Badass (The American Magazine, 1943)
For those who survived it, the Second World War changed many lives - some for better, some for worse. Gale Volchok was rescued from a dreary job in New York retail and delivered to the proving grounds of two different infantry training camps in New Jersey. It was under her watchful eye that thousands of American soldiers learned to throw their enemies into the dirt and generally defend them selves.
• Watch Some Footage of a Woman Judo Expert (1947) •
The Aerial Nurse Corps of America (The American Magazine, 1941)
To read the U.S. magazines and newspapers printed in 1941 is to gain an understanding as to the sixth sense many Americans had in predicting that W.W. II would soon be upon them - and this article is a fine example. One month before Pearl Harbor the editors of AMERICAN MAGAZINE ran this column about Lauretta Schimmoller (1902 - 1981) who established the Aerial Nurse Corps of America, which, at that time, was composed of over 400 volunteers:
"All air-minded registered nurses, they stand ready to fly with medical aid to scenes of disaster...Now established on a nation-wide scale, ANCOA, with its 19 national chapters, has already handled more than 3,000 emergency cases."
The Extraordinary Story of Eugene O'Neill (The American Magazine, 1922)
A marvelous interview with the thirty-four year old playwright, Eugene O'Neill (1888 – 1953) -coincidentally published just as it seemed his stock was on the rise.
Click here to read a 1930s article about Eugene O'Neill.
Crazy Japanese Tactics (The American Magazine, 1945)
"Wherever they have fought in this war, the Japs have shown an amazing aptitude for the queer and fantastic. They have staged solemn funeral processions in the midst of hot battle. They have blown themselves to bits with hand grenades, have stabbed themselves with daggers, sabers, bayonets and even with scythes. They plunged forward in stupidly blind 'Banzai' charges. They have danced wildly atop ridges while exposed to American fire. And they have directed artillery action while lounging in hammocks."
Mother of the American Soap Opera
(The American Magazine, 1943)
Here is a short profile of Irna Phillips (1901 - 1973) - she was, more than anyone else, the one who can be credited with the creation of the daytime dramas called "soap operas" on both radio and television.
She Worked The Graveyard Shift (The American Magazine, 1943)
"Thousands of American girls are traveling the same road as 21-year-old Dorthy Vogely, our new Cover Girl this month. No longer do they live at home waiting for a nice young man. Instead they've gone on their own to help win the war..."
Will Hays Comes to Hollywood (The American Magazine, 1922)
This short notice is about Will Hays, an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, who was hired to be the conscience of the Dream Factory in 1922; he rode into Hollywood on the heels of a number of well-publicized scandals vowing to sober the place up. Widely believed to be a moral man, the Hays office was located in New York City - far from the ballyhoo of Hollywood. Hays' salary was paid by the producers and distributors in the movie business and although he promised to shame the film colony into making wholesome productions, he was also the paid apologist of the producers.
''Guadalcanal Diary'' (The American Magazine, 1943)
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Mangrum, USMC, was a seasoned veteran in "the Cactus Air Force" that fought the good fight at Henderson Field from Guadalcanal in 1942:
"For eight weeks the author and his fellow pilots shared the primitive life of the other Marines at Henderson Field. Some portion of his squadron was almost constantly in the air, attacking enemy reinforcements."
''Why Hitler Thinks He'll Win'' (The American Magazine, 1942)
This is a great article, penned by an American correspondent who had actually sat face-to-face with Hitler on numerous occasions. He tells the reader many of his observations concerning the man's personality, expressions and what he has observed regarding the German people:
"I have presented [in this article] the essential psychological and material factors in Hitler's conviction that he will still win the war. There were signs even while I was still in Germany that the German people have given up the dream of a 'total victory' to follow their total war."
More about Adolf Hitler can be read here...
''The Communists Are After Our Minds'' (The American Magazine, 1954)
Oh how we all laughed when we used to read of these old Cold Warriors who actually believed that Communists were active in our schools in the 1990s! Gosh, it was funny! But it wasn't funny when we discovered how close an actual Socialist came to winning the presidential nominations of the Democratic Party in both 2016 and 2020. It seems like the long march through the institutions has finally paid off for the Leftists. The attached article was written by J. Edgar Hoover and it was penned in order that Americans would know that this day would come if we were not vigilant.
The American Draft Dodgers (The American Magazine, 1942)
This article consists of assorted stories that illustrate the length some American men would go in order to stay out of the military during the Second World War. The article also tells of draft evasion during the First World War.
Click here to read a 1945 article about your average Massachusetts draft board.
The Man Behind The WAAC Uniforms (The American Magazine, 1942)
Although the WAAC uniforms were designed by Dorthy Shavers (1893 - 1959) of Lord & Taylor, this short article credits U.S. Army Colonel L.O. Grice - who actually served more in the capacity as the Army's "artistic director" who supervised the designer.
