6 September 1941

6 September 1941


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6 September 1941

September 1941

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Japan

Imperial Conference decides to accept the risk of war with the United States



The Negro Struggle

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 36, 6 September 1941, p.م.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

According to William Patterson, a Negro representative of the Communist Party in Chicago, the Negro people are behind the war because it is a war against slavery just as much as the war of 1861, “This is our war,” he said at, a meeting on August 20. “Black America will play its part today just as it did in 1776 and again in 1861.”

Last week we refuted Patterson’s claims that the Negro people support the present war, and showed that since it is an imperialist war (not for democracy, but a fight between capitalist bandits over control of colonial markets and raw materials), the Negro people are correct in not supporting it. This week we want to discuss Patterson’s attempts to win Negro support for Roosevelt’s war plans by pretending that today’s imperialist war is like the wars of 1776 and 1861.
 

Wars the Negroes Supported

The capitalist historians have always tried to play down the role of the Negro in those wars. They do this to bolster up their reactionary ideas that the Negro is inferior and incapable of playing any important role in society. More and more people, however, are learning the truth nowadays and beginning to understand what a tremendous part the Negro masses had in the construction and development of the American republic.

We do not have to argue the question as to whether the Revolutionary War of 1776 was progressive. Everybody knows that. A great revolutionary movement, it secured independence for the colonies from their oppressor, Great Britain, and resulted in the formation of the most democratic government at that time in the world. Like all great revolutions, it was carried on militantly, arms in hand. Progress was secured at the cost of much suffering and sacrifice. People who are afraid of revolutions today try to gloss over the fact that American bourgeois democracy was created only by violent struggle.

In this revolution, the Negro people played a glorious role. Crispus Attucks, a Negro, was among the very first to fall in it. Elsewhere, on all the fronts of the war, Negroes did not hesitate to give everything they had, even their lives. For their numbers the Negro people, freeman and slave, were as much responsible for the victory of the colonists as anyone else.

Not all the tasks of this revolution were accomplished in the 18th century, however. Feudalism still existed and had much power in the south, in the person of the landlord slave-owning class. The Civil War was the second American revolution, and it ended in the defeat of the south and the weakening and even destruction in most respects of feudal power in this country. It preserved the unity and independence of the nation, so that the capitalists could go forward with the economic development of the country. It destroyed chattel slavery and set the Negro people free.

Again the Negro people were in the thick of the battle, again they were on the side of progress and social revolution. Hundreds of thousands of colored troops fought and worked on the Northern side their brothers in the south aided the Union forces as best they could. Lincoln and other Northern leaders admitted that without the Negro soldiers they would not have won the war.
 

What About the War of 1917?

Today the government and its lackeys, including the Stalinists, are using many of the same slogans employed in the two American revolutionary wars: for democracy, freedom, independence, against slavery, tyranny, dictatorship, etc. But the kind of war it is cannot be determined by what its supporters claim it is for even Hitler knows how to use slogans in his own interests, even the slaveholders in the Civil War claimed that their war was in the interests of the slaves.

The Negro people in this country have already had an experience in wars and slogans which was very enlightening that was in 1917.

And it is very significant that Patterson, who spoke about the war of 1941 and the wars of 80 and 165 years ago, had nothing to say about the war of 24 years ago, and the Negro role in and attitude toward that war.

For today’s war, so far as most workers are concerned, is a repetition of World War I, and the same kind of war. Patterson can’t mention it because the masses would immediately see through his stock phrases.

Again as in 1917 the capitalist class is conducting a war for its own profit. Workers are made to pay for it in money and blood. Negroes are Jim-Crowed in the armed forces and face a virtual blackout in industry. The outcome of the war will be the same for Negroes as after 1918, when they were lynched for daring to wear an Army uniform. (As a matter of fact already, even before we are in the war officially, the lynch spirit against Negro soldiers has been whipped up.)

This war will bring no improvement in conditions for the masses of the world, regardless of whether the Allies or the Axis powers win. Negroes in this country will get no benefits from a Roosevelt victory. They will have the same problems they had before the war, and probably worse.

The Revolutionary War and the Civil War were progressive, in the interests of the masses as well as the rising capitalist class. World War II, like World War I, is reactionary, in the interests only of capitalism decaying and in its death agonies. Negroes instinctively do not support it. Their instincts are healthy and correct.

