Saturday, July 5, 2014

Seventy Years Ago in Hudson

June 6 marked the seventieth anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied forces invaded Normandy in World War II. Thinking about that anniversary made me curious to know how Hudson celebrated Independence Day in 1944, as the Allies fought their way across France. So I went sleuthing in my favorite resource: the old newspapers on Fulton History. Searching the papers for a few days prior and after July 4, 1944, I found no accounts of any events commemorating Independence Day. What I did find, appearing every day, were ads urging readers to buy war bonds. Here are some examples. 

On Independence Day 1944, the Fifth War Loan Drive was going on. It had begun on June 12 and would end on July 8. On the recommendation of President Franklin Roosevelt, Orson Welles, who on May 15, 1944, had been hired by the U.S. government as an expert consultant for the duration of the war (with a retainer of one dollar a year), was asked to lead the drive. It was kicked off by a one-hour radio show, broadcast from Texarkana, which included a fireside chat appeal from the President. A giant cash register was constructed in Times Square to keep track of the money raised in the drive. 

The goal of the Fifth War Loan Drive was to raise $16 billion. When the drive ended, Americans had purchased $20.6 billion in war bonds.

An item that appeared on the front page of the Hudson Evening Register on July 1, 1944, reports how Columbia County was doing in the drive as Independence Day approached.

War Bond Purchasers May See 2 First-Run 
Pictures Here July 5
It was unofficially reported that over $500,000 in bonds have been sold to individuals in the Fifth Loan drive in Columbia county. The goal is $1,000,000 which would be sufficient to purchase four LCT's [landing craft tanks] to back the attack.
In a move to cooperate with the Fifth Loan Drive, the Warren Theatre of this city will open its doors for one evening, Wednesday July 5th, at 7:30 p.m., in order to present two first-run pictures to purchasers of War Bonds.
The much-discussed government release entitled "Attack!" will be one of the features. This documentary film is compiled from the official films of the gallant battle for New Britain, and will give movie-goers a long-remembered picture of what the war in the Pacific is like.
The other feature will be "Tampico," starring Edward G. Robinson, Lynn Barry and Victor McLaglen, as a thrilling drama of espionage and counter-espionage.
Admission to the special showing will be by purchase of War Bonds only. Arrangements have been made to honor for the purpose all officially stamped receipts of a War Bond purchase made on July 5th through any issuing agent in the city. Bonds will also be sold at the box office the evening of the performance.

    1 comment:

    1. Fabulous. Thank you so much for this. LOVE the cash-register photo.