"He picked everything from purses to panties for Uncle Sam's powder-puff army..."
John Cage (The American Magazine, 1942)
He Represented Four Million POWs (The American Magazine, 1943)
Here is a petite profile of Tracy Strong (1887 - 1968), who, as Director of the YMCA War Prisoners Aid Committee, had license to enter every combatant nation in order to see to the health and welfare of all POWs. Much of his work involved procuring books, sporting equipment and musical instruments to the incarcerated.
• See Color Footage of German Prisoners of War •
Women Working for the War (The American Magazine, 1942)
Here is an account by one reporter of his visit to an American aircraft factory early in the war. His article concerns the novelty of female laborers:
"We climbed to a catwalk in the rafters and looked down on one of the most fascinating factories on earth. It was gay as a flower garden. Women in bright blouses and slacks were everywhere, doing everything. Blondes and brunettes and redheads and - well , middle-aged ones. Mostly pretty. And every one eagerly intent upon her job."
Friend of the Allies (The American Magazine, 1940)
"Colonel William J. Donovan and Edgar Mower, writing of fifth-column activities at the direction of Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, charged Fritz Wiedemann [as having been] praised by Hitler for helping to spike American legislation to aid the Allies in 1939."
Numerous nasty remarks were quoted in the attached article concerning the German Consul General in San Francisco, Fritz Wiedemann (1891 - 1970), but the journalist who penned the article could not possibly know that Wiedemann was at that time spilling his guts to the FBI. Having served under Hitler for some time as adjutant, by 1940 Wiedemann had denounced his devotion to the Nazi Party and told Hoover all that he Knew about Hitler and what the world could expect from the man.
The First Black Fighter Pilots (The American Magazine, 1942)
This article partially explains the excitement of being a Tuskegee Airman and flying the Army's most advanced fighters and partially explains what it was like to be a black man in a segregated America:
"I'm flying for every one of the 12,000,000 Negroes in the United States. I want to prove that we can take a tough job and handle it just as well as a white man."
The Re-Education of German Prisoners of War (The American Magazine, 1946)
During the earliest days of 1944, the U.S. Army's Special Projects Division of the Office of the Provost Marshal General was established in order to take on the enormous task of re-educating 360,000 German prisoners of war. Even before the Allies had landed in France it was clear to them that the Germans would soon be blitzkrieging back to the Fatherland and in order to make smooth the process of rebuilding that nation, a few Germans would be required who understood the virtues of democracy. In order to properly see the job through, two schools were set up at Fort Getty, Rhode Island and Fort Eustis, Virginia.
1920s Road Rage (The American Magazine, 1927)
"Is it possible for a person to drive an automobile and remain a human being?"
"Do gasoline and courtesy mix?"
"Can you tell me why Ottis Throckmorton Whoozies, secretary of the Golden Rule Society, will smile sweetly, lift his hat and say graciously, 'I beg your pardon. I'm really awfully sorry. Please excuse me,' when he accidentally steps on a strange woman's foot in a theater lobby, yet will lean out and make faces at his own grandmother if she fails to slow up her flivver and allow him to 'cut in' on a congested highway?"
"There's something about a windshield that distorts a man's outlook on life."
Click here to read about Lincoln, the joke teller.
A Blitzkrieg Refugee Speaks (The American Magazine, 1941)
One of Hitler's refugees from Warsaw recalled the terror of the Nazi attack on her city:
"In a mad panic I ran through streets that were a sea of flames, dragging by the hand my two children, aged eight and three. I have seen wounded and dead. I lost many friends and all my belongings. I was a refugee. And for months I suffered hunger and cold... I can still see myself pressed against the wall, holding the children tight, and waiting, waiting for the bomb to crash..."
''The Black Brain Trust'' (The American Magazine, 1943)
"The Black Brain Trust consists of about 25 Negro leaders who have assumed command of America's 13,000,000 Negroes in their fight for equality. They hold informal meetings to plan their strategy, whether it is to defeat a discriminatory bill in Congress or to overcome a prejudice against a private [in the army]. Few white men know it, but they have already opened a second front in America - a front to the liberation of the dark races."
More on this topic can be read on this website...
Helena Rubenstein on Youth, Beauty and Commerce (The American Magazine, 1922)
Prior to the creation of cosmetic surgery, with odd procedures like tummy tucks and butt lifts, there was Helena Rubenstein (1871 - 1965), who had a long and stunning career in the cosmetic business and who is remembered for once having said:
"There are no ugly women, only lazy ones."
In this interesting 1922 interview, the matron saint of cosmetics made some very bright remarks on the issue of beauty, glamor and vanity.