These correct and revolutionary instincts of the Negro people must now be connected to an understanding of the kind of war they can and must support. This we intend to discuss week.


Born This Day In History 6th September

Celebrating Birthdays Today
Jane Addams
Born: 6th September 1860 Chicago, Illinois
Died: May 31st 1934 Chicago, Illinois
Known For : Jane Addams best known as the co-founder (together with Ellen Gates Starr) of Hull House in Chicago, Illinois. Jane Addams came from a wealthy background and following her visit to the first of it's kind Toynbee Hall in London set out to create Hull House in Chicago a settlement house staffed by volunteers from middle-class and upper-middle class women and men who lived in the house providing social and educational opportunities for working class people (In Chicago at that time mostly immigrants were from Italy, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Russia and Poland) in the neighborhood. Following the success of Hull House over 100 were set up in cities (Settlement House movement) throughout the United States. For this and her other social work including Helping to found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Founding the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Jane Addams became one of the first women in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The small photo at the top is a 10 cent stamp from 1940 honoring her work. She has been honored in many other ways including the Northwest Tollway as the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.


Forces In Other Locations Assigned To The Asiatic Fleet

Gunboat
PR-8 Mindanao, Enroute Cavite from Hong Kong.

Minesweeper
AM -5 Finch, at sea in the Taiwan Strait.

At Tarakan Borneo

Light Cruiser
CL-12 Marblehead

Destroyers (DesDiv 58, DESRON 29)
DD-230 Paul Jones (Flagship DesRon 29)
DD-224 Stewart
DD-222 Bulmer
DD-213 Barker
DD-218 Parrott

At Balikpapan Borneo

Destroyers (DesDiv 57, DESRON 29)
DD-217 Whipple
DD-211 Alden
DD-216 John D. Edwards
DD-219 Edsall
Destroyer Tender
AD-9 Black Hawk
Note
This force had been ordered (December 7 Local Time, December 6th US Time)
to sail to Singapore Malaysia, via Batavia, Java, (Dutch East Indies) to join the screen of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse
Both ships were sunk before they could join and were ordered back to the Philippines.
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This Page Is Created And Maintained By Paul R. Yarnall
All Pages Copyright © 1996 - 2002 Paul R. Yarnall © 2002 NavSource Naval History. All Rights Reserved.


Siege of Leningrad - WW2 Timeline (September 8th, 1941 - January 27th, 1944)

From the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), Hitler wanted to take the all-important port city of Leningrad - the revolutionary heart of the Soviet nation itself. Soviet offensives along other fronts forces a delay in the German advance so much so that the city and its citizens could enact lines of defense.

The German allies in Finland took control of the Karelian isthmus to ensure the north was covered. The German Army arrived in the south and the stranglehold was in place. Volleying of control along various major fronts around the city saw supply routes closed and reopened and then closed again. During this time, the rations appropriated to the citizens of Leningrad had all but run out, effectively forcing the mass starvation of civilians.

The frozen surface of Lake Ladoga was a prime route for Soviet forces and proved vital in supplying the dying city. The brutally cold north winters here made the lake passable for some time. The siege of Leningrad lasted until the spring 1943 to which thousands of Leningrad citizens died.

Despite the hardship, the city was still beating with a determined heart. As an industrial city, Leningrad continued to produce tanks and automatic weapons that were quickly sent to the frontlines for use against Germans. The Germans held fast for a time, ordering artillery barrages and aerial bombardments of the city in an attempt to break the will of the people and utterly burn Leningrad to the ground.

A major Soviet offensive finally linked the city to the rest of the Soviet Union. The German Army, weary of constant combat and the brutal winters, was finally in retreat. Like other major Soviet campaigns in the war, success was ultimately theirs, however this coming at an extremely high cost in lives.


There are a total of (22) Siege of Leningrad - WW2 Timeline (September 8th, 1941 - January 27th, 1944) events in the Second World War timeline database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.

Monday, September 1st, 1941

German Army elements begin the shelling of Leningrad.

Monday, September 15th, 1941

The Soviet fortress at Shlusselburg southeast of Leningrad falls to the Germans.

Monday, September 15th, 1941

The Germans now control the southern end of Leningrad, cutting its citizens off from the rest of the Soviet Union.

Monday, September 15th, 1941

Finnish forces, siding with the Germans, now control the Karelian isthmus, covering Leningrad from both sides.

The Germans take the supply line route of Tikhvin, located east of Schlusselburg.

