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24 September 1939
First flight of the Spitfire Mk II
Stamford American (Stamford, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 24, Ed. 1 Friday, September 8, 1939
Weekly newspaper from Stamford, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.
eight pages : ill. page 22 x 18 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.
This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Stamford Area Newspaper Collection and was provided by the Stamford Carnegie Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 18 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.
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Stamford Carnegie Library
Over 100 years since its inception, The Stamford Carnegie Library still holds true to the foundations of Andrew Carnegie’s original vision and beyond, merging traditional principles of enlightenment with the modern terms of today. The Library gives residents of all ages free and equal access to a secure and dynamic environment encouraging lifelong learning.
Records of the Weather Bureau
Established: In the Department of Agriculture by an act of October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. 653).
- Smithsonian Institution (meteorological functions, 1847-70)
- Office of the Surgeon General (meteorological functions, 1818-70)
- Office of the Chief Signal Officer (meteorological functions, 1870-90)
Transfers: To the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. IV of 1940, effective June 30, 1940 to the Environmental Science Services Administration, Department of Commerce, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1965, effective July 13, 1965 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970, effective October 3, 1970.
Functions: Provided basic weather service in support of federal agencies and the general public, including weather forecasting and collecting, and disseminating temperature, rainfall, and climatic data for the United States.
Abolished: By Department of Commerce Organization Order 25-5A, effective October 9, 1970.
Successor Agencies: National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.
Finding Aids: Harold T. Pinkett, Helen T. Finneran, and Katherine H. Davidson, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Climatological and Hydrological Records of the Weather Bureau, PI 38 (1952) Helen T. Finneran, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Operational and Miscellaneous Meteorological Records of the Weather Bureau, NC 3 (1965) Lewis J. Darter, Jr., comp., List of Climatological Records in the National Archives, SL 1 (1942, reprinted 1981).
Record copies of publications of the Weather Bureau in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, RG 16.
Records of the Hydrographic Office, RG 37.
Records of the U.S. Naval Observatory, RG 78.
Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, RG 111.
Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army), RG 112.
Records of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, RG 370.
The Weather Bureau's basic climatological records of surface, land, and air observations since 1872 and its principal records of marine observations since 1904 are in the National Climatic Data Center (formerly the National Weather Records Center), Asheville, NC.
27.2 Meteorological Records of the Surgeon General's Office
History: The first nationwide weather system of the Federal Government was inaugurated in 1814 when army hospital, post, and regimental surgeons were directed to keep diaries of the weather. After the establishment of a weather service in the Signal Office in 1870, the meteorological work of the Surgeon General's Office was gradually discontinued. Post surgeons continued to submit monthly weather reports, on a voluntary basis, to the Surgeon General's Office, the Signal Office, and, after 1891, to the Weather Bureau.
Textual Records: Records from military posts, including hourly observations made at equinoxes and solstices, 1819-1916 daily meteorological observations of post surgeons, 1819-1916 and monthly summaries of meteorology, 1819-86. Barometrical registers, 1855-68, 1876-86. Psychrometrical registers, 1874-77. Records of army posts in California, 1843-68.
Related Records: For a microfilm copy of meteorological reports received from army surgeons at military posts, 1819-59, see 27.5.7.
27.3 Records of the Smithsonian Meteorological Project
History: In 1847, under the leadership of its first secretary and director, Joseph Henry, the Smithsonian Institution began collecting records of meteorological observations and started a system of obtaining weather data from voluntary observers throughout the country. The services of these observers were transferred to the weather service of the Signal Corps in 1873.
Textual Records: Letters received, 1848-57, 1859-67. Letters sent, 1850-53. Records of observations made at the Smithsonian Institution, 1858-74. Meteorological observations of the U.S. Coast Survey, 1853-90. Miscellaneous meteorological material accumulated by the Smithsonian, 1848-91.
Microfilm Publications: M1379.
Related Records: For a microfilm copy of meteorological reports from voluntary observers, 1840-73, see 27.5.7.
27.4 Records of Signal Corps Meteorological Work
History: The meteorological service of the Signal Corps was established by an act of February 9, 1870 (16 Stat. 369), authorizing a system of regular weather reporting stations formally assigned to the Signal Corps by War Department General Order 29, March 15, 1870. In 1873, services of the Smithsonian Institution's voluntary observers were transferred to the Signal Corps, and beginning in 1874, meteorological reports received from military posts were submitted to the Chief Signal Officer. In 1874, the Smithsonian's collection of meteorological reports was transferred to the Signal Office with the approval of the Secretary of War. The meteorological activities of the Signal Corps were transferred to the Weather Bureau in 1890.
Textual Records: Letters sent, 1870-97, and received, 1870-94. Observers' letters sent and received, 1872-93. Voluntary observers' letters sent, 1874-84, and received, 1874-84, 1888-93. Letters received from the State Weather Service, 1891-94. Letters sent from and registers of letters received at Concho, TX Fort Gibson, Indian Territory and Grierson Springs, TX, 1873-87 (in Fort Worth).
27.4.2 Administrative records
Textual Records: Rosters of officers, enlisted men, and civilians employed at the Signal Office, 1868-81. Records relating to enlisted men, 1881-90. Officers' record book, n.d. Proceedings of the board for examination of enlisted men, 1880-86. Order books, 1870-84. Reports of meetings of the General Board of Assistants, 1881-84. Records concerning the transfer of meteorological functions to the Agriculture Department, 1887.
27.4.3 Records of observations
Textual Records: Meteorological records transferred to Signal Corps from observers for the Survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes, 1859-76. Weekly meteorological reports, 1870-81. Records of international simultaneous observations, 1874-92. Reports of rainfall stations, 1887-88. Journals of weather stations in Texas, 1877-83 (in Fort Worth). Summaries of meteorological observations at Middletown, CT, 1875-76 (in Boston). Meteorological observations at Macon, GA, 1873-82 (in Atlanta) Montgomery, AL, 1876-81 and Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs, CO, 1882-83 (in Denver). Records of experimental self-registering instruments, 1870-88.
Microfilm Publications: M1379.
Related Records: For microfilm copies of meteorological reports from regular stations, 1870-90, and regular and voluntary observers, 1874-90, see 27.5.7.
Maps: Observations by Western Union Telegraph Company, 1870 (13 items) and by Cleveland Abbe, 1870-71 (80 items). Manuscript and published Signal Service daily weather maps of the United States, 1872-86 (26,000 items). Tri-daily weather maps, 1874-88 (1,035 items). Wind, cloud, rain, precipitation, and barometric pressure, 1871-91 (171 items). International polar projection, 1877-86 (3,760 items). North Atlantic ocean weather, 1888-90 (1,470 items). Storm tracks, 1864-86 (240 items). Maps received from field offices, 1871-91 (195 items). See also 27.7.
27.4.4 Records of compilations
Textual Records: Monthly meteorological means, totals, and summaries, 1883-90. Abstracts of reports of voluntary observers and army post surgeons, 1874-86. Temperature and precipitation data, 1880-86. Reports of wind, 1872-79 rainfall, 1871-84 barometric pressure, 1871-90 and temperature, 1871-86.
27.4.5 Records of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-84
History: Scientific and exploratory expedition to area of Lady Franklin Bay, Greenland, authorized by act of May 1, 1880 (21 Stat. 82). Marooned, winter of 1883-84. Survivors rescued, June 22, 1884.
Textual Records: Manuscript and published reports, 1886-88. Journals and diaries, 1881-85. Subsistence records, 1881-85. Scientific data, 1881-83. Letters received, 1881-83. Correspondence with and about expedition members, 1884-86. Records relating to the 1882 and 1883 relief expeditions, 1883-85.
Microfilm Publications: T298.
Maps and Charts: U.S. temperatures, 1881. Isobars from international polar observations, 1883. Arctic areas, including Greenland, Kane Basin, and Lady Franklin Bay, 1881-85 (59 items). See also 27.7.
Photographs: Views of Fort Conger, Lady Franklin Bay, expedition members, equipment, supplies, camp scenes, ice conditions, and scenery, 1881-83 (53 images). See also 27.10.
Sketches: Animal life, ice formations, and scenes observed by expedition members while on sledging expeditions, 1881-83 and Greenland coast by W.M. Beebe aboard the USS Neptune while on relief mission, 1882-83 (45 images). See also 27.10.
Related Records: Additional materials on the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition among the papers of David Legge Brainard ("Brainard Collection") in National Archives collection of donated materials.
Subject Access Terms: Greeley, Aldolphus Washington.
