America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

I know but had to point out in Minnesota it was yet lol

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The New York Times (January 1, 1944)

Broadway echoes to song and laughter of greatest revel since Pearl Harbor

Bright lights add to joy; many greet 1944 in churches, where day of prayer asked by President is begun
By Meyer Berger

Times Square crowds moved into the New Year last night with the same spirit that moved the Allied world everywhere – with singing hearts and with hope that the New Year may bring victory in Europe, increased pressure against the enemy in the Pacific, as Allied military leaders predict.

The crowds were gayer, greater than they were last New Year’s Eve. The whole picture seemed to have changed since then, from dark foreboding to the certainty of victory, and this was reflected in the singing, the general laughter in the street, in the din of horns and in greater happiness written on faces.

Where Times Square had been dimmed out a year ago, the streets last night were aglow with almost pre-war brightness. Where theaters, shops and restaurants shrank away from the building line in comparative gloom a year ago, they radiated brilliance with the approach of 1944.

Lights dimmed at 10:00 p.m.

At 10:00 p.m. ET, the theater and hotel marquees went dark, restaurant and hotel signs were switched off, but the din only increased and the sounds of revelry – the insistent blare of horns, the clank of cowbells – swelled in volume.

Traffic kept moving north and south, east and west. It was thinner than in recent years, but every cab, every private car, was loaded with servicemen or with civilians and with women dressed in gay evening attire. Traffic flowed until shortly after 11:00 p.m.

Then the crowd grew more restless. The silhouetted hosts surged over into the avenues, despite police pressure, and gradually filled all the empty spaces. Overseas and garrison caps and sailors’ flattop gear showed against dimmed store windows in great numbers. It was predominantly a service crowd.

Police regulated the flow smoothly. The hosts moving northward kept to the east side of the Square, those headed south kept to the west. Except for the few lights behind boarded shop windows, the only outstanding lights in the Square were the traffic lamps, glowing alternately red and green.

Powder flashlights shot by photographers standing at high windows in office buildings facing on the Square, exploded like distant cannon. The crowds roared and cheered each heavy boom. Bits of paper released from skyscraper windows turned and twisted in the dark and a few streamers writhed in the half light, but the amount of paper was piddling compared with other years.

There was no glowing globe in the New York Times Tower to indicate the split second of the new year’s entry and of the old year’s end. This seemed to confuse the crowd. The stroke of midnight brought a brief silence. Then the thousands jammed in the Square screamed, roared, cheered, blew their horns, shook their rattles.

The demonstration was brief. Within five minutes, the crowds moved again, north and south, but the cheering steadily diminished.

Watch Night in the churches

Only in the city’s great churches and cathedrals, where more sober, thoughtful souls congregated for Watch Night services, was the atmosphere graver. In the Holy Hours at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and at Trinity, men and women bowed their heads in prayer, as the President had asked them to do, seeking divine aid for peace.

The White House proclamation set forth:

At the beginning of the new year 1944, it is fitting that we pray to be preserved from false pride of accomplishment and from willful regret of the last measure of public and private sacrifice necessary to attain final victory and peace.

The prayers echoed this sentiment.

From across the Atlantic, at the same time, word came that Nazi spokesmen could extend to their people for the new year only predictions of further gloom, defeat and hardship. Even as the years pivoted, bombers started up from England’s dawn to continue their battering of Germany and the occupied countries.

Here, the gaiety exceeded anything the city has experienced since Pearl Harbor.

Until 8:00, the crowd seemed fairly thin, but at that hour it curdled clogged and moved sluggishly north and south through the square. It was a far gayer crowd than were the revelers of a year ago. There were more horns, more rattles and there was more laughter.

Temperature drops slowly

The noon that had hung over Broadway vanished behind sullen clouds soon after 8:00. The stars disappeared and light fog reflected red neon the length of Broadway and in the side streets. It grew damper and colder. The temperature dropped slowly to 40 degrees.

More than 2,000 policemen, commanded by Chief Inspector O’Connell, were prepared for a long and crowded night. Mounted men lined the curbs and discouraged overflow into the Street. Patrolmen in groups of four herded the carefree at street junctions. Traffic kept moving with a fair degree of ease up to 10:00 p.m.

An unusual assemblage of emergency Police and Fire Department equipment and several ambulances waited at the curbs, prepared for any emergency. There were emergency trucks, squad cars, wreckers, and a few motorcycles.

Optimistic howlers arrived early in the square, whereas there were next to none a year ago. The noise-making devices were chiefly paper substitutes for the big-mouthed tin types, yet they got metal prices. One huckster of small tin horns, stationed near Schrafft’s, offered “pre-war horns, all tin,” at 25¢. The same horns sold for 10 and 15¢ in 1941.

The chief factor in lifting public spirits, though the merrymakers were probably not conscious of it, was the revived marquee, hotel and restaurant lighting. Marquees blazed in neon and incandescence, in old color vat brilliance, along the main stem and in the side streets. Last year they were dimmed.

