1943 (The People's Chronology)
The tide of war turns against the Axis in North Africa, the North Atlantic, the Pacific, Italy, and on the Russian front. Heavy bombing of industrial centers in Germany and occupied France begins on a continuous basis in January.
German-American Bund leader Fritz Kuhn, 32, leaves a New York courtroom January 4 at the start of hearings on possible subversive activities by his group. A former Nazi propagandist testifies January 11 that German blood has been considered stronger than any citizenship. FBI agents seize former Bund members and former Nazi Party members throughout the city on suspicion of espionage and possible sabotage. Denaturalization proceedings proceed in February against 20 former Bund members. Among those seized is a Stork Club waiter who wagered his tips on German victories in the European war. Kuhn and 10 other Bund leaders lose their U.S. citizenship March 18; Kuhn is ordered released on parole from prison June 18 after serving a term for theft and interned as an enemy alien.
Anti-fascist editor Carlo Tresca, 68, leaves his New York offices at 2 West 15th Street January 12 and is shot down in the street, apparently on orders from Benito Mussolini, who has for decades been the object of attacks in Tresca's fortnightly paper Il Martello (The Hammer). Some local Italian organizations blame the killing on communists, but police trace the getaway car to Mafioso gunman Carmine Galente, 35, and arrest him January 13; he will be convicted of assassinating Tresca.
Free French forces January 7 capture Oum-el-Arameb, the main Axis base in southern Libya (see 1942); outnumbering Germany's Afrika Korps two to one and having 800 tanks to Field Marshal Rommel's 90, Gen. Montgomery's British 8th Army takes Tripoli January 23. President Roosevelt leaves for Casablanca January 13 on the first presidential flight out of the country; having flown by Pan Am Clipper to the Gambia via Miami, Trinidad, and Brazil, he arrives at his destination by land-based plane after a 3-day journey. The Casablanca Conference attended by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Gen. Giraud, and Gen. de Gaulle ends January 27 with the appointment of Gen. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander of unified forces in North Africa, but U-boats off the West African coast have attacked a special convey carrying oil from Trinidad, sinking seven of nine tankers, and Berlin rushes reinforcements to Tunisia. Rommel attacks February 14, the Germans take Kasserine Pass February 22, and Gen. Eisenhower's forces suffer a humiliating defeat, sustaining 5,000 casualties and losing hundreds of tanks and trucks. Eisenhower orders tougher training, dismisses his intelligence officer, and puts Gen. George S. Patton, now 57, in charge of the Second Corps along with Missouri-born Brig. Gen. Omar (Nelson) Bradley, 50. U.S. troops retake the pass February 26. Axis forces in Tunisia fall back and are soon in retreat with the British in hot pursuit. Allied naval forces control the Mediterranean and prevent supplies from reaching the Afrika Korps, the code breakers at Bletchley Park keep Allied ground forces apprised of German plans as they continue to decipher Enigma code messages, Rommel evacuates his troops from Tunis April 14, British forces enter the city May 7, Bizerte falls to the Americans the same day, the Germans surrender May 13, Italian rule of Libya ends that day after 32 years of occupation (see 1951), and Axis resistance ends in North Africa.
The 99th Pursuit Squadron completes its training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama under the command of Washington, D.C.-born Lieut. Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., 30, and sees action for the first time June 2, flying out of Tunisia for a dive-bombing attack on the German-held island of Pantelleria. The "Tuskegee Airmen" are the first all-black flying group in the army. Davis is recalled in September to head the larger all-black 232nd Fighter Group.
An independent Lebanon is established with Sheik Bechara el-Khoury, 53, as president at Beirut (see 1941). The new nation's constitution provides that a Maronite Christian is to be president, with Sunni, Shiite, and other Muslim religious sects as well as Maronites to hold seats in the legislature. Most of the powers exercised by the French will be transferred to the new government beginning January 1 of next year (see 1946; League of Arab States, 1945).
Stalingrad's last German invaders surrender to Soviet forces February 2 after 5 terrible months of savage fighting in which both sides have sustained horrific losses and 22 German divisions have been reduced to 80,000 men (see 1942). Marshal Zhukov has commanded the Red Army. It has lost 750,000 men, the Germans 400,000, the Romanians nearly 200,000, the Italians 130,000, the Hungarians 120,000; Axis survivors have been sustained in many cases only by cannibalism, and the city's population has dwindled after 5 months of barbaric battle from 500,000 to 1,515. Field Marshal Paulus is taken prisoner along with the others.
Soviet troops relieve Leningrad's 17-month siege in February, but the Germans will blockade the narrow corridor to the city more than 1,200 times in the next year and starvation will continue.
German authorities arrest Milwaukee-born German Resistance fighter Mildred Harnack-Fish (née Fish), 39, February 16 and confine her to Berlin's Plotzensee Prison, where her husband, Arvid Harnack, was hanged with a foot-long rope in December last year. She joined her Rockefeller economist husband in his native Germany 14 years ago and for the past 10 years has been working in a leftist group of 130 women and men to arrange the escape of dissidents and Jews, disseminate clandestine newsletters, and spy for the U.S. and Soviet embassies at Berlin. A military court sentenced her in December to 6 years' hard labor, but Adolf Hitler has ordered a retrial and she is beheaded December 24 by the Brandenburg guillotine.
The Gestapo arrests Munich medical student Hans Scholl, 25, and his sister Sophie, 22, February 18 for having published "The White Rose," a leaflet that called for "sabotage of the war effort and armaments and for the overthrow of the National Socialist way of life of our people . . . propagated defeatist ideas, and . . . most vulgarly defamed der Führer, thereby giving aid to the enemy of the Reich and weakening the armed security of the nation." Scholl served as a medic on the Eastern Front and has a younger brother still there; he and his sister were once members of the Hitler Youth but have been disgusted by the violence of the Nazi movement and its insistence on intellectual conformity; both are guillotined February 22 along with their friend Christoph Probst, 24, after being found guilty by a "People's Court." Three other medical students and a professor are executed later in the spring, more than 30 imprisoned.
The Germans lose 500,000 men in 3 months of heavy winter fighting as the Russians retake Kharkov and other key cities, but they mount a spring offensive and recapture Kharkov March 15.
Former French president Alexandre Millerand dies at Versailles April 7 at age 84.
Gen. Frank M. Andrews, U.S. Army Air Corps, is killed in an airplane accident near Iceland May 3 at age 59, just 3 months after being named to succeed Gen. Eisenhower as commander of all U.S. forces in Europe. Camp Springs, Md., 10 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., will be renamed Andrews Air Force Base in 1945.
Adolf Hitler dismisses his naval commander-in-chief Erich Raeder, now 66, in January (Raeder has opposed the invasion of the Soviet Union) and replaces him with U-boat commander Karl Doenitz, now 52, but convoys now protect merchant shipping on the North Atlantic, President Roosevelt orders Admiral King to transfer 60 very long-range B-24 Liberator bombers from the Pacific to the Atlantic in March, and from bases in Newfoundland and other strategic points they help to end the U-boat menace (see B-24, 1941). The Germans sink 139 Allied merchant ships from January to late May, but the vast majority of ships make the voyage safely, the average life-span of a U-boat falls from more than a year to less than 3 months, 43 U-boats are destroyed in May alone, being assigned to submarine duty is considered a death sentence, and Doenitz orders all but a handful of his U-boats to leave the North Atlantic May 24; by mid-year the U-boats are no longer a threat, permitting a steady flow of men and matériel from North America to reach Britain, North Africa, and Murmansk. By the end of the war more than 25,000 German submarine crewmen will have died and 5,000 taken prisoner 75 percent casualty rate greater than that of any other branch of the German military.
The Kremlin quietly dissolves the Comintern in May in consideration of the wartime alliance between the communists and Western allies (see 1935).
French civil servant Jean Moulin, 43, is elected the first chairman of a National Council of the Résistance in May, but the Gestapo arrests him outside Lyons in June, he is tortured in various prisons, and he dies at Metz July 8 on a train taking him to Germany.
The Battle of Kursk that begins July 5 involves 6,000 German and Russian tanks and 4,000 planes. It ends after a week of heavy fighting in a victory for the Soviet 5th Army, but while the Germans have lost 70,000 men, 2,000 tanks, 1,392 planes, and 5,000 vehicles, the Russian losses are at least comparable.
British paratroopers and U.S. airborne troops invade Sicily July 9 and 10 under the command of Gen. Patton. More than 500 U.S. bombers raid Rome July 19 (the planes include Martin B-26 Marauders). U.S. tanks roll into Palermo July 23 as Italian resistance collapses. Benito Mussolini and his cabinet resign under pressure July 25 after a meeting of the Fascist Grand Council at which Il Duce's minister of state Emilio De Bono, now 77, has voted against him. Marshal Pietro Badoglio, 72, takes over and Mussolini is confined to prison.
