World War I & II – Before & Between Articles
World of the Wars Dictators
Just a few facts:
Hirohito (1901- 1989) Emperor of Japan
He visited Europe in 1921 and was the first Japanese prince to leave his native country.
Married in 1924
When his father, Yoshihito, died he succeeded to the throne
The expanding supremacy of a militaristic band of statesmen and heads of the army and navy is how his reign was marked.
In 1934 he was largely responsible of the establishment by Japan of the puppet state of Manchukuo.
(1937-1945)–was the period of the Sino-Japanese War and the Japanese attack on the United States.
1941 started their participation in WWII on the side of Germany and Italy
In 1945 after the second atom-bomb attack upon Japan, he issued the proclamation to his people telling them that they had surrendered all Japanese forces to the United Nations.
Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945) Germany “Fuhrer” (leader)
Born in Austria in 1889
He became a German Citizen in 1932.
In his youth, he failed as an agricultural draftsman, artist, and businessman.
He received two decorations for bravery during WWI in a Bavarian regiment.
Hitler, along with six other men founded the National Socialist German Workers “Nazi” party. The purpose of the party was to heal domestic economic and political ills, and the betterment of its inferior international situation after losing WWI.
In 1923 he failed and was sentenced to five years in prison for treason after he attempted to seize control of the Bavarian government in Munich. He was paroled after serving nine months.
From 1928-1932–Under Hitler’s leadership Nazi representation extensively multiplied.
In 1932 Hitler was defeated by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg for the office of president of the German Republic.
In 1933 Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor.
In 1934 Hindenburg died, Hitler abolished the presidency, merging its functions with those of the chancellorship to which he assumed the title of “Der Fuhrer”, or “supreme leader” of Germany. Hitler’s plan included rearmament, economic reorganization from his violent anit-Semitic program. Germany’s power and territory of Europe was rapidly increased.
Germany reoccupied a zone between France and Germany known as Rhineland.
In 1938 was the annexing of Austria.
In March of 1939 was the annexing of Czechoslavia, in September of 1939 Germany invaded Poland. This invasion was one of the factors that brought on WWII.
By 1941, Germany had conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Greece and Yugoslavia.
When Hitler personally took command of the forces invading Russia in December 1941, it was disastrous for Germany.
From 1943-1945 told the defeat of Germany.
In 1944 Hitler escaped an attempt with the Nazi party to assassinate him.
He committed suicide on April 30,1945 in Berlin.
Mussolini, Benito (1883-1945) Italian Dictator
Educated at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland–expelled from Switzerland in 1904 and later from Austria.
Started Lotta di Classe in 1911
Edited Avanti in Milan from 1912-1914
Member of Italian Communist Party
Corporal in WWI until February 1917 when he was wounded.
He founded the first “Fascio di Combattimento” (the fascist) in 1919 to suppress Bolshevism
By means of coup d’etat (march on Rome by his followers on October 28,1922) he gained premiership
In 1929 he terminated the sixty-year dispute between church and state.
In 1931 he conducted negotiations leading to the withdrawal of the church from Italian political activities.
In 1933 he announced a plan for a state controlled guild system for industry
In 1935 he ordered the invasion of Ethiopia
In 1938 he was made Marshall of the empire but retained title “Il Duce” (the leader)
In 1943 his alliance of Italy with Germany and the impending defeat of his country triggered his downfall.
On April 28,1945 the wrath of the people caused his execution in Milan
Stalin, Joseph (1879-1953) Soviet Dictator
He was born in the Georgian Village of Gori.
He was accounted as one of the most notable men in Russian history and most influential in world affairs in the period immediately preceding WWII.
In 1902 he was arrested for revolutionary activities.
In 1902 he was exiled from Siberia.
In 1904 he escaped to Transcaucasia.
In 1905, during a revolution he directed a number of attacks on Czarist officials and so-called “expropriations” of bank in order to acquire funds for revolutionary activities.
From 1908-1913 he was imprisoned on several occasions and exiled but escaped.
In 1912 he became a member of the central committee of the Bolshevik Party.
In 1913 he exiled to northern Siberia and remained until 1917 he overthrew the czarist monarchy during a revolution.
From 1918 to 1921 there was a civil war and in 1920 a Russo-Polish war, he participated in the formulation of military policy and service as a political commissar (government representative).
In 1928 he made decisions resulting in the institution of national economic planning by means of a five year plan.
