. But greater days are coming now for those same boys are returning to us as heroes, the idols of every father, mother, brother and sister, in fact idols of the whole community. Everything that can be done to make them realize how much we appreciate the debt we owe them, and we regret sincerely that some have had to pay the supreme sacrifice — everything that can be done, Medford is going to do.
Train regiments to meet the different trains are to be formed under colonels, majors and captains, and every man, woman and child is going to be there to greet our boys with hearty songs and yells.
The general arrangements committee, with Mayor Gates as chairman and composed of ministers, fathers and mothers of the boys and representatives of civil and war activities held a meeting Thursday for the purpose of making arrangements for the great welcoming reception to be given in honor of every boy that has been in the service. The complete arrangements as to time, place and definite plans for the reception will be decided upon by this committee. All veterans of former wars are to be guests of honor at this celebration. This is to be Medford’s welcome to her boys, and every person and every organization is joining hands to make it an event worthy of the love and pride that is felt for her soldier-heroes.