Previously during November, 1945, in Dot's Diary: Dot and Herb Martin are in love. Or are they? Herb introduces Dot to his family; Dot writes that they are “very nice.” Dot has five Old Fashioneds during the party for her uncle Lee, who's just come home from the army. Dot and her sister dance at the Kelly High Social. Jim Parks has a fight with Hal Totten, and nearly runs off with Dot's diary book. Dot attends a wedding, wishing that the couple were her and Herb. There's trouble when a very drunk Herb crashes his head through a streetcar window and passes out in front of Sears. But Dot comes to his rescue, and as the month ends, they're making honeymoon plans. The question remains: is it real love?

December 1945
Click on the calendar for a specific date
Herb in jail
Herb's joining the Navy
Tilden High School dance
Christmas shopping
Dot meets Babe Miller
Flowers from Larry
New Year's Eve


Dot; Hal Totten and Jim Parks

John Garfield stars in the true-life story of Al Schmid, a World War II hero blinded by a grenade, in Pride of the Marines, playing today at the Stratford theatre.

Dec. 1

“Went down 63rd and bought a dress. Then Sis and I met Sunny and went to the Stratford and saw Pride of the Marines.

Came home and at about 9:30, Herb called from a party and was a little tipsy; kind of got me sore. I guess I don't truly love him as I thought. The right guy is still to be found.

Hal and Jim came over and we were having a swell time. Went to bed at 3:00.

Sis comments:

‘The right guy is still to be found’— how true!

So Jim came over and stayed till 3. I can't believe we stayed up so late. I guess Dad was on the early morning shift.”

Pride of the Marines (trailer)

Today's news:

  • Rangoon, Burma: Japanese Field Marshal Terauchi formally surrendered to Adm. Mountbatten today.
  • London: A delegation will appear before the united nations preparatory commission tomorrow to plead the case for establishing the new world order in Chicago.
  • PEAK DEMAND PREDICTED FOR TRAVEL BY RAIL: December travel demands will be the largest in railroad history and many civilians may be left-behind on station platforms.
  • ELLIOTT'S DOG PAYS WITH LIFE FOR BITING FALA: The career of Blaze, Elliott Roosevelt's bull mastiff, was disclosed today to have ended ingloriously Sunday when he was put to death for whipping Fala, the late President Roosevelt's pet Scottie, in a fight at the family's Hyde Park estate.
  • Birthdays: Bette Midler (born today) Richard Pryor (5), Woody Allen (10)


Sis and Dot

Dec. 2

“Got up at 1:00 and sat around. Later on I went to Parnell and met Peggy Eagen*. Chatted with her awhile, then Sis and I went home and did a little homework, listened to the radio and typed a little.

Herb didn't call at all today. I don't know what's happening between us and can't for the life of me figure it out.

Yet-to-be-met: Dave

With the end of the WWII, my father's tour of duty with the OSS in Burma had come to an end. Dave was a combat veteran at age 18, returning home to Chicago, and had yet to meet my mother.

What follows below is an excerpt from the autobiography he wrote during the mid-1990s:

“We embarked from Karachi traveling the Arabian Ocean, up the Red Sea to Cairo via the Suez Canal, then into the Mediterranean, past Gibraltar, into the North Atlantic and on to New York and the Statue of Liberty.

Our trip of about fourteen days was fairly routine. We spent most of our time on deck until we reached the North Atlantic and stormy, colder weather. From New York, we were transported to Fort Dix, New Jersey, then processed, given all our back pay, travel allowance to home, and we were out.

Chicago was cold and windy, and snow was on the ground that December of 1945. A far piece from what I had been used to the last few years. Burma had been hot, with temperatures often reaching over 100 degrees and a very high humidity. A cool day in Burma was the mid-80s, and that was at night.

I spent my money on new clothes, shoes, and an overcoat—the first clothes I had paid for in a while. It took a week to get used to paying for a meal, or for transportation and the like.

The old boarding house was no more, so I made arrangements to take the extra room at my friend Chuck Fanning's flat.”

(Chuck is an acquaintance of Dot's; he has appeared from time to time in her diary.)


  • *Dot last saw Peggy on Oct. 21st.
  • On the radio Sunday night, Dec. 2, 1945: The Jack Benny Show (“I Can't Stand Jack Benny Because Contest”)
  • Also on the radio tonight: The Shadow, Ozzie and Harriet, The Great Gildersleeve (“Gildy Stuck With Opera Tickets”), The Charlie McCarthy Show (guest: Walter Pidgeon), and the Fred Allen Show (guest: Wallace Beery).

Today's news:

  • Fans of Three Areas ‘Watch’ Game by Radio: Television put radio fans in the New York, Philadelphia, and Schenectady areas on the 50 yard line at the Army-Navy football game for four hours this afternoon. It was the first three-station network telecast of the annual game.
  • FLY TO EUROPE? THAT'S EASY. BUT GET A PASSPORT? Here Are the Rules for Obtaining One: What with Chicago's new stature as a customs airport of entry, Mayor Kelly's derring-do in venturing across the Atlantic by air, and the rescinding of most of the war time restrictions preventing foreign travel, there is quite a boom in applications for passports these days.
  • BEARS, CARDS MEET FOR PLUM ILLINOIS TITLE! - And Charity Will Benefit from Game, Too: Leave it to George Halas to save today's battle between the Bears and Cardinals in Comiskey park from being a nameless, meaningless thing. “We're playing,” the Bears' owner said majestically, “for the professional football championship of Illinois.”
  • Birthdays: Gary Cheevers (5), Julie Harris (20), Maria Callas (22)

Dot and Herb Martin; Herb

Dec. 3

Herb called at 5:00 today but I wasn't home. So he called again and gosh— he was snotty, mean and just cruel. After I hung up, I cried for 1/2 hour because he made such a damn fool out of me. Later I went to the library and Parnell.

About 11:00, Herb called and wanted to apologize. Well, I was real mad and I wanted to have it out with him. He came over and I told him. All he said was that he didn't know why he did it and, as usual, talked his way out of that and back into my heart.”

Sis comments:

Right back into her heart. Herb could do no wrong. I'm not a bit surprised, and I never tried to tell Dot the way I viewed all his actions.

Dot had mentioned that there was some marriage talk between them, but I never realized how much until I read the diary.”

Today's news:

  • CHRISTMAS SHOPPING (editorial): Christmas shopping is off to a flying start and already it is clear that finding suitable gifts this year will not be easy. The husband buying for his wife faces a problem. Standard items such as leather goods, lingerie, and candy are less plentiful than ever before. At that, it will be easier for men to find gifts for women than women to find things for their men.
  • DOCTORS MAP ALTERNATIVE TO TRUMAN'S PLAN - Medical Unit Advocates Private Health Care: Presidents of 25 state medical societies met in the Continental hotel yesterday and drew up an alternative to President Truman's program for medical care for all the people at government expense.
  • RELIEF FOUND FOR HAY FEVER IN NEW DRUG: Discovery of a drug that will give prompt relief from hay fever, asthma, hives, and allergies was announced yesterday by the University or Illinois college of medicine. It is benadryl, a pure crystalline compound that may be taken by mouth.
  • Birthdays: Jean-Luc Godard (15), Andy Williams (18)


Englewood High School; Miss Edith Levin, Dot's algebra teacher; Sis with Chuck Fanning

Dec. 4

Today I was 10 minutes late for school.

Herb didn't call today. Saturday night he was put in jail; and all through Sunday, too, for being disorderly on the street car and drunk.

After school I made supper and Sis and I went to Parnell and had a Coke, and saw Chuck. Came home, listened to the radio and did my homework— for a change. Went to bed at 1:15.

Mom got a letter from Miss Levin (algebra teacher).”

Sis comments:

I knew Herb had some trouble with the law at one time but this is the first clue I've gotten of his actually spending time in jail. Herb never should travel by streetcar!

I think Dot kept this part of it to herself, and of course if Mom or Dad had known, I doubt if Herb would have been welcome anymore in our house. They were tolerant of a lot that went on, but something like this they would have put their foot down on.

Dot had a rough time with algebra. At this point she was near failing the subject. Miss Levin was a good, tough teacher but also very fair and she wanted to help Dot as much as possible, I believe.”