27.4.6 Records of the International Polar Expedition to Point
History: By War Department Special Order 102, June 24, 1881, an expeditionary force to Point Barrow, Alaska Territory, was organized under the command of Lt. P. Henry Ray, 8th Infantry.
Textual Records: Register of letters received, 1881-83. Letters sent, 1881-83. Morning reports, 1881-83. Expedition journal, July-September 1881, August-October 1883. Daily meteorological record, 1881-83. Thermometer and wind records, and barometer and galvanometer readings, 1881-83. Observations of magnetic variations, 1881-82. Aurora and tide records, 1881-83.
Photographs: Arctic animals, natives, geological features, ice conditions, and native villages, 1881-83 (28 images). See also 27.10.
27.5 Records of the Weather Bureau
27.5.1 Records of the Office of the Chief of the Weather Bureau
Textual Records: Letters sent, 1891-1911. Letters received, 1894- 1912 (855 ft.), with registers, 1894-1911, and indexes, 1892- 1906. General correspondence, 1912-65. Records of Weather Bureau Chief Francis Wilton Reichelderfer, including personal memorandums on aerological matters, 1924-29 war project weekly reports, 1942-45 correspondence, 1939-63 desk files, 1939-53 subject files, 1934-63 and miscellaneous records, 1938-47.
Subject Access Terms: American Association of Weather Forecasters American Geophysical Union American Meteorological Society Institute of Aeronautical Sciences International Geophysical Year National Academy of Sciences National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
27.5.2 Administrative records
Textual Records: Records of the Budget Office, 1925-65. Records of the Administrative Operations Division, including correspondence, 1941-53 and directives, 1940-47, 1959. Station inspection reports, 1871-1930. Records describing weather stations, 1883-1904. Annual reports of stations, 1888-96. Rosters and directories of commissioned personnel, 1901-60.
Maps: Locations of facilities, stations, and administrative districts, 1922-48 (31 items). See also 27.7.
Architectural and Engineering Plans: Building plans of Weather Bureau stations, 1894-96 (280 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.3 Records of the Climatology Division
Textual Records: Reports of observers in cotton regions, 1883-1902 and corn and wheat regions, 1896-1902. Snowfall bulletins, 1897-1904. Daily journals and abstracts, 1870-1907.
Maps: Weather Crop Bulletin, 1891-95 (150 items). Climate and Crop Bulletin, 1896-1907 (384 items). National Monthly Weather Bulletin, 1908-14 (224 items). Dates for seeding and harvesting, ca. 1893 (15 items). U.S. climatic charts, 1870-1901 (26 items). Snow charts, 1892-96 (69 items). Snow and ice bulletins, 1893-1919 (448 items). Frost and growing season, 1911 (5 items). Normal surface wind, 1942 (18 items). Thunderstorms, 1952 (1 item). Sunshine hours, 1955 (1 item). Climatological atlas of the North and South Pacific, 1959-61 (140 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.4 Records of the Solar Radiation Investigation Division
Textual Records: Solar and sky radiation measurements, 1908-41.
27.5.5 Records of the Marine Division
Textual Records: Abstracts of ships' logs collected by Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury ("Maury Logs"), 1796-1861. Abstracts of ships' logs, 1862-78. Records of marine observations by ocean square, 1873-86 and simultaneous meteorological observations on ships, 1886-1902. Ship abstract storm logs, 1896-1910. Gale and storm reports, 1895-1910. Fog reports, 1896-1910. Marine meteorological journals, 1879-93. Records containing summary weather data for the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, 1890-1904. Records of observations at the Guam Naval Station, 1902-8, 1913-19 (in San Francisco). Records of observations in the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean areas, 1890-1930 and the Azores Islands, 1896-99, 1912-21.
Microfilm Publications: M1160.
27.5.6 Records of the Division of Operations and Reports
Maps: Marine Section monthly maps of climatic conditions in the oceans and Great Lakes, 1909-14 (855 items). See 27.7.
27.5.7 Records of the Division of Station Facilities and
Meteorological Observations and its predecessors
Textual Records: Microfilm copy of a compilation of meteorological reports, 1819-92 (562 rolls), arranged by state and thereunder alphabetically by station, consisting of reports of army surgeons at military posts, 1819-59 Smithsonian Institution voluntary observers, 1840-73 and regular stations and voluntary observers of the Signal Office and Weather Bureau, 1870-92. Daily observations of meteorology at military posts ("Meteorological Registers"), 1819-1916. Journals of daily observations at the Naval Observatory, Washington, DC, 1842-1913. Reports of wind movement, 1872-1904. Reports of wind direction, 1891-1904. Annual station reports, 1888-96. Monthly station reports, 1905-7. Meteorological observations at Mount Washington, NH, 1889-92 (in Boston) Brownsville, TX, 1889-92 (in Fort Worth) and Mount Weather, VA, 1905-14 (in Philadelphia). Summaries of meteorological observations at Woods Hole, MA, 1873-95 (in Boston). Storm warnings, Ludington, MI, 1916 (in Chicago). Missouri precipitation summaries, 1856-1904 (in Kansas City). Observations in Alaska, 1881-92, 1898-1920 (in Anchorage). Reports of observations of Halley's Comet, 1910.
Microfilm Publications: T907.
Maps: Locations of weather reporting stations, forecast centers, flight advisory weather service units, airport stations, and headquarters, 1944-45 (10 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.8 Records of the Office of Meteorological Research
Textual Records: Records, 1953-60, relating to the International Geophysical Year (July 1, 1957-Dec. 31, 1958).
Maps: Historical synoptic maps for the Northern Hemisphere, compiled 1941-65, from data collected 1899-1965, many prepared in cooperation with the Armed Forces and certain colleges and universities, showing daily weather (57,916 items) tracks of high and low pressure and conditions at upper levels of the atmosphere (6,883 items) and time variations, sunrises, and sunsets (48 items). Southern Hemisphere and Southwest Pacific weather maps, 1932-52 (2,500 items). International Geophysical Year aerological cross sections along 75 degrees West, 1957-58 (3,240 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.9 Records of the Forecast Division
Maps: Manuscript and published daily U.S. surface weather maps, 1891-1941 (60,000 items). Wet bulb readings, 1895-97 (1,640 items). Barometric charts, 1937-39 (1,761 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.10 Records of the Division of Synoptic Reports and Forecasts
Maps: Manuscript and published daily U.S. surface weather maps, 1941-65 (83,200 items). Base maps, 1941-65 (13 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.11 Records of the Division of Hydrologic Services and its
Maps: River basins with hydrologic stations, 1939-40 (83 items). Lower Mississippi River inundated areas, 1897 (1 item). Lake Okeechobee, FL, winds, 1950 (1 item). Storm studies, 1956 (2 items). See also 27.7.
27.5.12 Records of the Statistics Division
Maps (48 items): North Atlantic and eastern Siberia average ceiling heights and visibility limits, compiled by the Work Projects Administration and the weather service of the Army Air Forces, ca. 1943. See also 27.7.
27.5.13 Records of the Aerological Division
Map (1 item): Upper air winds over the United States, 1937. See also 27.7.
27.5.14 Records relating to the Polar Operations Project
History: Development of an international meteorological reporting network in the Arctic was authorized by act of February 12, 1946 (60 Stat. 4). In cooperation with Canada, five stations were established in the Canadian Arctic between 1947 and 1950, and operated as the Joint Arctic Weather Stations (JAWS). Under a separate agreement with Denmark, a station was established at Thule, Greenland. In 1965, the Polar Operations Project was discontinued and its functions transferred to the Overseas Division of the Weather Bureau, part of the Environmental Science Services Administration.
Textual Records: Records relating to the establishment of the Joint Arctic Weather Station program, 1944-48. Formerly security-classified subject files, 1942-63. Subject files, 1960-64. Arctic station reports, 1948-65. Antarctic station reports, 1958-65. Newsclippings, 1943-58.
Motion Pictures: Antarctic cloud time lapse motion pictures, 1958-59 (86 reels).
Related Records: Records of the Overseas Operations Division, Weather Bureau, and Overseas Operations Division, National Weather Service, in RG 370, Records of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
27.5.15 Other records
Textual Records: Records of an expedition to Franz Josef Land by Walter Wellman, 1898-99 and to Refuge Harbor, Greenland, by Donald MacMillan, 1923. Private diaries and journals of meteorological information, 1792-1889. Scientific papers of Cleveland Abbe, ca. 1872-1909. Reminiscences of employees and miscellaneous historical information, 1907-46.
