July 1945
Boating at Jackson Park
Hal's party
Outside Gus' Tavern
Buckingham Fountain
Potato pancakes & Scotch broth
Job hunt
Benny Goodman


Grant Park band shell, 1940s

The United Artists theatre

On Monday evening, Dot, Jim, Sis and Sunny may have also seen this newsreel.

Previously in Dot's Diary: Dot and her boyfriend, Jim Parks, went to the Prom and, afterwards, took in some of the nightlife downtown, at the Blackhawk and the Latin Quarter. There were trips to Riverview amusement park, and Jackson Park beach. As summer vacation was underway, Dot met Herb Martin, who would become her biggest love interest (outside of the future husband she was yet to meet, and who was currently serving in Burma.)

July 1

Today, Jim and I went to the Southtown in the afternoon and then came home and went to Grant Park to hear the concert. It was very good, but kind of cold outside.

Then Sis, Sunny, Jim and I went to the United Artists and saw The Clock. Jim was really very chummy there, which is one thing I can't stand in a show. Afterwards, we came straight home.

Oh—I did get my goodnite kiss.”

Sis comments:

Boy, two shows in one day! How about that. We used to go to Grant Park concerts quite often in the summer. Mostly we went when they had an Armed Services band, or some popular ‘swing’ orchestra. Not exactly your classical stuff!

It sounds like Jim is annoying someone... ”


  • The curvy Grant Park band shell (top left) near 11th St. was replaced in the late 1950s by a new, square shell, at Adams and Columbus Drive. It has now been supplanted by the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, in Millennium Park.
  • From today's Chicago Tribune: “Percy Grainger completes the second of his two Grant park appearances tonight by playing the Grieg piano concerto… and conducting the orchestra in a group of three of his own compositions.” See below:

Percy Grainger plays Grieg Concerto Op. 16 (1-3)

Trailer for Diamond Horseshoe, starring Betty Grable

The Clock, starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker

Today's news:

  • House to Open Sedition Quiz in Hollywood: [Acting Chairman Rankin] said “One of the most dangerous plots ever instigated for the overthrow of this government has its headquarters in Hollywood.”
  • Congress Gets Hawaii's Plea for Statehood
  • Glider Takes Six More Out of Shangri-La
  • Travel By Rail Near Capacity; Traffic Grows; Passengers Facing More DIfficulty
  • Aircraft Plant Workers Turn to Other Jobs
  • FREE CONCERTS AT GRANT PARK - The 11th annual summer season of free concerts [has begun] in the band shell on the lake front opposite 11th st., [and] will be presented by the specially organized Grant Park Symphony orchestra. [...] Seats have been provided for 25,000 persons, and thousands more may hear the music from adjacent lawn areas. Amplifying equipment will carry the concert as far as the steps of the (Field) museum.
  • Birthdays: singer Deborah Harry (born today), Twyla Tharp (4), director Sydney Pollack (11), Olivia de Havilland (29), Estée Lauder (39), Charles Laughton (46)

clockwise: Herb, Dot, Ginny and Jim

July 2

Herb called at noon today. Jim came over at 12:30 and found out Herb was coming over, so Jim said he would,too. Herb came later on, and then Ginny. Jim had his car, so we 4 went for a ride to the lake, and walked around the lake.

Gee, a lot of Herb's ideas have changed. He really acts on the level with me.

Jim took Herb and I home, and then Herb and I went and had a beef dinner at Parnell Restaurant (1:45).”

Sis comments:

I really can't understand the part Jim played in all this. Did Ginny and Jim walk together by the lake, as a couple? Those two were usually more brotherly and sisterly together, like Hal & Dot were.

So Jim took them home and then dropped Herb off. I can't recall any of this or I would've been asking some of these questions of Dot.

Now eating a beef dinner at 1:45 a.m. I can understand!”

Today's news:

  • Four Japanese Industrial Cities Bombed by 600 Super Forts; Greatest B-29 Raid Pours Fire Bombs on Navy Base
  • 315,000 Yanks Already Back from Europe
  • GIs Problems Being Solved in Chicago Area; Jobs Plentiful in Booming Labor Market
  • DISCLOSE REDS' PROPAGANDA IN ARMY'S PAPERS - It Follows the Program Lenin Advanced: Soviet propaganda is being fed to American soldiers in Europe by Communists who have eased themselves into editorial chairs of the army's newspapers, according to members of the house military affairs subcommittee.
  • Birthdays: Imelda Marcos (16), Pierre Cardin (23), Thurgood Marshall (37)

Sunny, Dot and Sis

July 3

Herb called at noon again and wanted to know when he could see me. Jim came over at 12:30 and stayed till 3:15; made a date for tonight.

Uncle Al (Levit., Cal.) flew in from Manila today and is staying with us for a visit.

Later in the eve., Jim came and went to Sunny's hse. Picked Sis and Sunny up and then went to the carnival on 47th & Damen. Took a 69th-Ashland car home, so had to walk from 63rd & Ashland to 63rd & Normal. I think I saw Herb.”

Sis comments:

Uncle Al was Mom's stepbrother. He was an officer in the Army and was a Major Colonel, I believe. (A bit of history: Uncle Al was on the USS Missouri when the peace treaty between the U.S. and Japan was signed.) A nice man, but a little aloof.

There was always a good carnival at 47th & Damen (called the Back of the Yards then). Our grandfather lived a few blocks from there for many years, and so we were very familiar with the area.

Boy, we sure got our exercise walking around so much!”


  • It's a 12-block walk from 63rd & Ashland Ave. to 63rd & Normal Blvd.

Today's news:

  • Truman Asked to Give Terms for Japanese; May Speed Peace, Senator Says
  • London: Britain has resumed the export of automobiles with the shipment to the U.S. of the first British post-war car to be sent overseas, a 10 horse power four door Austin limousine.
  • Airport Traffic in Passengers, Planes Mounts
  • New Washing Machine to Be More Efficient: Thousands of women who buy washing machines also will get the mechanical clothes dryers to be manufactured after the war. The heat shuts off by a timing device and the clothes are tumbled in clean, 190 degree, moving air.
  • Birthdays: director Ken Russell (18), playwright Neil Simon (18), Chicago-born presidential grandson Ulysses S. Grant III (64).


July 4

Stayed home all afternoon, and in the evening, Sis, Sunny and I went to the beach.

Met Jim later on and he and I had a big argument. Seems he doesn't like the way I've been acting lately— kind of sarcastic and snooty. He's more observant than I thought.

