Friday, February 20, 2015

Historic Moments: Monday, 20 February 1939

This is part 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.

Good morning everyone! I don't really know if anyone is reading this, but I like to think a few of you are. If even one person finds this interesting, then I'm happy. Now let's get going.

Today's random newspaper pick is the Roseburg News-Review in Roseburg, Oregon. I'm trying to randomly pick newspapers by region, because often American culture is different from one region to the next. Yesterday was the Southeast, my first post was the Midwest and so forth. Now it's the Pacific Northwest.

Previously in Historic Moments...

Several stories have been in the newspapers for days. One is the sale of planes from President Roosevelt to France as well as a naval base in Guam. Opponents feel both of these actions are leading a path to war. 

Tension in Africa between France and Italy are heating up. France took back land it gave to Italy because Italy broke an agreement, and as a result Mussolini is now building up troops along the Libyan border.

Spain's civil war continues. France and Britain moved to recognize the Nationalist side of the war.

Japan has continued it's massive invasion of China. They landed with air strikes, tanks, heavily armed mounted and foot soldiers and so forth. Americans are considered safe and upon recognizing this, missions were flooded with people seeking refuge or simply asking for American flags to hang outside their homes.

Notorious kidnapper and child murderer Franklin Pierce McCall is set to be executed by electric chair, today I believe. You can read about his crime in this post.

Now, on with today's news.

Naval Airplane Base Program SpeededThe article for top headline of the day tells us that the majority of Congress is in agreement with the Guam naval plans after all. The paper says the move is "new evidence of determination to bolster national defense." This doesn't mean that the opposition now agrees, simply that FDR is not alone in his belief it needs to be done.

Opponents are not alone in the belief that the president's latest decisions are a path to war. The Nazis and Italians are now publicly complaining about FDR's latest actions.
[Marshal Badoglio, Chief of the Italian General Staff] said an "imperialistic Anglo-Saxon minority excited by a man like Roosevelt, who belongs without doubt to a race of great preachers of war, is beginning to rise up again and consider inevitable a new historic demonstration of America's mission and new intervention to make the world safe for democracy."

... The great majority of Americans, he said, were the prey of propaganda because their origins, mentalities and interests differed too widely for them to form their on public opinion on International affairs, especailly those of Europe.

In general, Americans are ignorant of, or indifferent to, Europe, the writer went on with a "very" determined Anglo-Saxon minority holding the reins."
Germany was not without their opinion on the matter either. Apparently the entire press leaped upon Roosevelt. The most biting came from the Boersenzeitung (a German newspaper), who said Roosevelt "systemactially [sic] attempted to sow trouble in the world in order to assist the dark forces which support him."

Meanwhile, Rabbi Perlzweigh said before the London Jewish congress that "Roosevelt is the symbol of all forces of democracy and freedom is a sufficient declaration."

Midwest cold snap.The Midwest has had a cold snap that has affected them greatly. Though the headlines claims "four states" it is actually five. The Dakotas (which I assume they're counting as one), Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Temperatures have been sub-zero and remember that this region is only now beginning to recover from the Dust Bowl, so this makes it even more difficult for them to deal with.

Tensions between Italy and France escalate in Africa.The African situation continues to build. Italy has sent 30,000 more troops to deal with France. They defend their action by saying France did it first. Instead of contacting France to let them know about the build up, Italy contacted Britain.

What is odd is that the article adds the following, which is actually a different subject entirely and it does not hint as to why this is being done.
Sir John Simon, Chancellor of the Exchequer, formally sought authority to borrow 800,000,000 pounds ($4,000,000,000) to finance rearmament, which he said was now approach the "full blast of production." 
Casablanca French news. It was "horrible" he said, to spend so much on arms. But [sic] he expressed confidence Britain could "stand the strain."
Circling back around to the French, I was kind of reminded of the film Casablanca, when I read the article at right. The only major difference is that it was the Nazis slaying the French, in the movie.

Odd crime update on bombing of dairy production buildings.For odd news of the day, there is this article whose headline is off like the one above. It should read bombings, plural, since there were actually three separate bombs and three separate buildings. What was odd were the buildings that were bombed. There were two dairy production centers and a knitting factory that were damaged.

In any case there were only a couple of minor injuries and the event had occurred three years before. Unfortunately, the article offers no hints on what their motive may have been.

Nazi spy plan in US revealed.More news out of Germany is the revelation of the recruitment of spies in the US. A man by the name of George Rettig was the Director of the American branch of the German University Exchange System. It was announced by General Von Massow, who is head of the entire system, that Rettig's actions were not instructions ever given to him. Rather than replace Rettig, Massow asked the Director of International Education in New York (Stephen Pierce Dugan) to take the office over.
The Providence (R. I.) [sic] Bulletin said February 10 Rettig had sent out a circular letter requesting German students on American and Canadian campuses to supply nazi [sic] authorities with information on political and economic conditions in the United States.

The newspaper said Rettig has been recalled by Berlin because the Germany embassy in Washington felt he had acted indiscretely [sic].
There is no explanation as to how the incident was discovered, but the indiscreet comment is interesting. It was not 'what he was doing was bad', it was only 'indiscreet.'

McCall gets stay of execution. Shock!Our kidnapper and killer, McCall, has an update. Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court turned down a stay for his execution, but today it looks as though he has a little more time, even if they've already shaved his head.

Scary news.It does not say who granted the stay, but he now has until Friday to file an appeal. We'll have to mark our calendars and see what happens next.

Along the same topic is another possible kidnapping in Pasadena, California. She is an eight-year-old girl that went missing yesterday morning. The entire article is worth reading, but it may make your blood run cold.

Hopefully we'll hear what happened to her.

Japanese man killed by 20 Chinese men.The Chinese are beginning to clear out the bad Chinese blood, via guerrilla warfare. Since Japan occupied Shanghai, there have been 50 political assassinations by the Chinese. Today's news tells us that 20 Chinese gunman broke into the home of Teheng Loh, who is also Chinese. He was a one-time League of Nations delegate and was pro-Japan. The assailants worked in collusion with Loh's own bodyguards and 15 bullets were found in Loh's body. The bodyguards escaped with the gunman.

Dog food adSales and Prices

  • Friskies Dog Food, 3 1/2¢/day (about $1.05/mo)
  • Portable tube radio, $3.50
  • Southern Pacific Railroad's round trip coach to San Francisco during World's Fair, $16.55
  • Air Mail Coffee, 15¢/lb. or 39¢/3 lbs.
  • Team of horses, 1300 lbs. each, $150.
  • Movies, matinees 25¢, evenings 35¢, kiddies 10¢
  • Used brass [they call it gold] trumpet worth $185, $50
On the radio tonight is The Lone Ranger and tomorrow night The Green Hornet.

There are a number of society type announcements. 

Society Valentine's Day party report. Society news. Farm society PTA supports scholarships for 4-H members.

Finally, a leap for women in the region and a good old fashioned funny.
Second woman aerial police officer. Needs glasses.

I wish you all a pleasant afternoon and evening. Please check back in tomorrow! 


Images and articles from this newspaper were generously provided by the totally awesome I am not affiliated them with them in any way, just a very happy subscriber. Should you decide to subscribe, please let them know magnoliasouth sent you. No, I get nothing for it, I just want them to know. :)

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