Today's news:

  • Shopping Rush for Appliances Is On— At Last: “It's been it long, long time” might have been the theme song of men and women who came with checkbooks or cash to buy the refrigerators and washing machines a chain of stores placed on sale yesterday.
  • REDS REFUSE TO WITHDRAW TROOPS IN IRAN - U. S. Offer to Pull Out by Jan. 1 Rejected: The state department tonight said that Russia had rejected an American request that all allied troops be withdrawn from Iran by Jan. 1.
  • PROBE OF ENTIRE STATE DEPT. IS BEING STUDIED: The house committee on un-American activities, it was learned tonight, is considering an investigation of the entire state department as the result of charges and a good deal of circumstantial evidence that the department is honeycombed with [communists].
  • EXPERT SEES CRASH-FREE OCEAN FLIGHTS - New Methods Are Aid to Safety: An age of transoceanic flights free from loss of planes because of forced landings on water was predicted yesterday as 500 engineers from air lines and manufacturing companies gathered at the Edgewater Beach hotel for [a] post-war air transport meeting.
  • Birthdays: Dennis Wilson, Chris Hillman (1), Max Baer Jr. (8), Maurice Binder (20), Deanna Durbin (24), Alex North (35)


Dec. 5

Dear diary: didn't do much all day.

In the evening I dressed and went to the Stratford and saw Imitation of Life and East Side of Heaven. Tops.

On the way I met Doty, Chuck, Herb Roberts, Gene Valesky. Coming from the show, I met Earl and Dave and they walked me up to 63rd & Normal.

Herb didn't call even once. If he only knew what one phone call would mean to me.

The trailer for Imitation of Life.

Bing Crosby singing, in East Side of Heaven


  • No information on Gene Valesky. Earl used to go out with Dot, and Dave (not Dot's future husband Dave) dated Sis for awhile during the summer.

Today's news:

  • Poles Express Fear of Future Under Red Rule
  • O. K. LEAGUE IN SENATE, 65-7; ROLE IN WORLD POLICE FORCE IS PART OF BILL: The United States senate voted tonight to place the United States in the new league of nations and to give the President authority to send American men to war at the behest of foreign nations without consulting congress.
  • AIR LINER MAKES LINDY'S FLIGHT A TAXI JAUNT: Charles A. Lindbergh's grand adventure in soloing from New York to Paris 18 years ago became a simple commercial transAtlantic taxi trip for 23 passengers today. The giant Lockheed Constellation plane, Paris Sky Chief, broke three world's records.
  • TIME, WEATHER, NEWS IN POCKET - INVENTOR'S IDEA: Coming soon: the radio watch! When it's available, you may be able to get the headline news every 15 seconds. ... As envisioned the listener would simply place a tiny battery powered receiver, perhaps the size of a cigaret package, to his ear, press a button, and the report would follow. The Lilliputian receiver is still in the development stage.
  • Pacific Coast League Acts to Join Major League Baseball
  • Birthdays: Little Richard (13), Otto Preminger (40), Walt Disney (44)
  • On this day: Five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers disappear during a Navy training exercise over an area which would become known as the “Bermuda Triangle”.



Dot and Sunny; Larry Amato; Herb Martin

Dec. 6

Today I just fooled around the house after school. About 6:00, Sunny came over and we went to Parnell and then down 63rd shopping and met Sis. Went to Myrt & Henry's [restaurant] and in Parnell again.

Came home and wrote Larry a letter because I got one from him today. Then listened to the radio and went to bed at 12:30.

Marge said she saw Herb and Moe down 63rd. Again he didn't call me up...

I'm still crazy about him.

Today's news:

  • Use of Radar Controls for Planes Urged: Air traffic control by radar and electronic devices and plane cabins equipped with air conditioning and fluorescent lighting were proposed yesterday at the closing session of the Society of Automotive Engineers' air transport meeting in the Edgewater Beach hotel.
  • Smart Costumes for the Winter Sports Fan - Sleek Outline Marks Newest in Sports Togs: Winter sports clothes are as definitely designed for breezy action as suave dinner and evening gowns are styled for dress parade parties. Winter sports togs are streamlined for speed and sleek silhouette— for long swoops down hill on skis, and for resistance to wind when out in front.
  • Birthdays: Wally Cox (21), Dave Brubeck (25), Agnes Moorehead (45), Ira Gershwin (49)


Dot in 1943; Tilden High School, at 48th & Union Ave., now called Tilden Career Community Academy High School; Dot at home; Herb Martin and Dot

Ford Motor's Chicago assembly plant completed its first passenger car since the war stopped production— a 1946 Mercury.

Dec. 7

After school I was kind of mad at everybody. Herb didn't call and Sis came home from work and pleaded with me to go to Tilden's dance. I really argued cause I didn't want to.

Finally I gave up and found it was quite nice and who should I see but Herb. He saw me and we were together all evening. I was in heaven and I do hope he was too.

We walked from the dance to my house and had some coffee and then Herb and I sat on the couch acting real silly and gee— he was so lovable.

Sis comments:

I guess this was the time I was working part-time, right after school, at an insurance office on Michigan Ave. I don't know why Dot didn't also have a job. Where did she get extra spending money?

I believe this evening was a set-up job between Herb and I (or one of his buddies) in order to get Dot to the dance where Herb was, and get them together.

Usually I didn't try to talk Dot into going to these dances, as I usually had someone else to go with. Dot was a stubborn one at times. You couldn't talk her into anything she didn't want to do— unless you were Herb!”

Today's news:

  • SIX NAVY PLANES ARE MISSING OFF FLORIDA COAST - Hopes Dwindling for 27 Aboard Aircraft: Five navy torpedo bombers with 14 men aboard and a sixth navy rescue plane with 13 crew members tonight were the object of an air-sea hunt covering thousands of square miles off the Florida east coast. [The area would later be known as the Bermuda Triangle —D.]
  • Split 8 to 8 Over Site for World Capital: In the scrap of Europe versus the United States the united nations preparatory commission tonight wound up in a deadlock over the selection of a permanent home for the new world organization.
  • SHADOW OF RED PINCERS FALLS ACROSS TURKEY - British Fear Push to Persian Gulf: The attention of Palestinians has been diverted from their own internal strife to the red shadow lengthening over the valley of Mesopotamia and the whole region south of the Caucasus mountains.
  • Birthday: Ellen Burstyn (13), Noam Chomsky (17), Eli Wallach (30), Louis Prima (35), Willa Cather (72)


Dot; Sis

Dec. 8

Didn't do much all day today. Herb called at noon from work and we talked sort of long, and then Sis and I went down 63rd. It was real warm outside.

Later in the evening, Sis, Sunny and I went to the Stratford and saw Eve Knew Her Apples (very corny) and stage show. After the show, we went to Myrt & Henry's and then to Parnell and met Jim & Hal. Fooled around and then came home, washed my hair and put it up.”

Sis comments:

Wish I could remember Eve Knew Her Apples. Sounds so bad, it has to be good!

Myrt & Henry's is our new favorite eatery. We're keeping them in business!”

Ann Miller sings I'll Remember April, from Eve Knew Her Apples

Today's news:

  • LITHUANIANS HOPE U. S. WILL END RED TERROR: Lithuania, which suffered three successive occupations by rapacious neighbors, now lies prostrate under the heel of soviet Russia, but Lithuanian-Americans have not given up hope that some day their fatherland will regain its independence.
  • LOOP CHURCH'S 70TH BIRTHDAY TO BE MARKED - Long History of Central Congregation Recalled: Chicago's loop possesses three distinctive religious organizations, each of which may be regarded as unique in its own way. These are Central church, Studebaker theater; Sunday Evening club, Orchestra hall, and First Methodist church, Chicago temple.
  • ORSON SILENT - WELL, ON RITA'S PLANS, ANYWAY: Orson Welles ... ducked in and out of his studio, and paused only long enough to issue orders that he wanted to see no one, and had nothing to say— presumably about Rita Hayworth's announcement of their separation. [...] Welles and the actress have been married two years and have a child.
  • Birthdays: Jim Morrison (2), Sammy Davis Jr. (20), William Durant (84), Georges Méliès (84)


Herb is joining the Navy.