From 1922-1923 he was involved in revolutionary activities.
From 1924-1929 there was a struggle for power in Bolshevik party, the Soviet State and Third (Communist) International.
In 1929 he acquired unopposed leadership of the Soviet State.
In the 1930’s he made decisions that forced the collectiveness of the peasantry which caused hundreds of thousands deaths and the deportation from their homes of millions of others. Millions of Soviet citizens and foreigners were forced into slave labor and the final conversion of the Soviet government into a terrorist
police. The population had no civil liberties and the workers were at the disposition of the state. Millions of persons lost their jobs, homes, freedom, and many their lives.
From 1936 to 1938 he made the decision of the institution of trials where except for two or three close loyal associates, all surviving leaders of the Bolshevik Party and revolution were found guilty of treachery antedating and following the revolution, and were executed.
In 1941 during WWII, he directed the military operations of Soviet Germany against Nazi Germany.
The Roaring Twenties
A Time Between the World Wars
This is considered the romantic era of fashion. When you watch movies or see posters and pictures of the 1920s woman, you’ll most likely see the fringed flapper dresses, raised way above the knee worn with feathered bandeaux and long strands of beads. But women did shock the world by raising their hemlines and bobbing their hair. However the hemline, although higher than it had ever been seen before, rested just below the knee in the 1920s and there were many other styles of dresses.
In the beginning of the 1920s, hemlines hovered at the lower calf and didn’t change until 1925 when they rose to the bottom of the knee. But when the stock market plummeted in 1929, so did the hemlines back down to the lower calf.
The shorter hair was considered the “garconne”, meaning ‘boyish’ in French. They lopped off the poufy Gibson Girl hairdo of the earlier 1900s to a shorter style, wearing it in bobbed, waved or shingled styles. However there were a few who chose not to cut their hair, and they usually wore it pulled back at the nape of the neck, knotting it in a chignon.
To complete the garconne look, women turned away from the hourglass shape of the late 1800s and early 1900s which resulted in a long, slim line with their waistlines falling to the hips. They flattened their busts and hips and unbind their waist that in earlier years had been corseted, measuring less than twenty inches. What a change! Can’t you just imagine the freedom they felt.
Most clothing at this time was either made at home, by a dress maker or tailor. Though some clothes were purchased through department stores and mail order catalogs.
Rayon was sometimes used for dresses but most were made of cotton, silk, linen or wool. Many other countries influenced our styles. The kimono-styling from the Chinese gave us the color red and the embroidered silks. Whereas the Egyptian fashion influenced our accessory styles with the snake bracelets that encircled the upper arm which became popular with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.
Evening clothes for women consisted mostly of silks and velvets made into chiffons and taffetas. Elaborate bead work embellished sleeveless silk chiffon dresses in the mid 1920s. The dresses were designed to move while dancing with some having long trailing sashes, trains or asymmetric hemlines. Fancy combs, scarves and bandeaux were worn, replacing hats for evening wear.
In 1923, helmet-like, brimless hats took the place of the early 1920s medium to large brims. However, these hats were considered unattractive on anyone other than the very slim, very pretty or very young. Larger women or matrons stuck with the brimmed hats that were considerably more flattering to their features.
Makeup was a must. Simple pale powder and creme rouge circles were applied to the cheeks. Lips were painted very red, creating a rosebud pout by emphasizing the width of the upper lip and de-emphasizing the width of the bottom lip. Brows were plucked and thin arches were penciled in.
Stockings made of silk with black seams were held up by garters attached to corsets, or they were rolled to just above the knee with pretty elastic garters holding them there. Sports or casual stockings were usually made of cotton lisle.
Both men and women: Their bathing suits were usually made of body-hugging wool that consisted of sleeveless tank suits with under shorts.
Since the 1920s, men’s fashion hasn’t changed very much with the exception of knickers. These are pants ending just below the knee. However in the twenties, knickers were popular for day wear. Linen knickers, trim-fitting V-neck sweater vests, bow-tie and two toned shoes completed a fashionable outfit. Other than the bow-tie, Windsor-knot ties, some squared at the bottom and made of knit cotton were equally popular.
Men’s suits were double-breasted with two or three buttons worn and vests. Usually the suits came with two pairs of pants, frequently cuffed and worn at a natural waistline. The fabrics used consisted of sharkskin, tweed, in serge, silk and wool. Tuxedos virtually resembled those of today.