Related Records: Additional papers of Cleveland Abbe are in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
27.6 Records of Field Operations
27.6.1 Records of the Eastern Region
Textual Records: Records of the Blue Hill Observatory, Harvard University, Milton, MA, 1735-1958 (in Boston), consisting of meteorological journals and other weather records created by various individuals and institutions, primarily in New England, and donated to the Observatory. Records of Special Agent Reginald A. Fessenden relating to the development of the wireless telegraph, 1901-3. Field diary, 1906-29 and miscellaneous station memorandums relating to expenses and inspection reports for Ithaca, NY, ca. 1890-1950, (in New York). Correspondence relating to meteorological observations at Fort Macon, NC, 1878-87. Cautionary signal record, February 1886 - March, 1887 original monthly meteorological record and summaries of observations, 1886-1904 records relating to early experiments by Orville and Wilbur Wright, ca. 1899-1901 and letters received at Kitty Hawk, NC, 1879-96 (in Atlanta).
Subject Access Terms: Wright, Wilbur Wright, Orville.
Map: Providence, RI, airport weather map, 1942 (1 item). See also 27.7.
Charts : Raw meteorological data recorded manually and mechanically in graph form at the Blue Hill Observatory and its substations throughout New England, 1885-1958 (70,000 items, in Boston). See also 27.7.
27.6.2 Records of the Central Region
Textual Records (in Kansas City): Records of the Central Regional Weather Bureau Office, including correspondence, 1938-65 Congressional hearings files, 1959-64 closed weather station files, 1938-53 station history files, n.d. and circular letters and memorandums, 1935-62. Monthly Weather Review and other records of the District Forecast Center, 1928-34. Weather forecasts, flood reports, and records of river stages, 1867-1956. Project reports, correspondence, and other records of the National Severe Storms Project Office, 1947-64. Climatological observations for stations in KS, 1891-1979.
Maps: Wisconsin daily weather forecast maps, October 1910 (31 items). Cleveland, OH, airport weather maps, 1932-38 (112 items). See also 27.7.
27.6.3 Records of the Western Region
Textual Records (in San Francisco): Records of the Pacific Supervisory Office, Honolulu, HI, including correspondence, monthly activity reports, meteorological observations, and forecasts, 1939-63. Records of the regional climatologist, San Francisco, CA, including correspondence and reports, 1962-64 and California weather summaries, 1915-47.
Map: Phoenix, AZ, weather bureau office map of winter temperatures in Salt River Valley, ca. 1949 (1 item). See also 27.7.
27.7 Textual Records (General)
Monthly record of wind signals at Alpena, MI, 1896-99 field book of hygrometer measurements at St Vincent, MN, March 1-April 18, 1883 and miscellaneous Illinois station memorandums relating to expenses and inspection reports, ca. 1890-1950 (in Chicago). Correspondence relating to meteorological observations at Fort Yates-Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1879-83 and daily meteorological observations in New Mexico, 1876-80 (in Denver). Technical reports and studies, Systems Development Office, 1960-72. Annual budget estimates, 1947-69, and budget history files of the Budget Office, 1959-62. Canceled issuances, 1939-67, and technical publications, 1949-64, of the Office of Administration, National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration. Surface System Branch issuances, 1952-67. Circular "N" and other technical publications, 1912-69.
27.8 Cartographic Records (General)
Maps: Instructional publications relating to weather mapping, 1892-1950 (24 items). Outline maps, 1931-50 (45 items). Atlas of American Agriculture, National Atlas, and other special projects, 1911-60 (18 items). Storms and hurricanes, 1876-1956 (180 items). Ohio River and Mississippi River floods, 1912-37 (71 items). North Atlantic Ocean weather and icebergs, 1891-95 (2,000 items). International Meteorological Observations, 1893 (59 items). Great Lakes currents determined by bottle courses, 1894-95 (12 items). Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, 1892-94 (3 items). Studies of temperature, cold waves, frost, precipitation, and atmospheric weight, 1873-1942 (1,160 items). Tracks of low pressures, 1945 (13 items). Wind frequency distribution in Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 1945 (42 items). Atlas of climatic charts of the oceans, 1938 (130 items). Airways meteorological atlas of the United States, 1941 (125 items). Smoke sources and topography in 8-mile circles around airport terminal weather reporting stations in eastern states, prepared for the use of forecasters by the Washington National Airport Flight Advisory Weather Service, 1946 (46 items).
See Maps and Charts under 27.4.5.
See Maps under 27.4.3, 27.5.2, 27.5.3, 27.5.6, 27.5.7, 27.5.8, 27.5.9, 27.5.10, 27.5.11, 27.5.12, 27.5.13, 27.6.1, 27.6.2, and 27.6.3.
See Charts under 27.6.1.
See Architectural and Engineering Plans under 27.5.2.
27.9 Motion Pictures (General)
27.10 Still Pictures (General)
Photographs: Delegates to the Weather Bureau Convention, Omaha, NE, 1898 (OP, 1 image). Album by J. Cecil Alter of weather stations in Utah, and of meteorological and other equipment, 1914 (A, 118 images). Restoration of weather stations in the Philippine Islands, 1947-50 (PH, 1,700 images). Cloud sequences, Charleston, SC, 1939 (SC, 600 images). Meteorological instruments and apparatus, storm and damage scenes, cloud formations, atmospheric occurrences, persons, and bureau buildings and stations, 1900-45 (G, 3,000 images). Bureau projects and activities, 1880-1910 (GO, 225 images). Natural disasters, 1900-26 (ND, 75 images). Miscellaneous activities, 1920-45 (MP, 150 images).
Lantern Slides: Graphs, maps, and illustrations of bureau activities, 1900-35 (GS, 5,408 images).
See Photographs under 27.4.5 and 27.4.6.
See Sketches under 27.4.5.
Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.
This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.
24 September 1939 - History
Domestically, during the next six years, Hitler completely transformed Germany into a police state. Germany steadily began rearmament of its military, in violation of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles . Internationally, Hitler engaged in a "diplomatic revolution" by skillfully negotiating with other European countries and publicly expressing his strong desire for peace.
Starting in 1938, Hitler began his aggressive quest for Lebensraum , or more living space. Britain, France, and Russia did not want to enter into war and their collective diplomatic stance was to appease the bully Germany. Without engaging in war, Germany was able to annex neighboring Austria and carve up Czechoslovakia. At last, a reluctant Britain and France threatened war if Germany targeted Poland and/or Romania.
On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building went up in flames. Nazis immediately claimed that this was the beginning of a Communist revolution. This fact leads many historians to believe that Nazis actually set, or help set the fire. Others believe that a deranged Dutch Communist set the fire. The issue has never been resolved. This incident prompted Hitler to convince Hindenburg to issue a Decree for the Protection of People and State that granted Nazis sweeping power to deal with the so-called emergency. This laid the foundation for a police state.
This site covers the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor and the political infighting leading up to that event.
The Reichstag fire and the ensuing emergency decree restricting personal liberties are discussed.
Within months of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, the Dachau concentration camp was created. The Nazis began arresting Communists, Socialists, and labor leaders. Dachau became a training center for concentration camp guards and later commandants who were taught terror tactics to dehumanize their prisoners. Parliamentary democracy ended with the Reichstag passage of the Enabling Act, which allowed the government to issue laws without the Reichstag.
As part of a policy of internal coordination, the Nazis created Special Courts to punish political dissent. In a parallel move from April to October, the regime passed civil laws that barred Jews from holding positions in the civil service, in legal and medical professions, and in teaching and university positions. The Nazis encouraged boycotts of Jewish-owned shops and businesses and began book burnings of writings by Jews and by others not approved by the Reich.
"The Burning of the Books in Nazi Germany, 1933: The American Response" by Guy Stern.
Nazi antisemitic legislation and propaganda against "Non-Aryans" was a thinly disguised attack against anyone who had Jewish parents or grandparents. Jews felt increasingly isolated from the rest of German society.
This site recounts the events of the "Night of the Long Knives," Hitler's bloody action against the SA.
More than 120 laws, decrees, and ordinances were enacted after the Nuremburg Laws and before the outbreak of World War II, further eroding the rights of German Jews. Many thousands of Germans who had not previously considered themselves Jews found themselves defined as "non-Aryans."
This discussion of 1932-1935 includes Hitler's rise to power, the instruments of Nazi terror, and the Nuremberg Laws.
Read about the Hitlerjugend , a Nazi organization that counted 60% of Germany's youth among its members by 1935.