Dec. 9

Stayed in all afternoon and did homework. The weather really changed. It is now 10 degrees above 0. Brrr**.

In the evening, my one and only came over and we went to the show and saw Men In Her Diary and This Love of Ours. Went in Parnell and saw Don Moran.

Herb and I came back to my house and had tea and then sat on the couch and just wished we were married already. He's joining the Navy Jan. 10 and I think I'll practically die.”

Sis comments:

Herb is joining the Navy! I wonder if this had something to do with his trouble Dec. 4th?

Sometimes a judge will be lenient if he knows the fellow who's going down the wrong path (like I believe Herb was) will try to straighten out. This is only my opinion. I didn't think this way at the time because I didn't know how serious his problem was.”


  • My suspicion is that the court (and possibly Herb's parents) gave him the option of either a jail sentence and a big fine (that he probably could not afford to pay), or enlist in the armed forces. Dot never says. Also unknown is whether Herb may have been in trouble with the law prior to the streetcar incident.

Today's news:

  • AUSTRALIA GETS BEHIND U. S. FOR WORLD CAPITAL - Urges San Francisco as Permanent Home: Breaking away from other parts of the British empire, Australia today made a vigorous demand that the united nations organization establish its permanent home in the United States.
  • CROSS U. S. IN 5 HR. 17 MIN. - 432 Mile Pace Set by Bomber in New Record: An experimental bomber, the Douglas XB-42, today winged across the continent in 5 hours 17 minutes 34 seconds, cutting 46 minutes of the previous west to east record.
  • ANNUAL FLORIDA STAMPEDE IS OFF TO EARLY START: The annual stampede of tourists toward Florida is under way. In hope of finding a place to stay and spend war earned dollars the caravan of sun seekers has started to roll a month earlier than usual.
  • Here's Picture of 1946 Trend in Auto Travel: America today is travel conscious. The coming year will see the start of a resurgence of travel in this country such as we have never before experienced. And, as was true before the return of peace, the vast majority of vacationists will travel in the family automobile.
  • THE POST-WAR NAVY: The house has passed a bill placing the authorized strength of the navy and marine corps at more than twice the totals at which they stood before the war.
  • **Weather: Partly cloudy, much colder, and a few snow flurries today; high, 33 in the morning, steadily falling during the day; low tonight, 15.
  • Birthdays: Judi Dench (11), Redd Foxx (23), Kirk Douglas (29).


Herb Martin and Dot; Herb

Dec. 10

After school, Herb called and said he didn't go to work today and asked if he could come over. Well, I said sure.

So at 3:30, he came and we talked and had a lot of fun. He's so cute and awfully funny that I laughed most of the time. While he was over, Helen, Sunny, Lillie, Sis and Jim called.

Herb was sitting on a chair and I was on his lap and gosh, he kept kissing me and telling me I meant everything to him.”

Sis comments:

I can't remember where Herb worked but he sure took a lot of time off!”

Today's news:

  • PATTON HURT IN AUTO CRASH - SPINE INJURED WHEN CAR AND TRUCK COLLIDE - Taken to Hospital in Heidelberg - Wife Flies to Side: Mrs. George S. Patton Jr. ... left Bolling field by special army plane tonight for the bedside of Gen. Patton. [more here. —D.]
  • 25,000 MILE HUNT BRINGS NO TRACE OF NAVY FLYERS: Darkness blacked out any new clues to the fate of possible survivors among 27 missing naval airmen tonight, but after a day of feverish activity and exploded hopes the navy announced that the vast air-sea search will continue...
  • WAR'S BACKLASH TAKES THE FUN OUT OF TOURING: Touring by automobile these days is no pleasure. That is the unanimous opinion at the end of the second day of the following sun-hungry mob of tourists to Florida.

[The] pre-war vintage automobiles allow the driver no peace of mind. Constant concern over synthetic or recapped tires is likely to turn the most amiable driver into a snarling tyrant, especially if there are a couple of youngsters in the back seat worrying off pent-up energy.

Another unpleasant factor in trying to get to your vacation spot by car is hotel accommodations. The only thing well kept in [a Vincennes, Indiana hotel] was the streamlined cocktail lounge.

Our 1940 Chevrolet is making a bit over 14 miles to a gallon and gasoline costs have run as high as 26 cents a gallon.

Birthdays: Dorothy Lamour (31), Mary Bonaparte (eldest daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte; 75)


Dot, Herb

Dec. 11

Registered today. Herb called at 4:15 and wanted to go skating but I didn't want to, so he called again at 6:30 and said he'd rather come over. Mom, Dad, Marge and Lee went out so Herb and I were home all alone and we played cards.

Later, I sat on his lap and we laughed and talked a lot. Then we had coffee and came back in the front room.

As he was kissing me, I did want to tell him how much I loved him, but he left me breathless. The effect he has on me is slightly terrific. We both felt odd tonight, or different.


  • I don't know what it was that Dot “registered” for.

Today's news:

  • Hopes Dimmed for Nylons on Christmas Tree: A woman's chances of getting a pair of nylon Stockings for Christmas are slight, according to midwest hosiery manufacturers, whose estimates yesterday on the end of the nylon shortage ranged from six months to three years.
  • Condition of Gen. Patton Held Critical: Gen. Patton was in a critical condition today, but his rugged physique has sustained him in resisting the initial shock of a broken neck vertebrae.
  • PALMER HOUSE SOLD TO HILTON FOR 19 MILLIONS: Purchase of the Palmer House for 19 million dollars was announced yesterday by C. N. Hilton, head of the Hilton Hotels of America chain. Hilton, onFeb. 15, bought Chicago's Stevens, the world's largest hotel, for a reported 7 -1/2 million dollars.
  • Log of Florida Trip: Bad Food and Lodging for 1,045 Miles: Florida finally has been reached after three days of weathering poor food, unpleasant sleeping accommodations, and the uncertainty of a prewar car with synthetic tires.
  • Birthdays: John Kerry (2), Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (63).


Dot, Kelly Library

Dec. 12

Today I was tired all day. After school, came home and did some homework.

Herb called at 6:30 and then I went to the library and then down 63rd. Came home, and at 9:30 Herb called again.

Just to hear him talk thrills me. He told me to never wonder about his love for me, and that he'd do anything for me. If it was impossible, he'd try anyhow. He said, ‘Honey, how I'd love to kiss you right now.’”

Sis comments:

I wonder why Dot was tired all day. Maybe going to bed at 2:15 on a school night didn't help.”

Today's news:

  • CHARGES STALIN POLICY LOOKS TO OTHER WARS: “The western world faces today in Stalin the same kind of determined fighter it faced in Hitler,” Matthew Woll, vice president of the American Federation of Labor, said today.
  • PATTON RALLIES - IMPROVEMENT IN PARALYSIS SEEN - Wife Arrives at Bedside Confident of Recovery: Gen. Patton, paralyzed by a broken neck, was improved tonight after a half an hour talk with his wife.
  • Birthdays: Frank Sinatra (30), Edward G. Robinson (52).


Dot's house on 61st and Normal Blvd.; Stan Jennings; logo for the Planet Roller Rink; 63rd and Halsted St., looking north.

Dec. 13

Got up a little late although I went to bed at 10:45 last night.

After school I cleaned the house and then some guy from United Parcel Co. called and asked if Stan was here, and I said no. It seems he had a job opening for him. Later went down 63rd.

Then about 9:00 Herb called from Planet Skating Rink* and asked me where I was all evening and if I was going to bed right away; just making sure I was having a fairly dull time.

Herb was with Dutz and Mangan and they had been fooling around with some girls. I don't understand his definition of being in love.”

Sis comments:

Stan must have given Dot's name as a reference. It's kind of odd as they hadn't been together for some time. He was always a sort of ‘mystery man’, we both thought.

Boy, Herb really knew how to hurt a girl! Downright cruel at times.

They called Bernie by his last name, Mangan. He was around our place quite a lot and became one of Herb's best buddies, after Dutz.


  • *The New Planet Roller Rink was at 7534 S. Racine, roughly two miles from Dot's home.