Theaters had great queues long before 9:00 p.m., though prices were unusually high. First-run pictures were asking – and getting, without question – as high as $2.20 for seats. Some charged only $1.65, some $1.50, but wherever the doors were open, the crowds assembled. The Paramount used a line of giant ushers, linked to one another with stout straps to hold off frontal box-office attack.

The usual rebates for servicemen seemed to be off for the great celebration. Houses that charge a soldier or sailor only 28¢ any other night, were exacting full price last night, and getting it. Prices everywhere, on everything, were higher, but the money flowed freely.

The crowds seemed in a singing mood, civilians and servicemen alike. This was in striking contrast to the crowds of the previous year. Servicemen and civilians let 1942 pass without music, without gaiety. In side streets and main streets last night, soldiers and civilians made building walls ring with happy chorus.

An Army truck stopped in Times Square, in front of the Paramount Theater shortly before 10:00 and a large detail of Military Policemen, armed and banded, jumped out. Tipsy servicemen at the curb greeted their arrival with good-natured boos and catcalls. The MPs dispersed around the square.

Some bars closed at 10:00 p.m.

There were comparatively few alcoholics in the early crowds in the Square though the bars were busy everywhere. Times Square bars and many along 6th and 8th Avenues and in the side streets shut down around 10:00, pleading they had run out of whisky. Actually, they were saving some of their supply for the new year.

In the city’s railroad and bus terminals, earlier in the day, traffic was heavy but not so heavy as at Christmas time. In Grand Central Terminal and at Pennsylvania Station, the peak seemed to come around sundown as servicemen, businessmen and weekenders moved countryward for the weekend. Railroad officials figured traffic was around 20% above normal.

Airlines were solidly booked, but comparatively little of this traffic was holiday traffic. Government priorities still accounted for more than nine-tenths of the seating as military men and other federal workers and executives moved on war errands. Most civilian traffic seemed headed southward, principally toward Florida.

Transportation executives said the great strain on railroads, buses and other common carriers will come tomorrow, as students, men on military furlough and weekenders move homeward or back to camp after a week of festivity. The number of men in furlough was extremely large.

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Two ball-bearing plants near Paris pounded by heavy force

Cognac Airdrome is hit; Calais area blasted again – Americans wage running fight with Nazis
By David Anderson

5th Army raid hits behind Nazis’ lines

Troops land above Garigliano mouth and stab to Minturno – 8th Army nearer Pescara
By Milton Bracker

AMG orders purge in Italian offices

Wholesale removal policy hits ‘reformed’ Fascists working under Allies

Correspondence is released in move to clarify issue holdout unions raised

Others bar arbitration; non-operating workers insist overtime is only point remaining unsettled
By Louis Stark


President’s cold turns into grippe

Washington – (Dec. 31)
President Roosevelt was in bed with a slight case of gripped today following two days of confinement to his quarters with a head cold.

William D. Hassett, a White House secretary, told correspondents this morning:

I am sorry to inform you now that the President has the grippe. Dr. McIntire [Adm. Ross T. McIntire] reports he has about a half degree of temperature and that he has ordered him to stay in bed today, and probably will keep him in bed tomorrow.

As a result of the President’s illness, the Cabinet meeting, as well as the Friday morning press conference, was canceled.

6 get limit terms in film extortion

Sentenced to 10 years while 7th goes to prison for 7 – each fined $10,000

U.S. fliers find peril in guiding Nazi plane

Button to blow away rudder is on Ju 88 panel

Hull and Eden ask Greeks to end rift

New Year messages are read as premier appeals for unity among guerillas
By A. C. Sedgwick

Tokyo claims sinking of 14 submarines

3-month figure unconfirmed – Bougainville push seen

New Yorkers score on Cape Gloucester

Took part in attack on enemy bivouac night before victory

UNRRA puts relief on equality basis

Countries unable to pay will get meats, finished goods – Hendrickson named

Hull: Victory hangs on efforts of everyone

Washington – (Dec. 31)
Secretary of State Cordell Hull called for “the unremitting and all-embracing efforts of every man and woman” for victory in a New Year’s message to the American people today.

He said:

We have just ended a year which shook our Axis enemies to their very foundations and which witnessed on our side an upsurge of united power that will carry us to victory. Our confidence in victory must, however, be dependent on the unremitting and all-embracing efforts of every man and woman.

Holcomb retires as full general

Navy says he is first Marine to attain rank – Vandegrift takes command today

Halsey sees foe on run in Pacific

Declares 1944 will produce decisive victories for us in many quarters

Marines beat off foe in New Britain

Smash Japanese counterblows at Cape Gloucester as enemy dead rises above 900

Army perfects jungle fighters

Intensive courses at the new Hawaiian center turn out thousands every week
By George F. Horne

Hitler sees crisis in 1944; warning to Germans grim

London, England (AP) – (Dec. 31)
Adolf Hitler, in a grim New Year’s message to the German people today, offered them only hope of dogged resistance for their very lives and, anticipating invasion from the west, boasted that wherever they landed, the Allies would receive an appropriate welcome.

In a long written message distributed by DNB to German newspapers and recorded from a Berlin broadcast by the Associated Press, Hitler again sounded the German propaganda note that:

In this war there will be no victors and losers, but merely survivors and annihilated.