International political unrest preceded the games. It was questioned whether the Nazi regime could really accept the terms of the Olympic Charter of participation unrestricted by class, creed, or race. There were calls for a U.S. boycott of the games. The Nazis guaranteed that they would allow German Jews to participate. The boycott did not occur.
While two Germans with some Jewish ancestry were invited to be on the German Olympic team, the German Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann, one of the world's most accomplished high jumpers, was not.
The great irony of these Olympics was that, in the land of "Aryan superiority," it was Jesse Owens, the African-American track star, who was the undisputed hero of the games.
The Resource section offers photos from the 1936 Berlin Olympics showing street decorations, the arrival of the US team, and the Olympic stadium.
This Resource gallery consists of recent photos showing the Olympic stadium in Berlin.
Recent photos of sculptures on the grounds of the Olympic stadium in Berlin.
In September 1938, Hitler eyed the northwestern area of Czechoslovakia, called the Sudetenland , which had three million German-speaking citizens. Hitler did not want to march into the Sudetenland until he was certain that France and Britain would not intervene. First, he met with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and threatened to go to war if he did not receive the territory. Then at the Munich Conference, Hitler prevailed upon Britain, France and, Italy to agree to the cession of the Sudetenland. The Western powers chose appeasement rather than military confrontation. Germany occupied the Sudetenland on October 15, 1938.
These photographs show the German annexation of the Sudetenland. In Germany, open antisemitism became increasingly accepted, climaxing in the "Night of Broken Glass" (Kristallnacht) on November 9, 1938. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels initiated this free-for-all against the Jews, during which nearly 1,000 synagogues were set on fire and 76 were destroyed. More than 7,000 Jewish businesses and homes were looted, about one hundred Jews were killed and as many as 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps to be tormented, many for months. Within days, the Nazis forced the Jews to transfer their businesses to Aryan hands and expelled all Jewish pupils from public schools. With brazen arrogance, the Nazis further persecuted the Jews by forcing them to pay for the damages of Kristallnacht .
This Nazi order instigated Kristallnacht "measures."
This gallery shows the desecration of synagogues, some of which were damaged during Kristallnacht.
Movie clip documenting the violence of Kristallnacht.
These photographs document the invasion of Poland and the Nazi mistreatment of Polish Jews.
This discussion of Nazi Germany from 1936-1939 covers euthanasia, Aryanization, and Kristallnacht.
Interactive quiz on the Nazification of Germany
Lesson plans, discussion questions, term paper topics, reproducible handouts, and other resources for teaching about the Nazification of Germany are available here.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
T4 Program, also called T4 Euthanasia Program, Nazi German effort—framed as a euthanasia program—to kill incurably ill, physically or mentally disabled, emotionally distraught, and elderly people. Adolf Hitler initiated the program in 1939, and, while it was officially discontinued in 1941, killings continued covertly until the military defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
In October 1939 Hitler empowered his personal physician and the chief of the Chancellery of the Führer to kill people considered unsuited to live. He backdated his order to September 1, 1939, the day World War II began, to give it the appearance of a wartime measure. In this directive, Dr. Karl Brandt and Chancellery chief Philipp Bouhler were “charged with responsibility for expanding the authority of physicians…so that patients considered incurable, according to the best available human judgment of their state of health, can be granted a mercy killing.”
Within a few months the T4 Program—named for the Chancellery offices that directed it from the Berlin address Tiergartenstrasse 4—involved virtually the entire German psychiatric community. A new bureaucracy, headed by physicians, was established with a mandate to kill anyone deemed to have a “life unworthy of living.” Some physicians active in the study of eugenics, who saw Nazism as “applied biology,” enthusiastically endorsed this program. However, the criteria for inclusion in this program were not exclusively genetic, nor were they necessarily based on infirmity. An important criterion was economic. Nazi officials assigned people to this program largely based on their economic productivity. The Nazis referred to the program’s victims as “burdensome lives” and “useless eaters.”
The program’s directors ordered a survey of all psychiatric institutions, hospitals, and homes for chronically ill patients. At Tiergartenstrasse 4, medical experts reviewed forms sent by institutions throughout Germany but did not examine patients or read their medical records. Nevertheless, they had the power to decide life or death.
While the program’s personnel killed people at first by starvation and lethal injection, they later chose asphyxiation by poison gas as the preferred killing technique. Physicians oversaw gassings in chambers disguised as showers, using lethal gas provided by chemists. Program administrators established gas chambers at six killing centres in Germany and Austria: Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Grafeneck, Bernburg, Hadamar, and Brandenburg. The SS (Nazi paramilitary corps) staff in charge of the transports donned white coats to keep up the charade of a medical procedure. Program staff informed victims’ families of the transfer to the killing centres. Visits, however, were not possible. The relatives then received condolence letters, falsified death certificates signed by physicians, and urns containing ashes.
A few doctors protested. Some refused to fill out the requisite forms. The Roman Catholic church, which had not taken a stand on the “Jewish question,” protested the “mercy killings.” Count Clemens August von Galen, the bishop of Münster, openly challenged the regime, arguing that it was the duty of Christians to oppose the taking of human life even if this cost them their own lives.
The transformation of physicians into killers took time and required the appearance of scientific justification. Soon after the Nazis came to power, the Bavarian minister of health proposed that psychopaths, the mentally retarded, and other “inferior” people be isolated and killed. “This policy has already been initiated at our concentration camps,” he noted. A year later, authorities instructed mental institutions throughout the Reich to “neglect” their patients by withholding food and medical treatment.
Pseudoscientific rationalizations for the killing of the “unworthy” were bolstered by economic considerations. According to bureaucratic calculations, the state could put funds that went to the care of criminals and the insane to better use—for example, in loans to newly married couples. Proponents for the program saw incurably sick children as a burden on the healthy body of the Volk, the German people. “Wartime is the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill,” Hitler said.
The murder of the handicapped was a precursor to the Holocaust. The killing centres to which the handicapped were transported were the antecedents of the extermination camps, and their organized transportation foreshadowed mass deportation. Some of the physicians who became specialists in the technology of cold-blooded murder in the late 1930s later staffed the death camps. They had long since lost all their moral, professional, and ethical inhibitions.
Like the Judenrat (“Jewish Council”) leaders during the Holocaust, psychiatrists were able to save some patients during the T4 Program, at least temporarily, but only if they cooperated in sending others to their death. The handicapped killing centres developed gas chambers like those later used at extermination camps. As the extermination camps did later, the handicapped killing centres installed ovens to dispose of dead bodies. The death camps that followed took the technology to a new level. The extermination camps could kill thousands at one time and burn their bodies within hours.
On August 24, 1941, almost two years after the T4 Program was initiated, it appeared to cease. In fact, it had gone underground and continued covertly during the war years. While the program claimed over 70,000 victims during its two years of open operation, the killing centres murdered even more victims between the official conclusion of the program and the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945. The total number killed under the T4 Program, including this covert phase, may have reached 200,000 or more. The official conclusion of the T4 Program in 1941 also coincided with the escalation of the Holocaust, the culmination of Nazi programs to eliminate those deemed an embarrassment to the “master race.”
Editorial: the pact revealed
The terms of the pact between Russia and Germany, which was signed early yesterday morning, are even worse than was expected. It is indeed a pact of non-aggression, but it is more: it is a pact of friendship. There is no “escape clause,” as was confidently predicted by Soviet spokesmen in Moscow and by the faithful in this country, under which Russia would be free to act if Germany should engage in an aggressive war against a third party. On the contrary, there are two clauses expressly designed to prevent Russia from escaping – unless, of course (and this is quite possible), she merely breaks her word.
It is difficult to decide which of these two clauses is the more damning. Article 2 states that “if one of the contracting Powers should become the object of warlike action on the part of a third Power [another translation reads “In the event of either of the contracting parties being subjected to military action on the part of a third Power”] the other contracting Power will in no way support the third Power.”
Article 4 states that “neither of the two contracting Powers will join any other group of Powers which, directly or indirectly, is directed against one of the two.”
There we have it in black and white. Russia cannot join the coalition for peace nor, if Germany attacks Poland, can she engage in war against her. The German press was right. The pact, which was hailed by the British Communist party as “a victory for peace and Socialism against Fascism,” will clearly make it easier for Germany to carry out her aggressive plans in Europe.
If the pact makes it impossible for Russia to join the coalition for peace, it makes equal nonsense of the Anti-Comintern Pact. For what is the latter if not “a group of Powers which, directly or indirectly, is directed against” Russia? Indeed, Germany would seem to have broken the Anti-Comintern Pact twice over, first by failing to inform Japan beforehand of this new agreement, and secondly by agreeing to its terms. That at least is the view taken by the Japanese press, which expresses bitter disappointment at Germany’s deceit. (For once we can sympathise with Japan, having experienced similar feelings.)