Today's news:

  • Yule Shopping in Full Swing - Loop Jammed: Christmas preparations were in full swing thruout the Chicago area yesterday as shoppers thronged the loop to select gifts and housewives planned menus that promise to make this first peace time Christmas in five years one to remember.
  • Christmas Trees Made Ready for Welcome to Santa Claus: Santa Claus' first post-war visit to Chicago will be welcomed by twinkling lights on Christmas trees to be erected in thousands of Chicago homes and on giant-sized versions which will be seen in the city's private clubs.
  • MAJORS PLACE NO LIMIT ON NIGHT GAMES - Chandler's Ballot Decides Issue: The 16 major league baseball clubs closed their annual midwinter get-to-gether in the Palmer House yesterday by voting to continue with unlimited night ball as in the last two seasons. The agreement was reached after some difference of opinion.
  • Birthdays: Dick Van Dyke (20), Alvin “Sergeant” York (58)


Helen Romanelli and Viola; Sis and Dot

Dec. 14

Very cold today. After school, Helen and Viola came over and we had a gay, goofy time and were giggle-happy.

Later Herb called and was real chummy. Then Sis, Helen and I went to the dance. It was pretty nice, but I only danced with one guy (Joe).

Coming out of school, who should I see but Herb —stewed— and I could have killed him. On the street car he started an argument with another drunk, so Sis and I snuck off and went into Minuet. We met Pete and Mangan, and talked.

Sis comments:

Dot doesn't mention where the dance was, but it had to be Tilden, for Herb was in the neighborhood. I told you he should keep off of street cars! They bring out the worst in him!

Pete was probably Herb's twin brother, and of course ‘Mangan’ was Bernie.”

Today's news:

  • 3-DIMENSIONAL TELEVISION IN COLORS SHOWN - RCA Also Demonstrates Black-White Progress: Black and white television startingly realistic; pictures in color that were given the effect of three dimensions, along with most of the latest technical advances in radio pictures were shown this afternoon in the laboratory of the Radio Corporation of America.
  • SEEK PERMITS FOR AUTO RADIO PHONE STATIONS - Bell Company Plans to Build Transmitters: The Illinois Bell Telephone company yesterday filed applications for permits to build highway radio telephone stations that would provide two-way service to drivers between Chicago and St. Louis. Mo.
  • Birthdays: Lee Remmick (10), Morey Amsterdam (37), James Doolittle (49)


Dot; Herb Martin

Dec. 15

Herb called and I was trying to decide whether I should tell him off and just call it quits.

Later in the eve., Sis and I dressed warm and were going to go to the show, but got up to Parnell and decided not to. We met Earl in there and then who should walk in but Herb. He sat with us.

We went back to my house and played cards cause it was 1 degree below zero— brrr. Herb took all my pins out of my hair and just mussed my hair, then we both sat on the chairs eating caramel corn.

Today's news:

  • PATTON WILL BE FLOWN TO U. S. HOSPITAL SOON - May Be Paralyzed for the Rest of His Life: Gen Patton will be moved back to the United States for hospitalization “as soon as his condition permits,” Col. R. Glen Spurling, chief specialist attending Patton said today. The journey will be by air, probably within the next four to six weeks.
  • RED SOX GIVEN ALL-STAR GAME - SET FOR JULY 9; 13th in Series to Be Played in Daylight: The annual all-star event in which the National and American leagues' playing elite get-together will be revived next summer in the Boston Red Sox's Fenway park, the very spot scheduled for the staging of the 1945 classic which was canceled because of [wartime] travel difficulties.
  • As a Useful Gift, Why Not a Petticoat? Gift items that combine glamor with utility are top favorites with all. Take the petticoat, for example— what you can find this year is exciting. These petticoats are real, neat, short, and fitted as smoothly as any dress skirt.
  • Birthdays: Dave Clark (3), Tim Conway (12), Alan Freed (23), Jeff Chandler (27), J. Paul Getty (53), Stan Kenton (34)


Jim Parks and Dot; Louis and Pauline (Dot's dad and mom); Dot and Herb Martin

Dec. 16

Today was still very cold so I stayed in all day.

About 6:00 Jim stopped over from hunting and we jabbered for awhile. Then he left and about 10 min. later, Herb came over and man, he looked keen. We played cards and fooled around. Mom & Dad went out.

Later, Herb and I went to Parnell and got some ice cream and root beer and choc. raisins. Came back and played the piano and ate. Then I did my algebra and he read a joke book. We really had a wonderful time.”

Sis comments:

“What a combo! Ice cream, root beer and chocolate raisins! Boy, Dot loved those raisins almost as much as she loved Herb.

Dot's hitting the algebra books a lot lately. She knows Miss Levin means business!”


  • The “choc. raisins” were probably Raisinets, which at the time were made by the Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Co. of Philadelphia.

Today's news:

  • PREDICT COLD WAVE WILL CONTINUE FOR THREE OR MORE DAYS: From a predicted low point of 5 below zero last night, the mercury today probably will not rise beyond 6 degrees above zero, Forceaster H. L. Jacobson said last night, and, if not, it will set a new weather bureau record.
  • CHICAGO IS BOOMING: Chicago, which was outstanding in the nation for war production, is going into peace time production with greatly expanded facilities. To realize how fortunate our own city is, Chicagoans should go to other cities and see vast plants standing idle and deserted.
  • REDSKINS TO FACE RAMS TODAY FOR PRO CROWN - 50,000 CROWD TO SEE BATTLE IN CLEVELAND: Western teams have won eight league championships against the East's four since the playoff system was started in 1933. Cleveland never has participated in the East-West title show, but Washington won league crowns in 1937 and 1912, each.
  • A Guide to Your Yule Shopping - IT'S A GIFT!: You've bought the navy blue robe that you planned on for weeks for your father, you've already wrapped the new lamp you bought for your mother, and your various sisters and brothers have been equipped with tinker toys or new tubes of lipstick ...
  • New Color Schemes for the Holidays: The old red and green color scheme for Christmas has gone by the boards here. It's white that you see everywhere— white with shocking pink, or with a metallic blue or garnet red.
  • Birthdays: Philip K. Dick (17), Arthur C. Clarke (28), Noel Coward (46)


Herb Martin and Dot

Dec. 17

Cold outside. I met Sis in Parnell and we talked to Earl. When I just stepped in the house, the phone rang and it was Herb. So we went to the Southtown and then to Parnell. Dave was in there.

Came back to my house and sat on the couch. I love him way too much but I can't help that. I'm sure of him too, and I honestly don't think two people could be in love as much as we are...”

State Fair (trailer)

Pride of the Marines (trailer)


  • The Southtown was showing State Fair and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes. I believe the latter film, along with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, were two of my mother's favorite movies.
  • December of 1945 ranks (as of 2007) as Chicago's 14th coldest December since 1872.

Today's news:

  • Mercury Slips Toward -5, a Dec. 17 Low: The mercury was expected to set an all-time record low for Dec. 17 early today. It was predicted temperatures would dip to 5 degrees below zero. Forecaster Paul Sutton said the previous low for Dec. 11 was 1.2 degrees below zero in 1914.
  • ACCUSED NAZIS EXPECT WORST - GOERING FRETS: Virtually all the 21 men facing the international military tribunal are resigned to death in expiation for the crimes of nazism, Nuernberg jail attendants reported today.
  • CIVILIAN PHONE PRODUCTION TO START TODAY: Production of telephones for civilian use will be started today by the Western Electric company in the former Studebaker aviation engine war plant at Archer av. and 55th st.
  • FLORIDA RIDING HIGH - BIGGEST SEASON AHEAD - Boosters, on Bended Knee, Say: Stay Away!: Florida is preparing feverishly for what promises to be the biggest tourist season in its history. Travelers, their pockets jingling with money, are pouring into the state, and innkeepers predict a greater epidemic of spending than during the fabulous land boom era of the 1920s.
  • W-G-N CAROLING ON MICHIGAN AV. TO START TODAY - Daily Serenades to Flood Tribune Square Area: A traditional Christmas season program will begin tonight in Tribune Square, with carols and other yuletide music to be played each night against the setting of a tall tree sparkling with 700 lights.
  • Birthdays: Chris Matthews (born today), Pope Francis (9), Bob Guccione (15), William Safire (16)


Helen Romanelli; Viola; Hal Totten

Dec. 18

Helen and Viola came over after school and later [aunt] Ag and [uncle] Joe too.

