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Today in History, April 11, 1938:

The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America is founded by Owen Clifton Cash, Rupert I. Hall, and 24 other men at the Tulsa Club in Tulsa, OK. (Encyclopedia Britannica). For an example of Barbershop Quartet Harmonizing, also my favorite Beatles song.

Kristallnacht

 

Today in History, November 9: 1938 – Kristallnacht. In order to direct Germany in the direction they wanted, the Nazis believed that they had to give the people someone to blame, someone to hate, for their misfortunes. The Jewish people of Germany and Austria were the perfect targets.

The Nazis used the murder of a low level diplomat in Paris as an excuse. Hitler ordered storm troopers to act as if they were citizens angered by the murder and to vandalize and destroy Jewish businesses, thus “The Night of Broken Glass” from the broken windows. Many Jews were killed and 30,000 men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. They were released if they promised to leave Germany….100,000+ did so. Kristallnacht would eventually lead to the Holocaust, during which 6,000,000+ Jews were killed in the Nazis attempt at genocide.

“Boo!! America!!

Today in History, October 30: 1938 – “The War of the Worlds”. For Halloween, Orson Welles had produced a radio show based on a nineteenth century novel by H.G. Wells. After a disclaimer preceding the show, it was designed as if the events were actually occurring, as if newsmen were reporting an actual invasion of the Earth by Martians….

Unfortunately, most Americans were listening to another popular radio show as The War of the Worlds began, and tuned in AFTER the disclaimer. As many as a million people thought they had actually tuned into coverage of aliens landing and assaulting the planet. The show described people all over the country fleeing in terror; which actually did occur since so many thought it was real. Part way through the show, Welles was informed of the mass panic and interrupted the show with another disclaimer….”This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that The War of The Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be: the Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying “Boo!” Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears, and utterly destroyed the C. B. S. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember, please, for the next day or so the terrible lesson you learned tonight: that grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian — it’s Halloween.”

It was 1938. Unfortunately, within a year, the world would find the horrors they imagined were all too real; but they didn’t need aliens in WWII.

“that grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch”… Still true


Today in History, October 30: 1938 – “The War of the Worlds”. For Halloween, Orson Welles had produced a radio show based on a nineteenth century novel by H.G. Wells. After a disclaimer preceding the show, it was designed as if the events were actually occurring, as if newsmen were reporting an actual invasion of the Earth by Martians….

Unfortunately, most Americans were listening to another popular radio show as The War of the Worlds began, and tuned in AFTER the disclaimer. As many as a million people thought they had actually tuned into coverage of aliens landing and assaulting the planet. The show described people all over the country fleeing in terror; which actually did occur since so many thought it was real. Part way through the show, Welles was informed of the mass panic and interrupted the show with another disclaimer….”This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that The War of The Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be: the Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying “Boo!” Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears, and utterly destroyed the C. B. S. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember, please, for the next day or so the terrible lesson you learned tonight: that grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian — it’s Halloween.”

It was 1938. Unfortunately, within a year, the world would find the horrors they imagined were all too real; but they didn’t need aliens in WWII. 

The Big E Joins the Navy


Today in History, May 12: 1938 – The USS Enterprise (CV-6) is commissioned into the US Navy. “The Big E” was the second of the Yorktown class of aircraft carriers; both of her sisters would be sunk during WWII. Enterprise won the title of the fightingest ship in the US Navy. Some of her air group flew into the middle of the battle at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7; had she not been delayed by bad weather, she would have been at her moorings there. By the war’s end the Enterprise had 20 Battle Stars, more than any other ship. She was everywhere…