Moreover, Japan has not only to swallow the affront to her prestige she must also consider what price Germany has paid to Russia for her neutrality in the West. Is it, by any chance, a free hand in the Far East? That would certainly appear a possible explanation. On the other hand, when all is double-dealing and trickery, one cannot exclude the suggestion that Japanese dismay may be feigned, that Japan has not been ignored, and that Russia is ready to give her a free hand in China and against Britain in return for an absolute assurance of peace on both fronts, which wound enable the Soviet Government to devote its attention to the vast work of development in Central Asia. There is, however, no evidence for this view, and it is more natural to assume that Japanese dismay is sincere. There are other aspects of the pact which commentators have been quick to seize upon, notably the agility of the Soviet and German leaders and the docility of their peoples. But it is not quite true to say that “ideologies” have become meaningless, for the true division was never between Fascism and Communism but between freedom and tyranny.
Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov signs the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact in Moscow, with German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop looking on, 23 August 1939. Photograph: Heinrich Hoffmann/Getty Images
24 September 1939 - History
World War II (1939-1945)
World War II (1939-1945) was the largest armed conflict in human history. Ranging over six continents and all the world's oceans, the war caused an estimated 50 million military and civilian deaths, including those of 6 million Jews. Global in scale and in its repercussions, World War II created a new world at home and abroad. Among its major results were the beginning of the nuclear era, increased pressure to decolonize the Third World, and the advent of the Cold War. The war also ended America's relative isolation from the rest of the world and resulted in the creation of the United Nations. Domestically, the war ended the Great Depression as hundreds of thousands of people, many of them women, went into the defense industries. At the same time, African Americans made significant strides toward achieving their political, economic and social rights.
The roots of World War II, which eventually pitted Germany, Japan, and Italy (the Axis) against the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union (the Allies), lay in the militaristic ideologies and expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan. The weak response of the European democracies to fascist aggression and American isolationism allowed the Axis powers to gain the upper hand initially.
Although the war began with Nazi Germany's attack on Poland in September 1939, the United States did not enter the war until after the Japanese bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Between those two events, President Franklin Roosevelt worked hard to prepare Americans for a conflict that he regarded as inevitable. In November 1939, he persuaded Congress to repeal the arms embargo provisions of the neutrality law so that arms could be sold to France and Britain. After the fall of France in the spring of June 1940, he pushed for a major military buildup and began providing aid in the form of Lend-Lease to Britain, which now stood alone against the Axis powers. America, he declared, must become "the great arsenal of democracy." From then on, America's capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of tanks, airplanes, and ships for itself and its allies proved a crucial factor in Allied success, as did the fierce resistance of the Soviet Union, which had joined the war in June 1941 after being attacked by Germany. The brilliance of America's military leaders, including General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who planned and led the attack against the Nazis in Western Europe, and General Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, who led the Allied effort in the Pacific, also contributed to the Allied victory.
Among the war's major turning points for the United States were the Battle of Midway (1942), the invasion of Italy (1943), the Allied invasion of France (1944), the battle of Leyte Gulf (1944) and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan (1945). The war ended with the Axis powers' unconditional surrender in 1945.
ER had played an unprecedented role in the planning and implementation of New Deal programs. Although she was not in a position to take an active role in the day-to-day planning and prosecution of the war, she found other ways to exercise her influence. She served briefly as assistant director of the Office of Civilian Defense, but found that by serving in an official position she created so much controversy that it harmed the agency, and she resigned. At FDR's behest she undertook two major tours, one to Europe (1942) and one to the South Pacific (1943), where she met with Allied servicemen and wartime leaders, providing comfort and boosting morale. Her major concerns, however, were with refugees, the advancement of civil rights and social programs, and the home front. She worked tirelessly to get refugees, especially Jews, out of Europe, encouraging and aiding the work of relief organizations such as the Emergency Rescue Committee and the Children's Crusade for Children, and pushing FDR and other members of his government to do more. Her efforts were often frustrated, but she did not give up and continued to pursue this work after the war when it was easier for refugees to leave Europe. On the home front, she visited defense plants around the country and used her "My Day" column and speeches to encourage the war effort. She continued to champion civil rights and civil liberties arguing that America could not simultaneously fight racism abroad and tolerate it at home. The painful sacrifices of war would be pointless if America did not achieve equality and justice for all its citizens. Thanks to her efforts, opportunities for African Americans in the military, including opportunities to engage in combat, were expanded significantly. ER was also directly responsible for ending segregation in military recreational areas and transportation services. Together with NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White and African American union leader A. Philip Randolph, she persuaded Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue an executive order in 1941 prohibiting racial discrimination in defense industries and establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission. Always an advocate for women, ER championed their right to work in war-related industries and strongly encouraged women to do so. She was instrumental in starting social programs such as day-care centers and community laundries to lighten the domestic burdens of the women workers. After the war, ER supported the right of women to remain in their jobs if they depended on their wages. ER also continued to support labor and its right to organize despite opposition from Congress, business, and the public, and her insistence on the importance of postwar planning was reflected in FDR's call for a G.I. Bill of Rights.
Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People . New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992, 772-733.
Chambers, John Whiteclay II, ed. The Oxford Companion to American Military History . New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, 819-830.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II . New York: Touchstone Books, 1994, 626-629.
Graham, Otis L., Jr. and Meghan Robinson Wander. Franklin D. Roosevelt: His Life and Times . New York: Da Capo Press, 1985, 464-467.
The Technician (Raleigh, NC), September 29, 1939
Aunt Ellen McGuire, as she is affectionally known by hundreds of State College students and alumni, has been associated with State College since its beginning in 1889. Born Ellen Buffaloe, May 30, 1860, on the plantation of Mr. John Smith near Wileyâ€™s Grove, 4 1/2 miles east of Raleigh, Ellen was the oldest of 16 children of Martha and Jim Buffaloe. Following the Civil War she moved with her family to Major Gaston Wilderâ€™s plantation, also near Wileyâ€™s Grove, where she lived until she married Pat McGuire in 1875 and settled In the Oberlin section of Raleigh.
Ellenâ€™s husband was from Orange County and bis mother was a servant at the University of North Carolina. Pat was also employed as a servant at the University before he came to Raleigh in 1876 to work for the Raleigh-Gaston railroad. He worked as a freight delivery man from 1875 until his death in 1905.
Attributing her long and active life to hard work, Aunt Ellen still reports for work at the College Infirmary, where she has worked for 31 consecutive years. Arrangements have been made for her retirement on a part-pay basis, but Aunt Ellen has no intention of giving up her work entirely.
Before she started working in the College Infirmary in 1908, Aunt Ellen worked in the college dining room which was located at that time in the basement of Pullen Hall. Although the dining room job was Aunt Ellenâ€™s first full-time job at the college, she had been employed on various part-time jobs in Holladay Hall since the opening of the college In 1889. Her first job was to mend mattresses and pillows that had been used as "implements of warâ€ and otherwise. She also helped with the canning of fruits and vegetables from the college farm and assisted at hog killings, house cleanings and other places whenever she was needed. In addition to her work for the college, for 50 years Aunt Ellen has done washing and ironing for students. In her younger days she washed and ironed for as many as 26 students a week.
When she saw the breaking of ground for Holladay Hall in 1889 it was nothing more than the beginning of another building to Ellen McGuire, but today that building, the other buildings, the campus, the faculty, the students, the alumni and everybody else that is or has been associated with State College, are respected and loved by Aunt Ellen. She says proudly, "I has seen dis yer college come from a long ways.â€
Since the time of her humble beginning as a slave in 1860 until the present time Aunt Ellen has either belonged to or has been employed by white people. Her cheerful disposition, her faithfulness, her good work and her desire to be of service to others has endeared her to her various employers and these qualities have won for her the respect, the admiration and the affection of the hundreds and thousands of people who have known her.
Her busy life has not kept Aunt Ellen from being active among the people of her own race. In addition to bringing up a very creditable family of her own, Aunt Ellen has given generously of her time, her strength and her means to the less fortunate of her race. She is an active worker in her church and In her community and she takes a great deal of pride in her home, which is well kept by her.
How Europe Went To War In 1939
The Second World War was the most destructive conflict in human history. Years of international tension and aggressive expansion by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany culminated in the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later.