He also said he didn't care what I do or where I go, but that when I'm with him, I shouldn't talk about other fellows.”

Sis comments:

“Jim finally shows a little backbone. I was beginning to think he hadn't any!

I like the way Dot says he was more observant than she'd thought. A guy would had to have had blinders on not to see what's going on. I think Dot would've thought better of him if he had said all this sooner.”

Today's news:

  • Cheer U.S. Army in Berlin; Women in Bread Line Weep as Yanks Pass; Vanguard of 4,000 Vehicle Convoy Reaches City
  • Decatur, Ill.: Police stopped several dozen young women and girls on downtown streets today and told them to go home and put some more clothes on. Abbreviated shorts, the police chief explained, are shorts which fail to come down at least to the knees.
  • Noisiest Fourth in Years Likely in Chicago Area
  • A CHEERFUL NOTE IS HEARD AGAIN ON U. S. BIRTHDAY - But War Still to Be Won Dominates Events: Chicago and the nation today will celebrate the first Fourth of July since Victory in Europe day with more of a spirit of joy than marked the sober observances of the last three years.

Altho victory over Japan is still to come, many service men and women who are thru with war or have won a respite from it will be able to attend home celebrations of this 169th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Millions of wives and parents whose fear of tragic news is ended will join wholeheartedly in the observances. [...]

An ‘On To Tokyo’ firework display will conclude a program (at Soldier Field). This will depict the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima Island. —Chicago Daily Tribune

  • CUBS, WITH 28 HITS, CRUSH BRAVES, 24-2: Boston, July 3 - Phil Cavarretta and Don Johnson led the Chicago attack by hitting safely five times each in their seven tries. [...] In the ninth, Whitey Wietelmann quit second base to take over the Braves' pitching mound and stepped into a six-run explosion. Andy Pafko made four hits and Tommy Livingston three, one of them the only homer of the twenty-eight-hit Bruin slugfest.
  • Birthdays: playwright Neil Simon (18); Chicago-born presidential grandson Ulysses S. Grant III (64).


Dot and Herb


July 5

Herb called at noon and made a date for tonight. Jim came over after school and we argued some more.

Herb came at 7:00 and we went to Parnell and had a Cherry Coke. Then went to the Stratford and saw Identity Unknown. Ate 3 boxes of choc. covered raisins in the show.

After the show, we walked around and then went to China Clipper for delicious Chop Suey. Gosh, he is sweet —and man, what a technique.”

Matches from the China Clipper restaurant [Chuckman Collection]

Sis comments:

Dot loved chocolate-covered raisins, and I guess 3 boxes proved it! I always bought the choc.-covered peanuts, and she, the raisins. Good thing we walked a lot.

Ah, yes, the China Clipper pops up again! The restaurant on the north side of 63rd St., as you established for all of us! Herb was a big spender and liked his food, too!”

Identity Unknown, starring Richard Arlen as a soldier suffering from amnesia


  • My aunt Louise (Sis) asked if I could help with a controversy: Was the China Clipper (long since vanished) on the north or the south side of 63rd? At the main branch of the Chicago Public Library, I found the restaurant listed in a 1945 Chicago phone book (phone WEntworth 9292). The address was 654 W. 63rd St. —the north side.
  • The side of China Clipper's building featured a large mural, painted on brick by an Englewood artist, depicting the famous Clipper airplane in flight.
  • Raisinets were always a favorite of my mother's.
  • Update: a diary reader (who once lived near Dot) writes to say “the China clipper Restaurant was at the west end of the Southtown's west parking lot. There was no building blocking the view of the mural. A White Castle was just west of the China Clipper and across the street from the Stratford theater.”
  • Know anything else about the China Clipper? Please drop me a line.

Today's news:

  • All Philippine Isles Freed; Japanese Planes Sink 2 U.S. Destroyers; 224 Casualties
  • 65,000 Attend Soldiers' Field Climax to 4th
  • Report Only 15 Injured in City by Fireworks
  • American Flag Is Raised Over Berlin Zone
  • Cubs Go Into 2nd Place
  • Easier to Catch Cold in Chicago, Survey Reveals
  • Birthdays: Georges Pompidou (34), director Jean Cocteau (56)


Double feature today at the
Southtown Theatre: Thunderhead,
Son of Flicka
and Bring On The Girls.

July 6

Herb called at noon. Jim called at 6:00 and asked me to go to the show. So I obligingly said yes. We went to the Southtown and saw Bring On The Girls and Thunderhead [Son of Flicka]. After the show, we went to Parnell and sat on my front steps. I eeked with kindness.

He gets me mad in the show. When I go to the show, I want to watch the picture, but he doesn't. Ohh, yow.”

Sis comments:

My advice to Dot would be: Don't go to the show with Jim! She's mentioned this so many times that you wonder if she ever brought it up to him.”

Thunderhead, Son of Flicka

The opening sequence of Bring On The Girls, starring Veronica Lake

Today's news:

  • Black Market Thriving in Berlin Chaos: The black market which thrived under the Nazis is even more profitable in the present confusion attendant upon the redistribution of the allied zones of occupation. —Chicago Daily Tribune
  • Washington: Undersecretary of War Patterson said today the army is proud of its Negro soldiers
  • Congress Asked to Speed Peace Draft Program; Plan Is Called Key Step in U.S. Security
  • Three Companies Given Air Routes to Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • ‘A Medal for Benny’ Is an Unusual Film: John Steinbeck was partly responsible for the story of this movie, and it has much of the flavor of ‘Tortilla Flat.’ A slow moving tale of a settlement of simple, poor Paisanos (part Spanish, part Indian) in a small California fishing village, it portrays their basic decency...
  • Cubs Win, 2-1/2 Games Out of First
  • Birthdays: actor Burt Ward (born today), 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso (10), actress Janet Leigh (18), Nancy Reagan (24), Marc Chagall (58)


Jackson Park lagoon

July 7

Herb called again today, and Jim called too. Herb came at 7:15 with Jim L. and Ginny, and with the car. We went row boating at Jackson Park and gosh, we had a lot of fun.

We then sat in the car and were fooling around, and Herb and I were in the back seat. He kept kissing me on the ear, and he also is a whiz at tickling. I felt awful sick, so went in at 1:00.”

Sis comments:

I knew most of Herb's friends, but can't place a ‘Jim L.’”