Hamburg comes under attack 1 hour after midnight July 25 as 728 RAF aircraft shower thousands of tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiaries on Germany's second-largest city (1.5 million inhabitants). RAF commander Arthur Travers Harris, now 51, has ordered the attack, whose weapons hit a densely-populated area north of the Elbe (he is soon called "Bomber" Harris; see Iraq, 1921). Two-ton bombs tear doors and windows from their frames, lightweight incendiaries then ignite attic floors, fire bombs weighing as much as 30 pounds fall into the lower floors, and the resulting inferno (the Hamburg Fire Department calls it a Feuersturm [firestorm]) spreads at a speed of 90 miles per hour until it covers some eight square miles. By 1:20 the flames reach a mile into the air, pulling out oxygen, lifting gables and roofs from buildings, tearing trees from the ground, melting the glass in tramcar windows, setting some of the city's canals ablaze, boiling stocks of sugar in bakery cellars, continuing for 3 hours, and killing untold numbers of people. U.S. B-17s and a 787-plane RAF night attack follow up the first raid (see Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo, 1945).
U.S. B-24 Liberator bombers led by Texas-born Col. John R. "Killer" Kane, 36, take off from Libya August 1 on a 2,700-mile round-trip mission to attack Romanian oil refineries and railroad tracks at Ploesti in an effort to cut off German gasoline supplies, but resistance from Junkers 88s, Messerschmitt 109s, ack-ack batteries, machine-gun nests, and flames from the burning refinery take a heavy toll. One-third of the U.S. planes are destroyed, nearly 500 men are killed or wounded, eight planes land in neutral Turkey and will be held there until the war ends, others land safely in Cyprus, Malta, and Sicily or crash-land back in Libya, and although 159 of the 189 B-24s that left Libya reach their target the raid has little effect on production at Ploesti.
Smolensk falls to the German 4th Army August 5 after nearly 3 weeks of heavy fighting have left 298,000 Germans killed, wounded, or missing. Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, 59, has two panzer divisions under his command, Marshal Timoshenko 12 to 14 divisions in his 16th and 20th armies; the number of Russian casualties is unknown, but the Germans take 309,000 of Timoshenko's men prisoner. They also capture 3,205 Soviet tanks and 3,120 guns, but their victory will prove short-lived.
Gen. George S. Patton Jr. visits in early August with wounded soldiers in Sicily, sees a man with no apparent physical injury, questions him, is told, "I just couldn't take it anymore," slaps the man in the face, accuses him of cowardice, and orders him returned to the front. Another such incident occurs a week later. Patton's behavior makes him subject to a court martial for flagrant violation of army rules, but Gen. Eisenhower values his friend's military prowess and merely rebukes him.
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill meet at Quebec from August 11 to August 24 for discussions between military strategists aimed at coordinating the forthcoming invasions of Italy and western France, but the first Quebec Conference (code named "Quadrant") fails to resolve differences (see Octagon Conference, 1944).
Allied armies in Sicily under the command of Gen. Alexander take Messina August 17, cross the Straits of Messina, and invade Southern Italy as representatives of the new Badoglio regime sign an armistice with Allied officers at Algiers. Missouri-born army officer Maxwell D. (Davenport) Taylor, 41, has gone through enemy lines prior to the invasion to confer with Italian leaders at Rome.
French Army lieutenant André Devigny, 27, and a fellow Résistance fighter shoot and kill an Italian counter-espionage agent at Nice April 14, the Gestapo arrests Devigny 3 days later, he is taken before Gestapo leader Klaus Barbie August 20 and told that he will be executed, but he escapes from Fort Monluc August 24, makes his way to Switzerland with Résistance help, and joins a French commando unit in North Africa.
Soviet forces retake Kharkov August 23 with help from increased Soviet industrial output and with U.S. war matériel that includes steel, industrial machinery, planes, and motor vehicles supplied via Archangel, Vladivostok, and the Persian Gulf.
Bulgaria's Boris I is summoned to Adolf Hitler's eastern field headquarters and is then assassinated (or dies of a heart attack) at Sofia August 28 at age 49 after a 25-year reign (see 1934). German troops have not occupied Bulgaria, and although the king is German, and his troops have fought alongside the Germans on the eastern front, he and his parliament have resisted German demands that Bulgaria's 50,000 Jews be deported to Nazi concentration camps. Boris's 6-year-old son is proclaimed king and will reign as Simeon II until the monarchy is abolished in 1946 (his uncle and other regents who rule in his name will be executed in 1945 after Soviet forces drive out the Germans).
Former first lord of the admiralty Reginald McKenna dies at his native London September 6 at age 80, having initiated the battleship construction program that has given his country the edge over Germany in capital-ship strength.
The Allied high command announces September 8 that Italy has surrendered unconditionally, but German forces in Italy resist the Allied advance. A German paratrooper rescues Mussolini from prison (see 1945). Italian resistance to the Germans begins in September. As U.S. and British forces put pressure on Axis troops in the South, women in Lombardy and the Piedmont form the Women's Defense Groups for Aid to the Fighters for Liberty (Gruppi di Difesa della Donna e per l'Assistenza ai Combattenti per la Libertà) (see 1944).
The U.S. 5th Army lands at Salerno September 9, coming ashore in Landing Ships-Tanks (LSTs) designed by Nebraska-born lumberman-turned-shipbuilder Andrew Jackson Higgins, 56, of Higgins Industries at New Orleans. The assault vessels enable the Allies to land forces without having to batter coastal forts into submission, sweep harbors of mines, or takeover enemy-held ports. Commanded by Madison Barracks, N.Y.-born Gen. Mark (Wayne) Clark, 47, the Americans sustain heavy losses but they take Naples October 1 as German forces seize Rome and other major Italian cities.
Soviet forces retake Smolensk September 25. Adolf Hitler has sent Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group south to the Dneiper River, where it joins with von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group in an attack on Kiev, which has about 676,000 defenders in the 50 divisions commanded by Col.-Gen. Mikhail Kirponos. The Germans have only about 300,000 men, but they are equipped with tanks and half-tracks, and their highly mobile forces capture the city September 26, losing about 100,000 but taking more than 600,000 prisoners plus 900 tanks and 3,179 guns. Kirponos has been killed leading an attempt to break out of the German trap, but Gen. Ivan Stepanovich Konev stops a large German force sent to reinforce the troops laying siege to Stalingrad, Soviet forces retake Kiev November 6, and the diversion of forces by Hitler makes it impossible for the Germans to reach Moscow before the onset of winter.
Soviet foreign minister V. M. Molotov meets with his British and U.S. counterparts Anthony Eden and Cordell Hull at the Moscow Conference from October 19 to 30; they establish a European advisory commission on terms of German surrender, separation of Austria from Germany, and destruction of Italy's Fascist regime.
Adolf Hitler agrees late in the year to mass production of the Messerschmidt Me 262 turbojet but insists that it be used primarily as a fighter-bomber (see 1942; 1944).
Royal Navy Admiral Bruce Austin Fraser, 55, engages the 31,000-ton German battleship Scharnhorst December 26 and sinks her off Norway's North Cape with a loss of 1,938 men (36 survive). The admiral has been using his flagship Duke of York chiefly to protect convoys to the Soviet Union, Norwegian fjord watchers have risked their lives to keep the Admiralty apprised of German naval activity by radio, and Fraser uses radar to fight the Scharnhorst in a battle that goes on mostly at night.
Australian-New Zealand-Canadian (Anzac) and U.S. forces take the southeastern tip of New Guinea from the Japanese January 22, assuring the safety of Australia from Japanese invasion.
Colorado-born U.S. Navy commander Arleigh A. (Albert) Burke, 41, leads a squadron of destroyers in the Solomon Islands beginning in January and by February of next year will have directed more than 20 engagements against the Japanese.
Allied forces complete their conquest of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands February 8 after 6 months of heavy fighting in which Virginia-born Marine Corps general Alexander A. (Archer) Vandegrift, 55, has distinguished himself (see 1942); Gen. John M. (Miller) Arthur, 50, has led the U.S. Army invasion force, Wisconsin-born Air Force general Nathan F. (Farragut) Twining, 48, has directed air assaults against Japanese positions, and the establishment of an airfield on the island severs Japanese communications to the south.
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea in early March ends with U.S. Liberator and Flying Fortress bombers sinking an estimated 21 Japanese transports bound for New Guinea with 15,000 troops.
U.S. intelligence intercepts and decodes Japanese messages about an inspection trip by Admiral Yamamoto out of Rabaul, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox issues orders that Yamamoto is to be assassinated, Oregon-born P-38 fighter pilot Rex T. Barber, 26, shoots down the Mitsubishi bomber carrying the admiral over Bougainville April 18, and Japan loses the man who opposed the Axis alliance yet triumphed at Pearl Harbor. His ashes are returned to Tokyo for a state funeral, and the nation mourns.