The decisions that led to war reflected the ambitions, rivalries, fears and anxieties that developed in the two decades that followed the end of the First World War. The European powers were willing to go to war to extend or protect what each nation saw - in dramatically different ways - as matters of vital interest, great power status, international prestige, and national survival.
The Legacy of the First World War
The First World War and its subsequent peace settlements gave rise to new ambitions, rivalries and tensions. People had high expectations that the post-war peace settlement would create a new world order and ensure that the slaughter of the First World War was never repeated.
The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919, created the League of Nations - an international body intended to promote peace and prevent war. However, the treaty was an uneasy compromise as each of the victorious Allies - Britain, America, France and Italy - looked to pursue their own interests. Germany was forced to surrender territory, disarm and pay for the war's damage. These divisive conditions were criticised as overly vindictive by many in Britain and America. The treaty's terms caused immediate outrage and lasting bitterness in Germany.
The sense of defeat, humiliation and injustice would have a significant impact on German foreign and domestic policies, and calls to revise the terms of the treaty became a major aspect of international politics in the 1920s and 1930s. The period between the two world wars was one of instability and insecurity. Political, economic and social unrest was made worse by the collapse of the international economy in 1929.
World War II
Introduction World War II was the mightiest struggle humankind has ever seen. It killed more people, cost more money, damaged more property, affected more people, and caused more far-reaching changes in nearly every country than any other war in history. The number of people killed, wounded, or missing between September 1939 and September 1945 can never be calculated, but it is estimated that more than 55 million people perished. More than 50 countries took part in the war, and the whole world felt its effects. Men fought in almost every part of the world, on every continent except Antarctica. Chief battlegrounds included Asia, Europe, North Africa, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. The United States hoped to stay out. Drawing on its experience from World War I, Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts between 1935 and 1939, which were intended to prevent Americans becoming entangled with belligerents. Americans in general, however, while not wanting to fight the war, were definitely not neutral in their sympathies and the acts were manipulated, to the frustration of genuine isolationists, to lend more support to the Allies than the Axis. Historians do not agree on the exact date when World War II began. Most consider the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, to be the beginning of the war. Others say it started when the Japanese invaded Manchuria on September 18, 1931. Others even regard World War I, which culminated in the Peace with the Central Powers in 1921 and World War II as parts of the same conflict, with only a breathing spell in between. War officially began on September 1, 1939, when Germany attacked Poland. Germany then crushed six countries in three months — Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and France — and proceeded to conquer Yugoslavia and Greece. Japan`s plans for expansion in the Far East led it to attack Pearl Harbor in December 1941, bringing the United States into the war. By early 1942, all major countries of the world were involved in the most destructive war in history. World War II would go down in the history books as bringing about the downfall of Western Europe as the center of world power, leading to the rise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), setting up conditions leading to the Cold War, and opening up the nuclear age. Causes of the war The Great Depression crippled the economies of Europe and the United States. That, combined with the outcome of World War I, led to major repositioning of world power and influence. That was fertile ground for the emergence of various forms of totalitarian governments in the Soviet Union, Japan, Italy, and Germany, as well as other countries. Many countries had liberal democratic governments following World War I, but dictatorship developed during the 1920s and 1930s, which destroyed democratic rights. Many historians trace the roots of World War II to the Treaty of Versailles and other peace agreements that followed World War I. The Germans found it easy to blame the harsh Treaty of Versailles for their troubles. Germany set up a republican form of government in 1919. Many Germans blamed the new government for accepting the hated treaty. People who could not find jobs began to drift into the Communist and National Socialist parties. As the government lost power, Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist or Nazi party grew stronger. Prior to 1914, Britain, France, and Germany were the industrial and financial centers of the world. Following World War I, those countries lost their positions and the United States filled their place. America dominated the world market of food, minerals, and industry. When the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, the financial crisis had worldwide consequences and the reaction of nations to the dire financial straits of the Depression had a huge impact. After World War I, Germany, Italy, and Japan — all anxious to regain or increase their power — adopted forms of dictatorship. The League of Nations was unable to promote disarmament. When Adolf Hitler came into power, he promised to end the humiliating conditions caused by German defeat in World War I. Economic problems were among the fundamental causes of World War II. Germany, Italy, and Japan considered themselves unjustly handicapped in trying to compete with other nations for markets, raw materials, and colonies. They believed that such countries as Belgium, France, Great Britian, the Netherlands, and the United States unfairly controlled most of the world`s wealth and people. So, Germany, Italy, and Japan began to look for lands to conquer in order to obtain what they considered to be their share of the world`s resources and markets. The Depression destroyed the market for imported silk from Japan, which had provided the country with two-fifths of its export income. Military leaders took control of the government, and in 1931, Japan invaded China, looking for more raw materials and bigger markets for her factories. The League of Nations called a conference of 60 nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1932. The conference was one in a long line of disarmament conferences that had been occuring since the end of World War I. Germany, whose military power had been severely limited by the Treaty of Versailles, announced that world disarmament had to be accomplished, or Germany would rearm and achieve military equality. France refused to disarm until an international police system could be established. The conference adjourned temporarily and by the time it was back in session, Hitler had become chancellor of Germany and was already preparing to rearm. Germany withdrew from the conference, which ended in failure, without any hope for disarmament. America prepares for war After the war began in Europe in 1939, people in the Americas were divided on whether their countries should take part or stay out. Most Americans hoped the Allies would win, but they also hoped to keep the United States out of war. The isolationists, wanted the country to stay out of the war at almost any cost. Another group, the interventionists, wanted the United States to do all in its power to aid the Allies. Canada declared war on Germany almost at once, while the United States shifted its policy from neutrality to preparedness. It began to expand its armed forces, build defense plants, and give the Allies all-out aid short of war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called upon the United States to be "the great arsenal of democracy," and supply war materials to the Allies through sale, lease, or loan. The Lend-Lease bill became law on March 11, 1941. During the next four years, the U.S. sent more than $50 billion worth of war matériel to the Allies. In 1939, the United States had about 174,000 men in the Army 126,400 in the Navy 26,000 in the Army Air Corps 19,700 in the Marine Corps and 10,000 in the Coast Guard. At the height of its strength in 1945, the United States had six million in the Army 3,400,000 in the Navy 2,400,000 in the Army air forces 484,000 in the Marine Corps and 170,000 in the Coast Guard. In 1939, the United States had about 2,500 airplanes and 760 warships. By 1945, it had about 80,000 airplanes and 2,500 warships. The United States used draft laws to build their armed forces. The United States Selective Service Act became law on September 16, 1940. Thousands of women served in the Army`s Women`s Army Corps (WAC) and Navy equivalent WAVES, standing for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Factories in the United States converted from civilian to war production with amazing speed. Firms that had made vacuum cleaners before the war began to produce machine guns. As men went into the armed forces, women took their places in war plants. By 1943, more than two million women were working in American war industries. In shipyards and aircraft plants, Rosie the riveter became a common sight. Officials discovered that women could perform the duties of eight of every 10 jobs normally done by men. Urgent requirements for war matériel caused many shortages in consumer goods. Most governments, both Allied and Axis, had to ration the amount of consumer goods each person could use. In the United States, rationed items included meats, butter, sugar, fats, oil, coffee, canned foods, shoes, and gasoline. Congress gave the president power to freeze prices, salaries, and wages at their levels of September 15, 1942. The United States imposed a special excise tax on such luxury items as jewelry and cosmetics. The government also set up a civil-defense system to protect the country from attack. Many cities practiced "blackouts" in which cities on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts dimmed their lights. Ordinarily, the glare from their lights made ships near the shore easy targets for submarines. Background of the Axis and Allied powers As in World War I, the United States, Great Britian, France, and the 47 countries siding with them were known as the Allies. Japan`s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the United States into the war on the Allied side. Every country in the Americas eventually declared war on the Axis, but only Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States actually provided military forces. The heads of government of China, Great Britian, the Soviet Union, and the United States became known as the "Big Four." During the war, the Big Four leaders conferred several times. Great Britian and the United States worked out the broad strategic outlines of the war. President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed to concentrate on Germany first, and then Japan. They considered Germany the greater and closer enemy. The Allies fought to perserve their countries and stabilize Europe, as well as destroy