The yachting look consisted of white slacks, a yachting cap and a navy blazer with gold buttons. This was considered sporty styles for the warmer climates. On the college scene, pants that were too long with very wide bottoms and deep cuffs–almost a bell-bottom style was popular.
The male hairstyle was parted in or near the middle, slicked back with an oily, perfumed hairdressing that added luster and kept it in place. Then topped it with either a broad brimmed straw hat, flat top or stiff brims called Boaters. These were popular in the summer. Casual wear for fall and winter included the English driving caps, and for everyday wear with sports coats and suits were the felt fedoras.
On a personal note, I’ve decided that many of the clothes were made from wool fabric. I’m itching just from reading and writing about it. And it reminds me of a plaid suit my mother bought and made me wear for school pictures in 1965. I was one scratching young girl. I hated that wool suit and it makes me wonder if the 1920s wool was as bad as it was in the 1960s. Oh well, we can all only guess to whether it was or not.
Slang From the Twenties to the Forties
The way people talked in the twenties, thirties, and wasn’t that much different from today. As a matter of fact you’ll see a number of the same words used today. Of course speech patterns change from town to town, state to state and country to country. But one that’s stayed the same all through the decades, although different, is fabs and the use of slang. This is like “a breath of fresh air” to me since I assumed all forms of dialogue then would be stuffy and boring. Yes, I know what assuming does and so it did it to me. What I’ve done is compile lists of popularly used slang for each ten years.
To the flappers, the most common slangs dealt with drinking alcohol or being intoxicated.
alcohol–giggle water or hooch
to drink–to lap
pleasantly tipsy–half-cut or soaked with a bar rag
drunk–tanked, stewed to the hat, splifficated, shot, shellacked, potted, polluted, plastered, piffled, pie-eyed, out like a light, ossified, oiled, juiced, jiggered, jammed, fried, crocked, canned, bolognied, barreled
person who could hold their liquor–non-skid
serious drinker–hip hound
drunken sailor–apple alley
Language in the thirties, adopted by the young swing fans came from the jive used by jazz musicians.
swing fans–cats or alligators
Two Basic Jazz Schools:
*low down blues–gut-bucket
*free and easy jamming or improvising–barrel-house
*extremely slow swing–center collegiate
*very hot swing–dillinger
*overly sentimental music–schmaltz
*cloying, sweet jazz–lollypop
*sweet band–the long underwear gang
band members except for the leader–sidemen
play by ear–fake
a magician who used sheet music–paperman
Techniques of Music
a soft finish–easing it in
final chorus–wong worked into its sock chorus
a medley of songs–after a gang
warming up–licking the chops or frisking the whiskers
pick up the beat–quit mugging light and mug heavy
play without an arrangement–to jam
play louder–wang it
to practice a new song in private–to woodshed
a hot passage or performance–a solid sender that would chill ya
to improvise–to kick out
to play with vigor or inspiration–to be in the groove, break it down, get hot, swing out, send, give it a ride, go to town
musical embellishment in an improvisation–a break, take-off, get-off, riff, lick
The slang for youth of the forties was inspired by the Jive of the thirties. These next slangs describe body-parts.
an ugly face–puss, phiz, map
the face–knob, index
the body–the frame
whiskers–face lace, moss
head–biscuit, dome, idea pot, noggin, think box
eyes–blinkers, lamps, spotters, pies
ears–flippers, sails, flops, mikes, lugs (large ears)
nose–sneezer, handle (large nose), schnozz, horn
legs–uprights, drumsticks, stumps, pillars, stems, slits
teeth–chewers, choppers, crumb crunchers
stomach–bread basket, pale
heart–pump, clocker, ticker
shoulders–brace o’ broads
arms–floppers, brace o’ hookers
fingers–wigglers, feelers, stealers, fish hooks, pickers, forks
hands–grabbers, paws, meat hooks, paddlers
Memorial Day: A Memorial For Those Who Died
For most of us, Memorial Day means a day off work, a holiday. And for me, it used to mean a day off of work while the kids were in school. But the true reason to celebrate this day is to honor those who died in wars to protect us, our homeland and our rights.
I’ll first tell you a little background about Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, the Memorial Day holiday was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan in his General Order No. 11. This day was first observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Civil War soldiers who had died for both the Union and Confederate armies. Until after World War I, the South refused to recognize Decoration Day and honored their dead on separate days. Today it is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May.
Flags are used to decorate graves and should be flown half-staff until noon during Memorial Day.