Today's news:

  • BAN 450 MI. SLEEPER TRIPS - ORDER TO PLACE 900 MORE CARS AT GI DISPOSAL - ODT Action Result of Protests: Jolted by the nation-wide protest against crowded, dirty, and inadequately equipped trains in which service men are forced to ride, the office of defense transportation today ordered the discontinuance of civilian sleeping car service July 15 on all trips of 450 miles or less.
  • 600 B-29s RAID 5 JAP CITIES IN TOKYO'S VICINITY - Hurl Explosives as Well as Fire Bombs: About 600 Marianas-based Super Fortresses, probably a record number, struck five Japanese cities on Honshu early today with nearly 4,000 tons of incendiary and demolition bombs.
  • Strong Burma Attack by Japs Beaten Back
  • Airline's Stock Soars
  • Tourist Boom in Caribbean Area Predicted
  • School House of Future to Be Just Like Home
  • Cubs Win, 11-3, 5-1, for 7 in Row; Move to Within One Game of Lead
  • Birthdays: Ringo Starr (5), author David McCullough (12), director Vittorio De Sica (44)


Bernard (Bernie) and Sis

Dot and Herb

Dot's brother, Louis. Usually referred to as “Son” or “Sonny.”

July 8

Today, Sis, Son and I went to the beach about 3:00. Had a nice time.

Came home at 10:00 and who should come over but Herb and his boyfriend Bernard. We danced and fooled around playing pool.

I was sitting on the hassock and Herb came behind me and put his arms around my waist. We were both awfully giggly but he was terribly affectionate. Kept mussing my hair, teasing me and kissing my ears.”

Sis comments:

Bernard was Bernie to us. A good buddy of Herb's and a lot of fun.”


  • Weather: Generally fair; high today, 83.
  • My guess is that Dot, Sis and their younger brother went to 63rd Street Beach at Jackson Park.
  • Bernard doesn't get mentioned much in Dot's diaries; wish I had more information about him.

Today's news:

  • Solar Eclipse Tomorrow Is Due at 7 a.m.
  • Train Crowding Vexes Soldiers
  • Can GI Joe Find a Job at Home? Answer is ‘Yes’
  • More Classics of Art Found In Homes of Nazis
  • Allies in Burma Oust Japs From River Position
  • CONGRESS TOLD WHAT TO READ TO BE WELL-RED - Library's ‘Best Books’ List Heavily Subversive: The Library of Congress today advised the nation's lawmakers to curl up with a good book this summer — preferably a work with a sound, communistic tinge. [...] Seventeen of these authors, nearly a third, have extensive affiliations with pro-communist organizations.
  • Cubs Win 8th in Row
  • Cubs, Sox Play Tomorrow in Charity Game: The Cubs will arrive in Chicago from Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon to play an interleague game with the White Sox tomorrow night in Comiskey park for the benefit of the American Red Cross and the National War Fund.
  • Birthdays:Jeffrey Tambor, Nelson Rockefeller (37), Louis Jordan (37)


Dot and Sis
Dot and Herb

July 9

Herb called at noon and Jim came over; invited me to Hal's party tomorrow. Then Sis and I went downtown. I bought a dress and Sis bought shoes.

Herb and Doots came over at 7:15, so we sat around talking and played a little pool. Then we went for a walk to Parnell. Had a banana split and Coke.

Herb and I came home and sat on the front steps talking about ‘True Love’ and fellows and girls. When he talks to me the sun shines, and so do I.”

Sis comments:

The pool table Dot talks about was only about the size of our card table, maybe a little bigger. We sure got a lot of use out of it though, and especially when the guys came over. I guess it was a gift to Sonny; we let him use it once in awhile!

‘When he talks to me the sun shines... Wow-I'm impressed.”

Today's news:

  • Chicagoans Prepare Smoked Glasses to View Solar Eclipse: Astronomers figured the eclipse at 73 percent of totality.
  • 10 Die As First B-29 to Raid Tokyo Crashes
  • Three British Carriers Hit by Suicide Planes
  • Wide Choice in Livelihood Seen for Vets; Opportunity in Job or Own Business
  • ARMY RESTORES BREWERIES FOR GIs IN GERMANY: The United States army in Europe has gone into the brewing industry in a big way. Robert G. Gadsby, assistant brewmaster of Anheuser Busch of St. Louis ... has just reorganized two famous breweries...
  • Rivals Battle on South Side for War Funds: The Cubs and White Sox, the same old baseball feudists from north and south of the river, respectively, are going to be charitable tonight with the help of the Comiskey park lamps Birthdays: actor Richard Roundtree (3), David Hockney (8), John Paul Getty II (13)
  • Hit Parade this week: The More I See You - Dick Haymes Bell Bottom Trousers - Tony Pastor.


Dot and friends went downtown Tuesday night to see Wonder Man at the Woods theatre (photo.) The Goodman Theatre now occupies the site at Dearborn and Randolph Streets.

July 10

Today, Marge and I went to Helen's mother's for our permanents. Mine came out swell but I got awful sick down there.

Got home at 7:00. Herb and Doots were over, but they knew I was going [to Hal's party] with Jim, so they left.

Jim came at 8:15. We went to Hal's, but the party was a flop. So Grace Hoff, Hal, Bob Plant, Jim and I went to the Woods to see Wonder Man. Had a grand time.”

A scene from Wonder Man, starring Danny Kaye


  • The Woods Theater was located at Randolph & Dearborn St. More here.
  • Baseball's All-Star game —originally scheduled for today— was cancelled in April. Travel concerns also have led to a higher-than-normal number of double-headers this season:

Despite risking public outrage, the Major League owners collectively decided to cancel the 1945 All-Star Game due to wartime travel restrictions. Initially, the entire season was in jeopardy as the American war effort against Japan was receiving full attention and resources. In February, a memo was sent out from the Office of Defense Transportation ensuring that the season could take place if all teams reduced their travel by twenty-five percent (as compared to the 1944 season).

Like most of America, both the league and its fans agreed to sacrifice and the Midsummer Classic was one of the first events to go. Originally scheduled to take place in Boston at Fenway Park, the affair was the first All-Star Game to be cancelled since its inception in 1933. According to Ford C. Frick, president of the National League, cutting out the contest would bring a significant savings with approximately 500,000-less passenger miles spent.baseball-almanac.com

Today's news:

  • Carriers Hit Tokyo! 1,000 Planes Attack
  • Japs Dug In On Coast Awaiting Invasion: Tokyo
  • More of Foamy Brew to Cheer Yanks in Pacific; Case of Beer a Month for Each Philippine GI
  • Negro Housing Bans Analyzed
  • Reopen Louvre Today with Art of 5 Centuries
  • 47,144 See Sox Defeat Cubs in 10th, 5-4
  • ‘DONT FENCE ME IN’ LEADS ALL RADIO SONG HITS - Heard by 700 Million on 4 Networks in Year: Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In was the top song hit of the 1944-45 season. Porter also led the parade in favorite standard tunes. His perennially popular Begin the Beguine led this list.