The submarine U.S.S. Trigger spots the Japanese aircraft carrier Hitaka on her first trial run June 10 in Tokyo Bay, zigzagging at high speed with an escort of two destroyers. The Trigger's New York-born commander Capt. Edward L. (Latimer) Beach, 25, has been lying submerged for 30 days; four of his six torpedoes find their mark, he dives deep to escape the destroyers' depth charges, and it takes the Japanese months to repair the Hitaka (see exploration, 1960).
Field Marshal Sir Archibald P. Wavell replaces Lord Linlithgow to become British viceroy of India as unrest there continues (see 1942). Independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose arrives by Japanese submarine at Tokyo in May, having by some accounts been transferred from a German U-boat off Madagascar and come 400 miles in a rubber dinghy (see 1939). Japanese intelligence agents have helped to found an Indian National Army (INA) to fight the British, and they fly Bose to Singapore, where he proclaims a Free India provisional government October 21 and takes command of the INA, recruiting Indian prisoners of war and civilians from various parts of Southeast Asia. Now 46, he was secretly married while in Europe to his Viennese secretary, and she has borne his daughter. Bose's 40,000-man force frees Andaman and Nicobar islands from British control (see 1944).
Boeing B-29 bombers go into action for the U.S. Air Force in July; capable of carrying a 10,000-pound payload for 4,000 miles, a Superfortress is larger and more powerful than anything else in the air. Allied forces take the Japanese air base at Munda in the Solomons August 5 and destroy more than 300 Japanese planes 2 weeks later in attacks on the Wewak airfield in New Guinea.
Japanese authorities in the Philippines install Supreme Court justice José Paciano Laurel, 52, as president, having chosen him because he has criticized U.S. rule in the islands. Guerrillas shoot him twice during the year but Laurel recovers from his wounds and will retain office until 1945.
U.S. troops that landed at Sitka in the Aleutians in May retake Kiska August 15.
Allied forces land on Bougainville in the Solomons November 1 following Allied bombing of Rabaul in New Britain that began October 12.
U.S. troops take Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands in late November. Allied forces commanded by German-born U.S. 6th Army chief Gen. Walter Krueger, 64, land on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 26.
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) is established November 9 by an agreement signed at Washington. The United Nations has had its beginnings in a brief congressional resolution introduced April 5 by freshman congressman J. William Fulbright, 38 (D. Ark.) (see education [Fulbright awards], 1946). Isolationists who include Sen. Hiram (Warren) Johnson (R. Calif.), now 77, oppose the idea (see 1944).
The Teheran Conference from November 28 to December 1 ends with an Allied agreement to open a second front in France (see 1944). President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Stalin have met in the Iranian capital, pledge themselves to recognize Iran's independence, provide her with whatever economic aid they can, and set up an advisory commission to study European problems (see Potsdam, 1944).
France's Pas de Calais area comes under attack December 24 from 3,000 Allied planes that include 1,300 from the U.S. 8th Air Force.
Former Argentinian president Agustín Pedro Justo dies at Buenos Aires January 10 at age 66, having urged a declaration of war on the Axis powers in opposition to the neutrality policy of President Ramón Castillo, who has been in office since 1940; his minister of war Gen. Pedro P. Ramírez leads a coup d'etat that ousts Castillo June 4, and a new government takes power under Gen. Arturo Rawson, who becomes president and makes Col. Juan Domingo Perón, 48, his labor minister; the coup marks the end for a while of the right-wing governments that have ruled since 1930 (see Perón, 1946).
Human Rights, Social Justice
Distraught wives of Berlin Jews gather in Rosenstrasse (Rose Street) February 28 and succeed in blocking the deportation of their husbands to Nazi death camps. An estimated 27,000 Jews are married to non-Jewish women, and they have been given jobs in the armaments industry while other Jews were sent to their deaths. The crowd of women protesting the deportation grows to 1,000. "Give us back our men," they shout. "We want to see our men." Nearly 90 soldiers move in March 8, set up machine guns, and order the women to disperse, but they hold fast. Hitler's right-hand man Joseph Goebbels is forced in the end to order the release of 1,500 men, including 25 who have just been tattooed with numbers for Auschwitz.
Italian women observe the 33rd International Women's Day March 8 by demonstrating against the Fascist Mussolini government that has sent their sons to die in battle.
German troops destroy the Kraków ghetto March 13, ending the community that has existed for 600 years (see 1942). Nazi occupation authorities have received orders to move the ghetto's occupants to the forced-labor camp of Plaszow outside the city. Hundreds of Kraków's Jews die in the camp or are removed 60 kilometers away to Auschwitz (Oswiecim), but workers employed by Oskar Schindler continue to work in his factory making enamelware appliances for use in Wehrmacht barracks, returning to Plaszow at night. Schindler tries to help Plaszow's starving inmates by having them put to work in war production, and in August he receives a visit from two employees of the Joint Distribution Committee requesting information about anti-Semitic persecutions (see 1945).
All Dutch gypsies (Roma) are ordered deported to Auschwitz under a decree issued March 29 (see 1942).
The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto that begins Passover Eve, April 18, ends 6 weeks later after 5,000 Jews have been killed defending themselves against German tanks and artillery (see 1940); 5,000 German troops have been killed or wounded. Some 500,000 Jews had been locked into an area that formerly accommodated half that number, and while thousands have escaped to join the Polish resistance, some 20,000 are deported to death camps such as Auschwitz (Oswiecim), Birkenau, Belzec, Chmelno, Maidenek, and Sobibor. Jews at Bialystock, Tarnow, and other Polish cities offer resistance, but few will survive the genocidal Nazi persecution.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels announces June 19 that Berlin is now "free of Jews."
Some 37,000 Italian Jews come under Nazi rule September 16; many escape to Switzerland and thousands find refuge in Catholic homes.
The SS in Denmark begins rounding up Danish Jews October 1, having left them untouched since 1940. Gen. Werner Best reports to Berlin October 4 that Denmark has been "de-Jewed," but the German commander in Denmark has flown to Sweden to arrange for safe passage of Jews to that country, he has alerted Denmark's Jewish community, and Danes have helped all but a handful of their 7,220 Jewish compatriots escape to safety in Sweden.
The plan for the "extermination of the Jews" is well advanced, says SS führer Heinrich Himmler October 4 in a speech to his Gruppenführer (lieutenant generals), despite pleas to spare this or that "exceptional" Jew. The Nazi elite force will not be deflected from their objective, Himmler declares, and while he says "we will never speak of it" in public, the destruction of the Jews will remain forever "an unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory." Himmler appoints physician Josef Mengele, 32, chief physician to the Birkenau extermination camp near Auschwitz, where he and his staff will select incoming Jews for work detail or extermination (he will also conduct so-called medical experiments on inmates).
Soviet prisoners of war and Jews at the Sobibor labor camp rise up October 14, killing perhaps a dozen SS men and more than a dozen Ukrainian guards. The prisoners were deported to the camp in September along with 2,000 Jews from Minsk; 400 of the 600 Jews remaining in the camp escape, 200 are shot or blown up by minefields in the attempt, 100 are subsequently captured and killed, others join Soviet partisan units, but only 30 will survive the war.
German police seize 1,000 Jews at Rome October 16 and deport them to Auschwitz; by mid-November, 8,360 Italian Jews have been sent to Auschwitz, where 7,749 will perish. An extermination program (code name: "Operation Harvest Festival") launched in November at Maidanek and other concentration camps in Poland ends with the massacre of more than 80,000 Jewish men, women, and children; the SS tries to cover up all traces of the mass annihilation (see 1944).
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds last year's Executive Order 9066 in a unanimous decision handed down June 21 in a case involving a 24-year-old Seattle-born man who defied the order to report to a relocation center (Kiyushi Hirabayashi v. United States). A questionnaire given to the Japanese-Americans interned in concentration camps asks those who are not U.S. citizens whether they will agree to renounce allegiance to the emperor, whether they intend to return to Japan after the war, whether they speak fluent Japanese, etc. The Japanese-American Citizens' League (JACL) urges all internees to answer the questions, but if someone renounces his or her Japanese citizenship he becomes stateless, many refuse to fill out the questionnaire, there are widespread protests, and "trouble makers" are relocated to California's Tule Lake camp, where conditions are even more punishing than those at the other camps (see 1989).
Federal troops quell a Detroit race riot June 22 after 34 have died in 2 days of disturbances that have involved thousands.