Wednesday, October 1st - December 31st, 1941

As rations begin to run out in the encircled city of Leningrad, its citizens begin to starve.

Wednesday, December 10th, 1941

The Soviets retake the town of Tikhvin.

Wednesday, December 10th, 1941

The Soviet supply route is restarted across frozen Lake Lagoda.

Thursday, January 1st - July 31st, 1942

Some 800,000 of Leningrad's citizens are evacuated through the frozen passage above Lake Lagoda.

Wednesday, January 7th, 1942

Along the Volkhov Front to the south of Novgorod, the Soviets launch a major offensive.

Sunday, March 1st - March 30th, 1942

The Soviet offensive near Novgorod is stopped by German ground and air elements.

Sunday, March 1st - March 30th, 1942

The whole Soviet 2nd Shock Army is lost near Novgorod.

Wednesday, July 1st - July 31st, 1942

Hitler orders two directives in the operation against Leningrad. The first calls for its immediate encirclement and the second for its immediate destruction from land and air.

Wednesday, August 19th - September 30th, 1942

A Soviet offensive aimed at smashing through the German lines fails.

Friday, September 25th, 1942

With winter upon the German Army once more, Hitler orders a halt to any major offensives around Leningrad.

Thursday, October 1st - October 31st, 1942

With a lull in the fighting, Soviet forces near Leningrad are able to receive much needed supplies and reinforcements.

Tuesday, January 12th, 1943

The Soviets enact Operation Spark and cut a path through the German lines clearing a path to Leningrad. This offers the citizens of the city some much needed foot rations.

Tuesday, January 19th, 1943

The Soviets retake the city of Shlusselburg.

Soviet armies from the 2nd Baltic, Volkov and Leningrad fronts overtake German Army Group North in a massive two-week offensive.


This Day in Black History: Sept. 9, 1941

Otis Ray Redding Jr., a dynamic singer and songwriter, was one of the major figures in Black popular music of the 1960s. Redding was born and raised in Dawson, Georgia. At age 15, he left school to support his family by working with Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters, and by playing talent shows for prize money. He signed a contract with Stax Records and released his debut album, Pain in My Heart, in 1964. This album produced his first Stax single, "These Arms of Mine." Although Redding's initial popularity was with African-Americans, he later became equally popular among the broader American public. Redding died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Wisconsin on his way to an singing engagement. Shortly before his death, he recorded "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" with Steve Cropper, which became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.


BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


Battle of the Marne: 6-10 September 1914

The First Battle of the Marne marked the end of the German sweep into France and the beginning of the trench warfare that was to characterise World War One.

Germany's grand Schlieffen Plan to conquer France entailed a wheeling movement of the northern wing of its armies through central Belgium to enter France near Lille. It would turn west near the English Channel and then south to cut off the French retreat. If the plan succeeded, Germany's armies would simultaneously encircle the French Army from the north and capture Paris.

A French offensive in Lorraine prompted German counter-attacks that threw the French back onto a fortified barrier. Their defence strengthened, they could send troops to reinforce their left flank - a redistribution of strength that would prove vital in the Battle of the Marne. The German northern wing was weakened further by the removal of 11 divisions to fight in Belgium and East Prussia. The German 1st Army, under Kluck, then swung north of Paris, rather than south west, as intended. This required them to pass into the valley of the River Marne across the Paris defences, exposing them to a flank attack and a possible counter-envelopment.

On 3 September, Joffre ordered a halt to the French retreat and three days later his reinforced left flank began a general offensive. Kluck was forced to halt his advance prematurely in order to support his flank: he was still no further up the Marne Valley than Meaux.

On 9 September Bülow learned that the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was advancing into the gap between his 2nd Army and Kluck. He ordered a retreat, obliging Kluck to do the same. The counterattack of the French 5th and 6th Armies and the BEF developed into the First Battle of the Marne, a general counter-attack by the French Army. By 11 September the Germans were in full retreat.

This remarkable change in fortunes was caused partially by the exhaustion of many of the German forces: some had marched more than 240km (150 miles), fighting frequently. The German advance was also hampered by demolished bridges and railways, constricting their supply lines, and they had underestimated the resilience of the French.

The Germans withdrew northward from the Marne and made a firm defensive stand along the Lower Aisne River. Here the benefits of defence over attack became clear as the Germans repelled successive Allied attacks from the shelter of trenches: the First Battle of the Aisne marked the real beginning of trench warfare on the Western Front.