In the hit parade ... I Dream of You was second, The Trolley Song third, and Johnny Mercer's Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive was fourth. The list of patriotic favorites showed Anchors Aweigh in the lead, followed by The Army Air Corps Song, The Marines' Hymn, You're a Grand Old Flag, and Over There. The Army Air Corps Song is the only song written during the present war.


U.S. forces close-in on Japan; a message from Admiral Halsey; women leathernecks; U.S. tightens control of the Phillippines (newsreel; 7-min.)

July 11

Went down 63rd for awhile. Saw Honeymoon Ahead and A Sporting Chance at the Stratford. Stopped at the Minuet. Got home at about 11:30.

Gosh, there were a lot of wolves out. Three fellows in a white convertible asked us to go for a ride, but we said no.

Came home and Marge said that Herb and Doots came over at 9:15.”


  • I couldn't locate clips or trailers from either of the two movies Dot saw today. Most likely these are both considered unmemorable “B-pictures,” as they say.

Today's news:

  • Tokyo Toll: 154 Jap Planes; U.S. Flyers Rip Tokyo, Kobe Air Fields at Will
  • 11,109 VETERANS RETURN TO U. S. ABOARD 4 SHIPS - List Names of Hundreds from Chicagoland
  • CUB FANS HEAR PENNANT BEE'S MERRY BUZZING; Braves and Holmes Here Tomorrow: Grimm-bossed Cub teams always have been strong finishers, and for that reason Chicago fans are hearing buzzings in the ears, said to come from a pennant bee - with more than half the schedule remaining.


61st & Wallace

July 12

Today, Herb called and said he'd be over tonight at 7:30. Doots and Herb came, so we went for a walk in the rain. Stopped in Parnell for a Cherry Coke.

Then Herb and I walked down to 61st & Wallace and sat on the side of the tavern, listening to the juke box. I really had a wonderful time just being with him. I'm crazy about that guy, ummm...”


  • A former Englewood resident says the place with the juke box that Dot and Herb listened to, at 61st & Wallace, was Gus' Tavern.
  • Wallace is a narrow, north-south street that runs parallel to the elevated train tracks. The location today (see photo at left) consists of large, vacant lots on both sides of 61st St.
  • More about jukeboxes here.

Today's news:

  • 34,000 SOLDIERS HOME AGAIN AS 8 SHIPS COME IN - Captured Jap Diplomats Among Arrivals: More than 34,000 war hardened troops— the largest number to return here in a single day —arrived today aboard eight transports.
  • 500,000 YANKS LEAVE EUROPE IN TWO MONTHS: Redeployment of American battle veterans of the European theater of operations passed the 500,000 mark today, just 60 days after the program to get them home and to the Pacific started.
  • May End Auto Rationing This Year
  • Girls Advised on a Point of Dating Etiquet - Q: ‘I'm a 15-year old girl and have a sister who is 16. [...] We've been wondering lately whether it's all right to ask fellows in after our dates.’

A: If it's still on the bright side of the zero hour when you gals and your dates check in for the evening, and if either your father or mother is still waiting up, it might be fun to have the fellows in for a little while, provided the family approves. You might want to have something to eat if you didn't stop for your usual post-date hamburger and malted milk, or you may want to talk over the movie you saw together or just top off the evening with some extra chatter. —by Sheila Daly, Tribune

The Chicago Theatre in 1944. The Walgreen's Drug Store, center, was demolished and replaced by a residential tower in 2007. The Marshall Field's clock, at State and Randolph streets, is at right.

Photo via the Cushman Collection

Sis, Sunny and Dot

July 13

Today was Friday the 13th, and I had a date with Jim. He came at 7:30 and we went downtown to the Chicago Theater and saw A Medal for Benny, and Skinny Ennis and his Orchestra were in person. The show was really swell.

After the show, we went to Minuet's and then came home. Sis and Sunny were on the porch.”

Sis comments:

Skinny Ennis was mom's favorite singer. I almost forgot about him. His famous song was Got a Date With An Angel.*

A scene from A Medal for Benny, playing today at the Chicago theater (photo)


  • The Chicago Theatre was the first large, lavish movie palace in America, with 3,600 seats. Marshall Field's department store supplied the drapes, furniture and interior decoration. During the theatre's early years, it presented movies as well as performers such as John Phillip Sousa, Duke Ellington, Jack Benny, and Benny Goodman. The Chicago was completely refurbished in the 1990s, and now is a venue for live theatre and music. More information here.
  • Bandleader Skinny Ennis sings Linda and Got a Date With An Angel.

Today's news:

  • CHICAGO GATE FOR 20 MILLION IN WAR TRAVELS - Aid Society Is Ready to Meet Huge Demand: Since V-E began to release our fighting men from Europe, Chicago has been the crossroads of the world at war. The Travelers Aid society estimated yesterday that in the next 10 months an army of 20 million men and women in service will pass thru Chicago.
  • 500 Super Forts Bomb Four Jap Cities and Oil Island - 480 MILE STRIP RAIDED - NAVAL AIR STATION HIT: More than 500 Super Fortresses encountered fighter opposition over only one of five targets and only light antiaircraft fire as they touched off huge ‘red glows’ with 3,000 tons of fire and Incendiary bombs before dawn today at a Tokyo bay oil refinery...
  • Birthdays: Erno Rubik (Rubik's Cube, 1), Harrison Ford (3), Patrick Stewart (5)

Clockwise from top left: Dee, Dot, Sunny and Sis, in 1944

This week's issue of Life magazine covered the recent signing of the United Nations Charter.

Anchors Aweigh, with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and an animated Tom & Jerry, had its U.S. movie premiere on this day.

July 14

Today, Dee came over in the evening and so did Sunny. We sat around, drinking Coke, eating caramel corn, and dancing. Had a nice time, considering...

Sunny went home but Dee stayed all night.”