I was supposed to go downtown but changed my mind. Herb called and I was talking to him and his brother Pete off and on.

Sat around all evening and just went to Parnell for a hot chocolate. Hal came around at 11:00 and I told him I planned to get married in November. He said if I did he'd either break my neck or Herb's.”

Sis comments:

Helen and Viola would come to our house after school a lot of times, for they had to walk right past us when they went home (a long walk). We usually made a pot of tea and had our nice, long talk— usually about boys. The ‘afternoon tea’ was always a great time and usually lasted no more than 45 minutes or so. Both of them were great gals!

Hal acting like a big brother? No ‘love’ lost between Herb and him. Or maybe Hal was able to see thru Herb's actions better than Dot. Nevertheless, I don't think what Hal thought about Herb meant too much to Dot.”

Today's news:

  • 41,800 TROOPS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE TODAY - 16,000 Due to Return at San Francisco: More than 17,800 overseas veterans are scheduled to dock at east coast ports today, while on the west coast approximately 24,000 returnees are due to debark.
  • ALDERMEN BACK MOVE TO MERGE 4 RAIL STATIONS: Sentiment for action by the city to consolidate the four south side railway passenger stations was voiced in the council yesterday.
  • TRIBUNE TOWER, CAROLS, TREE USHER IN YULE - Traditional Music on Daily Program: Christmas carols rang thru the wintry air last evening when the traditional holiday program of yuletide music was opened in Nathan Hale court, on Michigan av. between Tribune Tower and the W-G-N studio.
  • WHEN MERCURY HITS 60, IT'S COLD WAVE IN FLORIDA - Natives Trot Out Ear Muffs, Overcoats: Florida suffered a cold snap recently with the thermometer dropping to about 60 degrees, and the reaction of the natives was a wondrous treat for newly arrived visitors from the north.
  • Birthdays: Keith Richards (2), Betty Grable (29), Ty Cobb (59), Josef Stalin (67)


Dot and Sis; Virginia Merigold (Ginny)

Dec. 19

Cleaned the house after school. About 7:00 Herb called and we talked for about an hour. He asked me what I was going to do tonight. I said I had to do my Xmas shopping.

So, later Sis and I went down 63rd & I bought Mom pearl chokers and Sunny a birthday card. Came home and wrapped gifts up in my room. Also did a little algebra. Met Ginny as we were coming home.”

Sis comments:

Dot's doing her algebra again!

Ginny was a friend, but not our best friend. We didn't see that much of her after she and Bob got engaged.”

Halsted Street looking north from 63rd, at Christmas. Sears is the large building on the right.

Today's news:

  • U. S. SAYS FIRMS RETARD BETTER TELEVISION SETS - Charges Conspiracy Delays Progress: Opening of a new field of entertainment and education thru development of improved television equipment has been delayed for years by the conspiring of British and American corporations, the department of justice charged today in filing an anti-trust suit in federal court here.
  • Chicago Starts Its Celebration of Christmas: The flurry of snow this week is appropriate accompaniment to the flurry of Christmas activities which are taking place all over the city. Shut-ins and orphans are being entertained at parties by various organizations. Carols can be heard thruout the loop.
  • AUTO OWNERS ASK FOR 6, 7 IN 1946 TAGS; 13s Go Begging, State Secretary Says: Everything's at sixes and sevens in Secretary of State Edward J. Barrett's office, Barrett reported yesterday. He meant, he said, that those two numbers are most popular among motorists who like to select their own license plate numbers.
  • Late Shoppers Find Supplies Thinning Out: Swarming shoppers are going down the last stretch. Outside the unbelievable supplies of scarves, they're finding everything pretty much picked-over. Nevertheless the more hardy souls trot blithely to town, hoping for a miracle.
  • Birthdays: Richard Leakey (1), Edith Piaf (30), Fritz Reiner (57)


Englewood High School; Dot's mom (Pauline); Sis and Dot by their front steps

Dec. 20

Didn't go to my 1st period class, and cut my 5th period class and went down in the lunchroom to sing Xmas carols. After school, I helped mom and I ironed.

Later I met Sis in Parnell and then came home and we all had some root beer and ice cream. Herb called at about 9:00. I hope I see him tomorrow. Went to bed at 12:30. Did my algebra.”

Today's news:

  • DALEY OFFERED TO DEMOCRATS FOR SHERIFF JOB - 3 Others Mentioned at County Confab: The name of Sen. Richard J. Daley, Mayor Kelly's legislative spokesman, was advanced for sheriff yesterday with three others at a meeting of the Cook county Democratic central committee.
  • GIs Are Merry in Paris— But Ah, Chicago! Joyful Illinois Yanks in Paris today revealed their Christmas wishes and agreed that the holiday would be much merrier than last year's, which many of them spent in foxholes in the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Birthdays: Audrey Totter (28), Dennis Morgan (37), Irene Dunne (47), Branch Rickey (64)


Herb Martin (at left) with his friend, “Babe” Miller; the Christmas tree Dot, Herb and Miller decorated on this evening in 1945; Dot; Stan Jennings


Dec. 21

Went to school, just for first period and then went home.

In the evening I put up the tree and Herb and his boyfriend, ‘Babe’ Miller, came over. We really had a lot of fun and they helped with the tree. Later on had some cocoa and Herb and I were really happy.

In the afternoon, while I was on 63rd, Stan called me up from the depot in-between trains and Marge asked if it was Herb. Stan said no, and that his train was leaving for Iowa in 15 minutes.

Sis comments:

Cutting school two days in a row! I know Dot got called down on this at one time, but I don't know if it was around this December period.

Anyway, a little background on ‘Babe’ Miller, for he plays an important part later on as a go-between for Dot and Herb, after Herb goes into the service...

‘Miller’, as Dot and I usually called him, was a very nice, friendly guy and acted more calm and quiet than the rest of that gang. In fact, he acted and looked a lot older than he must have been.

Miller was the first young guy we knew that wore suspenders! That's only a minor thing, I guess, but in those days wearing them wasn't ‘hep’ for young fellows.

Miller was a lot of fun— and he could sure play the accordion! After Dot started high school, she no longer took lessons and didn't touch the accordion unless Mom asked her to— as a favor when special company was over. So when Miller was over, it was party time— he could play just about any song.

I don't know where he got the nickname ‘Babe’, but then I didn't know (or I've forgotten) how ‘Moe’ and ‘Dutz’ got theirs. Only the guys called Miller ‘Babe’. I think his real first name was also Herb.”


  • Stan was probably traveling to Waterloo, Iowa— his home town.

Today's news:

  • Holiday Debut Whirl to Begin This Week-End: Dancing slippers are coming out of their wrappings, corsage boxes are arriving in increasing numbers, and young people who are at home for Christmas from college or army and navy posts are finding fewer and fewer hours for sleeping.
  • ARMY TO DECIDE SOON ON GIVING UP DOUGLAS SITE - City Expects to Get It for an Airport: The army air forces said today that a decision as to whether the Douglas air field near Park Ridge, Ill., will be declared surplus so that the city of Chicago can acquire it for a municipal airport will be reached and announced “reasonably soon”.
  • NEW FRONTIERS FOR TELEVISION FORECAST IN '46: Greater radio frontiers lie ahead in 1946, particularly in television and communications for railways and highways, and also in frequency modulation and standard broadcasting.
  • CHICAGO STOCK YARDS 80 YEARS OLD - SOLD 950 MILLION ANIMALS: The 80th anniversary of the opening of the Union Stock yards, the world's largest cash market for live stock, is Christmas day. The yards, known thruout the world, are Chicago's biggest industry.
  • Birthdays: Frank Zappa (5), Jane Fonda (8), Phil Donahue (10), Josh Gibson (34)


Sunny and Miller, in Dot's living room, on the night of Dec. 22nd, 1945; Sis and Dot by the piano; Dot's accordion

Dec. 22

Went down 63rd and met Sunny so then came back to our house. Herb called and asked if he could come over. He came with his brother Pete, Pete Mattus, Mangan, and Miller.

Miller played my accordion and the guys had two half-pints in their pockets. They played the piano rolls, records and cards.

Herb and I were goofy all night and I doubt if we got serious for even a minute. We'd even kiss and then laugh. Sunny went with Miller.