In saving Paris from capture by pushing the Germans back some 72km (45 miles), the First Battle of the Marne was a great strategic victory, as it enabled the French to continue the war. However, the Germans succeeded in capturing a large part of the industrial north east of France, a serious blow. Furthermore, the rest of 1914 bred the geographic and tactical deadlock that would take another three years and countless lives to break.


6 September 1941 - History

At daybreak on September 1, 1939, mechanized German forces broke across the Polish border, while German bombers and fighters attacked Polish railroads from the air. On September 17, Russia attacked Poland from the east. Within three weeks, Poland was overrun.

The key to Germany's success was a new military strategy known as blitzkrieg (lightning war). Blitzkrieg stressed speed, force, and surprise Germany ripped through its adversary's defenses by closely coordinating air power and mechanized ground forces.

Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, two days after the German invasion began. But the two countries did little while Poland fell. France moved its troops to its famous Maginot Line, a supposedly invincible line of defensive fortification built to protect France's eastern border. No fighting took place in late 1939 and 1940, leading people to call this a "phony war."

Then in April 1940, German freighters sailed secretly into Norway's major ports, as well as the port of Copenhagen, Denmark's capital. Their holds were filled with German troops. The Danes, taken completely by surprise, surrendered in two hours the Norwegians held out until June, when they, too, capitulated. British troops had tried to assist Norway, but were forced to retreat due to a lack of air support. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was forced to resign following the Norway debacle. He was replaced by Winston Churchill, who (since 1932) had been warning people about the danger Hitler posed. Upon becoming prime minister, Churchill told the British people that he had nothing to offer them but "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" in their fight to resist foreign aggression.

In May 1940, Hitler began his assault on Western Europe. He outflanked France's Maginot Line by attacking Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands before driving his forces into France. Luxembourg surrendered in one day Holland in five days. A British expeditionary force rushed across the English Channel to try to stop the German offensive. However, a German tank thrust forced the British to retreat to the French seaport of Dunkirk. With the British force nearly surrounded, Hitler had a chance to crush his opponents. But Britain's Royal Air Force held off German bombers long enough to allow a flotilla of yachts, ferries, and fishing boat to evacuate 338,000 allied troops across the English Channel.

British forces had been driven from the continent. Worse yet, they had been forced to leave their weapons and tanks behind. Britain turned to the United States for help. President Roosevelt responded to the Dunkirk disaster by ordering U.S. military arsenals to send all available war materiel to Britain to replace the lost equipment.

During World War I, France held out against the Germans for four years. This time, French resistance lasted two weeks. Germany began its assault on France on June 5 a German troop entered Paris on June 14 and on June 22, a new French government, made up of pro-German sympathizers, was set up at Vichy. In just six weeks, Germany had conquered most of continental Europe.

Next, Hitler sought to occupy Britain. Convinced that Britain would negotiate with him (in order to keep control of its empire), Hitler decided against an immediate invasion. Churchill, however, refused to bargain. Defiantly, he told his people that he would resist any German assault: "We shall fight on the beaches. we shall fight in the streets. we shall never surrender."

Hitler was furious. First, he unleashed German submarines against British shipping. Then, in July, he sent his air force, the Luftwaffe, to destroy Britain from the air. At the time the assault began, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had just 704 serviceable planes, while Germany had 2,682 bombers and fighters ready for action. Throughout July and August, the Luftwaffe attacked airfields and radar stationed on Britain's southern and eastern coast. Next, in September Hitler shifted strategy and began to bomb civilian targets in London. These air raids, known as the blitz, continued through the fall and winter. In May 1941, the blitz ended. While outnumbered, the RAF had won the Battle of Britain. Churchill expressed his nation's gratitude with the famous words: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Having failed in his bid to destroy Britain with air power, Hitler shifted strategy and invaded the Soviet Union. The attack, which began on June 22, 1941, violated the German-Soviet nonaggression pact. Hitler's goal was to seize Soviet food and oil and to capture slave labor for Germany. At first, the Nazi war machine seemed invincible by fall, Hitler's armies had overrun the grain fields of Ukraine and were approaching Moscow and Leningrad. But instead of pressing ahead toward Moscow, as his generals advised, Hitler decided to seize Leningrad and occupy the Ukraine. By the time he was ready to advance on Moscow, temperatures had plunged to 40 degrees below zero. In the frigid cold, German troops suffered frostbite, and their equipment broke down.