Sis comments:

If Dolores (Dee) is staying overnight, you can be sure that we'll be going to church tomorrow (Sunday) morning. That was the deal!

Today's news:

  • Fleet Shells Japan; Bombardment Follows Carrier Attack on 2 Isles; U.S. Battleships Pound Steel Center on Honshu
  • EISENHOWER HOPES ALLIED UNITY WILL POINT WAY TO PEACE: In an order of the day marking the dissolution of SHAEF, Gen. Eisenhower tonight expressed his ‘fervent hope and prayer’ that the unprecedented allied unity during the war would point the way to permanent peace.
  • New Fall Hats Are Built Up to Giddy Heights


This Man's Navy (playing today at the Englewood) stars Wallace Beery as dirigible pilot Ned Trumpet, who is jokingly called “Old Gas Bag” by his fellow crewmen. In Frisco Sal, a singer travels to find out who murdered her brother.

July 15

This morning, we went to church and really found it quite heartwarming.

Dee, Sis and I went for a Coke, and then went to the Englewood and saw Frisco Sal and This Man's Navy. The show was swell. Also saw two cartoons.

Came home and ate. Led Dee to the streetcar, and on our way home met Jim and Bob Plant. We went to the Shooting Gallery and had a Coke. Herb called.”

Sis comments:

Dee was always trying to save our souls. She meant well, though. I'm glad to find Dot found it heartwarming.

The shooting gallery was near 63rd & Halsted — the same amusement place we had pictures taken, records made, and metal-stamped medallions made also.”

The trailer for This Man's Navy, starring Wallace Beery


  • Whenever Dee stayed over on a Saturday night, the agreement was that she'd bring Dot and Sis to church Sunday morning.
  • “We went to church and really found it quite heartwarming.” Religion was not a big part of my mother's family life. I think she's being sincere with her comment, but then again she could be sarcastic at times.

Today's news:

  • NEW TASK FORCE HITS JAPS! - NAVY'S BIGGEST SHIPS BOMBARD HOKKAIDO PORT - 1,000 Carrier Planes Renew Attack - Biggest Ships in Navy Shell Hokkaido: The newest, most powerful battleships in the United States navy are shelling the Hokkaido steel mill port of Muroran, more than 250 miles north of the scene of the fleet's bombardment on Honshu yesterday.
  • OLD PLAN FOR NEW WARS: V-J day is not going to end the necessity of scientific research and development of the instruments of war. The weapons of the next war will be as far beyond those of this war as the weapons every army now uses are ahead of those of 1918. Other nations will be seeking the means of military invincibility. We cannot abandon the contest to them if we would.
  • Annual Negro Festival to be Held on Friday: Included in the program will be a musical memorial honoring the late President and trophy presentation to Lionel Hampton. W.C. Handy, 72 year old composer of ‘St. Louis Blues,’ will be honorary chairman.
  • See Many Uses for Facsimile After the War; Sends Printed, Pictorial Matter by Radio


Swing Out Sister: “A hep-capade of fun... in a serenade of joy!”, on a double feature today at the Stratford.

Detonation of the world's first nuclear device occurred on this day at the Trinity site, at Alamogordo, New Mexico. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer had played a key role during the Manhattan Project. News about the test would not be made public for several weeks.

July 16

Sunny came over about 6:00 and we went to the Stratford. We saw Delightfully Dangerous and Swing Out Sister. Came home at 11:30 and at 12:00 went out again to the China Clipper and had Chop Suey.

Sat on the front steps and who should come along but Ken Seiler. We talked to him for about a half-hour. Learned a lot. Jackson is married.”

Sis comments:

“I don't know who ‘Jackson’ is, but Ken Seiler was usually a ‘loner’ with no romantic attachments to anyone at that time. He just drifted in and out of our lives.

The finale of Delightfully Dangerous


  • Dot had seen Delightfully Dangerous before, on May 26th, with Larry.

Today's news:

  • Big 3 Parley Begins Today; Churchill and Truman Reach Berlin by Air; Expect Truman to Push Stalin on Jap Stand; Length of Conflict Hangs on Issue
  • Fleet's Planes Blast 128 Jap Ships- SHELL STEEL CITY 2D DAY - FIRE 1,000 TONS AT PORT - No Defense Offered by Enemy from Air or Sea: Struck anew by more than 1,000 tons of naval shells, Japan's industrial port of Murolan on Hokkaido belched tremendous explosions as the fleet bombardment continued yesterday. Adm. Nimitz announced today.
  • BROOKFIELD ZOO ANIMALS HAVE A ‘POST-WAR PLAN’: Preliminary plans call for a man made mountain for animals of the American west and barless cages for apes. Plastic glass now used in plane turrets, will replace bars to isolate the large apes from the public if the material withstands durability tests.
  • Cubs Whip Giants Twice; Lead by 4 Games: The Cubs have 15 successes in their last 16 starts


In Salome Where She Danced, a Viennese ballerian is forced to flee to Arizona during the Franco-Prussian War, where she proceeds to vamp numerous men in order to get what she wants.

In Patrick the Great, a talented singer (Donald O'Connor) learns of a great part in New York City and wins the role. Complications ensue.

July 17

Helen dropped in today, so I went for a walk and to the cleaners. While we were gone, Marge said Herb called.

Jim and I went to the Southtown and saw Salome Where She Danced and Patrick the Great. They were both good, especially the 1st. Wow-what a woman.

Then went to Minuet and had a hamburger. Sis and Sunny were by Sunny's. So I was with Marge.”

Salome Where She Danced, starring Yvonne de Carlo (complete movie)

Scenes from Patrick the Great, with Donald O'Connor

Today's news:

  • Fleets Blitz Tokyo!; 1,500 U.S. and British Carrier Planes Attack; 450 Super Forts Hit Four Homeland Arsenal Cities Blows Paralyze Enemy's Will to Fight—Nimitz Stalin Absent As Churchill, Truman Meet: It was the first time in history that an American President had visited Berlin. Mr. Truman, in fact, is the first American chief executive to set foot on German soil.
  • Food to Remain Short Until '46, Civilians Told Shirt Pocket Radio Ready for Go Signal: The speaker is an ear piece of the hearing aid type. The set will receive standard stations.
  • Washington, D.C.: Civil aeronautics board examiners today recommended that United Air Lines be authorized to establish an air route between San Francisco and Los Angeles and Honolulu.
  • Jack [Jake] Lamotta Signs to Meet [Sugar Ray] Robinson in Chicago
  • Birthdays: actor Donald Sutherland (10), jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi (17)


    Recent events in the news: President Truman travels to Potsdam, Germany; The Ryukyus provide a springboard for U.S. invasion of Japan; Allies establish a presence in Berlin; the British ship HMS Barham capsizes. (Newsreel; 6-min.)

