This is from the WWI Centennial Commission website about Eugene Van Antwerp

City Councilmen, Mayor of Detroit, V.F.W. National Commander and instrumental in making Armistice (Veterans) Day a National Holiday.

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He was educated in parochial schools and then at the University of Detroit and worked as an instructor in English at Gonzaga University in 1910-1911.He returned to Detroit, working briefly at the Detroit Police Department before going to work as a civil engineer. He did engineering work first for the Michigan Central Railroad and then for the Grand Trunk Railroad.Van Antwerp served as a captain in 16th Regiment of Engineers(Railway) from Detroit in the United States Army Corps of Engineers during World War I, and was among the first members of the Allied Expeditionary Force to land in France, serving in 1917-1919. He is leading company D 16th Regiment of Engineers (Railway) May 1919 in the picture above.

He returned to his position with Grand Trunk after the war. He was chief engineer for the National Survey Service from 1926–1928, after which he went into private practice as an engineer and surveyor.

Van Antwerp was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1932.He served continuously from 1932.to 1948, when he ran for mayor. During his time on the council, he ran unsuccessfully for county auditor in 1935 and served a stint as the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1938-39. During this time, he lobbied to get Armistice Day made a National  Holiday. It became Veterans Day after World War Two.

Van Antwerp served a single term as mayor, beating Edward Jeffries in 1947 but losing in the primary in 1949. He returned to the City Council in 1950, winning a special election in November of that year to replace Edward Jeffries after the latter’s death.During his second time on the council, he ran unsuccessfully for state highway commissioner in 1952 and for United States Congress in 1955.

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