June 29, 1944

Underground Strikes in Paris
LONDON, England—Philippe Henriot, the “Goebbels of France,” was assassinated yesterday by the French Underground in Paris, reported Axis radio. A group of between fifteen and twenty men wearing uniforms and wielding Tommy guns invaded the minister’s home around 6 a.m. yesterday. Three of the group made their way to the bedroom and shot the pajama-clad Henriot. However, reports reaching Spain indicated Henriot had been killed by one of his own bodyguards in his office during a dispute with other Vichy propagandists. Henriot was appointed Minister of Propaganda last January and since has been one of the most hated voices in France. He escaped a previous assassination attempt by bomb in May of last year.

June 22, 1944

Robot Bombs Still Hitting London
LONDON, England—Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) announced today American troops pushing toward Cherbourg in Normandy have capture several launch sites for Nazi robotic flying bombs. Two of the ramps were captured intact, while the others—reported from the front lines to number six—were damaged. Technical experts have been rushed to the sites to provide analysis for better attacking other sites. The announcement comes the same day London was hit with another wave of the so-called buzz bombs despite intensive bombing by Allied air forces of launch sites in the Pas de Calais area. Fighters from the Royal Air Force (RAF) engaged the wave of robot bombs over the English Channel, sending many of them crashing into the sea.

June 15, 1944

27 Die, 380 Wounded, 100 Missing
WASHINGTON, D.C.,—The Navy announced last night an massive explosion occurred at Pearl Harbor on May 21 in which twenty-seven were killed, eight from the Army, nine from the Navy, and ten from the Marine Corps. Additionally, three hundred eighty were wounded and one hundred are still unaccounted. The explosion occurred among landing craft at the harbor while ammunition was being unloaded from one of the craft, stated Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the Pacific fleet. It was also announced another explosion occurred June 11 when several torpedoes were being unloaded from a truck to a platform at an ammunition dump at the harbor. Three were killed and seven remain missing from that explosion.

June 8, 1944

First French Town Liberated
SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE—Allied forces have liberated the first French town, it was reported today in a communiqué from Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). The town of Bayeux has been take from Nazi forces, which had heavily fortified the town. Bayeux is located five miles inland from the invasion beaches and a point on the Cherbourg-Caen-Paris railway. A major highway also runs through the city. Liberation of Bayeux cuts both of those arteries, which helps to further isolate the Axis forces on the Cherbourg peninsula. Bayeux is an historical cathedral town famed for the tapestry bearing its name that depicts the Norman invasion of England in 1066.

June 1, 1944

DDT Could See Use in States
NEW YORK, N.Y.—An insecticide used by the military to eliminate the pests spreading typhus in Italy last year may prove to be a miracle cure for infestations in the United States after the war. The military uses of the powdered insecticide, known as DDT, remain secret for the most part, but the New York–based representative of the Swiss developer of the product yesterday outlined possible civilian uses. The chemical has proved extremely effective at killing flies, fleas, bed bugs, coddling moths, apple maggots, Colorado potato beetles, and a host of other pests. The manufacturer, Geigy Company, Inc., states DDT is harmless to humans and their pets. The chemical basis for DDT was developed in the late 19th century German chemistry student Othmar Zeigler and refined in 1939 by J.R. Geigy of Switzerland.

May 23, 1944

Gas This Year, Tires Next
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Charles F. Phillips, newly appointed chief of rationing for the Office of Price Administration (OPA), told reporters yesterday in all likelihood there will be an increase in the number of gallons of gasoline a “B” ration sticker will be allotted in the East and Midwest after the beginning of July this year. He also indicated new tires should be available for everybody sometime next year, while rationing of synthetic tires to holders of “A” stickers will begin when production exceeds 2,000,000 tires per month. The Office of the Rubber Director (ORD) separately projected the current per month production of 1,400,000 tires should be increased to that level beginning in the final quarter of this year. The ORD indicated goals for 1945 have not yet been set.

May 18, 1944

Twenty-nine Face Jury
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The sedition trial of twenty-seven men and two women began yesterday with opening statements punctuated with outbursts by some of the defendants. Chief prosecutor O. John Rogge told jurors the defendants wanted to “…bring about…” in the United States a “…Nazi revolution.” Defendant Robert Nobel blurted “that’s a damn lie” in response. Defendant Edward James Smythe at one point exclaimed “I’m a republican, not a Nazi!” The trial continues today under much calmer circumstances, opening to a series of motions by the attorneys for the defendants. Justice Edward C. Eicher denied all motions except for reversing two earlier motions on mistrial, which he now is considering. It is expected Eicher’s ruling on mistrial will occur after the defense presents its arguments against Rogge’s opening statements.