Sis comments:

I remember these guys coming over that night and (like I said) when Miller played the accordion it was like a party.

It figures they would have two half-pints in their pockets, but I don't think they got too rowdy.

We sure had fun playing the piano rolls and of course you had to pump them with your feet then, so we took turns.

The piano came with a lot of old piano rolls and we also bought a lot of the latest songs too, including boogie-woogie— popular at that time. They sold them in the dime store on 63rd St. and also at Rol's Records in the loop. We had fun singing along, because the words were printed on the rolls.

I guess we wouldn't have had half as much fun if all we had to do was switch on the TV.”


  • In her comments above, Sis refers to “Rol's Records”. A reader from Michigan says Sis may have meant to write “Rose Records”, which indeed seems more likely.
  • My aunt Louise (Sis) doesn't mention it, but she could play the accordion, too. At one Christmas gathering of the family, we brought the accordion out and she played it for a few minutes. My aunt also had her own player piano at her home.)

Today's news:

  • Patton to Be Buried Along 3rd Army's Victory Road; DIES IN SLEEP OF BLOOD CLOT; WIFE AT SIDE: Gen. Patton, America's great master of tank warfare, died in his sleep today of a blood clot which developed gangrene in his lungs and weakened his heart. He was 60 years old.
  • PATTON ASKED IMPOSSIBLE AND 3rd ARMY DID IT; IKE'S TRIBUTE: ‘HE WAS BORN TO BE SOLDIER’: There is no need to say that Gen. Patton was one of the outstanding leaders of the war, for of that there can be no doubt. His achievements in the African campaign and particularly in Sicily marked him as one of the most capable field commanders who have ever worn the American uniform. Eisenhower had the same faith in him that Grant reposed in Sheridan.
  • GIs Are ‘Sitting On the World’ This Christmas: The soldier or sailor who has been practically all over the world is on top of it this Christmas. He is far from being the “forgotten man.” Everybody is remembering him and wants this to be a Christmas that will make him forget the parched yuletide he spent on a hot Pacific island.
  • Birthdays: Lady Bird Johnson (33), Connie Mack (83)


Dot, with flowers; Larry Amato; Sis and Dot on the staircase they decorated for Christmas

Dec. 23

Today, Sis and I cleaned our room real good including our drawers. Later Herb called and then came over. I got a bouquet of flowers from Larry and they came in a long box.

Sis and I tied the evergreen and fixed our staircase real pretty. Then Herb, Sis and I had some tea, were discussing religion, etc. Then Herb and I sat on the couch and he kept poking me and really annoyed me.

Mom was downstairs all evening so Herb went at 12:30.”

Sis comments:

Dot was really thrilled when she got the flowers. We took a lot of pictures in our new Xmas p.j.'s— after Xmas, of course. The pajamas were really for lounging. You probably have these pictures and can see the vase of flowers in the background.

Herb never seemed jealous of anything like this, or even when he heard about another guy calling or coming over. You would think with his temperament, it would bother him. Oh, he had a few outbursts but I think it bothered Dot a little that he didn't show a bit more jealousy. (That's only my thoughts and she never came out and said as much.)”

Today's news:

  • TRUMAN OPENS U. S. GATES TO WAR REFUGEES - 39,000 a Year Will Get Priority: President Truman tonight called for the admission of refugees into this country under established immigration quotas at the rate of 39,000 a year.
  • LOOP BREATHES EASIER AS YULE SCRAMBLE ENDS: The last minute Christmas rush is over. Shoppers yesterday jammed the loop and outlying business districts in a frenzied effort to complete their gift lists before Christmas eve. Traffic was the heaviest it has been during the shopping season.
  • ASK $320,000 TO BEGIN WORK ON SUPER-ROAD: Cook county officials said yesterday that they will ask a $320,000 grant from the Illinois post-war planning commission to help pay for engineering work on the northwest super-highway, the construction of which is to be pushed simultaneously with development of the new airport.
  • CHICAGO BIRDS FACING DEATH BY STARVATION - Urge Public to Provide Food: Chicago's bird population may have to form its own breadline for Christmas dinner unless the homemakers of the city open their doors to toss out bread crumbs and suet from yuletide feasts for the snowbound feathered creatures.
  • Birthdays: Gen. Wesley Clark (1); Chet Baker (16); Emperor Akihito of Japan (12)


Above: Sis, Dot, Pauline, Son (Louis, Jr.), and Louis Sr., on Christmas Eve, 1945. Below: Son, Dot, Sunny, and Sis, having dinner at midnight

Above: Bernie Mangan (left) with “Babe” Miller (seated). Below: Bernie again (left) alongside Sis. At right is possibly Herb's twin brother, Pete.

Dec. 24

Christmas Eve. I got a card from Herb with $5.00 in it, so I went down 63rd and bought myself a makeup kit.

Later in the evening, Herb came over with Miller and he gave me a genuine Corday purse. Then his brother Pete, Pete Mattas, Mangan, and Jim Pauls came over with a 1/5 of wine. Jim and Hal dropped in too. We had a lot of fun singing, taking pictures, eating and just fooling around.

It was a very glorious Xmas Eve, and my Daddy was sweeter to his Baby (me) than ever.

Sis comments:

Oh, yes, this was quite a Christmas Eve gathering and the guys really took over the house. A little too much, I think, and we had to tell them to eventually leave so we could have our traditional family dinner. Our midnight dinner was a custom and strictly for family.”


  • Going by the photos taken on this night, it looks like Sunny was there for the midnight dinner, too.

Today's news:

  • STRITCH TO BE A CARDINAL - POPE BESTOWS RED HATS ON 3 OTHERS IN U. S. - Rome Consistory Set for Feb. 18: Archbishop Samuel A. Stritch of the Chicago archdiocese yesterday was named a cardinal by Pope Pius XII. At the same time, the pope created 31 other new cardinals, three of them from the United States and seven others from the western hemisphere.
  • 59 TROOPSHIPS DUE TODAY WITH 40,000 ABOARD: More than 40,000 service men are scheduled to arrive today at three east coast and five west coast ports aboard 59 troop carrying ships.
  • Birthdays: Ava Gardner (23), Howard Hughes (40).


Sis, Sonny and Dot; Miller; Pauline (Dot's mom)

Dec. 25

Christmas Day. Sis and I went to the Southtown and saw Junior Miss and Her Highness [and] the Bellboy.

Got home and took some pictures, then Herb, Miller and Dutz dropped in, but didn't stay cause they knew Mom was sore about Xmas Eve. I put on my p.j.s and then listened to the radio. Earl called.

Much later, Herb called and said Miller had gotten sick in the show. Then Herb stopped here feeling good and I went in the hall and talked to him in my p.j.s. Not thinking twice.”

Sis comments:

No wonder Mom was mad— you don't mess around with a family custom. It took a lot for her to get angry, but when she was that way we didn't push any buttons. I guess that's why Dot talked to Herb in our front hall.

The pajamas were the ‘lounging’ ones, I'm sure, and gee— they were more ‘cover-up’ than some regular outfits.”

Her Highness and the Bellboy (trailer)

A scene from Junior Miss

Today's news:

  • FREEZING RAIN SLOWS TRAFFIC - SNOW DUE TODAY - ‘L’ Trains Delayed - Autos Stalled: Freezing rain covered Chicago streets, sidewalks, and rails with ice last night, disrupted traffic, and made walking and driving hazardous.
  • Candy Supply to Remain Low Thruout 1946: Because ingredients are scarce, sufficient candy to satisfy public demand cannot be produced for at least the first nine months of 1946 ... the National Confectioners' association said yesterday. Public demand will be 700 million pounds above production.
  • ABSENT AT CHRISTMAS: Months after the end of the war millions of soldiers and sailors are still separated from their families because of the inexcusable delay of the army and navy in effecting demobilization.
  • CHRISTMAS OFF TO HEAD START ON LA SALLE ST.: Only a few block away from State st. stores crowded with last minute Christmas shoppers yesterday, the doors of most La Salle st. financial and business houses were closed. Banks were open, however, and taking care of some other late shoppers.
  • PATTON BURIED AT SIDE OF 3rd ARMY PRIVATE - Cross Like 6,000 Others Erected at Grave: Gen. Patton was laid to rest this Christmas eve in the American military cemetery near here, his grave no different from 6,000 others that are the resting places of soldiers from his gallant 3d army.
  • Birthdays: Rod Serling (21), Humphrey Bogart (46), Helena Rubinstein (75)


Sis and Dot on their apartment's garland-strung stairway; Sis, Dot, Dot's mom, Sonny (Louis Jr.), Dot's dad; Dell, Helen Romanelli, Sis, Lil Strutzenberg, Dot's dad; the Linden theater

Dec. 26

Herb called at 11:30 and woke me up and said he was coming over tonight. Then I went down 63rd and looked around.

