Friday, September 19, 2014

75 Years Ago Today - Eileen's Diary - September 19, 1939

75 Years Ago Today
Eileen's Diary
September 19, 1939 

This entry is a post from the diary of my mother, twenty year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago this date. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

Here is the daily entry for Tuesday, September 19:

 Up at 6:00. Helped Pete get the pigs in the barn. Did dishes, ate, did separator, bathed Billy.
Cleaned up & went to Carroll. Looked for fixtures, got Billy a sleeping bag. Fed him at Clayburgs'. Home at 5:00. Pete up home fixing the hay loader. Late with the chores. Pancakes for supper.

My comments:

An early start on the farm, with pigs out where they should not be…

Pancakes for supper! ;-) Yum! ;-)

Everything seemed so normal...

Mom had only mentioned war related stuff a couple of times, the President's Fireside chat and the rising price of sugar. But, here is what actually going on. Quite different from our 24 hour news coverage we get, today...

The following was in the current Coon Rapids Enterprise, Thursday, September 18, 2014, page 5:

75 Years Ago
September 8, 1939

"We’re off again in another world war. Last Friday we were informed by the radio and press
that Hitler had demanded the return of Danzig and other portions of Poland to Germany. The
British and French were trying to negotiate peace with Hitler but at the same time were evacuating non-combants from their large cities and were making feverish preparations. They told Hitler if he invaded Poland he would also have England and France to fight. And then, on September 1, 1939 word flashed over the radio that Hitler’s army had invaded Poland and the war was on. Saturday Hitler’s forces bombed many Polish cities and started invasion of Poland from the south, west and north. Fighting desperately, the Poles were forced to fall back.
Sunday, after every diplomatic gesture was exhausted, England and France declared war on Germany and that night the whole world was electrified and horrified by news that a German submarine had torpedoed and sunk the British passenger ship Athenia loaded with some 1,500 passengers bound for America. The torpedoing was without warning and no offer of help was given the helpless victims by the German submarine.
Tuesday President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed America’s neutrality under which the United States placed an embargo on exports of arms, ammunition and implements of war
to the combatant nations.
Today, Thursday, we hear Germany has conquered about one-third of Poland after bitter fighting.
All prominent Polish cities have been subject to merciless bombing with many civilians killed and much property destroyed. British airmen have bombed a German North Sea naval base damaging German battle ships. British flyers have dumped tons of literature over Germany telling the German people the war is directed against Hitler and his aids and not against the German people. The French army is trying to break through the German fortifications on the border. Paris and London are having many air raid alarms but German raiders have failed as yet to bomb those cities. Many German merchantmen have been captured or sunk by British warships. All British colonies have rallied to the assistance of England. Italy is remaining neutral as are the Balkan states and Russia. Turkey has declared herself an ally of Great Britain.
Meanwhile in the United State a war boom is on. Prices are advancing rapidly. Local stores are sold out of sugar and other staples as alarmed housewives, remembering the food restrictions of World War I, started buying in wholesale amounts. Merchants, however, say there are more than ample supplies in this country but there is a decided price advance.
Local stores sold out on sugar and flour Friday and Saturday and have had difficulty replenishing supplies. Sugar has sharply advanced from about $5 per sack to $8. Flour is up about 50 percent. Beans are up from $1 to $2 per bag. All wheat products are up and canned goods have registered an advance of from 10 to 15 percent.
Many towns are sold out on some of the above staples but local merchants, alert to the situation, are still able to supply customers. They say, however, that foodstuffs have been too cheap and when prices level off they will no doubt be on a higher level. Corn, hogs, wheat and all farm produce have registered sharp advance since war was declared in Europe."

Families are Forever!  ;-)

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