Barbara Hillard Smith’s Diary, November 1918

By Lindsay Bina, Intern and Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reader Services

Today we return to the 1918 diary of Newton teenager Barbara Hillard Smith. You may read our introduction to the diary, and Barbara’s previous entries, here:

January | February | March | April | May 

June | July | August | September | October

As regular readers of the Beehive know, we are following Barbara throughout 1918 with monthly blog posts that present Barbara’s daily life — going to school, seeing friends, playing basketball, and caring for family members — in the words she wrote a century ago.

 November was both a regular and not-so-regular month for Barbara as she balanced school and babycare and social outings with news of the Great War — “Rumor peace was declared,” reads her entry on November 7th, sandwiched between “School” and “Senior Tea.” Then on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour … “Peace declared. Parade. Babies. Hair up<.”

>Here is Barbara’s November, day by day.

* * *

School. Babies. Movies at Waltham

SAT. 2
Hung around all day.

SUN. 3
Sunday School. Mrs. R- sick. Cousin Alice here

MON. 4
School. Babies.


WED. 6
School. Babies

School. Rumor peace was declared. Senior Tea.

FRI. 8
School. Babies

SAT. 9
In town. Sailors dance with Ben

SUN. 10
Sunday School. Pete to Dinner

MON. 11
Peace declared. Parade. Babies. Hair up.

TUES. 12
No school. In town. Parade

WED. 13
School. Over to Pete’s

THUR. 14
School. Over to Peg’s

FRI. 15
School. Took care of Baby.

SAT. 16
Knitted madly. Spud took me to Sybil’s party.

SUN. 17
Church Sunday School. K. to dinner. Studied

MON. 18
School. Took care of baby

TUES. 19
School. Swimming

WED. 20
School. Took care of baby

THUR. 21
School. Swimming. Aunt Mabel came to see Grandmas

FRI. 22
School. Lecture with Mother. Wartime France. Babies.

SAT. 23
Hung around. Mrs. Reed’s. Cousin M. to supper. Heard Dr. A- was detained.

SUN. 24
Put in teacher’s training class. Bob Hayes home. Spud to supper.

MON. 25
School. Took care of sonny.

TUES. 26
School. Sick? Hung around in afternoon. Got report cards. Safe I guess.

WED. 27
School. Got out at 12. Went to Babies. Sick in evening

THUR. 28
Went to Muriel’s. Thanksgiving dinner. Sailor’s dance.

FRI. 29
In town. Up to babies. Dinner and Dance at Spud’s. Bed at 1:20

SAT. 30
Slept until 11:20. Saw “Seventeen” [adapted from the novel Seventeen by Booth Tarkington]

If you are interested in viewing the diary in person in our library or have other questions about the collection, please visit the library or contact a member of the library staff for further assistance.

*Please note that the diary transcription is a rough-and-ready version, not an authoritative transcript. Researchers wishing to use the diary in the course of their own work should verify the version found here with the manuscript original. The catalog record for the Barbara Hillard Smith collection may be found here.