A Harlem race riot August 1 and 2 leaves five people dead and at least 400 injured. A black ghetto since at least 1920, Harlem has a population of nearly 400,000, unemployment is higher there than elsewhere in New York City, and the war has exacerbated social problems that existed there before the war. Mayor La Guardia calls for reinforcements; the mayor assigns black policemen to the area and deputizes 1,500 civilian volunteers, most of them black, to patrol the streets; hundreds are booked for violence and vandalism, the hospitals are jammed with injured rioters, and the mayor has the armories opened to hold the rising number of prisoners (along with the food and clothing that they have looted); 6,000 policemen, 800 air raid wardens, and the civilian volunteers keep order, and the blackout in the area is suspended for a week to help the police (fires from vandalized stores have made it the brightest spot in the city anyway). Property damage is estimated at $5 million, and Harlem is ruled by martial law for a few days, with a curfew imposed, liquor sales banned, and traffic cleared from many areas. The mayor wins praise for his handling of the situation but comes in for criticism because he has consistently minimized crime and delinquency.
Ford Motor Company president Edsel Ford dies of an abdominal ailment and undulant fever at his Grosse Point Shores home outside Detroit May 26 at age 49, bequeathing 90 percent of his stock in the company to the Ford Foundation that he set up in 1936. The only son of Henry Ford, he has owned more than 40 percent of the company's stock, and his will employs a tax avoidance scheme created by Wall Street investment banker Sidney Weinberg, 52, of Goldman, Sachs (see 1947).
The Nuffield Foundation for medical, scientific, and social research is created by pioneer British automaker William R. Morris, Viscount Nuffield, who has made a fortune with his Morris Motors, Ltd. (see transportation, 1912). Now 66, Lord Nuffield received a baronetcy in 1929, was raised to the peerage in 1934, and has endowed Oxford's Nuffield College.
The $109 billion budget submitted to Congress by President Roosevelt January 11 has $100 billion earmarked for the war effort. The president issues a "hold-the-line" anti-inflation order in April (see OPA, 1941). The wholesale price index published monthly by the Labor Department's Bureau of Statistics since 1913 stands at 103.1; by August 1945 it will have risen only to 105.8, thanks to price controls.
A "Pay-As-You-Go" Current Tax Payment Act voted by Congress June 9 follows a plan proposed by R. H. Macy chairman Beardsley Ruml, 49 (see 1942; Britain, 1944). The act provides for income taxes on wages and salaries to be withheld by employers from paychecks. Connecticut industrialist Vivien Kellems, 47, refuses to withhold her employees' taxes and will serve time for tax evasion. She will later say, "The IRS has stolen from me over the past 20 years because I am single. It is unconstitutional to impose a penalty tax of 40 percent on me because I have no husband."
The Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act approved by Congress June 25 over President Roosevelt's veto gives the president power to seize and operate privately-owned war plants whenever an actual or threatened strike or lockout interferes with war production. Pushed through by Republicans and Southern Democrats, it prohibits subsequent strikes in plants seized by the government and makes labor unions liable for damages if they fail to give 30 days' notice of intent to strike; an amendment to the act prohibits labor unions from making political contributions, but the CIO immediately creates the CIO Political Action Committee to raise money for the 1944 presidential campaign, and it will spend more than twice what all labor unions combined spent in 1936 (see Taft-Hartley Act, 1947).
Industrial payrolls swell as war production moves into high gear; United States Steel Co. has more than 340,000 employees.
Britain's minister of labor Ernest Bevin tells the House of Commons July 29 that he has stopped recruiting women for the uniformed services in order to make more women available for aircraft production. No further volunteers will be accepted for the ATS, WRNS, WAAF, or the Women's Land Army, he announces, and women up to age 50 will be registered for war work later in the summer.
U.S. women join the workforce in vastly growing numbers as farms, factories, and shipyards contribute to the effort that is turning the course of the war.
Kate Smith completes a radio marathon to promote war bonds September 22. Singing "God Bless America," she has sold $39 million worth of bonds.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes July 6 at 143.76 on encouraging war news and closes December 31 at 135.89, up from 119.40 at the end of 1942.
Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla is found dead in his New York hotel room January 7 at age 86.
President Roosevelt orders Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes to take over strike-threatened soft coal mines. United Mine Workers boss John L. Lewis defies threats to send in troops, saying, "They can't dig coal with bayonets."
The 1,383-mile "Big Inch" pipeline completed in August carries 300,000 barrels (12 million gallons) of Texas crude oil daily to New Jersey and Pennsylvania refineries through 20- and 24-inch pipes, doing the work of 25,000 railcars in constant service.
The TWA Constellation flown in prototype January 9 has a pressurized cabin that permits it to fly at altitudes of 25,000 to 35,000 feet and at speeds of up to 340 miles per hour (see TWA, 1939). TWA boss Howard Hughes has worked with Lockheed to create the sleek new plane; just over 95 feet long and 82,000 pounds in weight, its propellers are 15 feet in diameter and are powered by four Curtiss-Wright Cyclone engines. The plane can carry 54 passengers and a crew of four to five (see 1944).
The Piasecki-Venzie PV-2 helicopter flown April 11 is an aerial version of the Model T Ford introduced in 1908 (see Sikorsky, 1939). Philadelphia-born engineer Frank (Nicolas) Piasecki, 23, worked as a teenager for an autogyro company, obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of science degree from New York University's Guggenheim School of Aeronautics, has gone into partnership with Penn classmate Harold Venzie, and used scant resources to design and build the first helicopter with dynamically balanced rotor blades, a tension-torsion pitch-change system, an overhead stick, and a rigid anti-torque tail rotor. Piasecki and Venzie use a 90-horsepower Franklin automobile engine. They employ a transmission made largely from parts found in junkyards, but their engineer Elliott Deland has overseen construction of rotor blades whose dynamic balancing make the PV-2 a marvel whose smoothness and stability are superior to any existing craft; two of the blades fold back over the tail, enabling the craft to be towed behind a car and stowed in an ordinary garage. Piasecki has had only 14 hours of flying time, all on fixed-wing craft, but he has taught himself to fly the PV-2, and demonstrates it October 20 at Washington's National Aiport to military commanders and commercial airline operators who are so impressed that the U.S. Coast Guard will sign a contract in January of next year for a large helicopter that can carry heavy sonar gear and rescue survivors of ships torpedoed in American waters (see 1945).
U.S. authorities revoke the ban on nonessential driving in September following a dramatic decline in highway traffic deaths.
Chicago's first subwayive miles longs dedicated October 16. Rapid transit helps conserve rubber.
Styrofoam is invented by Dow Chemical engineer Ray McIntire, 25, who has been trying to develop rubberlike polymer to be used as a flexible insulator. McIntire has combined the volatile liquid isobutylene with styrene under pressure and found that the styrene formed a polymer, the isobutylene evaporated, and the resulting foam polystyrene was 30 times lighter and more flexible than any existing polystyrenes. Dow will sell the product after the war as building insulation under the name Styrofoam and that name will later be used for all rigid foam products.
Dow Corning Corp. is founded at Midland, Mich., as a joint venture by Dow Chemical and Corning Glass Works to produce silicone products pioneered by Corning chemist J. Franklin Hyde, 40.
Japanese physicist Shinichiro Tomonaga, 37, at Bunrika University publishes research on the interactions of charged subatomic particles with the electromagnetic field showing that quantum electromechanics (the theory of the interactions of charged subatomic particles with the electromagntic field) is consistent with the theory of special relativity (see Anderson, 1932). His work will not gain attention in the West until after the war (see Feynman, Schwinger, 1948).
Mathematician David Hilbert dies at Göttingen February 14 at age 81; Nobel physicist Pieter Zeeman at Amsterdam October 9 at age 78; colloid chemist Wolfgang Ostwald at Dresden November 22 at age 60.
Physicians use penicillin for the first time to treat chronic diseases (see 1942). Production of the antibiotic rises to 25 million units per month, enough to treat 170 cases (see 1945).
Biochemist Selman A. Waksman at Rutgers University finds the actinomycete Streptomyces giisens both in the soil and in the throat of a child (see 1940; streptomycin, 1944).
The United States has more than 10,000 new cases of infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) (see 1946; March of Dimes, 1938).
The medical establishment recognizes the "Pap" test for detecting cervical cancer after 15 years of work by Greek-born New York Hospital physician George Nicholas Papanicolaou, 60, who developed the vaginal smear test at Cornell in 1928 to diagnose the cancer that has been the leading cause of death among U.S. women. It is based on exfoliative cytology (microscopic study of cells shed by bodily organs), will be popularized by internist Maurice Fremont-Smith, 53, and within 20 years will have reduced cancer of the cervix to number three as a cause of death among U.S. women.
The Infant and Child in the Culture of Today by Wisconsin-born Yale University psychoclinician Arnold L. (Lucius) Gesell, 63, and his Oak Park, Ill.-born assistant Frances L. (Lillian) Ilg, 40, says that infants should not be subjected to totalitarian rule but rather given autonomy (see Spock, 1946).
