Friday, February 27, 2015

Historic Moments: Tuesday, 21 February 1939

Below is what I had written before something happened and I couldn't continue daily. I'll go ahead and publish this one, as is. I will still continue the series, but it will not be daily. At the least, it will be weekly. 

This is part of a 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 oneAs a note, direct quotes from the newspaper are in this font, and my comments during direct quotes are [in these brackets]. Parenthesis in quotes, are the paper's own.

Today's random newspaper pick is the Indiana Evening Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Previously in Historic Moments...
  • President Roosevelt is battling Congress on the sale of planes to France and the building of a naval base in Guam. 
  • The Spanish Civil War.
  • The Japanese invasion of China and its ramifications.
  • The execution of Franklin Pierce McCall, though we'll probably get no new news until around the 24th, his next execution date.
  • Tensions between France and Italy, in Africa.
  • The possible kidnapping of Anne Louise Sweitzer, an 8-year-old girl from Pasadena, CA. 
Now, on with today's news. 

The biggest headline of the day is about a very disturbing Nazi rally at Madison Square Gardens. A whopping 20,000 people attended in support. Photos that display the enormity of it all can be Googled, and please go look at the link so you can understand what I mean in a minute. It'll only take a second. There were storm trooper guards, hate speeches, the alignment of George Washington with fascism and so forth. 
Rally in 1939.
Now, I disagree wholeheartedly with anything fascist, but I must admit that I find the freedom of speech here amazing. These Nazi supporters were protected by local police so they could exercise this very right. What is completely opposite however, is when a journalist called out that it was nonsense. The police were ready to arrest her! Why? In the end, he didn't because another journalist pointed out that her freedom of speech was also being exercised, but it bothers me that he was about to arrest her to begin with.

Nazi's liked George Washington?!The other thing is, can you possibly imagine getting on a stage in front of 22,000 people today and shouting how Muslims are what is wrong with the world, or blacks, or anyone? Would we still have that right to shout hate? Or would we be arrested? It is worth looking at the difference of freedom then and now. 

I believe in free speech no matter how offensive it may sound to someone. I believe in unrestrained speech. Nazis were pure evil, but just because they blustered about nonsense doesn't mean they should not air their twisted opinions. Today though, we no longer carry that right. Ask Juan Williams, he'll tell you all about that.

President Rosenfeld.However, I digress. The headline mentions it turning violent and there was some fighting. One heroic Isadore Greenbaum leaped onto the stage and rushed the speaker then was immediately attacked by "a dozen or more" storm troopers. The man's clothes were ripped and he was bleeding, but the police rushed in to rescue the man. They subsequently arrested him and his bail was set at $100.

In all, thirteen people were arrested due to fighting. People outside of the rally flocked and demonstrated. It was quite a display of heated opposition. There are videos, articles and so forth out there and I highly recommend you taking the time to learn more about it. 

Japan bombs Hong Kong, angers Britain.
The Chinese war with Japan roars on. Until now, westerners in China were supposed to be safe, but Japan launched an aerial bombardment on Hong Kong, which at the time was a territory of Great Britain. Naturally, it was not well received, in the least, by the empire.

As the paper went to print, there was not yet news of much detail. They knew that a train station was hit, a British policeman was killed along with dozens injured.

The British ambassador to Tokyo was directed to "to protest immediately to the Japanese government in the strongest of terms," and to "press for a reply to the British not of Jan. 14 [1939] asking clarification of Japanaese intentions toward western powers in regard to maintenance of an open door to trade in China. (The United States on Dec. 31 and France on Jan. 19 made similar representations to Japan)."
Anne Louise Sweitzer, outcome.
Little 8-year-old Anne Louise Sweitzer has been found alive, but her condition is not yet released. They did say that she was suffering from nausea, which is odd. The suspect, Townsend Davis, was not being charged with kidnapping, but instead "a morals charge". His motive, he said, was that "she wanted to leave home. I considered her home a bad environment for her."

The newspaper's headline contradicts itself with the article. The headline says she was 5, but the article correctly says that she was 8. Yesterday's newspaper said that Davis was the 40-year-old nephew of a neighbor who had brought her home two days before and had bought her candy and gloves.

China and Japan both claim victory of an aerial battle over Lanchow. Both sides give different numbers of downed planes.

The other day there was talk that Britain and France were going to recognize Generalissmo Franco as the legitimate leader of Spain. It was an unofficial leak. Today however, France instructed a Senator Leon Berard to "reach a basis for formal recognition of [his] regime."

Have a great day!


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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