May 11, 1944

Localized Shortages Persist
BOSTON, Mass.—Speaking to a press conference here today, Colonel Bryan Huston, deputy administrator of rationing for the Office of Price Administration (OPA), predicted rationing of beef could end for one or two months this coming fall. Huston indicated a current large population of beef cattle as well as a tightening of feedstock indicate large supplies of beef will be on the market in the coming months. However, currently there remain localized shortages of beef. The State of Maine is reporting expected beef shortages. Here in Boston, Malcolm McCape, secretary of the Massachusetts Retail Grocers and Provision Dealers Association, reported a serious shortage is developing. Colonel Huston is in Boston to speak tonight to the Independent Oilmen’s Association.

May 4, 1944

Almost All Meats Now Ration-Free
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chester Bowles, head of the Office of Price Administration (OPA) announced yesterday that as of midnight last night, all meats except for beef steaks and roasts would be ration-free. He also stated red point values, which are assigned to meats and dairy products, will not be restored to meats “…unless absolutely necessary.” However, monthly allotments of red points will need to be reduced to avoid dilution of the value. The move to remove meats from rationing was the result of several factors including a surplus of meat production, reduction of demands by the armed forces, and pork specifically no longer being part of lend-lease programs. The move by the OPA comes a few weeks after Canada similarly lifted restrictions on meat sales.

April 27, 1944

Labor Dispute the Cause
CHICAGO, Ill.—Sewell L. Avery, chief executive officer of Montgomery Ward and Company, yesterday was forcibly removed from his office in the Chicago plant by an Army detail of thirty-two MPs after his refusal to abide by President Roosevelt’s executive order to seize the facility. The executive order came as a result of a Montgomery Ward’s management refusal to extend an expired labor contract with the CIO union per instructions from the White House and the War Labor Board (WLB). Avery had refused the government takeover of the plant, holding out from noon until seven p.m. when the MPs were finally brought in to remove Avery. The troops were dispatched from Camp Skokie Valley.

April 20, 1944

Deferment Urged for Students
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, chairman of the War Department Advisory Committee on Army Specialized Training, warned that the country faces a shortage of scientists and technicians in the immediate post-war years unless action is taken now. Wilbur, who is also chancellor of Stanford University, urged governmental manpower agencies to deem students in certain fields as essential to national welfare and grant deferment from military service. The fields of chemistry, physics, advanced engineering, bacteriology, biology, pre-medical, and pre-dental are the areas in which Wilbur believes deferments should be granted. He indicated the number of students currently in the sciences is less than one-third of the normal average and that “…we never had a surplus.”

April 13, 1944

Reduction in Production Programs
NEW YORK, N.Y.—Speaking last night before the Academy of Political Science in a nationally broadcast address, James F. Byrnes, director of the Office of War Mobilization (OWM), stated the era of booming expansion and construction of war plants has come to an end. Byrnes further stated the cutback in production is “…not primarily for the purpose of producing civilian goods…” rather part of an effort to transition to peacetime production and alleviate fears of post-war economic depression. He stated “it will be far better for communities to have plants closed now when employees can find other jobs than to continue operating and later close when employees may not be able to find jobs.” Byrnes went on to provide recommendations for moving labor from war to peace.

April 6, 1944

New Plants Set to Open
CLEVELAND, O.—Reported yesterday by Dr. Robert D. Coghill of the United States Department of Agriculture, penicillin production will soon be nine pounds per month as twenty-one new manufacturing facilities open across the United States and Canada. This level of output will be sufficient for military uses, but not for civilian use. Output of nine pounds per month will provide treatment for only 250,000 cases of severe illness per month or ten times that number of mild infections, such as gonorrhea. Current production status allows treatment of only 40,000 cases of severe illness per month, one hundred folder greater than one year ago. Last year there was only one method of producing penicillin, now there are three methods and the drug can be produced in vats instead of bottles. The cost of the new production facilities is reported to be $20,000,000.

March 30, 1944

Illinois Crack Down on Black Market
DANVILLE, Ill.—A report from the Treasury Department released last night indicated whiskey consumption increased from January to February. Consumption in January was a record low. However, the usage in February of 4,510,000 gallons remained below that of any month in 1943. In a crackdown on black market whiskey, seven persons were indicted here yesterday on federal charges of violations of Office of Price Administration (OPA) regulations. Specifically, the individuals were indicted on thirteen counts of allegedly selling whiskey above the ceiling price set by the OPA. The incidents took place in Cairo, Illinois. Prosecutors claim the individuals netted over $50,000 in excess profit from the illegal sales.

March 23, 1944

Butter Shortage Also Remains
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Head of the War Food Administration (WFA), Marvin Jones, admitted yesterday to concern over the domestic supply of wheat. When asked about a statement from a War Production Board official that the wheat surplus is depleted, Jones stated, “I am concerned about wheat.” He went on to say that “…more wheat should be available from South America.” Jones was testifying about extending price controls and the stabilization act at a Senate banking committee. Also announced yesterday was the recommendation by the American Butter Institute that the current 16-point ration value on butter be extended through April. It reported the supply of butter remains low in many areas of the country. The WFA has stated the setting aside of butter for armed forces and lend-lease uses will resume in April.