The week between December 6 and 11, 1941, proved to be one of the most pivotal in the entire war. On December 6, Soviet forces repulsed the German attack on Moscow this was Hitler's first military defeat. The next day, Japanese forces attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, bringing the United States into the war. On December 11, Hitler declared war on the United States.

The United States Responds to War in Europe

As early as 1935, Roosevelt had come to realize that Hitler represented a threat to Western civilization. Yet the American public was strongly isolationist. Over the next six years, Roosevelt schemed to supply aid to the British and French. Many of his most influential advisers were against him. They argued that arms for the Europeans meant fewer arms for Americans.

Roosevelt responded to the European war by issuing a proclamation of neutrality. At the same time, he took a number of steps designed to help Britain. He pushed a fourth Neutrality Act through Congress, which permitted belligerents to purchase war materials, provided that they paid cash and carried the goods away in their own ships. This act aided the British because Britain controlled the Atlantic's sea lanes. In September 1940, he persuaded Congress to pass the first peacetime draft in American history and signed an executive agreement with Great Britain, transferring 50 destroyers in exchange for 99-year leases on eight British bases in the Western Hemisphere.

The European war dominated the election of 1940. During the campaign, Republican candidate Wendell Willkie charged Roosevelt with maneuvering the United States into the European war. Roosevelt was called a warmonger by Charles Lindbergh and the powerful labor leader John L. Lewis. On the eve of the election, Roosevelt responded, offering these reassuring words to American parents: "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." Running for an unprecedented third term, Roosevelt easily defeated Willkie, receiving 449 electoral votes to the Republican candidate's 82 votes.


RADIO IN 1941

Many people associate 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December, "a date which will live in infamy," as President Roosevelt put it. But while the entry of the United States into World War 2 certainly overshadowed everything else, 1941 was a memorable year for a number of other reasons.

To fully understand what occurred in the media in 1941, we need to examine some of the historical events of that year. 1941 began with a happy occasion-- on 20 January, the very popular FDR was inaugurated for an unprecedented third term Henry Wallace was his Vice President. But events in Europe were on the minds of many Americans. The Nazis were becoming more threatening, and on 27 May, President Roosevelt went on radio (as he had done so many times before) to announce an unlimited national emergency after German forces over-ran Greece and Yugoslavia, and also invaded Crete. It was becoming more and more obvious that America would not be able to remain neutral about the war in Europe in July, FDR nationalised the armed forces of the Philippines (which was still a US dependency back then) and placed them under the command of the new commander-in-chief of all US forces in the Far East-- General Douglas MacArthur.

As events in Europe looked increasingly grim, Americans were tuning in to their radios to hear the latest developments. If you listened to Mutual (which in its formative years mainly offered radio dramas and serials), you heard a news staff featuring Gabriel Heatter, Wythe Williams, and Boake Carter. Lowell Thomas was on NBC as was Walter Winchell (whose commentaries had moved from mainly celebrity gossip to political commentary, as he vehemently insisted for months that the US should enter the war). There was Edward R. Murrow in Europe doing reports for CBS, where he worked alongside of a growing corps of both radio and print journalists sent to do on the scene coverage. The black press (or, more accurately for those times, the "Negro press") was there too -- the highly acclaimed coverage of news from France by the Pittsburgh Courier had even been praised by Time Magazine, which noted that the Courier was one of the first newspapers to cover the situation in France.

The radio networks (and many local stations) now provided special daily newscasts which summarised the day's war-related events. NBC had a show called "News of Europe" every morning, and another in the evening called "News Here and Abroad" CBS offered similar shows. Both networks began offering free tickets on weekends for servicemen who wanted to see the network shows. (As more men got drafted, we would begin to hear more women on the air in non-traditional roles. In 1941, Dorothy Thompson and Helen Hiett were among those women heard doing news and commentary, but even the so-called "women's shows" were gradually discussing war-related themes, as were the farm and home shows -- NBC, for example, had a National Farm and Home Hour, but it was now devoting part of the show to defence news. )

By September, after an increasing number of US ships were fired upon by German submarines, President Roosevelt issued an order to shoot any German or Italian ships on sight if they were found in waters the US had promised to defend. But the crisis continued to escalate on 30 October, the US destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Iceland (a part of the territory the US had agreed to protect), and 100 American lives were lost. On 7 December, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On 8 December, the President asked Congress to agree with his decision to declare war on Japan. The vote in the House was overwhelmingly in favour but one person dissented -- she was Jeannette Rankin, an avowed pacifist who also had voted against entering World War 1. The US officially entered World War 2 with that declaration of War, and what happened after is a story for a later article .

