1944's Icons, Fresh Faces, Leading
Ladies, Models and Actresses
Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner,
Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Lena Horne, Veronica Lake, Carole Landis,
Alexis Smith, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner
"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You
just put your lips together and blow"
- Lauren Bacall, in 'To Have and to Have Not'
"Only you can prevent forest fires"
- United States Forest Service
Time Magazine's Man of the Year
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Venus Ramey (Washington, DC)
The Deaths, Scandals and Odd News
The Balvano Train Disaster of 1944: Some 426 people illegally riding
a steam-hauled freight train died of carbon monoxide poisoning when
the train stalled on a steep gradient in a tunnel in Basilicata,
Airplane Celebrity Death: Glenn Miller
Charles Nelson Reilly, actor/comedian best known as the long time
panelist on the game show Match Game, was a survivor of the 1944
Hartford circus tent fire in which 169 people died. He never sat
in an audience again for the remainder of life because large crowds
reminded him of the event.
On August 5, 1944, one of the biggest jailbreaks in history involved
hundreds of Japanese POWs attempting to escape an Australian prisoner
camp. The Japanese considered the Australians weak because they
treated the prisoners well. 234 of the Japanese were killed and
another 108 wounded.
WWII News and Information
There was a British officer in WW2 named Mad Jack Churchill (September
16, 1906 - March 8, 1996) who fought with a Longbow & Sword.
He was the only soldier known to have killed an enemy with a bow
in the war. He was also known for charging into battle whilst playing
The Bishop and Mayor of Zakynthos were ordered at gunpoint to list
the names of all the island's Jews. They turned in a list with just
their names on it, while the island's population hid the Jews. All
275 Jews survived the war.
The US sent professional baseball player (and spy), Moe Berg, to
a Werner Heisenberg physics lecture with a gun & orders to shoot
Heisenberg if he said anything indicating that Germany was close
to building a nuclear bomb
Judy was a purebred English pointer who would often jump in to protect
prisoners from beatings in a Japanese POW camp during WW2. A British
Naval pilot bargained to have her officially considered a POW so
the guards could not kill her.
Romania had the unusual distinction of being at war with both the
Allied and Axis powers simultaneously in August-September of 1944.
The term Foo Fighter was used by Allied aircraft pilots in
World War II to describe various UFO's or mysterious aerial
phenomena seen in the skies over both the European and Pacific Theater
Rationing laws prohibited the sale of freshly-baked bread because
"the tastiness of just-baked bread is likely to encourage people
to eat it immoderately". Bread had to be at least 24 hours
old before it was sold.
American fighter pilot William Bruce "Bill" Overstreet
Jr. (April 10, 1921 - December 29, 2013) shot down a German
Messerschmitt Bf-109G after chasing it through the arches of the
In World War II, British soldiers got a ration of three sheets of
toilet paper a day. Americans got 22.
Franz Stigler - a German ace fighter pilot who risked his life to
spare and then save the lives of 9 Americans by escorting their
injured B-17 bomber out of Germany. The incident would later be
called "the most incredible encounter between enemies in World
During WWII 40% of Agricultural Production Came from Home Victory
Audie Murphy was one of the most decorated United States Army combat
soldiers of World War II. He received every American combat award
for valor available at the time of his service, including the Medal
of Honor at the age of 19. He also received recognitions from France
The USA feared an invasion of Hawaii by the Japanese during WWII
printed so they printed "HAWAII" on the back of US paper
money so it could be easily identified and rendered useless if seized
by the enemy.
So many American Indians joined the military during WW2 that had
all Americans joined at the same proportion, the draft would not
have been necessary. The Blackfeet tribe mocked the idea of a draft:
"Since when has it been necessary for Blackfeet to draw lots
Other candy manufacturers donated their sugar rations to keep Life
Savers in production so that the little candies could be shared
with Armed Forces as a "tasty reminder of life at home".
On the verge of the Liberation of Paris, Hitler ordered it's governor
to leave it a "pile of rubble," and destroy all religious
and historical monuments. Dietrich von Choltitz, the governor refused,
June 6th was WW II's D-Day.
Billie Thomas who played Buckwheat in the 1930s Little Rascals,
went on to the Army and was award the National Defense Service Medal
and Good Conduct Medal. He never acted again.
WW II's Battle of the Bulge began on December 16th.
Rupert Trimmingham, a black US Army soldier serving in WWII wrote
a letter to the Army magazine about having to eat behind a train
depot restaurant while German POWs were served inside in 1944, sparking
support from other soldiers and contributing to the integration
of the army in 1948.
Pop Culture News
Carrots do not actually help most people to see in the dark. This
myth was propaganda used by the Royal Air Force to explain why their
pilots had improved success during night air battles, but was actually
used to disguise advances in radar technology.
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated on an animated short,
Destino, in 1944. Only released in 2003, it is about a young
woman and Janus, the God of Time trying to love each other.
On July 6th, 1944 Jackie Robinson was once ordered to move to the
back of a bus while in uniform. Robinson refused and received a court
martial. An army court found that Robinson was completely within his
rights, and fully acquitted the future baseball star.
Chemist Leandro Panizzon synthesized a new drug, Methylphenidate.
His wife, nicknamed Rita, had low blood pressure and would take
the drug as a stimulant before playing tennis, so he named it after
her - "Ritalin".
The original Coppertone logo was the profile of an Indian chief,
and the slogan was "Don't Be A Paleface".
Mount Vesuvius, the volcano responsible for the destruction of Pompeii,
is still active and that 550,000 people live within the 'red-zone'
today. It last erupted in 1944.
Smokey Bear was created in 1944 in response to the WWII Japanese
submarine attacks on Santa Barbara, CA near Los Padres National
Forest. This attack caused a growing fear of incendiary shells causing
massive wildfires and disastrous loss of life.
Two enormous wooden ships, which once belonged to the Emperor Caligula,
and had lain on the bottom of the Lake Nemi for over 1,900 years
were salvaged. In 1944 retreating German Soldiers set fire to the
two ships destroying them & perhaps the greatest archaeological
wonders of all time.
Zip codes weren't used until 1963 but the idea was first introduced
On June 26, 1944 the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees played a "tri-cornered
game," which consisted of all three teams competing against
each other and rotating between fielding, batting, and resting.
The game raised nearly $4.5 million in War Bonds as the Dodgers
beat the Yankees and shutout the Giants in a 5-1-0 win over six
The 2012 US Presidential Election was the first American presidential
election since 1944 where neither major-party candidate was a veteran.
In Star Trek, Khan's full name was based on that of Kim Noonien Singh,
a pilot Gene Roddenbery served with in the South Pacific during the
Second World War. Roddenbery lost touch with his friend and had hoped
that by creating a character with a similar name he might attract
In 1944, the income tax rate in the US for the top bracket was 94%.
Seventeen began publication
Reading Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
Watching Gaslight, Arsenic and Old Lace, To have and Have Not,
Laura, Lifeboat and Double Indemnity in theaters
A Canterbury Tale, Arsenic and Old Lace,Double Indemnity,
Gaslight, Going My Way , Hail the Conquering Hero, Henry V, Ivan the
Terrible Part I, Laura, Lifeboat, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Miracle
of Morgan's Creek Murder My Sweet, National Velvet, None But The LOnely
Heart, Since You Went Away, To Have and Have Not, The Uninvited
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