June 23, 1943

State Governors United in Criticism
COLUMBUS, O.—At the annual Governor’s Conference here today, formal condemnation was declared on “…any group in America…” engaging in a strike that affects “…essential war industries…” The resolution was adopted by unanimous vote of the states’ governors at the thirty-fifth annual conference. The efforts by labor and business to resolve disputes through arbitration to avoid strikes was praised. The governors urged state and federal agencies involved in resolving these disputes to “…act promptly and fairly…” in concluding the issues. Also discussed at the conference was the need to begin planning now for post-war labor and economic issues.

June 16, 1943

FDR Supports Food Subsidies
WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Franklin D. Roosevelt rejected a Senate proposal on Monday and then a House proposal yesterday to create a “food czar” to oversee matters related to production and distribution of food. Instead, the president stated his support for a subsidy program to keep food prices low. Prentiss M. Brown, chief of the Office of Price Administration (OPA), yesterday stated that it would be impossible to maintain affordable food without subsidies. The suggested cost for subsidies is from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000, but those are merely estimates at this point. Indications are Congress is sharply divided on the issue, with some members supporting a “food czar” and some supporting subsidies.

June 9, 1943

Clashes with Sailors in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Skidrow section of Los Angeles was the site of fighting yesterday between navy personnel and toughs known as zoot-suiters. Seaman Donald Jackson was stabbed and three others received severe beatings. Last night’s rioting marked the third day of clashes between military personnel and the fancifully clad hoodlums. The gangs are mostly composed of Mexicans, and are easily identified by their wide-brimmed hats; long coats; and high-waisted, ankle-hugging pants. The primary gangs involved include the Thirty-eighth Street Gang, the Mateo Bombers, the Main Street Zooters, and the Black Legion. Military authorities have declared the area where the rioting has occurred off-limits to soldiers, sailors, and marines. This area lies east of Main Street to the city limits of Montebello and from North Street north to the Los Angeles River.

June 2, 1943

Black Market Also Targeted
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) yesterday announced a sharp cut in the value of gasoline coupons in the area of shortage on the eastern seaboard. The cuts, which are effective as of today, involve B and C coupons. The value of these coupons drops from three gallons to two and one-half gallons. Price administrator Prentiss M. Brown stated, “These measures…represent a severe tightening of the gasoline program in the critical shortage area.” In addition to these cuts, T coupons will be reissued to combat black marketeers who buy up these stamps from taxi and truck operators who have a surplus at the end of a quarter and resell them to the public. The reissue will render all existing T coupons invalid, including those already in the hands of black marketeers.

May 26, 1943

New Technology To Be on Liberty Ships
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The War Department yesterday announced successful testing of a helicopter’s ability to take off from and land on the deck of a merchant ship. Helicopters are a new aircraft technology that allow vertical take-offs and landings, thus eliminating the need for an airstrip. This technology will soon be equipped on Liberty ships to provide an anti-submarine weapon to vital to convoys. Rear Admiral Howard L. Vickery indicated a small deck will be installed on Liberty ships to “…permit helicopters to be used at sea, thus giving ships added protection from submarines.” Vickery is vice chairman of the Maritime Commission and deputy war administrator. The announcement by the War Department contradicts recent statements by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox indicating the range and load capacity of helicopters is too limiting to be useful as an anti-submarine weapon.

May 19, 1943

Underground Has Plan for Invasion
LONDON, England—Resistance continues in France against Nazi conscription of Frenchmen for labor. Deportation has been almost completely halted by the actions of wives and daughters of those conscripted, claims Fernand Grenier in a statement issued yesterday. The women are laying across the tracks ahead of trains carrying the conscripted. Grenier cites reports from the Vichy government that state “…between 50 and 80 per cent of the workers conscripted for German factories fail to go. He also claims the French underground has organized a seven-point plan for actions to be taken once the Allied invasion of Europe begins. This includes centralizing command of all resistance groups, labor strikes at all economic and industrial locations, seizing all public buildings, and preventing Vichy military and police from interfering with Allied activities.

May 12, 1943

U.S. Out-Producing World in Planes
WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Franklin D. Roosevelt yesterday claimed the production of airplanes by the United States is greater than the output of the rest of the world. Mr. Roosevelt’s claim was supported with “by weight” figures, not total units of production. He said that one heavy bomber is equivalent to several light planes, so by weight is a better measure of true output than unit numbers. The War Production Board (WPB) today stated “…the United States at last has the machine tools and capital equipment it needs to build production to beat the Axis…” and ordered a cutback in war plant construction and manufacture of machine tools. The WPB acknowledged this will result in some temporary shutdowns and unemployment.

May 5, 1943

Dead, Injured After Blast and Fire
ELKTON, Md.—The Triumph Explosives, Inc., munitions complex here was rocked yesterday by an explosion and following fire that left at least thirteen and perhaps as many as twenty-five people dead. Dozens were injured as well. Estimates on the number of injured range from sixty to as high as one hundred and twenty-five. The blast occurred at about 3 p.m. Eastern War Time (EWT). Emergency responders, Red Cross members, and civil defense workers rushed to the scene from as far away as Pennsylvania and Delaware. The president of Triumph, Benjamin F. Pepper, stated the army, navy, and Federal Bureau of Investigation have begun an investigation of the incident. Pepper indicated “…more than one building was involved…” at the complex, and reports are at least six buildings were damaged.