Prior to the declaration of war, the prospect of war loomed for much of 1941. Many Americans were worried about their future. A Roper Poll noticed that 61.2% of the American people believed Germany was a threat to the United States, especially if the Allies were defeated. In such insecure times, Americans depended on the mass media not only to inform them, but to entertain and reassure them. So you may have started your day with Arthur Godfrey, who was doing an early morning show in 1941, or listened to Don McNeill and the Breakfast Club .

There was a wide variety of music on radio in 1941 -- if you liked country (often called "Hillbilly" music back then), Gene Autry had his own show, the Melody Ranch , and of course, the Grand Ole Opry was still a huge favourite every Saturday night. It was still a year when the great band-leaders dominated the charts, and big bands played the music people loved. If you turned on your radio in early 1941, for example, you would have heard hits from Artie Shaw ("Frenesi"), Jimmy Dorsey ("I Hear a Rhapsody"), Benny Goodman ("There'll Be Some Changes Made"), and Gene Krupa ("It All Comes Back to Me Now"). Of course, there was always a Glenn Miller record on the charts, such as "Song of the Volga Boatmen" or "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and you probably listened faithfully to his radio show on the CBS network.

Several other band-leaders had their own shows, such as Eddie Duchin, who was on the Mutual Network in 1941, and Xavier Cugat on NBC. Such greats as Guy Lombardo, Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey also had hits and made network appearances. Louis Armstrong and jazz great Earl "Fatha" Hines recorded an album that got many positive reviews.

Among popular female vocalists were the Andrews Sisters with their hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". Perhaps you had even purchased that new Emerson Phonoradio (only $49.95, including an automatic record changer) so that you could play all your favourite songs at home: there seemed to be so many good records (on 78 rpm discs, of course). And while we are speaking of record players and radios, if you submitted a question to The Quiz Kids show and the question was used on the air, your prize was a Zenith portable.

In 1941, you could get plenty of gossip and celebrity news from your local newspaper, which probably carried the syndicated columns of Louella Parsons or Ed Sullivan (yes, the same Ed Sullivan who would become famous for his TV variety show starting in the late 40s. ). When not listening for the latest news about the war, you still enjoyed Amos 'n' Andy, who in 1941 did their first remote broadcast from Harlem. Many of you enjoyed the soap operas and radio dramas: there was Young Dr. Malone on CBS, or When A Girl Marries on NBC (both sponsored by General Foods) versatile actress Irene Rich was heard on NBC with Dear John , sponsored as always by Welch's Grape Juice. Speaking of radio actresses, you might have heard Agnes Moorhead in Bringing Up Father , also on NBC.

There was variety and comedy too-- the Texaco Star Theatre , featuring Fred Allen, was on CBS Kate Smith was also on CBS. The crime drama Gang Busters was back on radio, and Basil Rathbone was playing "Sherlock Holmes" Entertainment industry newspaper Variety singled him out in October of 1941 as one of the best actors on the air. And speaking of the best in radio, Jack Benny was celebrating 10 years in radio in 1941, and much of the year, the top-rated show was Fibber McGee and Molly . William Boyd brought "Hopalong Cassidy" to radio in 1941, and a unique show was done by band-leader and vocalist Cab Calloway, who hosted a black-oriented musical quiz show on WOR in New York. Of course, the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, made a number of guest appearances on the networks, and she was as comfortable on radio as her husband the President was.

In sports, the big news was the numerous successful title defences the great boxer Joe Louis made -- seven of them in 1941. Meanwhile baseball star Hank Greenberg left baseball to join the army, a trend which many other athletes would follow. And if you were a horse-racing fan, you saw Whirlaway, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, win the Kentucky Derby.

Perhaps you went to see that new Walt Disney movie "Dumbo", or Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane". There was also a re-make of a 1931 movie, "The Maltese Falcon", with this version starring the popular Humphrey Bogart. The Best Picture academy award went to "How Green Was My Valley" Gary Cooper was Best Actor ("Sergeant York"), and Joan Fontaine won Best Actress for "Suspicion".

