Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Historic Moments: Friday, 17 February 1939

This is the first of a (hopefully daily) series detailing in real time World War II, American culture during the war and usually small town life. For information, please see this post, and this one.

We begin today from The Kokomo Tribune, in Indiana. I picked this newspaper randomly and on the front page we have the following headlines:
A man just released from 'Insane' asylum shot one of Premier Benito Mussolini's private detectives on Wednesday while apparently waiting to assassinate the Premier, an authoritative source revealed today.
That's a shame that he didn't get him when he had the chance. I suppose his sanity may have had a part in it, but he sounds pretty dog gone sane to me.
About the man that would plunge Spain into a Civil War.BELGIUM POLICE FREE CONSULATE OF FRANCO MEN 
Brussels, Feb. 17 - Belgian police and firemen today stormed the Spanish government consulate building and ejected insurgent sympathizers who had seized it in an early morning coup... 
They had seized the building from its caretakers, and, shouting "Vivi Franco!" had raised the colors of Insurgent Generalissimo Francisco Franco to its flagstaff.

This is actually very interesting. Franco was a high ranking key player that sparked the Spanish Civil War that had just begun 3 years earlier, in 1936. At present, that is 17 Feb 1939, the war is still continuing. Was he a good guy? No. The Facists supported him and Wikipedia says:
Franco established a repression which was characterized by concentration campsforced labor and executions, mostly against political and ideological enemies,[3][4][5][6][7] being estimated to have caused from about 200,000 to 400,000 deaths,[8][9]
No, definitely not a nice guy.

Then there is, what I consider, probably the most interesting and curious of all the articles here.
Washington, Feb. 17. - Hugh. R. Wilson, ambassador to Germany, testified before the senate military committee today on European conditions in a closed session from which even the official stenographer was excluded... 
Wilson had declined to answer many "important" questions on the grounds that the international situation was too grave... 
Part two of Behind Closed.[Wilson] told the committee that any answers he might make to certain questions might disturb International relations and might impair his own usefulness.

This is rather scary. There is more discussion about the estimated (or rather, lack of estimated) number of warplanes in Germany. It is clear that they are concerned that Americans may be dragged into the war because they are already discussing initiating legislation that will, "... restrict Mr. Roosevelt's power to make American military airplanes available to foreign governments."

There are a couple of mentions in this same article of how Roosevelt is trying to build up the American military. In fact, the Assistant Treasury Secretary, Wayne Chatfield Tayloer, resigned the previous day and his "friends" said it was because he disagree with the Roosevelt administration on "the Treasury's part in aiding the democratic nations against totalitarian states." There was also proposal to allot funds to a naval base in Guam, as well.
Japan invades Namto.
Finally, there is a tiny blurb that says Japan had invaded Namto, which was across the bay from Hong Kong.

J.C. Penny dresses for $4.98.

Moving along.... let's look at life.

Women's dresses were on sale at J.C. Penny's for $4.95.

It was announced that personal TV sets would go on sale beginning in May. Two New York stations will begin broadcasting by summer, but there are already one, ONE, station in Philadelphia already broadcasting. Plans are being made to start stations in Schenectady, NY, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee. Lucky devils, eh?

Hook's Drug Store, who tells you to fight winter electrically, lists a number of things on sale. A few being:
Vaseline Hair Tonic (a 50¢ size), 35¢
St. Joseph's Aspirin (bottle of 100), 35¢
Jayne's Tonic Vermifuge (no idea, but sounds interesting), 34¢
Tampax Internal Protection, 20¢ and 33¢

Other sporadic ads have things such as
Red Goose Health Shoes $3
Comic strip, making fun of hat prices.
living room suite, $66
$5 for your mattress when you buy one at $24.95
Ko-we-ba's (10.5-oz) can of asparagus, 15¢
2 Lily No. 2 cans (a no. 3 is a 20-oz can) of green beans, 26¢
bacon, 15¢/lb.
pork loin chops, 18¢/lb
butter, 26 1/2¢/lb.
sugar, 25¢/5 lb.

Apparently the prices of fashionable hats were a source of amusement. There is a comic strip, one liner about this very thing.

Mickey Rooney is in Huckleberry Finn, in theaters. When you go to that one, you get to also see a "color cartoon, novelty and news." Also in theaters is Tail Spin starring Jane Wyman, first wife of future President Ronald Reagan. You get to see the same things above, except the cartoon isn't specified as color. It is however a Disney cartoon.

There are a number of theaters and they're all 10¢ per ticket.

The Danceland Ballroom is open on Saturdays and Sundays, "9 to 12 p.m." (sic) and is "featuring Shaeffers Swing Kings with June Lindeman" whom they tout as "a charming vocalist." Cost is 25¢ per person.

Local band.If you prefer square dancing, or if you just want to also square dance, then you're in luck because square dancing is at the Tavern on Wednesday and Friday Nights.

On what looks to be the ladies page...

It's Washington's birthday and if you feel like celebrating, they have a menu for us... though it's actually a Daily Menu article. Still, sounds interesting. They suggest a colonial tea party (they list things to make), and recipes for "shield" sandwiches, chicken salad rolls and date nut stars. There is also a tip for making better clam stew using clam juice, Worcestershire, celery and salt.

The short story is "Marriage Meddlers", which they say is a sequel to "Married Comrades."

Colonial Tea Party ideas.Olive Roberts Barton writes in her column "Raising A Family" that some homesickness is good for children and she tells the story of her daughter's experience at summer camp.

Columnist Alicia Hart, cautions us in "Glorifying Yourself", that "a smart woman's Easter wardrobe budget is a combination of beauty and fashion."

Betty Barclay declares some interesting facts.
More than 31,000,000,000 chicken eggs are produces in the United States each year. 
Cool agricultural facts in 1939.
Corn acreage in the United States decreased 3,000,000 in 1938 and cotton acreage approximately 8,000,000 acres. 
Louisiana experts estimate that an acre of fresh pasture in that state has an average annual feeding value equivalent to 92.8 bushels of corn. 
Berries in the tangee tree, a rare tropical plant, may be used in the same way as lipstick.
The "Help Wanted" section is divided by gender. Jobs for women include a fashion model, the way they did it back in the day where women tried on the dresses and did a catwalk for wealthy buyers. Fashion Frocks in Cincinatti is hiring girls offering free dresses and pay up to $23 per day. Half of the male jobs require a car, even for a movie operator.

A hair "oil permanent" is $1 and a used 1933 Olds 6 (4-door) sedan with new tires and is proclaimed as "extra clean" is on sale for $225.

Then finally...

Financials include Eastman Kodak closing at a whopping 174 3/4 and "Corn prices followed an irregular trend. Improved export demand gave the market a firm undertone after a slightly easier opening but follow-up buying was lacking, and prices turned downward again."

Hope you enjoyed and come back to see tomorrow's post!


Images and articles from this newspaper were generously provided by the totally awesome Newspapers.com. I am not affiliated them with them in any way, just a very happy subscriber.

No comments: