ancestryink fisherman

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

July 18, 1944 ?

Few things are more intriguing than discovering old newspaper pages carefully clipped by some family member, long ago. Suddenly, like manna from heaven, they slip from between the pages of an old book into your lap...Solving the mystery of the "why" of it, usually begins with the date of the newspaper.

From July 18, 1944 Boston Globe

 What was happening on July 18, 1944??   WWII was making most of the headlines...that much we know.

On July 18, 1944, the Prime Minister of Japan resigned. 

  • "1944 –
    World War II: Hideki Tojo resigns as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort."
The Battle of Normandy, begun June 6, 1944,  continued as the Brits launched Operation Goodwood on July 18.  It is said to have been the biggest tank war the British  have ever waged.

Sherman tanks in the battle of Goodwood

"General Montgomery launches on July 18 the Operation Goodwood, which aims at releasing the East and South-eastern areas of Caen. It starts from the positions captured on D-Day by the 6th British Airborne division between the Orne river and the village of Troarn, but also from the South-western part of the city. The 8th Corps, led by general O'Connor, sends 3 armoured divisions in the attack in the East of Caen to the South-south-west, towards the town of Falaise: the 7th, the 11th, and the Guards armoured division.

The offensive begins with a terrible three-hour bombardment: 2,500 bombers drop nearly 6,000 tons of bombs, whereas the naval artillery and the ground artillery fire nearly 250,000 shells, targeting a vast area located between the Eastern part of Caen and the village of Troarn, that is to say a corridor long of approximately 15 kilometers and broad of 4 kilometers.

At the end of the day, the British have lost 1,500 soldiers and 270 tanks. They have progressed only by 7 kilometers. " **

...And, for some reason I will never know - my mother clipped out the Lynn sections of the Boston Globe, on July 18, 1944.
Coca-Cola! Note the cost of a pair of shoes.

 I found them between the pages of Robert Collier's historic book of WWI, (then simply titled "Photographic History of The World's War," because at the time of publishing, it was probably inconceivable there would be another World War to follow.) This beautiful book was passed from my grandmother to my mother.

 My mother grew up in Lynn.  Perhaps Mom knew some of the dead, published on the July 18th death list in one of the news clippings.  Perhaps she designed one of the ads.  She was an ad copywriter in her 20's, living on Beacon Hill in Boston.  Or perhaps it marks the day she met my Dad, serving in the Coast Guard. They were introduced during the war by friends when he was in Boston on leave.  They waited until WWII had run its course before marrying.

Whatever her reasons, the ads are fun and I thought I would share them.  Click on each image for a larger image in new window.

18 cents was a popular price

The theater was the place to be, to relieve war-time blues:

"Everything for the boys!"

This ad was one of many filling two full

newspaper pages of the July 18, 1944
edition of the Boston Globe. Entertainment in Boston
was alive and well during WWII.


** From website: Information about Operation Goodwood;  Author Marc Laurenceau;

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Statistics of a Long-Ago Boston

The Boston Herald-Traveler Corporation (newspaper) published market research books, hard-bound, for its advertisers.  The following pages were taken from the "Fifth Market" book (from my parent's library) which was compiled according to data of the 1940 U.S. Census. I just thought this was an fun, alternative way of viewing the nature of the Boston area, besides browsing data from the 1940 Census records.  I particularly like the "autos owned" statistics.

It is a fascinating snippet of how Boston, greater Boston, and each city and town within a 15 mile radius of Boston, breaks down in a number of categories: population, heating fuel, autos, how many families had radio, (no mention of TV yet!) refrigeration....   I chose just a few of the towns.  Click on each image for a larger, readable image.  (please excuse the rather bad scans from my Magic Wand)

First, Downtown Boston.  (At the top of each page, you will see what this encompasses)

The total population is not huge: 2,100.  Of these 1,570 are Native White.  And the largest ethnic group is the Italians:  42.3% or 214 persons.  Far and away the greater group of
foreign-born Whites in the city.

Today, probably a great many of this population would be college kids from schools such as Emerson, Suffolk, Boston University, etc.

Heating Fuel is broken up into those "with" central heating, and those "without."  I don't think we would see this delineation today.  Coal / Coke takes the lead for most commonly used fuel.

Refrigeration Equipment:  Yes.  "Ice" is still listed, and is in fact a close second to "Mechanical."

Autos:  Ford takes the lead by a landslide.  And you will see this is the same in each of the following pages I've included.  The U.S. had a love affair with Ford.

Roxbury Crossing:

By far, predominantly White - however, the largest foreign group is "Irish Free State" at 2,168.


Notice the difference in ethnic population to Roxbury Crossing.  Just next door, we now have Canadians as the ruling ethnic population, followed closely by the Irish.  Italians and Russians follow.

And last,
North End:

Population:  11,000 or 64.% Native Whites.   And...6,335 or 36% Foreign.  Of those foreign folks, 93.8% were Italian.  That should come as no surprise at all, as the North End to this day is still considered, delightfully,  Boston's "Little Italy."