About 7:00, Ginny and Lorraine dropped in and then George & Dot, and Dell & Johnny, Herb & Helen. The house was quite crowded.

We first all went to Parnell and fooled around and then Herb and I went to the Linden* and met more of his boyfriends. Got out of the show at 11:45 and came home and had some coffee and hot dogs. Went to bed at 3:00.

Time really flew, and Herb talked to me a lot about different people.”

Sis comments:

I guess we had a late Christmas party for Mom and Dad's friends and relatives. George, Dot, Dell and Johnny— all relatives. Herb and Helen were some friends, I believe, altho I can't come up with a last name.

I can't imagine why Ginny and her sister Lorraine would be there unless they just dropped in unexpectedly. I know this was our parent's party and we wouldn't invite our friends, especially them.

I wonder what Dot means by Herb talking to her about a lot of different people?”


  • *The Linden theatre didn't have a movie listing in the Tribune.

Today's news:

  • RADIO PROGRAMS RETAIN TINGE OF YULETIDE TODAY - Traditional Music to Be Played: The Christmas note carries over into radio features today. The Chicago Symphony orchestra is to present traditional Christmas music over WCFL in its regular Wednesday concert from 8 to 9 p. m. On the program will be Saint-Saens' gay “Animal Carnival”.
  • Sonja's Annual Ice Revue Is a Hit as Usual: It is indeed, the holiday season in Chicago. Santa Claus has come and gone, but Sonja Henie and her radiant company of skaters —200 of them— are here for their annual happy stay in Chicago Stadium. First of 23 performnances was given last night before a near capacity crowd.
  • Plastic Coated Fabrics Will Be on Market Soon: Plastic coated fabrics established an outstanding record in their application to war product upholstery.
  • SUPER-HIGHWAYS TO LINK ENTIRE CITY, GROUP TOLD - Officials Agree Roads Must Serve All: Along Michigan av., northward as far as Oak st., Chicago's business center has been moving, and real estate men have pointed out that the shift in the main business district has made adequate super-highway connections especially essential for the near north side.
  • Theft of Moose Head Reported by Taxidermist
  • Birthdays: Phil Spector (5), Steve Allen (24), Mao Zedong (52)


The Walgreens drug store near the Chicago theater; The Oriental theater; Hillman's Pure Foods and Cafeteria in Chicago's Loop.

Dec. 27

Herb called at 10:00 and we gabbed away and then I cleaned the house and met Sis & Sunny downtown.

We went to Hillman's Cafeteria and then to the Oriental and saw Getting Gertie's Gartertres bien— and Harry Cool, and the King Cole Trio in person. Went down in Walgreen's and ate and listened to very dreamy music.

Sis and I stopped in Parnell for a Coke and met Hal and Jim, so they walked us home.

Sis comments:

“Yes, Getting Gertie's Garter was tres bien. I don't remember Harry Cool, but we had an all-around good time when we saw a great movie, a stage show, and topped it off by eating in Hillman's Cafeteria. Who needs Herb and the guys?!”

The King Cole Trio perform Sweet Lorraine, one of their hits which was likely heard on this day at the Oriental

Harry Cool sings Dancing on a Dime with the Dick Jurgens Orchestra, 1940


  • Appearing on stage with the (evidently unbilled) King Cole Trio and Harry Cool at the Oriental: Marcy McGuire was a contralto singer and actress; Ted and Flo Vallett were actors, and probably singers; Buster West was an “eccentric dancer.”

Today's news:

  • AMERICAN LINES ORDERS 100 JET DRIVEN PLANES: American Airlines announced yesterday the purchase of a new type of twin engined transport, to cruise at 300 miles an hour and incorporating several novel features for the convenience of air passengers. The model 240 will have its loading door at the front end of the fuselage ... hinged at the bottom and will form, when lowered, a ramp by which passengers will enter.

[Note: In 1960, John F. Kennedy used a Convair CV-240 dubbed Caroline, making it the first private aircraft ever used in a U.S. presidential campaign. —D.]

  • $209 Site Sold Century Later for $850,000: Part of the land under the Morrison hotel, at the southeast corner of Madison and Clark sts., bought by Orsemus Morrison 109 years ago for $209 cash, was sold yesterday by one of his heirs for $850,000 cash. The buyer was the First National Bank of Chicago.

[The Morrison Hotel was eventually demolished, replaced by the 850-ft. tall First National Bank of Chicago building, later known as Chase Tower.]

  • TRUMAN PLANS STATE OF UNION ADDRESS SOON; Television Talk Seen: President Truman will carry his labor and other legislative proposals directly to the people in a radio address probably during the first week in January. It will be a state of the union address to start off 1946.
  • Birthdays: Marlene Dietrich (44), Sydney Greenstreet (66)



Dec. 28

Today I didn't do much. Herb called and said maybe he'd come over tonight.

At about 10 to 8, Earl —or supposedly Earl— called, but he slipped up when he asked me questions that Earl wouldn't know enough to ask.

Then Herb called and said he wouldn't be over but if I would meet Miller and him in Parnell's. I of course said yes.

They walked me up to the Stratford and was surprised that I was going alone. I saw Rhapsody in Blue. Some sailor walked me to Normal [Blvd.] from the show.

Sis comments:

“I must have been working or else had a date for Dot to go to the show by herself.

As I said before, I never remember going to the movies alone and I doubt if I would have liked to do that. I'm surprised Dot did and that Herb didn't join her. At least a friendly sailor walked her part way home. Boy, we took chances with these ‘pick-ups’, especially when we were alone.”

The trailer for Rhapsody in Blue

Today's news:

  • CHICAGO LOSES OUT AS SITE FOR UNO'S PERMANENT HOME: Chicago lost out tonight in the race to become home of the united nations organization when an interim committee decided to send a headquarters site inspection group to the United States to visit 10 states, Illinois was not one of them.
  • Bing Crosby Again Box Office Leader - Van Johnson Next: Crosby scored heavily in Going My Way, which has grossed 8 million dollars. Van Johnson ... was followed in order by Greer Garson, Betty Grable, and Spencer Tracy, with Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper tied for sixth; Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, and Roy Rogers.
  • SONJA HENIE HAS VAN JOHNSON AS GUEST AT DINNER: Van Johnson, handsome blond movie actor, and Sonja Henie, ice skating star, walked arm in arm down Michigan av. yesterday but both refused to comment on rumors of a romance between them. [Johnson] and the blond Norwegian skater had dinner in her suite in the Drake hotel before going to [Henie's] show. Johnson said he would return to the west coast in a few days— ‘as soon as I get enough of this wonderful snow.’
  • Coast to Coast Taxi Picks Up a Return Load! Harry E. Arisohn, Los Angeles, Cal., taxidriver who drove six stranded marines from the west coast to their eastern homes, relaxed today after the five day trip by making plans for a return coast to coast jaunt with five service men as fares.
  • Cook Finds a Roman Coin in a Turkey's Stomach
  • Birthdays: Maggie Smith (11), Martin Milner (14), Stan Lee (23), Earl “Fatha” Hines (42)


63rd, looking west from Halsted St.; Dot; Herb Martin; “Babe” Miller

Dec. 29

Went down 63rd and bought a new blouse.

Herb & I and Miller & Sunny were supposed to go out, but Herb and Miller got in some trouble trying to sell a chaud watch. So when Herb called he said he didn't feel like going out, and I personally didn't care to either cause it was rainy and icy.

Herb came over and we played cards. He left at 12:00 sharp and didn't kiss me good night. I felt a little hurt and then he called me from home. We talked for nearly an hour.

It's just that the whole family was around, and he has to work tomorrow.