April 28, 1943

Fills Shots for Black Market Fight
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) yesterday announced plans to curb what it calls a black market in diminishing supplies of spirits for consumption. The move comes on the heels of accusations last week by Andrew Jackson May, democratic representative from Kentucky, claiming four large distilleries in his state are engaged in violations of price ceilings. May claims these “big four” distilleries are buying up the smaller distilleries in the state and using their outputs to net illegal profits. This is done by discontinuing lines of low-priced whiskeys and substituting higher-priced lines made by blending bourbon blended with neutral spirits. Deputy price administrator J.K. Galbraith sent a letter to Representative May outlining the OPA’s plans for setting profit margins for wholesale and retail whiskey and establishing flat prices for new blends of the spirit. Galbraith confirmed that one of the distilleries against which May levied accusations is “…now under investigation for its sale of ‘cut whiskies’ at higher prices…”.

April 21, 1943

Soup, Vegetables, Fruit See Drop
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) last night ordered a reduction of point value for several rationed foods. Included in the cuts are canned and dried soups as well as frozen fruits and vegetables. Additionally, black-eyed peas—also known as cow peas or black-eyed beans—are to be removed from the list of rationed foods. The new point values will go into effect tomorrow. The cuts in points reduced by half or more in most cases the number of ration points needed to purchase the foodstuff. Several factors lead to the decision to cut point values, including concerns the oncoming warm weather would result in spoilage for frozen and dehydrated foods factored into the decision. The OPA normally adjusts points at the end of each month, but deemed “…prompt action was required now to best serve the interests of both the trade and the public.”

April 14, 1943

Milk Ration May Be On Way
CHICAGO, Ill.—Black marketers looking for meat supplies are enticing dairy farmers with cash for their cows, imperiling the milk supply. The cash offered, reportedly as high as $0.17 per hundred pounds, is substantially more than farmers can realize from milk production and greater than even legitimate meat buyers can offer. A shortage of farm laborers makes it difficult for dairy farmers to maintain large herds, which has also led to farmers wishing to sell in order to reduce herds to a manageable size. Fueling the meat black market is a public willing to purchase meat at higher-than-market prices. Milk rationing is being considered for some areas of the country this year, Dr. T.G. Stitts of the Food Distribution Administration told the American Dairy Association yesterday. Stitts stated supply may become inadequate for many regions “…in the fall or sometime after July 1.”

April 7, 1943

London Reports Shooting Assassination
LONDON, England—Reported here last night, Mayor Hetterschijt of Roermond, Netherlands, has been assassinated. He was summoned to his door by the doorbell where he was shot to death. The mayor was the leader of the Nazi party in that city. The assassination was first announced in a broadcast by German-controlled Dutch radio, which was reported by the Dutch news agency Algemeen Nieuws-en Telegraaf-Agentschap (Aneta). The Aneta report indicated the killing was carried out by unknown assailants on Tuesday. The attackers were able to escape into the darkness of the Dutch night. Roermond is located in the Dutch province of Limburg and is approximately one mile from the German border.

March 31, 1943

OPA Reports Fake Coupons Found
PITTSBURGH, Penn.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) is warning of counterfeit gasoline ration coupons have been found in many areas, including throughout the Pittsburgh region. The Pittsburgh OPA board confirmed this yesterday. Local board officer Louis G. Feldman indicated OPA investigators are looking throughout the Pittsburgh region for counterfeit stamps, but declined to give specifics. OPA officials are asking gasoline dealers to compare ration coupons from customers to known legitimate coupons. Counterfeit coupons are likely to be different in shade of color and may have incorrect or inconsistent wording. In other news related to gas rationing, Harold Ickes of the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) has said his office has recommended to the OPA that five towns, one in West Virginia and four in western Pennsylvania, be categorized as falling under Midwestern rationing. If approved, drivers in those towns would receive five gallons of gas per week instead of the three Easterners receive.

March 24, 1943

Senate Probe of Matter Underway
WASHINGTON, D.C.—J. Lester Perry, president of the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation, yesterday admitted to a Senate investigatory committee that tests on steel plates for shipbuilding had been faked. As a result, plates with faulty lamination have been shipped to the government. Approximately five per cent of steel plate shipped to the government last year failed to meet specifications. Perry stated there was a “…regrettable failure…” to conduct the required tests, but that “…highest management…” was unaware of the lack of testing. Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri, chair of the investigation, responded such action was “…just plain crookedness and cheating on the government.” The Department of Justice has begun to look into the allegations for possible criminal action, according to an unnamed source.

March 17, 1943

Name To Be Changed to Reflect Move
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Military Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives yesterday voted to integrate the Woman’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) into the army proper. Integration would bring full military recognition and benefits. The House bill is an amended version of a bill already passed by the Senate. The bills must be reconciled before being sent to the president for his signature. Included in the amended bill is a provision to change the name of the organization to Women’s Army Corp (WAC) to reflect the incorporation into the main armed forces. Also included in the amended bill is a lowering of the minimum age from 21 to 20 years of age. The age for mandatory retirement would remain 45. The WAAC was created on May 15 last by Public Law 554.