    July 18

    Wow, what a very dull day. Sunny came over and then Ginny dropped in for awhile. We went for a walk, and went home and sat around, just gabbing. Boy, I was bored to tears.”


    • The Postdam Conference began on Tuesday, July 17, and will continue till August 2. It is being attended by President Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill, who will discuss postwar order and other issues. During the meetings, Truman disclosed to Stalin the US' possession of the atomic bomb. More here.

    Today's news:

    • DISCUSS TERMS FOR JAPAN! - TRUMAN CARRIES DRAFT OF PROPOSALS TO BERLIN: With rumors of peace overtures by Japan flooding Washington, it was learned tonight that President Truman took to the Potsdam conference a draft of proposed surrender terms to the enemy. These terms were drafted by the state, war and navy departments.
    • ENGINEERS O. K. 237 MILLION HIGHWAY PLAN - Chicago Program Covers Ten Year Record: A comprehensive program for the expenditure by 1955 ... for the construction of super-highways and improvement of arterial streets in Chicago was recommended yesterday.
    • 2 Fleets Join in Blow 80 Mi. From Tokyo
    • Stars Perform Friday at Negro Music Festival: Lionel Hampton, former newsboy, and his swing band will headline [in] Comiskey Park. Paul Muni will be guest artist
    • Civilian Radio Set Clearance Expected Soon
    • Birthdays: ballplayer Joe Torre (5), astronaut/US Senator John Glenn (24)

    Comments? Please send an email.


    Sis and Sunny; Dot at Grant Park, with the bandshell in the background, when it was closed for the season.

    July 19

    Today was a nice day. Very nice indeed.

    At 3:00, I went downtown and met Sis and Sunny. We watched the Buckingham Fountain and walked around Grant Park by the lake. Ate a nice lunch there, too.

    Later on watched the sailors play baseball and also listened to the concert at the bandshell in Grant Park. The Navy Band played and they were marvelous. Played all sweet and jive tunes.”

    Sis comments:

    I told you we liked the concerts a lot. The Navy bands were especially good and the sailors walking around Grant Park weren't bad, either. Can't remember ever ‘picking up’ any though, and going out. We were good kids!”


    • Buckingham Fountain was just 18 years old in 1945, only slightly older than my mother, who is 17 the time. More here.
    • The US Navy Band, commanded by Charles Brendler at this time, was composed of 90 musicians, including a number of big band and orchestral musicians of the day. More here.

    A modern-day, behind-the-scenes look at Buckingham Fountain

    The Navy Band in 1942

    Today's news:

    • Bomb Jap Waships; U.S. Flyers Find Enemy Hideout in Tokyo Bay.
    • Fort Knox, Ky.: Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. [is] the first time a Negro officer had been placed in charge of a United States military base
    • House Names 13 Army Officers Listed as Reds
    • Big 3 Confer Again; Details Remain Secret; Notables Urge Truman Not to ‘Appease’ Reds
    • Tschaikowsky Program Draws Crowd to Grant Park
    • Willys Tames Jeep; Shows What Civilian Model Can Do
    • New York: A British Austin, said to be the first British automobile to have gone into post-war production, arrived today for exhbition
    • Washington, D.C.: Minimum Wage of 65 Cents an Hour Proposed


      Top: 63rd St. Beach, at Jackson Park

      The first new Oldsmobiles in four years were introduced today. “Style leadership has long been an Oldsmobile tradition [...] Its smart new front-end, tailored grille and massive Wrap-Around Bumpers... all help to make this car the best-looking Oldsmobile in history.”

      (photos via The Old Car Manual Project)

      July 20

      Today Sis and I went to the beach with Sunny. The water was nice and warm. Had a gay old time.

      Came home at 6:00 and dressed and put up my hair. Watched Buckle Haeherts and his sister Helen*. Herb and Doots came over, but Sis pretended she wasn't home. Marge told them we were both at the beach.”

      Sis comments:

      Marge always came thru in a pinch! I can't remember if I was trying to break up with Dutz (or ‘Doots’, as Dot calls him). Maybe I was too beat from being at the beach and my hair was a mess. I guess these guys never called ahead.”

      Lou comments:

      “The boy [“Buckle”] that was mentioned was probably a neighborhood friend of my own age by the name of Donald Hoechertz. Or, as we called him, “hoe carrots”. He lived about two blocks to the south and east, as I recall. I do remember the nickname of “Buckle” or “Bucko”. He was a chubby kid who played with us. The name may have been a modification of Bucky. I do not remember a sister tho.”

      Today's news:

      • FROM PARIS 1918 TO POTSDAM 1945 [editorial]: Potsdam starts with pessimism and cynicism. The participants ... have just declared that force rules the world and shall not be denied, a description which explains what has happened and forecasts what is to happen.
      • Negro Festival Tonight Will Be F. D. R. Tribute: The sixth annual American Negro Music festival, which will be held tonight in Comiskey park in tribute to the late President Roosevelt, will climax a week's activities in the interest of building good will among all races.
      • New Improved Oldsmobile for 1946 Is Shown: The 1946 Oldsmobiles, incorporating several changes from the 1942 models whose production was halted by the war, were introduced in Detroit yesterday. A new type radiator grille and other exterior changes give the new auto a much different appearance.
      • The movie Christmas In Connecticut debuts in theatres.


          In God Is My Co-Pilot, a 34-year-old flyer, dismissed as too old to fight, is finally given a chance to prove himself.

          Bob Plant (at center) took Dot and Sis downtown to the Apollo

          Sis and Dot

          July 21

          Today was an o.k. day. Sis and I went to the beach and had a nice time, except that we met some girl she knew and she stayed with us all the time. Came home about 6:00. Dressed and sat around. Jim called.

          Bob Plant came around later and took Sis and I downtown to the Apollo and we saw God Is My Co-Pilot****. Had a swell time; came home at 1:30 and sat on the front steps till 3:15. (Ken Seiler came too.)

          Sis comments:

          I can't remember the girl Dot writes about. Probably someone in one of my Englewood High classes. Too bad we couldn't ditch her, for we usually liked to just lay around and not even talk much. It's called relaxing! We went in the water, too, tho, and didn't just bake in the sun. Lots of good times at that beach.”