Zenith Radio introduces a $40 electric hearing aid (see 1935). Eugene McDonald has lost the hearing in one ear following an automobile accident and found that the only available hearing aids sell for $150 to $200 (see 1952).
Bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin dies at Nha Trang, Annam, March 1 at age 79; physiologist Karl Landsteiner at New York June 26 at age 75.
Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann of Sandoz A.G. discovers the hallucinogenic properties of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) April 16 when he accidentally ingests a quarter milligram of the compound and is "seized by a peculiar sensation of vertigo and restlessness." Now 41 (approximate), Hofmann synthesized LSD-25 5 years ago in hopes of creating a respiratory and circulatory stimulant, but he has never before consumed any of the substance. "With my eyes closed," he will write, "fantastic pictures of extraordinary plasticity and intensive color seemed to surge toward me. After two hours this state gradually wore off." Having swallowed a derivative of ergot, Hofmann has spectacular hallucinations, and his findings will spur research in psychopharmacology (see ergot, 857; Gaddum, 1953).
The Focolare Movement, founded by Trento-born Italian humanitarian Chiara Lubich, 23, and a few close friends, ministers to the needs of bombed out neighbors. They gather in underground shelters to read the Gospels. The group soon begins to offer assistance to the homeless and otherwise needy, 500 people soon join the effort, and although the movement (focolare is Italian for fireplace) is based on Roman Catholicism, it will work to promote dialogue between people of different faiths, trying to bridge the gap between the message of love found in Scripture and the hatreds of war.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules June 14 that pupils cannot be compelled to pledge allegiance to the flag if such a pledge conflicts with their religious beliefs (see 1892). Parents who are Jehovah's Witnesses have filed the suit that has led to the decision. The court rules in the case of West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette that a state law requiring schoolchildren to salute the flag or face expulsion is unconstitutional. Says Justice Robert H. Jackson, "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or low, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion" (but see 1954).
Former Harvard University president Abbott Lawrence Lowell dies at Boston January 6 at age 86.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is established at King's Point, N.Y., where the federal government has acquired an estate that formerly belonged to automaker Walter Chrysler, whose white, Greek revival mansion will serve as the school's administration building. The sinking of the S.S. Morro Castle off Asbury Park, N.J., in 1934 was blamed in part on the crew's inability to put out a devastating fire and raised concerns about the lack of formal training for merchant seamen.
Planes equipped with improved magnetron radar systems from MIT's Radiation Laboratory begin patrolling the North Atlantic in search of German U-boats.
The first telephone "hot line" goes into operation for code transmissions between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. Code named "Signaly" and developed by Bell Laboratories, it uses vacuum-tube frequency inversion and the installation at London is so large that it occupies a basement room at Selfridges department store.
The Federal Communications Commission votes 5 to 2 May 3 to make NBC divest itself of one of its two radio networks to avoid a monopoly in broadcasting, Life Savers cofounder and Rexall Drug Store chain owner Edward J. Noble writes a check for $8 million October 12 to acquire NBC's 16-year-old Blue Network, which comprises three wholly owned stations and more than 200 affiliates; the network will buy the American Broadcasting Co. name from George Storer in 1945, and ABC will grow to rival NBC and CBS, breaking the duopoly they have enjoyed since the 1920s, but Noble knows nothing about the broadcasting industry and ABC will be in dire financial straits by the early 1950s (see Goldenson, 1953).
The Voice of America adds Albanian, Burmese, Croatian, and Serbian to the languages in which it broadcasts to Europe and Asia (see 1942). It will add Dutch, Icelandic, Slovene, and Wu (Shanghai dialect) next year (see 1945).
Buenos Aires journalist Alberto Gainza Paz, 44, succeeds his uncle Ezequiel as editor of La Prensa, which is censured for criticizing the country's military regime and will be suspended for 5 days next year after criticizing the government's health program (see 1945).
"Kup's Column" debuts in the Chicago Daily Times in January and will continue until 2003, running in the Sun-Times beginning in 1948. The management has decided that the paper needed a gossip column; Chicago-born Times reporter Irving Kupcinet, now 30, played football for Northwestern and (briefly) the Philadelphia Eagles before suffering a serious shoulder injury; his 1,000-word celebrity column will appear 6 times per week, and he will become a celebrity himself.
Cartoonist Bill Mauldin is shipped overseas and joins the Mediterranean staff of the U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. William Henry Mauldin, 21, will cover campaigns in Italy, France, and Germany, and the miseries of his grimy G.I. characters Willie and Joe will reflect those of countless enlisted men enduring the hardships of war.
The comic-book Wonder Woman relates the deeds of a "female Superman." Created by Harvard-trained psychologist William Moulton Marston (who lives in a ménage à trois) and launched by All-America Comics with help from tennis star Alice Marble, its boot-clad heroine rules over an all-female Paradise Island, uses the epithet "Suffering Sappho," wears a swimsuit or spangly shorts, and rides astride a circus horse as she hunts down Hitler and his Nazi cohorts.
Caricaturist-author Art Young dies of a heart attack at his apartment in the Irving Hotel on New York's Gramercy Park December 29 at age 77. His onetime Masses colleague Floyd Dell has said that Young's greatness stemmed from the fact that "his love of humanity is given enough scope to balance his scorn for our failures and follies."
Nonfiction: One World by 1940 presidential candidate Wendell L. Willkie is published April 8 and millions of copies are sold within a few months. The author acknowledges that he has been helped by the New York Herald Tribune's longtime Birmingham, Ala.-born literary editor Irita Van Doren (née Bradford), now 52, who met him 2 years after her divorce from Carl Van Doren and became his mistress; Christianity and Democracy by French philosopher Jacques Maritain, 61, who became a Roman Catholic in 1906 and champions the cause of liberal Catholicism; Being and Nothingness (L'Etre et le néant) by Jean Paul Sartre, who was captured at the fall of France in June 1940, escaped in April 1941, and has been engaged in the Résistance against occupation forces; The True Life by Luigi Sturzo; The Shock of Recognition (literary criticism) by Edmund Wilson; Autobiography of a Curmudgeon by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, now 69; Memoirs of a Superfluous Man by Brooklyn, N.Y.,-born author Albert Jay Nock, 72, who expresses his dissatisfaction with virtually everything that he sees in the United States and the USSR; Life in a Putty Knife Factory by H. Allen Smith.
Fabian socialist historian Beatrice Webb dies at Liphook, Hampshire, April 30 at age 85; historian Albert Bushnell Hart at Boston June 16 at age 88; philosopher-mystic Simone Weil of tuberculosis and malnutrition in a sanatorium at Ashford, Kent, August 24 at age 34, having refused to eat more than her compatriots were receiving from Nazi occupation authorities. She has been working for the Résistance in England.
Fiction: Arrival and Departure by Arthur Koestler; Guignol's Band by Louis Ferdinand Céline, whose antiwar and anti-Semitic writings before the war have alienated his compatriots. They suspect him of Nazi affiliations, he will flee to Germany next year, go from there to Copenhagen, and be imprisoned by French authorities from 1945 to 1947; The Man Without Qualities (Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) by the late Robert Musil, who died leaving his novel unfinished; The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner; Perelandra by C. S. Lewis; The Apostle by Sholem Asch; The Fountainhead by Russian-born novelist Ayn Rand (originally Alisa Rosenbaum), 38, who emigrated to America in 1926, married author Frank O'Connor 3 years later, became a U.S. citizen in 1931, and argues earnestly in defense of enlightened self-interest while attacking democratic selflessness and sacrifice for the common good. Warns her architect-hero Howard Roark, "The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice"; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by New York novelist Betty (Wehner) Smith, 47; Barefoot Boy with Cheek by St. Paul, Minn.-born novelist Max Shulman, 24; Two Serious Ladies by New York-born novelist Jane Bowles (née Auer), 25, who married composer-novelist Paul Bowles on the eve of her 21st birthday in 1938; None But the Lonely Heart by Richard Llewellyn; Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier.
Novelist Henrik Pontoppidan dies at Ordrup, Denmark, August 21 at age 86; Shimazaki Toson at Oiso in Kanagawa prefecture August 22 at age 71; short-story writer W. W. Jacobs at his native London September 1 at age 79; Elinor Glyn at London September 23 at age 78; Radclyffe Hall (Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall) at London October 7 at age 63 (the ban on her 1928 book The Well of Loneliness will ultimately be overturned on appeal).
Poetry: Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot; Western Star by Stephen Vincent Benét; Afternoon of a Pawnbroker by Kenneth Fearing; Sun the First (Elios o protos) by Odysseus Elytis; A Private Country by Indian-born English poet Lawrence Durrell, 31, who moved to the Greek island of Corfu 8 years ago and serves as a press attaché to the British embassy at Alexandria.