1941 was the year the USO was founded-- it began establishing clubs all over the world where off-duty servicemen could relax and socialise. (Several of my older female relatives recall that they met their future husbands while volunteering at a branch of the USO. )

The economy was heating up, thanks to the fact that the US was providing materials to those fighting against the Axis. The "Lend-Lease Bill" was signed by FDR, allowing American goods and armaments to be furnished to democratic countries which needed them to resist the Nazis. To expedite the hiring process as American industry shifted out of peace-time mode and into supporting the war effort, the Fair Employment Practices Committee was created by executive order its job was to prevent discrimination by race, creed or colour in defence-related work.

In 1941, you could buy a new car for $850, a loaf of bread was 8 cents, while a gallon of milk cost 54 cents. You could buy a gallon of gas for 12 cents, but some states had already begun imposing curfews on the hours gas stations could be open. Virtually all of the newspaper and magazine advertisements by year's end were inserting reminders to help the war effort into their ad copy. "Berlin Diary" by William L. Shirer became a best-selling book, and kids adored "My Friend Flicka" by Mary O'Hara. A couple of experimental TV stations were on the air, but not many people could afford the equipment necessary to watch, and programming was very limited. FM radio was available in many cities, playing either classical music or simulcasting the programs of the AM station which owned it. As the United States moved towards war, the music industry began putting out more and more patriotic songs, while plays with patriotic themes became more common (Lillian Hellman's war drama "Watch on the Rhine" was quite successful). Events that would change the lives of millions of Americans were about to occur, and many of those changes started in 1941.


6 September 1941 - History

1620 - The Pilgrims left on the Mayflower from Plymouth, England to settle in the New World.

1819 - Thomas Blanchard patented a machine called the lathe.

1837 - The Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio went co-educational.

1876 - The Southern Pacific rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco was completed.

1899 - Carnation processed its first can of evaporated milk.

1901 - U.S. President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded (he died eight days later) by Leon Czolgosz. Czolgosz, an American anarchist, was executed the following October.

1909 - Robert Peary, American explorer, sent word that he had reached the North Pole. He had reached his goal five months earlier.

1939 - South Africa declared war on Germany.

1941 - Jews in German-occupied areas were ordered to wear the Star of David with the word "Jew" inscribed. The order only applied to Jews over the age of 6.

1943 - The youngest player to appear in an American League baseball game was pitcher Carl Scheib of the Philadelphia Athletics. Scheib was 16 years, eight months and five days old.

1944 - During World War II, the British government relaxed blackout restrictions and suspended compulsory training for the Home Guard.

1948 - Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was crowned.

1952 - In Montreal, Canadian television began broadcasting.

1972 - Rick DeMont lost the gold medal he received in a 400-meter swimming event because a banned drug was found in his system during routine drug testing.

1975 - Martina Navratilova requested political asylum while in New York for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament.

1978 - James Wickwire and Louis Reichardt reached the top of the world's second largest mountain, Pakistan's K-2. They were the first Americans to reach the summit.

1990 - Iraq warned that anyone trying to flee the country without permission would be put in prison for life.

1991 - The State Council of the Soviet Union recognized the independence of the Baltic states.

1991 - The name St. Petersburg was restored to Russia's second largest city. The city was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. The name has been changed to Petrograd (1914) and to Leningrad (1924).

1992 - A 35-year old man died ten weeks after receiving a transplanted baboon liver.

1993 - Renault of France and Volvo of Sweden announced they were merging. Volvo eventually canceled the deal the following December.

1995 - U.S. Senator Bob Packwood was expelled by the Senate Ethics Committee.

1995 - Cal Ripken played his 2,131st consecutive game setting a new record. Lou Gehrig previously held the record.

1996 - Eddie Murray (Baltimore Orioles) hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Detroit Tigers. He was only the third person to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

2000 - The U.N. Millennium Summit began in New York. It was the largest gathering of world leaders in history with more than 150 present.

2001 - The U.S. Justice Department announced that it was seeking a lesser antitrust penalty and would not attempt to break up Microsoft.

2001 - Ebay Inc. was found not liable for copyright infringement because bootleg copies of a Charles Manson documentary had been sold on the site.

2002 - In New York, the U.S. Congress convened at Federal Hall for a rare special session. The session was held in New York to express the nation's mourning for the loss on September 11, 2001 and unity in the war against terrorism.

2002 - At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery" went on view. The exhibit contained over 400 objects.

2008 - The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) would be placed in government conservatorship.