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Monday, March 31, 2014

On this day in 1944

If you were born on March 31, 1944, happy 70th birthday.

It was a Friday.

My dad, having recently turned 18, was free from the bonds of his guardian, who happened to be his sister. She was living in Maryland. He lived in Springfield. Until this day, he was kicking around town doing things 18 year old guys did and do, including working as a mechanic, living in a rooming house, and dating my mom. Then, on March 31st, he arrived at Great Lakes Naval Base to begin his enlistment in the Navy. I don't know how he got there, but I'd like to imagine he took the Illinois Central to Chicago and from there the bus to Great Lakes.

Back in Springfield, Illinois, my mom was more than likely looking forward to her 18th birthday in one week and one day, and Easter the day after that. But, probably not as much as high school graduation in two more months.

That week's cover of the New Yorker looks to be soldiers washing their clothes in a river somewhere in the South Pacific.

Many movies came out in 1944. We may have seen a couple of those. Bosley Crowther reviewed "Cover Girl" for the New York Times. He didn't like it very much. But, he did like the actors and the music.

Lots of books were published in 1944. We may have read one of those.

1944 was an unusual year in popular music, not only because the U.S. was at war, along with the rest of world, but also because the musicians union recording ban was still going on, sort of.

Somebody at a place called Chicago University (presumably the University of Chicago) was watching the weather. The high was 41 (pdf). The low was 25. There was a little rain.


According to this moon app, there was a quarter moon.

This article (Heavy losses as RAF Bomber Command targets Nuremberg) suggests there was a full moon over Germany.

Anne Frank, who was just three years younger than my mom, wrote in her diary:

Dearest Kitty,
Just imagine, it's still fairly cold, and yet most people have been without coal for nearly a month. There's a general mood of optimism about the Russian front, because that's going great guns! I don't often write about the political situation, but I must tell you where the Russians are at the moment.

Go read the whole thing, if you haven't already. And if you have, read it again. (Side note: 10 things about Anne Frank's diary.)

Okay. That's it for now.

Posted by Marie at March 31, 2014 7:52 PM