Poet Stephen Vincent Benét dies of a heart seizure at New York March 13 at age 44; Sir Charles G. D. Roberts at Toronto November 26 at age 83; poet-playwright-novelist Nordahl Grieg is shot down over Berlin while on an Allied bombing raid December 2 and killed at age 40, having become a leading voice of free Norway with his radio talks.
Juvenile: The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who has joined the Free French forces in North Africa; The Magic Bed-Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons by London-born author Mary (Elizabeth) Norton (née Pearson), 39, who has worked for the British Purchasing Commission in the United States since 1940; Thomas the Tank Engine by English Anglican minister-author W. (Wilbert Vere) Awdry, 31, whose bright blue steam engine on the imaginary Isle of Sodor aims to be a "really useful engine" and begins a series. Awdry's son Christopher insisted that the bedtime stories that his father told him be absolutely accurate each time, Awdry has written them down on the backs of circulars with scribbled faces on the engines, and his wife has sent them to a literary agent; Johnny Tremain: A Novel for Young and Old by Esther Forbes, now 52; Thunderhead by Mary O'Hara.
Author Beatrix Potter dies at Sawrey, Lancashire, December 22 at age 77, having spent her last 30 years expanding her farm property and breeding Herdwick sheep. She bequeaths her property to the National Trust, which will maintain her Hill Top farmhouse.
Painting: Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian; First Steps by Pablo Picasso; Odysseus and Calypso by Max Beckmann; Welders by Ben Shahn; The She-Wolf and Pasiphae by Jackson Pollock; Queen of Hearts by Willem de Kooning; Flute of the Angels by Max Ernst; Hauser by Lyonel Feininger; Clown with Drum by Walt Kuhn; Diego on My Mind by Frida Kahlo; The Thanksgiving Turkey by Grandma Moses; Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell; Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell, whose four canvases depict the freedoms demanded by President Roosevelt in his 1941 State of the Union Address. Oskar Schlemmer dies at Baden-Baden April 13 at age 54; Chaim Soutine August 9 at age 49 while undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer at Paris; Marsden Hartley dies at Ellsworth, Me., September 2 at age 66; Maurice Denis at Paris November 13 at age 62. Peggy Guggenheim presents the first display of paintings by Jackson Pollock beginning November 9 at her New York gallery.
Sculpture: Wooden Bottle with Hairs by Alexander Calder.
Sculptor Gustav Vigeland dies at Oslo March 12 at age 63, having produced more than 200 sculptural projects for the city's Frogner Park but never having made any real money.
Theater: Dark Eyes by Elena Miramova and Eugenia Leontovich 1/14 at New York's Belasco Theater, with Miramova, Leontovich, and Ludmilla Toretzka as three female Russian refugees trying to survive in New York, Jay Fassett, 174 perfs.; The Patriots by Sidney Kingsley 1/29 at New York's National Theater, with Cecil Humphrey as George Washington, House Jameson as Alexander Hamilton, Raymond E. Johnson as Thomas Jefferson, Madge Evans, Frances Reid as Martha Washington, 157 perfs.; The Good Woman of Setzuan (Der gute Mensch von Sezuan) by Bertolt Brecht 2/4 at Zürich's Schauspielhaus; Harriet by F. Ryerson and Cohn Claues 3/3 at New York's Henry Miller Theater, with Helen Hayes, 377 perfs.; Kiss and Tell by Viennese-born playwright F. Hugh Herbert, 45, 3/17 at New York's Biltmore Theater, with Orange, N.J.-born ingénue Joan Caulfield, 20, as Corliss Archer, Robert Keith, Jessie Royce Landis, Minnesota-born Richard Widmark, 28, 956 perfs.; Tomorrow the World by Iowa-born playwright James Gow, 35, and Arnaud D'Usseau, 26, 4/14 at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater, with Ralph Bellamy, Shirley Booth, Chicago-born actor Skippy Homeier, 13, New York-born actress Joyce Van Patten, 9, 500 perfs.; Present Laughter by Noël Coward 4/29 at London's Haymarket Theatre, with Coward, Joyce Carey, 38 perfs. (plus 528 beginning 4/16/47); This Happy Breed by Noël Coward 4/30 at London's Haymarket Theatre (alternating with Present Laughter), with Coward, Joyce Carey, 38 perfs.; Sons and Soldiers by Irwin Shaw 5/4 at New York's Morosco Theater, with Dublin-born actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, 28, Stella Adler, La Jolla, Calif.-born actor Gregory Peck, 27, Karl Malden, Millard Mitchell, 22 perfs.; The Two Mrs. Carrols by Martin Vale (socialite Marguerite Veiller) 8/3 at New York's Booth Theater, with Elisabeth Bergner, Vera Allen, Dawson City-born actor Victor Jory, 40, Omaha-born ingénue Irene Worth (originally Harriet Elizabeth Abrams), 27, 585 perfs.; The Life of Galileo (Leben des Galilei) by Bertolt Brecht 8/9 at Zürich's Schauspielhaus; Winged Victory 11/20 at the 44th Street Theater, with a huge cast that includes Pvt. Philip Borneuf, Pvt. Lee J. Cobb, Pvt. John Forsythe, Pvt. Karl Malden, Cpl. Gary Merrill, Sgt. Ray Middleton, Pfc. Edmond O'Brien, Pfc. Martin Ritt, Pfc. Anthony Ross, Pvt. Don Taylor, Sgt. Victor Young, and 50 women (many of them wives), written and directed by Moss Hart, lighting by Sgt. Abe Feder, incidental music by Sgt. David Rose, 212 perfs.; The Satin Slipper; or, The Worst Is not the Surest (Le Soulier du satin; ou, Le Pire est pas toujours sûr) by Paul Claudel 11/27 at the Comédie-Française in occupied Paris; Lovers and Friends by Dodie Smith 11/29 at New York's Plymouth Theater, with Katharine Cornell, Raymond Massey; The Voice of the Turtle by John Van Druten 12/8 at New York's Morosco Theater, with Margaret Sullavan, Audrey Christie, Elliott Nugent, Columbus, Ohio-born ingénue (Anna) Eileen Heckart, 24, 1,557 perfs.; While the Sun Shines by Terence Rattigan 12/24 at London's Globe Theatre, with Michael Wilding, Hugh McDermott, Ronald Squire, Brenda Bruce, Jane Baxter, 1,153 perfs.; The Wedding Dress (Vestida de noiva) by Brazilian playwright Nelson Rodrigues, 31, 12/28 at Rio de Janeiro's Municipal Theater.
Actor Wallace Erskine dies at Massapequa, N.Y., January 6 at age 80; playwright Bayard Veiller at New York January 16 at age 73; critic-actor Alexander Woollcott suffers a heart attack in a CBS studio at New York January 23 and dies at a local hospital at age 56; Moscow Art Theater cofounder Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko dies at Moscow April 25 at age 84; actor Jules Bledsoe at Hollywood, Calif., July 14 at age 45; playwright Victor Mapes at Cannes September 27 at age 73; director Max Reinhardt of pneumonia and paralysis at his New York apartment October 31 at age 70.
Theatrical caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, now 40, introduces the name of his newborn daughter, Nina, into a circus sketch that includes a poster with the legend "Nina the Wonder Child," beginning a puzzle game that will continue for more than 50 years (see 1924). Hirschfeld's clean line drawings have been published on the drama pages of the New York Times and other papers but will henceforth be exclusive to the Times.
Films: René Clair's Forever and a Day with some 80 British stars; Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp with Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr (originally Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer), 22, Anton Walbrook; William Wellman's The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda, Mississippi-born actor Dana (originally Carver Daniel) Andrews, 34; Henry King's The Song of Bernadette with Tulsa-born actress Jennifer Jones (originally Phylis Isley), 24, Gladys Cooper. Also: Edmund Goulding's The Constant Nymph with Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith; Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau with Pierre Fresnay, Ginette Leclerc; Carl Theodor Dreyer's Day of Wrath (Vredens dag) with Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin; Billy Wilder's Five Graves to Cairo with Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, Erich von Stroheim; Sam Wood's For Whom the Bell Tolls with Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Greek actress Katina Paxinou, 43; Lewis Seiler's Guadalcanal Diary with Orange, N.J.-born actor Preston Foster, 39, San Francisco-born actor Lloyd Nolan, 41; Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait with Gene Tierney, Don Ameche; Clarence Brown's The Human Comedy with Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan; Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible (Part I) with Nikolai Cherkassov, score by Sergei Prokofiev; Fred M. Wilcox's Lassie Come Home with Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp, Dame May Whitty, Edmund Gwenn, London-born actress Elizabeth Taylor, 11; Michael Curtiz's Mission to Moscow with Walter Huston, Texas-born actress Ann Harding (originally Dorothy Gatley), 42, screenplay by Howard Koch; Richard Wallace's A Night to Remember with Salt Lake City-born actress Loretta Young (originally Gretchen Michaela Young), 30, Brian Aherne; Howard Hughes's The Outlaw with Minnesota-born actress Jane Russell, 22 (Hughes designs a special brassiere that shows Russell's bosom to advantage and the film is banned in many places); Zoltan Korda's Sahara with Humphrey Bogart, Rex Ingram, New York-born actor J. (Joseph) Carrol Naish, 43; Akira Kurosawa's Sanshiro Sugata; Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt with New York-born actress Teresa Wright, 24, Joseph Cotten; Herman Shumlin's Watch on the Rhine with Bette Davis, Paul Lukas.