F. Scott Fitzgerald at Twenty-Five (The American Magazine, 1922)
At the peak of his fame, F. Scott Fitzgerald penned this opinion piece for a popular U.S. magazine:
"For one thing, I do not like old people - They are always talking about their "experience," and very few of them have any! - But it is the old folks that run the world; so they try to hide the fact that only young people are attractive or important."
Open All Night (The American Magazine, 1954)
Ever since America established the car culture, there came a need for all-night retail establishments: hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, pharmaceuticals - you get the picture. During the late Thirties this became apparent to the Reverend John Welles as he "drove aimlessly through the West" - he saw that it was quite possible to acquire meatloaf at all hours of the night, but if you wanted to speak with a minister of the Gospel, you were just plain out of luck. It was then that Welles swore to himself:
"If ever I have another church, it will be open day and night. The soul doesn't come alive on Sunday mornings only, and some day I'll build a church where people can pray whenever they wish."
''Hollywood Hangout'' (The American Magazine, 1942)
Schwab's Pharmacy was like many other well-heeled American pharmacies of the Forties - it filled prescriptions, sold cigars, served three squares a day at their counter and cracked-wise with the clientele. What made it different was that many of the customers were among the most glam movie stars of the time. Located on Sunset Boulevard, west of Hollywood, in an area known as Sherman:
"It's the one place in Hollywood where screen biggies like Robert Taylor, Gene Tierney and Marlene Dietrich drop in and out all day and make themselves at home."
The Birth of American Parachute Infantry (The American Magazine, 1941)
Here is an account of the earliest days of the paratrooper branch of the U.S. Army. It is told by a man who claims the unique distinction of being the first volunteer to be recruited into the organization, Captain William T. Ryder (1913 - 1992). At this point in history the word paratrooper was not is use - the author uses the term "jump-fighter", instead.
Harold Lloyd: The Man, The Cornball (The American Magazine, 1922)
An in-depth interview with the great silent film comedian Harold Lloyd (1893 – 1971) accompanied by a seldom seen picture of the man WITHOUT his glasses (he didn't really need them).
One blogger read the attached article and wrote the following:
"I've never read this before - it's great. It's always good to hear Harold's own thoughts on his films; I enjoyed his description of the stunt he did in on top of the locomotive at the mouth of an approaching tunnel in the film "Now or Never". It's a spectacularly funny gag, but we sometimes forget the effort that went into these scenes; Harold was one comedy star who was prepared to suffer for his art!"
*Watch a Harold Lloyd Film Clip*
Distributing Women Throughout Industry (The American Magazine, 1942)
One of the seldom remembered branches of the War Production Board was the Women's Labor Supply Services which served to eradicate the various draft deferments that were keeping too many men out of the military. Thelma McKelvey was the woman in charge of this body:
"This captain of industry expects to see women workers in factories and farms increase from 700,000 today to 4,000,000 by mid-1943."
Georgia Carroll (The American Magazine, 1940)
Fashion Modeling Czar John Powers once said of model Georgia Carroll:
"She is the most terrific thing that ever hit this business."
''Hello, Central, Give Me Heaven'' (The American Magazine, 1943)
Recognizing that simply because he had retired from the ministry, it did not mean that he had retired from spreading the Good News; Reverend J.J.D. Hall immediately began to deliver a sermon with each and every wrong number he received. That was in 1940 - three years later his telephone number was recognized as an institution and a reliable source for those thirsting for knowledge of The Almighty.
Finding Japanese Spies (The American Magazine, 1942)
Here is an interesting article by an American counter-espionage agent who tells several stories about the various Japanese spies he had encountered during the early months of the war. He wrote of his his frustrations with the civil liberty laws that were in place to protect both citizen and alien alike.
It was Mexican president Manuel Avila Camacho who chased the spies out of his nation - click here to read about it...
Un-Americanism (The American Magazine, 1946)
New York's Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman (1889 – 1967) wrote the attached editorial explaining why Marxism was the polar opposite of everything Americans holds dear:
"My sole objective in writing is to help save America from the godless governings of totalitarianism...if you believe with me that freedom is the birthright of the great and the small, the strong and the weak, the poor and the afflicted, then you would be convicted as I that [Socialism] is the antithesis of American Democracy."
Click here to read another argument opposed to socialism.
Confronting the Bigots (The American Magazine, 1946)
With the passing of the Ives-Quinn Bill in 1945, the state of New York was empowered to bring the full weight of the law down upon all employers who practiced any sort of discrimination in the workplace:
"During the first eight months of the law's operation, the Commission received 240 formal complaints charging some form of discrimination in employment... The charges varied greatly. Fifty-nine complained because of alleged prejudice against their religion. Another 113 charged color bias: 105 Negroes and eight Whites. Still another 48 charged prejudice against their race or national origin: 8 Germans, 5 Spaniards..."
A similar article from 1941 can be read here...