          The Apollo, at 74 W. Randolph St.

          The trailer for God Is My Co-Pilot


          Today's news:

          • GOAL IS PEACE NOT CONQUEST, TRUMAN SAYS - Speaks at Raising of U.S. Flag in Berlin: President Truman told the world today that the United States does not propose to trade its sacrifices in the bloodiest wars for territorial conquest or monetary gain.
          • AMERICANS WAIT AS BRITISH GET 30,000 BATHTUBS: Spokesmen for American plumbing firms charged yesterday that action taken last April by the federal public housing authority, earmarking 30,000 American made bathtubs for lend-lease shipment to Britain, has drained the domestic market of all surplus bathtubs.
          • Weather forecast: Partly cloudy and continued warm today except rather cool near lake; high today, 90.
          • Birthdays: Don Knotts (21), Marshall McLuhan (34), Ernest Hemingway (46)


          • At the Potsdam Conference, Truman and Churchill privately agree to use the recently-tested atomic bomb if Japan fails to surrender unconditionally.


              In Main Street After Dark, an unscrupulous woman and her brood prey on soldiers and sailors.

              In Music for Millions, a young girl joins her sister to play in a classical orchestra

              Dot's friend Sunny

              July 22

              Sis and I went to the Englewood today and saw Music for Millions (again) and Main Street After Dark, also cartoon.

              After the show, Sunny and Josephine (from Cicero) came over and we took a walk down 63rd. They went home and Sis and I sat on the front steps. Bob Plant came around so Sis and I went with him and had a Coke. Came back and went in the house and played Monopoly. (I won.)

              By the way, met Jim about 8:30 and Sis and I went with him for a Coke to Parnell.”

              Sis comments:

              Josephine was Sunny's cousin. We didn't have much in common, and I'm not sure even if Sunny did.

              First we had a Coke with Bob and then again later with Jim. No wonder the owner of Parnell's, Jim, let us sit around so much—we brought the business.”

              The trailer for Main Street After Dark

              Today's news:

              • U.S. Tells Japs: Give Up Now; Longer War Will Doom Nation, Tokyo Warned; Tokyo Bay Shelled Without Reply, Says Admiral Nimitz
              • Reds to Build New Fleet and Bases: Stalin
              • Kennedy Buys Merchandise Mart; Joseph P. Kennedy, Boston financier and former ambassador to Great Britain
              • Food Shortage Brings Berlin to Verge of Chaos; Thriving Black Market
              • 90,000 to Sing at 16th Annual Music Festival: This year on Aug. 18 in Soldiers' field, the festival will belong to the audience
              • Q: How does one go about acquiring a line? It seems essential to any gal who expects to date.

              A: [Sheila John Daly - advice columnist]: There is a big difference between a line and the ability to keep up an interesting conversation. A line is just a lot of con talk used to string the boys along. A good conversationalist is one who has a stock of interests and anecdotes and knows how to use them when the conversation gets a little thin around the edges [...] Boys still like their gals honest— remember the old adage: A straight line is the shortest distance between two dates.

              • ANNOUNCE FINE ARTS PROGRAM AT ENGLEWOOD - Southtown Club to Hold Benefit Party: The fine arts department of Englewood Woman's club will open its fall program with a lecture by Mrs. Joseph J. Jaeger Oct. 22. Her subject will be “Color in Our Lives.”
              • Birthdays: Rose Kennedy (55), artist Edward Hopper (63)


              I'll Be Seeing You: “They came from different worlds, these two... living a lie... fearing their past!”

              The ornate, spacious lobby of the Southtown theater

              July 23

              Sis and I got up early today and went to the beach (10:30). Stayed there till 6:00. Came home with a very sunburned body.

              We dressed and Jim came over, so I went to the Southtown with him and saw I'll Be Seeing You and It's In The Bag. They were both very good. Came home and then Sis and I went to Tasty's for pie and Coke.”

              Sis comments:

              “The beach— again and again. Home by 11. I can't believe the late hours we kept, and especially how we walked thru the park to get to 63rd & Stony Island. And then Sunny walked home —by herself— after that!”

              The trailer for I'll Be Seeing You, starring Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten and Shirley Temple

              It's In The Bag featured radio rivals Jack Benny and Fred Allen

              Today's news:

              • See Truman Strategy in Edict to Japs: The President's primary interest is in ending the war with Japan as quickly as possible.
              • 791 JAP CRAFT - 14 DAY TOLL - Carrier Planes Sink 12, Damage 9 in Raid on Tokyo Bay - HIT BATTLESHIP - BLAST CONVOY FIVE MILES OUT- Bag 596 Planes in Two Weeks: BULLETIN: Breaking his silence on the results of the American-British carrier plane raid into Tokyo bay last Wednesday, Adm. Nimitz announced today that 12 Japanese ships had been sunk and nine, including a battleship, damaged in the Yokosuka naval base.
              • CRITICS ASSERT HIGHWAY PLANS ARE INADEQUATE - Cite Need for Near North Side Artery: ‘Super-highways must be connected and they must serve the heart of the city’, said Charles M. Hayes, president of the Chicago Motor club. [An] expressway off Halsted st. ... would lead to the proposed south side super-highway, about which a controversy still is brewing.
              • Hit Parade: #1 this week: On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe - Johnny Mercer
              • CITY SWELTERS AT 90.8 WITH 50% HUMIDITY
              • Weather forecast: Continued warm; high today, 95
              • Birthday: author Raymond Chandler (57)


              Dot and Sunny

              Near Berlin, the Potsdam Conference continues. Stalin, Truman and Churchill (above) confer on politics and strategy. Truman informs Stalin that a new and powerful weapon is now available for use against Japan but does not elaborate. Stalin had been receiving news of the Manhattan Project siince 1941, through the Soviet espionage network in the U.S.

              July 24

              Boy, today is really hot outside. Sat around all day and in the evening we went to the beach with Jim, Sunny, Sis and I. Met Totten later on. We really had a gay old time. Walked down on the pier. It started to lightning and thunder, so we came home about 11:00. Sunny didn't stay overnight. Went straight to bed.”