A separate New Year Order of the Day to the Army called 1943 “a second year of great crisis” initiated by the Russian winter offensive of 1941-42.

In this message, Hitler announced that “the apparent slackening of the U-boat war is based only on one single technical invention of our enemies” and added:

We are not only about to remove it, but we are convinced that we shall succeed in this within a short period.

He did not disclose what the new Allied invention was.

Even as the Russians, in one of their greatest victories of the war, were driving toward pre-war Poland’s borders and drawing near Romania’s frontiers, Hitler said:

A Napoleonic catastrophe seemed imminent for the German front, yet we were able to master the situation.

The Russian front had also been weakened because of the Allied threat in the West, he said.

He declared:

Garrisoning of positions that are absolutely essential for the defense of Europe demanded a shift in the balance of services in the rear and of traffic installations, a process that went on at the expense of the East.

Many reinforcements destined for the East have now been tied down and must assist in protecting the rest of the European living space. This is a cause of many worries and sufferings for you, my comrades at the Eastern Front.

Germany, he said, was fighting with a “fanatical hatred,” and was inspired by the old biblical saying:

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

To the home front, he promised that “retaliation will come” for the Allied bombings.

He blamed setbacks on “Italian treason” and the breach of faith of French admirals and generals which permitted Allied landings in North Africa, but he claimed that “the balancing of our forces is now achieved.”

His dominant theme in the long message was that times were heard but that worse was to come if Germany lost.

Hitler had a propaganda message for the British – that Britain had now lost the balance-of-power position and was at the mercy of her allies, Russia and America.

The year 1943 “brought us our heaviest reverses,” Hitler admitted, but he also contended that after more than four years of war, the German Reich had not lost one square kilometer of its soil.

Discussing what he called the attempt of Britain and the United States to destroy Europe and Germany with Bolshevism, and discipline the German nation through the “Moscow garrotters,” Hitler said:

The necessity of preserving Europe against the Bolshevist danger depends exclusively on the existence of one dominating continental power.

Other Nazi Party leaders also issued New Year messages.

Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister, said:

Nobody who has even lived through 1943, the most difficult year of war, will ever forget it.

We have suffered setbacks and had to shoulder too great burdens, but they have not been decisive.

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Tōjō: Empire’s fateful hour is near; Japan called to sacrifice ‘body and soul’


Guaranteed wage called 1944 issue

Murray of CIO says demands in steel negotiations will be pushed in politics

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – (Dec. 31)
A minimum annual wage for industrial workers, to be paid and guaranteed by employers, is being built up by the Congress of Industrial Organizations as a major issue for the 1944 elections, Philip Murray, CIO president, disclosed here.

Such a guaranteed wage is one of the principal proposals now being urged upon Carnegie-Illinois Steel and other U.S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries through direct negotiations by the CIO United Steel Workers of America. The steel workers are also contending for a 17¢ hourly wager increase and other concessions.

Going several steps further than in previous declarations, Mr. Murray said that the CIO’s political action committee would be directed to enlist all possible labor and liberal support for the minimum annual wage plan as they only feasible means of protecting the nation’s workers from destructive economic post-war jolts.

Appeal to WLB planned

The CIO chief also made known that he would shortly ask the National War Labor Board to “impose, if necessary, a guaranteed annual wage for steel workers” if the steel corporations refuse to adopt this program.

The weekly wage guarantee, Mr. Murray explained, would be computed on the basis of a 40-hour workweek. That section of the contract proposal reads in part:

Such minimum weekly wage shall be computed on the straight time average hourly earnings for the year preceding the effective date of this contract, or such portion during which the employee may have been employed, plus the general wage adjustments included in the new contract, multiplied by 40 hours.

Another proviso says:

For each week during the life of this contract that the employee for reasons beyond his control does not receive a sum equal to this minimum, the company shall make up the difference.

First movement of kind

Mr. Murray said:

So far as we know, this is the first time that a labor organization anywhere has undertaken to seek the establishment of an annual minimum guaranteed wage through collective bargaining.

He pointed out that industry in the United States, through the tax laws, has guaranteed itself post-war protection. Provisions have been made, he added, “though these various measures, to afford security for American business after the war is over.”

He went on:

That may be a good thing but certainly the same thing should be done to protect the interests of American workers.

The annual wage is a sensible way of combating widespread unemployment. If we’re going to spread income and afford workers a just share of the national income, it can be done only through this proposal.

Under the proposal as submitted, if a worker’s average hourly rate has been $1, his guaranteed weekly pay would be $40, the year around, or annual pay of $2,080.

Other demands by the union include one week’s paid vacation for employee with three years or less service, and two weeks for those over three years; time-and-a-half pay for overtime learners not to receive less than the common labor rate; all employees who are in the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine to receive vacation pay while in service.

Destination Tokyo, a highly eventful submarine drama, with Cary Grant and John Garfield, opens at the Strand

By Bosley Crowther

Carr, Morris, Kennedy tally in opening nine minutes on garden ice

Bibeault excels in nets; checks 33 shots as Rangers press to win on Patrick’s 60th birthday
By Joseph C. Nichols