Nazism and establish democracy. The Soviet aim was to drive out the Nazis and emerge strong enough to continue communization of the world. Germany and its six allies were known as the Axis. The Allied and Axis countries circled the globe in World War II. The Allies mobilized about 62 million men and women, while the Axis mobilized about half that number. The goal of the Axis powers was simple. Germany intended to build up a powerful empire by occupying territory to the east and south. Then, after overrunning France, it would use air assaults to force Britian to make peace. German troops would then defeat the Soviet Union, capture the Caucasus oilfields, and implement Hitler`s plan for a European New Order. Hitler had two aims: the first to seize all of Europe and North Africa so he could dominate the Mediterranean, and the second to wipe out Communism and eliminate the Jews. His ally, Benito Mussolini, had his own aims: domination of both the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Italy hoped to take advantage of German successes to grab territory for itself. Japan intended to cripple the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, then quickly overrun Thailand, Malaya, the Philippines, and the Netherlands East Indies. It would then complete its conquest of China, and unite all East Asia under Japanese domination in a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japan had no plans for invading the United States mainland. The European/North African Theater In 1935, Hitler established military conscription for all German men, created an air force, and began to build submarines. The Treaty of Versailles limited Germany to a 100,000-man army, but Hitler`s army soon numbered 600,000. Hitler`s plan to seize all of Europe was set into motion on March 7, 1936, when he sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland. That was followed by moves into Austria and Czechoslovakia, and finally, on September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland. That brought a declaration of war from France and Britain. Some historians believe that the Soviet Union leadership knew in the spring or early summer of 1939 that Germany planned to invade Poland in September. Thus, the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact with Germany just two weeks before the attack. The U.S.S.R. promised to remain neutral in case Germany went to war. They also made a secret aggreement to divide Poland with the Germans after the conquest. Also, despite having signed a non-agression treaty with Joseph Stalin, Hitler turned on his ally and prepared to become the master of Europe. Germany and Italy declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. The North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from 1940 to 1943. It was quite important in strategic terms, with the Mediterranean and the British African Empire at stake. It was the only theater in which the Western Allies engaged both German and Italian ground forces. Fighting in the region began when Germany`s ally, Italy, attacked British-occupied areas. Hitler did not want British planes within striking distance of his one major oil source, the Ploiesti fields in Romania, and in November 1940, he prepared his soldiers to join in the fight. A decisive battle held in the North African campaign was the Battle of Tunisia, or Tunisia Campaign, in which Germany and Italy fought against the Allied forces comprising primarily the United States and Britain. More than 275,000 German and Italian prisoners of war were taken. Following seesawing control of Libya and parts of Egypt, British Commonwealth forces succeeded in pushing the Axis back. The dispersion of the Axis forces throughout Europe during this time was an important reason why the Allies were able to gain the upper hand in North Africa. Hitler was preoccupied with the Russian front and many divisions of the German army were already committed to it. North Africa was essentially used as a springboard for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and Italy in September of the same year. Along with worldwide domination, Hitler also aimed to rid the world of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups. The Holocaust began in 1941 and continued until 1945. The goal of the Nazis was to attempt, on an industrial scale, to assemble and exterminate as many people as possible. Concentration camps were established and mass executions carried out. The Jews of Europe were the main targets, but Hitler also targeted Poles, Slavs, gypsies, the disabled, and gay men. By the end of the war, approximately six million people had been killed by the German Gestapo or the SS. The Battle of Britain, which lasted from July 10 to October 31, 1940, was the first major battle of World War II. It was also one of the turning points in the war, because the British showed that they could defeat the Luftwaffe, or German air force. The battle was unique, in that it was the only battle ever fought entirely in the air, even to this day. The Battle of Normandy was fought between invading American, British, and Canadian forces, and German forces occupying Western Europe. Preparations for the invasion began early in 1943, when the Allies set up a planning staff. Roosevelt and Churchill selected General Dwight D. Eisenhower as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops and 30,000 vehicles landed along a 50-mile front of fortified French coastline and began fighting on the beaches of Normandy. It was to be known as D-Day. The invasion, code named Operation Overlord, remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. The Battle of the Bulge, which began in December 1944, was so named because of the bulging shape of the front on a map. The battle was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II. It is the largest battle the United States Army has fought to date. In its entirety, the Battle of the Bulge was the worst — in terms of losses — for the American Forces during World War II, with more than 80,000 American casualties. Late in April 1945, the head of the German home guard and dreaded Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, tried to negotiate a peace with Great Britain and the United States. Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Berlin on April 30. The Allies demanded that German troops on all fronts surrender. Early in the morning on May 7, Col. General Alfred Jodl of the German high command entered Allied headquarters in Reims, France, and signed the terms of unconditional surrender. Lt. General Walter B. Smith, Eisenhower’s chief of staff, signed for the Allies. After five years, eight months, and seven days, the European phase of World War II ended. The Pacific Theater The war in the Pacific essentially began on September 18, 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria, which was known for its natural resources. The Japanese thought that from Manchuria, they could go on to control all of northern China. After Japan had established dominance in China, it could expand elsewhere. The Great Depression, Japan`s population explosion, and the need to find new resources and markets to continue as a first-rate power, were other causes of the invasion. The Japanese struck at a time when most countries were more concerned with the depression than with an invasion in far-off China. The United States introduced a policy of non-recognition, declaring that it would not recognize Japan`s conquest. The League of Nations did nothing but condemn Japan formally. Therefore, many consider the invasion of Manchuria as the real start of the war because aggression was not suppressed. Since 1937, Japan had been buying cotton, gasoline, scrap iron, and aircraft equipment from the United States. After the “undeclared war” between Japan and China began in 1937, most Americans sympathized with the Chinese. In 1938, this led the United States to place an embargo on exporting aircraft to Japan. The government also froze all Japanese assets in the United States. Relations between Japan and the United States became increasingly tense in the fall of 1941. The Japanese Army and Navy came up with a plan to bomb Pearl Harbor and invade Thailand, the Malay peninsula, and the Philippines. About 7:55 a.m. on December 7, 1941, while negotiations were taking place between Japanese and American diplomats, the Japanese air force and navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. More than 2,300 Americans were killed and the the U.S. Pacific Fleet was crippled. Roosevelt gave a speech to a stunned Congress, in which he said that December 7 was "a date which will live in infamy." The United States entered the war against Japan, and would now also have the opportunity to move against Hitler in Europe by aiding the British — this time with forces. Within a few hours of attacking Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombers struck at American bases on the islands of Guam, Midway, and Wake. Japanese forces advanced through the thick jungles of the Malay Peninsula. They continued their expansion and soon overran Singapore, New Britain, the Admiralty and Solomon Islands, the Philippines, and Manilla. Just a few short months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a fleet of 16 B-25 army bombers, led by Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, took off from the carrier Hornet, about 650 miles from Honshu, Japan. The bombers hit Tokyo and other cities. The raid stunned the Japanese, because they had believed that Allied planes could never reach their homeland. Fifteen of Doolittle’s planes crashed when they ran out of fuel and could not reach bases in China. The Chinese underground helped Doolittle and 63 of his fliers to escape. Throughout the war, Doolittle was known as the "Master of the Calculated Risk." The Doolittle raid helped convince the Japanese that they would have to expand their defense boundaries. Having conquered nearly all of Southeast Asia in just a few short months, Japan planned to seize Port Moresby in southeastern New Guinea. They hoped to cut Allied shipping lanes to Australia, and perhaps even invade that country. But a U.S. task force intercepted a Japanese fleet headed toward Port Moresby in the Coral Sea. The Battle of the Coral Sea ensued, and the two forces fought a four-day battle from May 4 to 8, in which aircraft did all the fighting. It was the first battle in which aircraft carriers attacked each other, and the first naval battle in which neither side`s ships sighted the other. The battle was an important Allied strategic victory, which blocked Japan’s push south-eastward. The most important objectives in Japan’s resumed offensive were the capture of Midway Island, which lies 1,000 miles northwest of Hawaii, and of the Aleutian Islands, west of the Alaska mainland. Japan hoped that by seizing Midway, they could draw the Pacific Fleet away from Hawaii. Before Pearl Harbor, the United States scored one of its greatest victories by cracking Japan’s secret code. That enabled the Pacific Fleet to know in advance about Japan’s plans for attack. On June 4, 1942, aircraft from the 100-ship Japanese fleet began blasting Midway Island, which was home to the closest remaining U.S. base to Japan. At the end of the two-day battle, Japan had lost four carriers and a major part of its air strength. Battle of Midway proved to be one of the decisive victories in history and was the turning point of the Pacific Campaign. It ended Japanese threats to Hawaii and to the United States, and also stopped the