Director W. S. Van Dyke dies at Hollywood February 5 at age 53; German-born actor Conrad Veidt of a heart attack at Hollywood April 3 at age 50; actor Leslie Howard June 1 at age 50 when his plane is shot down en route from Lisbon to London (the Germans evidently thought Winston Churchill was aboard).
A studio photographer catches actress Betty Grable in a series of poses wearing a bathing suit, one of them shows her looking over her shoulder, and thousands of requests for copies pour in each week as the "pin-up" picture finds its way into ships, planes, barracks, and foxholes.
Hollywood musicals: Norman Taurog's Girl Crazy with Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, choreography by Busby Berkeley, music and lyrics by the late George Gershwin and his brother Ira, songs that include "But Not for Me," "Embraceable You," "I Got Rhythm"; Edward H. Griffith's The Sky's the Limit with Fred Astaire, Joan Leslie, Robert Benchley, songs that include "My Shining Hour" and "One for My Baby" by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer; Edward Sutherland's Dixie with Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, songs that include "Sunday, Monday, or Always" by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Jane Frohman entertains wounded servicemen in Europe but is seriously injured on a USO tour when her plane crashes into the Tagus River at Lisbon February 22 (15 survive out of 39 passengers and crew). Numerous operations, estimated to cost more than $500,000, will restore the use of her legs and arms.
Stage musicals: Something for the Boys 1/7 at New York's Alvin Theater, with Ethel Merman, St. Joseph, Mo.-born dancer-comedienne Betty Garrett, 23, Columbus, Ohio-born ingénue Dody (originally Dorothy) Goodman, 27, Jed Prouty, book by Harold and Dorothy Fields, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, songs that include "Hey, Good Lookin," 422 perfs.; Oklahoma! 3/31 at New York's St. James Theater, with Alfred Drake, Celeste Holm, Howard Da Silva, dancer George Church, book based on the 1931 Broadway play Green Grow the Lilacs, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, songs that include "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Kansas City," "I Cain't Say No," "Pore Jud," "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," and the title song (lyrics by Otto Harbach), 2,212 perfs.; The Ziegfeld Follies 4/1 at the Winter Garden Theater, with comedian Milton Berle, now 34, music by Ray Henderson with music by Harold Rome interpolated, lyrics by Jack Yellen and others, 553 perfs.; Sweet and Low (revue) 6/10 at London's Ambassadors Theatre, with Hermione Gingold, Walter Crisham, 264 perfs.; One Touch of Venus 10/7 at New York's Imperial Theater, with Mary Martin, Kenny Baker, music by Kurt Weill, libretto by S. J. Perelman and Ogden Nash, lyrics by Nash, songs that include "Speak Low," "West Wind," 567 perfs.; Carmen Jones 12/2 at the Broadway Theater, with Muriel Smith, drummer Cosy Cole, music by Georges Bizet, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, 503 perfs.
Actress-singer Zarah Leander (née Zarah Stina Hedeberg), 41, throws her entire wardrobe out the windows of her Berlin villa after an Allied bombing raid sets fire to the place and returns to her native Sweden. A star of German musicals and Hitler's favorite actress, her love-song recordings have been wildly popular at the front, in hospitals, even in concentration camps.
Lyricist Lorenz Hart dies of pneumonia at New York November 22 at age 47 after a final 3-day drinking spree.
Opera: Spokane-born soprano Patrice Munsell, 18, makes her Metropolitan Opera debut 12/4 singing the role of Philine in the 1866 Ambroise Thomas opera Mignon.
Ballet: Mother Goose Suite in October at New York's Central High School of the Needle Trades Auditorium, with music by the late Maurice Ravel.
First performances: Freedom Morning Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Tenor, and Chorus by Marc Blitzstein, now 38, 4/28 at London, with a chorus of 200 black U.S. aviation engineers; Symphony No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich 11/4 at the Moscow Conservatory; Symphony No. 4 by Howard Hanson 12/3 at Boston's Symphony Hall.
Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff dies at Beverly Hills March 28 at age 69.
Philadelphia-born folk singer Thomas Zachariah "Tom" Glazer, 28, makes his formal debut January 8 at New York's Town Hall.
Toledo, Ohio-born jazz pianist Art Tatum, 32, forms a trio that will continue until 1955. Blind in one eye and nearly so in the other but an acknowledged prodigy from an early age, Tatum has been in New York since 1932, assimilating the influences of Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and Earl "Fatha" Hines into a virtuoso style all his own.
Popular songs: "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" by Cole Porter (for the film Something to Shout About); "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" by Duke Ellington, lyrics by Bob Russell; "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer" by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson; "Mairzy Dotes" by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston; "How Many Hearts Have You Broken?" by Al Kaufman, lyrics by Marty Symes; "San Fernando Valley" by Gordon Jenkins (title song for film); "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Frank Loesser (for the film Thank Your Lucky Stars); "No Love, No Nothin'" by Harry Warren, lyrics by Leo Robin (for the film The Gang's All Here); "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night" by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson (for the film Higher and Higher); "Let's Get Lost" and "'Murder,' He Says" by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Frank Loesser (for the film Happy Go Lucky); "The Pennsylvania Polka" by San Francisco-born "hillbilly" singer-songriter Leo Ezekiel "Zeke" Manners (originally Mannes), 30, and Lester Lee, whose song is introduced by the Andrews Sisters; "Tico-Tico" by Brazilian composer Zequinha Abreu, lyrics by Aloysio Oliveira; "Besame Mucho" by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velazquez.
Pennsylvania-born barber-turned-New York nightclub singer Perry (originally Pierino) Como, 31, signs his first recording contract (with RCA Records), debuts with the single "Goodbye, Sue," signs a 7-year contract with 20th Century Fox, and begins a 50-year career in which more than 100 million of his records will be sold.
The Carter Family country music group splits up after 16 years in which they have recorded some 250 country and folk songs. Maybelle Carter forms a new group with her daughters June, Helen, and Anita under the name Mother Maybelle and the Carter Singers, using an Autoharp to accompany standards that include "Keep on the Sunny Side," "Wildwood Flower," and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." They will rename themselves the Carter Family in 1960.
Songwriter Lorenzo Barcalata in his native Mexico July 13 on the eve of his 45th birthday; bandleader and songwriter Ben Bernie at Hollywood October 20 at age 52; Thomas "Fats" Waller of influenza and bronchial pneumonia in a Pullman car en route to New York December 15 at age 39; songwriter Joseph McCarthy of cancer at his New York home December 18 at age 53; George Whiting at his Bronx, N.Y., home December 18 at age 61.
Count Fleet wins the Kentucky Derby and goes on to win U.S. racing's Triple Crown under the whip of English-born jockey John Eric "Johnny" Longden, 36, but the thoroughbred injures its leg coming down the stretch at Belmont Park and is retired to stud.
Lieut. Joseph R. Hunt, 24, U.S. Navy, wins in men's singles at Forest Hills, Pauline Betz in women's singles. The first U.S. singles champion Richard D. Sears has died April 8 at age 81 (he retired from lawn-tennis competition in 1888 after suffering an injury but won the first U.S. court-tennis singles title in 1892).
U.S. Olympic sprinter Charlie Paddock dies in a plane crash near Sitka, Alaska, July 21 at age 42 while serving in the Marine Corps.
The New York Yankees win the World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 1.
Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman, now 26, sets a National Football League record November 14 by passing for seven touchdowns in a regular-season game and establishes another NFL record December 26 by throwing five touchdown passes as the Bears beat the Washington Redskins 41 to 21.
Americans are told to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Shoes are rationed beginning February 7, but while Britons are allowed only one pair per year, the U.S. ration is three pairs, only slightly below the 3.43 bought on average in 1941.
Sneakers are impossible to find; schoolboys have to buy shoes with reclaimed rubber soles that leave black marks on gymnasium floors.
U.S. housewives wash and flatten tins for recycling: one less tin can per week per family will save enough tin and steel to build 5,000 tanks or 38 Liberty Ships. They save kitchen fats to be exchanged for red ration points at the butcher's: one jar of kitchen fat contains enough glycerine to make a pound of black powdernough to fill six 75-mm. shells or 50 32-caliber bullets.