New York City has quite a number of World War I memorials. Reasons for this vary from many feelings about the war–idealism, patriotism and/or sorrow. New Yorkers had two hometown regiments in the middle of the fighting, the “Fighting 69th” and the “Harlem Hellfighters.”
These memorials can be found hanging high on the sides of public buildings in downtown Manhattan and at remote street crossings in Queens and Brooklyn. Where some have become part of their community, others are hidden and forgotten.
Most of New York City’s memorials had been put up by the local regimental armories. A group of mothers whose sons had been killed in the war, “The Gold Star Mothers,” donated a statue of a doughboy. It stands in Park Slope, Brooklyn in front of the 14th New York regiment armory. Today a wreath is laid on the statue during a Memorial ceremony led by the community and a veterans group.
In front of the Health Department in Chelsea, lower Manhattan stands a typical World War I monument of bronze and heroic with a bayonet flourished. This statue is dedicated to the “Soldiers and Sailors”, but the dates on the statue, cover the period before the United States entered the war. Though this could be to cover the period of neutrality when many died from German ship sinkings.
The clock in the tower of Pier A, Battery Park, lower Manhattan, dedicated in 1919 was the first World War I memorial in the United States. Now the tower can only be viewed from a distance due to the decline in port traffic, causing the pier to be closed to the public.
The 7th Regiment memorial on Central Park and East 67th Street is similar to the Chelsea statue and is a block away from their armory.
Unlike the armory statues, Brooklyn’s official war memorial (produced in 1921 in Prospect Park), is sort of cabalistic and lugubrious. There’s an angelic figure supporting, protecting or drawing in a weary soldier. Behind the angel are the names of the borough’s war dead on long panels. The inscription at the bottom reads that they died for “the cause of universal peace.” Although there was only one woman listed, it was dedicated to the men and women who died in conflict.
On the edge of Forest Park in Queens, the Richmond Hill statue wasn’t put up by the city or an armory, but by the community of Richmond Hill. It’s inscription talks about wars fought with noble self-sacrifice and determination.
Then there are probably more than a hundred plaques of testaments to the soldiers of times gone by. Across the front of one of these is P.S. 134 plaque, on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn. This plaque has a quote from the Gettysburg address with a suppressed design and mostly English and Irish names.
Dedicated to the Merchant Marines is a plaque garnished with a quote from President Warren G. Harding, “These men rendered one of the greatest services that could have been done for our nation and civilization’s cause. Hundreds of precious lives were lost–a loss that can never be made up by their country.” The plaque was attached to the Customs House in 1921, where all ship passengers had to pass. But due to a recline in traffic, as with the Pier A in Battery Park caused the building to be changed to the National Museum of the American Indian.
The John Purroy Mitchel plaque, near 95th Street in Central Park is extremely noticeable and is passed by joggers on their daily run. Who is John Purroy Mitchel you might ask? In 1913, at the age of twenty-five, he was elected mayor of New York City–youngest person to hold that office and thereby nicknamed, “the Boy Mayor.” In 1917 he lost the election and volunteered for the Army Air Corps. He was killed while in training in 1918, seemingly from falling out of his plane.
Recognition of soldiers were also done with street names. Michell Place in Manhattan was name after John Purroy Mitchell. Avenue A was name York Avenue after Sergeant York in 1928. The “Fighting 69th” were the most celebrated of the city’s regiments. This was primarily an Irish regiment from Manhattan. Father Duffy’s (a chaplain) statue adorns Times Square. Two New York City boroughs named street lineaments after Sergeant Joyce Kilmer who was in fact from New Jersey. One that sits alongside the courthouse is the Bronx’s Joyce Kilmer Park and the second is a shopping district along King’s Highway, Brooklyn’s Joyce Kilmer Square. Henshaw and Staff streets in upper Manhattan and Finn Square in Tribeca, lower Manhattan (not marked now) were other streets named after soldiers.
In conclusion, I feel these are wonderful tributes to the men who died to save us from sure devastation had the course of events been different. So lets remember on this coming Memorial Day to say a prayer of thanks for the Veteran’s of World War I and those of other wars that were fought for our country.
Memorial Day Flag Etiquette – http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~dmdragon/flagetiq.html
Memorial Day History – http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/background.html
Trenches on the Web–Special Survey of New York – WWI Monuments/Memorials by Laura Canon – http://www.worldwar1.com/sfnycm.htm