Sis comments:

What in the world is a ‘chaud’ watch? Could Dot mean a cheap watch?? I can't imagine what else it could be.

[It's a watch that's ‘hot’ —D.]

Here I was just saying Miller was one of the nicer guys, and then he gets in this trouble with Herb. I guess I forgot this incident.

Herb didn't kiss Dot goodnight? What goes??”

Today's news:

  • NEW CHIEF VOWS A CLEAN CHICAGO: John C. Prendergast, appointed yesterday as Chicago's new police commissioner, vowed last night to run hoodlums, racketeers, and vice mongers out of town and to make Chicago one of the cleanest cities in the country. As to vice, Prendergast uttered two brief words: “No vice!”. Prendergast is 6 feet tall. He smokes, but doesn't drink. He is a bachelor. His home is at 7333 South Shore dr.
  • DREAMING OF A WHITE NEW YEAR: Frank Chambers, the city's chief smoke inspector, reports few violations these days of the ordinances he is charged with enforcing. A Tribune reporter and camera man ... drove for 60 miles thru Chicago's industrial districts without finding a violation [tho] occasionally a chimney would be pouring out black smoke.
  • DREISER, NOTED AUTHOR, IS DEAD IN HOLLYWOOD; His 'American Tragedy' Brought Fame: Theodore Dreiser, 74, American novelist and author of “An American Tragedy,” died tonight of a heart attack at his home here.
  • FRENCH OBSERVE 50TH BIRTHDAY OF THE MOVIES: Several speakers warned that unless something is done for its relief, the French cinema industry will die. The French claim that [a film] exhibition in 1895 was the first public picture show.
  • City Orders More Taxis on Street - Veterans Jeer Aldermen in Council Row
  • UN Site to Be Near Boston or New York City
  • Birthdays: Jon Voight (7), Mary Tyler Moore (9), Pablo Casals (69)


Sis and Dot; Sunny, Dot and Sis; Helen Romanelli

Dec. 30

Stayed in all afternoon. Herb called at 11:30 and asked me what I was doing and I said that we girls hadn't decided.

Went to Parnell and talked to Earl and Dave. Earl said he did call Fri., so I guess he did.

Later in the eve., Sis, Sunny and I went to Viking Ballroom on 69th & Halsted* and met Helen there. I really had a wonderful time and the place itself is beautiful. They have a cocktail lounge and the fellows and girls are older, and I like it that way. Got home at 1:30.”

Sis comments:

Viking Ballroom was a great place for us girls to go. I don't think any of us ever went there with a date. It was a dress-up place and we usually went with several girls and had to take two streetcars.

The dance hall was upstairs and had a nice, dark atmosphere, unlike our high school dances. They had a professional dance band. Altho there were no name bands, they were still good. As Dot said, they had a cocktail lounge, which also had a nice atmosphere.

We had no trouble getting a drink— usually a highball. And remember I was 16 at the time. Never an I.D. check in those days. We really felt grown-up when we went in there and I can't remember ever getting more than one or two drinks.

Dot was right about an older crowd, but we never had any trouble for our one rule was: we came together and we go home together. If a gal broke that rule, we didn't go with her again. And it happened a couple of times.”


  • *The Viking Ballroom was at 69th & Emerald (near Halsted St.) Events were still being held there as late as 1969. James J. Coulas Sr., who started the ballroom in 1932, during the Depression, passed away in 2007. Admission during 1946 was 80 cents plus tax.

Today's news:

  • Biggest New Year's Eve in Two Decades Anticipated - But Hurry if You Don't Have Reservations: Predictions are rampant that tomorrow night will be the biggest New Year's eve since the boom times of the '20s. You should have made your reservation long ago. Prices range downward from the Chez Paree's top of $18 [...] The Rio Cabana, the Edgewater Beach, the New Horizon, and the Frolics all offer new revues.
  • KELLY SAYS 1946 OFFERS A BRIGHT OUTLOOK TO CITY: Heading the list were 100 millions for slum clearance and housing, 287 millions to “give Chicago and environs the greatest system of highways enjoyed by any American municipality,” and 40 millions for the Douglas super-airport. “By the summer of 1946 we will have in operation the largest bathing beach in the country— Rainbow Beach” [Kelly said].
  • AN ERA CLOSES IN PICTURE OF PRO FOOTBALL - Rams and All-America Come to Fore: Professional football was spectacular in 1945 thru its actual accomplishments on the gridiron and the promise of a new bombastic era for the sport. The shape of things to come involves the new and dynamic All-America conference, truly national in geographic scope. In 1946, professional football, like baseball, will have two major leagues.
  • AIRPORT IS NEW FIRST FOR ILLINOIS: The University of Illinois, with a new 2-1/4 million dollar airport as part of its campus five miles southwest of Urbana, leads all American educational institutions in aviation.
  • Birthdays: Davy Jones (born today), Michael Nesmith (3), Sandy Koufax (10), Del Shannon (11), Bo Diddley (17), Jack Lord (25), Carol Reed (39)


Dot and Herb Martin in front of the Christmas tree in Dot's living room; a Chicago Surface Lines streetcar transfer slip, punched at 12:45 a.m., Jan. 1, 1946, that Dot taped to the Dec. 31, 1945 page in her diary.

Dec. 31

“Today was the end of a wonderful year.

Herb came for me with Miller at 8 and we went to Sunny's house, listened to records and ate. Then we met Dutz & pals in the Stratford.

About five to 12, Herb held my hand, and as the clock on the screen moved, the drums were beating faster and faster; so Herb held my hand tight and said, ‘Honey, I love you so much and I wish we're together and as happy next New Year's.’

Then it was 12, and horns were blowing and he kissed me and I felt like crying because I was so terribly happy.

After that we went to Matthew's restaurant and had two barbecue beefs and met all of Herb's friends. Every one was goofy and were having a gay time.

We walked home (5 a.m.) and I was quite frozen, but I was too much in love to care about the weather.”

Sis comments:

Dot sure had a wonderful time, and I still can remember how she was walking on air when she came home. She talked about this day for awhile and that really reinforced how much she cared about Herb.

Is it downhill from here for Dot and Herb? I can't wait to see what 1946 brings!

Dot, Pauline, and Sis, about 1960


  • Dot's diary will continue as 1946 begins. If you've been reading during the past 12 months, I hope you will stay around for the “New Year”. I'm sorry to say, however that Sis (my aunt Louise) passed away before she could share her remembrances of 1946. This, Dec. 31, 1945, is the last day her comments will appear here. —D.

Zombies on Broadway (full movie), playing tonight at the Stratford

Peforming this evening at the Stratford theater's stage was “Radio's Famous Songstress” Jane Walton (above, singing “Bobby Sox Tune” in 1944.) Walton was billed as the “Champagne Lady” with Lawrence Welk's orchestra. She passed away in 2010. More about her here.

Today's news:

  • CHICAGO READY FOR ‘AN ATOMIC’ NEW YEAR'S EVE - Crowds to Jam Loop and Night Spots: A shrieking welcome to 1946 will be uncorked in Chicago tonight in the greatest outburst of New Year's eve revelry in the city's history, hotel and night club managers predicted yesterday. “It will be atomic,” one caterer said.

Thousands of celebrants without reservations of any kind will jam the corner of Randolph and State sts. at midnight to shake noise makers, toss tinsel hats into the air, and just yell. Plenty of domestic whisky will be available at all the dining places and there will be a bit of scotch.

  • Home Won't Be the Same with These Gadgets: The future of housewives is rosy, according to displays at the Major Applicances Manufacturer's exhibition yesterday in the Palmer House. [...] There are machines to do the family washing automatically and a device to dry a machine load of clothes in a maximum of 1 hour. Let rain fall where it may, if Mrs. America owns a machine like this one, she can forget about the weather and damp-dry her clothes in 13 to 25 minutes.
  • Sequins to Help Put a Flashy Close to 1945: From the fashions standpoint, this old year will go out in a blaze of flickering sequins, Judging by the sales records of sequin covered dresses, blouses, coats, sweaters, belts, bags, and gloves, some eye blinding arrays will be seen.
  • Birthdays: Diane von Fürstenberg (born today), John Denver (2), Henri Matisse (76)

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