The "Aqua-lung" self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) patented by French naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, 33, and Paris engineer Emile Gagnan permits divers for the first time to explore marine environments without links to the surface. Gagnan has devised an automatic valve that allows motorcars to run on bottled cooking gas rather than gasoline, and the two men have adapted the valve to the job of feeding compressed air to a diver on demand and at the pressure of the surrounding water. Cousteau has tested the 50-pound "lung" in the Mediterranean, descending to depths in excess of 200 feet (see Nonfiction, 1953).
New York police arrest madam Polly Adler in January but she is ill with pleurisy and charges are dismissed (see 1935). Now 43, she retires to the Los Angeles area (see Nonfiction, 1952).
Architecture, Real Estate
The Pentagon completed January 15 at Arlington, Va., is the world's largest office building, a $83 million, five-story, five-sided structure with 6.5 million square feet of floor space, 17 miles of corridors, and 7,748 windows; it provides space for the vast and growing number of U.S. war administrators.
President Roosevelt dedicates the Thomas Jefferson Memorial April 13 (Jefferson's 200th birthday) on the Tidal Basin at Washington, D.C., after 41 months of construction on 18 acres of land reclaimed from the Potomac. Designed by the late John Russell Pope with help from Otto R. Eggers and Daniel P. Higgins, the circular-colonnaded monument contains a 19-foot statue by sculptor Rudolph Evans (metal is needed for the war effort and the plaster replica will be replaced by a bronze statue in 1947), inscriptions on the four interior panels and frieze are taken from writings by the nation's third president, and FDR reminds his audience why the nation is at war, quoting Jefferson's ringing words, "For I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
A U.S. federal rent control law takes effect in November. The controls will expire in 1950 but will be continued by New York State and some other states, preventing landlords from raising rents by more than a small percentage each year; they will be a factor in discouraging new housing construction in New York.
The Mexican volcano Paricutin emerges February 20 in a Michoacan cornfield about 200 miles west of Mexico City and begins eruptions that will continue for 7 years. The new volcano will bury some nearby populated areas under lava and ashes, threaten a wide area, and grow to a height of 820 feet.
An earthquake registering 7.4 on the Richter scale hits Tottori, Japan, September 10, killing 1,190.
Agronomist and agricultural chemist George Washington Carver dies at his Tuskegee, Ala., home January 5 at age 78.
A United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture at Hot Springs, Ark., from May 19 to June 3 provides for a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO; see 1945).
U.S. farmers begin using DDT to fight insect pests that destroy crops (see 1948; Müller, 1939; environment [Carson book], 1962).
Research undertaken with support from the Rockefeller Foundation spurs Mexican wheat production (see 1941). Mexican agricultural output will increase by 300 percent in the next 25 years, while the country's population increases by 70 percent (see Borlaug, 1944).
Plowman's Folly by Kentucky farmer Edward H. (Hubert) Faulkner states that traditional plowing interferes with the natural capillary action of soil. Faulkner recommends disk harrowing, claiming that it works green vegetation into the soil, will produce less erosion, require less fertilizer, and produce better crops.
Rinderpest kills most of Burma's livestock. Since animals provide most of the country's power for irrigation and cultivation, the Burmese rice crop declines, and little is left for export to Bengal (see famine, 1944).
Japan has her worst rice crop in 50 years. The daily 1,500-calorie subsistence level cannot always be met.
Rationing of canned foods in the United States begins March 1. Meat rationing (canned meat and fish are included) begins March 29, but the ration is 28 ounces per week, and meat production rises by 50 percent. Meat consumption actually rises to 128.9 pounds per capita on an annual basis as the wartime economic boom puts more money into working people's pockets and as meat prices are rolled back to September 1942 levels. Gls are served 4½ pounds of meat per week (Navy men get seven pounds), and creamed chipped beef is a staple of service chow lines as Washington takes 60 percent of prime and choice beef and 80 percent of utility grade beef.
An estimated 20 percent of U.S. beef goes into black market channels, bacon virtually disappears from stores, western cattle rustlers kill and dress beef in mobile slaughterhouses and sell the meat to packing houses, and wholesalers force butchers to buy hearts, kidneys, lungs, and tripe in order to get good cuts of meat.
Butchers upgrade meat, selling low grades at ceiling prices and at the ration-point levels of top grade.
Texas and Alabama adopt bread-enrichment laws: 75 percent of U.S. white bread is enriched with iron and some B vitamins, up from 30 percent in 1941. Secretary of Agriculture Claude Wickard bans sale of sliced bread in a move to hold down prices.
Japan acts to prevent beriberi, which is disabling many civilians. The Tokyo government distributes no white rice and orders citizens to eat haigamai (brown rice) or hichibuzuki mai (70 percent polished rice), but many, if not most, Japanese laboriously hull their hichibuzuki mai to obtain the white, glutinous, nutritionally deficient rice they prefer. Vitamin pioneer Umetaro Suzuki dies September 20 at age 69.
"Converted" rice developed by Virginia-born Texas produce broker Gordon L. Harwell, 48, with English food chemist Eric Huzenlaub will be marketed as Uncle Ben's Converted Rice after the war and will later be enriched with added B vitamins. Harwell and Huzenlaub have cooked rough, unhulled rice in a way that diffuses the outer bran layers into the kernels' starchy protein and then steamed the rice in a way that partially gelatinizes the starch to seal in vitamins. Vacuum dried and then air dried to restore its original moisture content, it is subsequently hulled and its bran removed, yielding a product that retains 80 percent of the natural B vitamins found in rough rice, or paddy.
Less than one-fourth of Americans have "good" diets according to results of a nutrition study begun in 1941.
"Recommended Daily Allowances" (RDAs) published for the first time by the Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council are weighted on the high side: 70 grams of protein, 3,300 calories per day for a 70-kilo man, and high levels of vitamins and minerals. The recommendations are based on the needs of fast-growing teenage boys, many of them suffering from malnutrition after years of economic depression and headed into the armed forces; they will be modified in 1944 and several times in future years, but always at relatively high levels (see School Lunch Act, 1946).
Former Yale chemistry professor and nutrition pioneer Russell Chittenden dies of pneumonia at his native New Haven December 26 at age 87.
Food And Drink
Spam becomes all too familiar to GIs on every warfront but is eagerly adopted by residents of Hawaii, where being able to afford canned goods is a mark of status. British troops (and civilians) consider the luncheon meat, introduced 6 years ago by George A. Hormel Co., a delicacy, and quantities of it are shipped to Murmansk for Soviet troops on the Eastern Front.
The U.S. armed forces receive one-fourth of the nation's output of canned fruits and juices; food consumption on the home front declines by 4 percent, consumption of fresh vegetables drops 11 percent.
U.S. butter consumption falls to 11 pounds per capita, down from 17 pounds in the 1930s, as Americans forgo some of their four ounces per week ration in order to save red stamps for meat. Butter is often unavailable, since most butterfat is employed to make cheese for Lend-Lease aid.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt campaigns for a repeal of the 10 percent federal tax on artificially colored margarine (the tax is only ¼¢ per pound if colored by the consumer or used uncolored). As more consumers turn to margarine, millions of householders use yellow vegetable dye to color their white margarine (see 1950).
Cheese is rationed at the rate of four pounds per week per capita but requires red stamps that may also be used for meat. Americans ate cheese at a rate of 2.5 pounds per week before the war, but home economists estimate that the country's most affluent one-third ate cheese at the rate of five pounds per week, while the poor ate scarcely one pound.
Flour, fish, and canned goods join the list of rationed foods, but coffee is derationed in July. Americans eat far better than do citizens of the other belligerent nations (Britons enjoy only about two-thirds of what Americans are allowed under rationing programs).
U.S. distillers produce alcohol for synthetic rubber production (see 1933). Imports have dwindled and liquor is generally scarce.
A Chinese Act signed into law by President Roosevelt December 17 repeals the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1880 and 1902; San Francisco's Angel Island immigrant receiving station is closed. The president's 1942 order interning West Coast U.S. citizens of Japanese birth has been called racist, China is allied with the United States in the war with Japan, and the new law makes Chinese residents of the United States eligible for naturalization, permitting immigration of an annual quota of just 105 Chinese (see 1965).
Pennsylvania State College organic chemist Russell (Earl) Marker, 41, pioneers development of oral contraceptives with the discovery of a cheap source of the hormone progesterone in the barbasco plant that grows wild in Mexico. Using an extract from the root of this member of the Dioscorea family, Marker works in a Mexico City pottery shop, produces 2,000 grams of progesterone worth $80 per gram in just 2 months, and will join a small Mexican drug firm to form Syntex, S.A. Another group of chemists will buy him out, Budapest-born Mexican chemist (and contract bridge expert) George Rosenkranz, now 27, will become scientific director of Syntex in 1945, and the firm will become a major supplier of raw materials for oral contraceptives (see Pincus, 1955; Enovid 10, 1960).