expansion of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific. The Allies` goal was to capture or neutralize Rabaul, an important enemy base on New Britain Island, north of Australia. They planned an invasion of the nearby Solomon Islands, while other Allied forces approached Rabaul by way of New Guinea. On August 7, 1942, the Allies began their first offensive action in the Pacific. The fighting was some of the most severe of the war, and control of the island seesawed for several months. During that time, the Allies perfected the technique of amphibious warfare - air, land, and sea forces working together as a team. In the Solomons, the Allies fought the first of many jungle campaigns. Allied strategists believed that the central Pacific fortress of Japan could be cracked. They did not intend to seize each island separately. This would be too costly and take too long. Instead, they decided on a plan of Island Hopping, or seizing key islands from which to attack the next target, bypassing other targets. The Gilbert Islands were selected as the first major objective in the island-hopping campaign. In many instances the Japanese had studded the islands with barricades, concrete pillboxes, gun emplacements, and bombproof underground shelters. They had been ordered to resist to the very end. Of the 3,000 enemy troops and 1,800 civilian laborers on the island, the marines captured only 147 Japanese and Koreans alive. The U.S. suffered 3,110 casualties in one of the war’s most savage battles. The Battle for Leyte Gulf was the biggest naval engagement in history from the standpoint of naval tonnage involved. The battle was a decisive victory for the United States. At the end of the battle, on October 26, Japan had lost three battleships, four carriers, 10 cruisers, and nine destroyers. In desperation, the Japanese began to strike back with Kamikazes, or suicide planes. Enemy fliers deliberately crashed their aircraft on Allied warships, knowing that they would be killed. Allied soldiers also learned the fanatical code of bushido, which requires Japanese soldiers to fight to the death. The Japanese believed that surrender meant disgrace, and often preferred suicide to capture. China became isolated from most of the world when the Japanese cut the Burma Road, which was about 700 miles long and constructed through rough mountain country. It was a remarkable engineering achievement undertaken by the Chinese after the start of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, and completed in just one year. It was used to transport war supplies. Traffic increased in importance to China after the Japanese took control of the Chinese coast and Indochina. After the Japanese cut the road, supplies could come only through the air. The U.S. Air Transport Command flew the dangerous 500-mile route, known as the Hump, over the Himalayan Mountains. Allied strategy to end the war called for an invasion of Japan with the code name Operation Olympic. Allied warships would continue to raid Japanese shipping and coastal areas, and Allied bombers would increase their attacks. Air attacks by long-range B-29 bombers had begun on June 15, 1944, from bases in China. Throughout the summer of 1944, the U.S. 20th Air Force raided Japan, Formosa, and Japanese-held Manchuria, about once a week. The Army Air Force flew more than 15,000 missions against 66 major Japaneses cities, and dropped more than 100,000 tons of incendiary bombs. The Allies held such superiority in the air that early in July 1945, General Carl Spaatz, commander of the U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, publicly announced in advance the names of cities to be bombed. In July 1945, the heads of government in Britain, Soviet Union and the United States conferred and were told that Japan was willing to negotiate a peace, but unwilling to accept unconditional surrender. An ultimatum was issued, calling for unconditional surrender and a just peace. When Japan ignored the ultimatum, the United States decided to use the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb helped to make an invasion of Japan unnecessary. On August 6, a B-29 called the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare, on the city of Hiroshima. More than 92,000 poeple were killed or ended up missing. Three days later, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, which killed at least 40,000. Injuries from the two bombings were about equal to the deaths. Others would die later from radiation sickness. The Japanese realized that they were helpless if one atomic bomb could cause so much damage. On August 10, the Japanese government asked the Allies if uncondional surrender meant that Emperor Hirohito would have to give up his throne. The Allies replied that the Japanese people would decide his fate. On August 14, the Allies received a message from Japan accepting the surrender terms, and on September 2, aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, the Allies and Japan signed the surrender agreement. President Harry S. Truman proclaimed September 2 as V-J Day (Victory over Japan). Three years, eight months, and 22 days after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, World War II ended. Representatives from 52 countries met in San Francisco in September 1951 to draw up a peace treaty with Japan. On September 8, diplomats from 49 of these countries signed the treaty. Only three countries — Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet Union — opposed the terms of the pact and refused to sign. The treaty required Japan to give up its former possessions outside its four home islands. It also gave Japan the right to rearm itself for self-defense and trade agreements. Japan came under Allied occupation within two weeks after its surrender. General Douglas MacArthur, as supreme commander for the Allied Powers, ruled Japan during the occupation. The United States officially ended its war with Japan on April 28, 1952. With the end of the occupation, Japan signed treaties with the major Allies, allowing their troops to remain in Japan. Aftermath World War II brought an end to the Depression everywhere. Industries had been ignited for the production of arms and resources to equip fighting forces. "The man behind the man behind the gun" helped win World War II. People on the home front built weapons, produced food and supplies, and bought war bonds. Many historians believe that war production was the key to Allied victory. The Allies not only mobilized more men and women in their armed forces, but also outproduced the Axis in weapons and machinery. Scientific inventions and discoveries also helped shorten the war. The United States organized its scientific resources in the Office of Scientific Research and Development. That government agency invented or improved such commodities as radar, rocket launchers, jet engines, amphibious assault boats, long-range navigational aids, devices for detecting submarines, and more. Scientists also made it possible to produce large quantities of penicillin to fight a wide range of diseases, as well as DDT to fight jungle diseases caused by insects. The war solved some problems, but created many others. Germany had been the dominant power on the European continent, while Japan had held that role in Asia. Their defeat in World War II left open positions of leadership. The Soviet Union moved in quickly to replace Germany as the most powerful country in Europe and also aimed at taking Japan`s place as the dominant power in Asia. The Communists under Mao Zedong defeated the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and took over mainland China by the fall of 1949. With China, France, and Great Britain devastated and financially exhausted by the war, the United States and the Soviet Union became the two major powers of the world. The Allies were determined not to repeat the mistakes of World War I, in which Allies had failed to set up an organization to enforce the peace until after World War I ended. In June 1941, nine European governments-in-exile joined with Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries in signing the Inter-Allied Declaration, which called for nations to cooperate and work for lasting peace. In 1944, an idea emerged to create a postwar international organization. The United Nations was born on October 24, 1945. Its first sessions were held the following January in London. World War II took the lives of more people than any other war in history. Eastern Europe and East Asia suffered the heaviest losses. Germany and the Soviet Union, and the nations that had been ground between them, may have lost as much as a tenth of their populations. World War II was the most expensive war in history. It has been estimated that the cost of the war totaled between $1 and $2 trillion, and the property damage amounted to more than $239 billion. The United States spent about 10 times as much as it had spent in all its previous wars put together. The national debt rose from $42 billion in 1940 to $269 billion in 1946. In 1944, President Roosevelt asked the War Department to devise a plan for bringing war criminals to justice. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau proposed executing prominent Nazi leaders at the time of capture and banishing others to far-off corners of the world, while German POWs would be forced to rebuild Europe. Secretary of War Henry Stimson saw things differently, and proposed trying Nazi leaders in court. Roosevelt chose the latter. In early October 1945, the four prosecuting nations — the United States, Great Britain, France, and Soviet Union — issued an indictment against 24 men charged with the systematic murder of millions of people, and planning and carrying out the war in Europe. Twelve trials were conducted, involving more than a hundred defendants. In addition to the individual indictments, three organizations were tried and found guilty. They were the SS, the Gestapo, and the Corps of the Political Leaders of the Nazi Party. The Nuremberg War Trials took place from 1945 to 1949. The United States formally ended hostilities with Germany on October 19, 1951. West Germany would accept neither the division of Germany nor East Germany`s frontiers. Thus, Germany was the only Axis power that did not become a member of the United Nations. A cold war between the Soviets and the democracies ensued. In Asia, victory resulted in the takeover of China and Manchuria by the People`s Republic of China, chaos in Southeast Asia, and a division of Korea, with the Soviets in the North and American`s in the South. Another war already lay on the horizon.
Legacy and &aposClaudette Colvin Goes to Work&apos
Much of the writing on civil rights history in Montgomery has focused on the arrest of Parks, another woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus, nine months after Colvin. While Parks has been heralded as a civil rights heroine, Colvin&aposs story has received little notice. Some have tried to change that. Rita Dove penned the poem "Claudette Colvin Goes to Work," which later became a song. Phillip Hoose also wrote about her in the young adult biography Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.
While her role in the fight to end segregation in Montgomery may not be widely recognized, Colvin helped advance civil rights efforts in the city. "Claudette gave all of us moral courage. If she had not done what she did, I am not sure that we would have been able to mount the support for Mrs. Parks," her former attorney, Fred Gray, told Newsweek.