              Today's news:

              • Blistering Heat Brings Plea of Needy for Ice: The rasping call of the iceman was music to the ears of many of the city's needy
              • 2 BIG AIR FLEETS HIT JAPAN - 600 B-29s RAID 2 CITIES: A record breaking strike by more than 600 B-29s attacked industrial targets in the Osaka-Nagoya region with nearly 4,000 tons ot explosives at noon today.
              • Weather: Continued warm; high today, 95
              • Sox Take 3rd Place
              • New Railroad Vistas Opened Thru Dome Car; Gets Test Run: Two previews were given yesterday of the type of trains the railroads will use to meet their post-war competition in the air and on the highway.
              • United Air Lines Starts Its 52 Million Expansion Plan
              • Birthday: I, Claudius author Robert Graves (50)


              Sunny in 1945

              Dot's brother (Son)

              Campbell's Scotch Broth

              July 25

              Sis, Son and I went to the beach quite early, and later in the afternoon met Totten there. There were enormous waves and it really was swell.

              We went home at 6:00, and then Sis and I went by Sunny's house. Went for a hamburger at some odd place with a screwy young waiter. Came home and ate potato pancakes and Scotch broth & tomato juice. Went to bed early.”

              Sis comments:

              We ate potato pancakes and Scotch broth and tomato juice. What a combination! How could Dot sleep?!

              I'd almost forgotten about Campbell's Scotch Broth soup. We had it a lot. Our favorite. Sort of like Vegetable soup but a more meaty flavor. I wonder if they still make it?”


              • Campbell's still sells Scotch Broth. More about this soup:

              Traditionally Scotch Broth is a bit of everything thrown into the pot and is quite a filling soup. In olden days Scots would eat this as a main meal. In modern times many Scottish households still serve Scotch Broth as a main meal rather than a starter soup. Ingredients can be substituted depending on your own tastes. It's best made the day before to allow the full flavour to soak through. We make a huge pot of it and boil it up each day, adding more tatties and water as needed. It is very warming when eaten during the winter and is popular on New Year’s Day. Scotch broth soup is sometimes called Barley Broth soup. —via Scottish Recipes

              Today's news:

              • Cooler Today After Year's High of 99.4: A sudden thunderstorm broke Chicago's four day heat wave this morning after a torrid day yesterday in which the mercury climbed to 99.4 degrees. The storm followed an earlier prediction of cooler temperatures for today with maximums of 78 near the lake and 83 elsewhere.
              • 54,814 SOLDIERS TRAVEL IN DAY - SET RAIL RECORD: Railroads on July 11 transported 54,814 soldiers, the highest total in history for any single day, it was announced yesterday.
              • POST-WAR AIR OUTLOOK HOLDS JOBS FOR VETS - Predict Vast Gains in Traffic: The country's commercial air lines, with prospects of a large volume of post-war business from an increasingly air minded public, will offer attractive job opportunities for veterans, especially the younger army and navy trained air men.
              • Birthday: Emmett Till (4)


              Sis and Dot at the piano, 1946

              WLS Radio's popular National Barn Dance show was the inspiration for the movie. More information here.

              July 26

              “Got up early and ate. Mom came and looked at the piano and bought it.

              Sis, Sunny and I went down 63rd and later on went to the Englewood and saw Practically Yours and National Barn Dance. Both were keen. Also saw 5 acts of vaudeville. It was very cool outside.

              Later on we went to Tasty's and had pie, Coke and a hamburger. Came home and washed my hair, put it up, and went to bed.”

              Sis comments:

              The piano Mom looked at and bought was at Sunny's Dad's tavern, and was my 16th birthday present. It was the beautiful cherrywood player piano that was later destroyed in the flooded basement on Talman Ave. We had a lot of good times with it.”

              A scene from Practically Yours, starring Fred MacMurray


              • After Dot & Sis got married, their mom and dad moved from their apartment on 61st & Normal to a two-flat in the Brighton Park neighborhood. Photos and other memorabilia were among the posessions that were ruined in the flood, along with Sis' birthday present.

              Today's news:

              • EXPECT TRUMAN TO TELL BIG 3 FACTS ON RADIO: President Truman is expected to report to the nation by radio on results of the Big Three conference immediately after he returns to Washington, if congress has recessed, it was announced tonight.
              • Birthdays: Helen Mirren (born today), Mick Jagger (2), Stanley Kubrick (17), George Bernard Shaw (89).

              Dot at bat
              Dot, Sunny and Sis

              July 27

              “Got up early and Sis, Sunny , Bob Plant, Jim and I went to the beach. Stopped at Walgreen's and had a milk shake (chocolate). The waves at the beach were terrific, but the water was warm. Played ball and just fooled around. Left at 3:30.

              Later in the evening, dressed, and Dell, Johnny and their two kids came over. Sis and I went to Parnell, but the booths were full.”

              An ad for Walgreens that appeared in the July 27, 1945 Chicago Tribune. Among the items is medium-sized Gaby Tan Lotion (“Helps You Tan Evenly”) for 47 cents, and an “Air-Weave Outing Hat for Summer,” for just 59 cents.


              • Dell & Johnny are Dot's aunt and uncle; Bob Plant will later become Ginny's boyfriend and eventually her husband).

              Today's news:

              • Ultimatum Sent to Japan; Surrender Now or Be Destroyed, Allies' Edict; ‘No Alternatives, No Delay’
              • 50 B-29s BOMB KYUSHU, SHIKOKU FACTORY CITIES - Drop Incendiaries Third Time in Four Days: More than 350 American B-29s firebombed three Japanese cities today starting general conflagrations.
              • PLAN TO CRUSH JAPS IN SINGLE BLOW BY ARMY: The United States army plans to deploy 7,000,000 soldiers in a knockout blow against Japan, instead of attempting to do the job "piecemeal."
              • U. S. CASUALTIES 1,058,842 - UP 5,741 IN WEEK
              • REDS EXPECTING SOVIET AMERICA WITHIN 5 YEARS: A prediction by Soviet Dictator Stalin that the United States faces an economic crisis in the post-war period evoked loud cheers at the opening of a secret convention of American communist leaders today.
              • New Mustang, Fastest Plane, in Production
              • Weather forecast: Partly cloudy, a little warmer, high today 85; northeast winds 10 miles per hour
              • Birthdays:songwriter Bobbie Gentry (1), Leo Durocher (39)


              Sis, Marge, Richard Kustwin

              July 28

              Sis, Marge, Baby Lee and I went to the beach. It rained, so we came home about 1:00. Awfully dreary afternoon.

              Later in the evening, Sis and I went to Sunny's house. Had a swell time eating and talking. Played Monopoly (I won). Went to bed at 1:00. On the way to Sunny's, saw Eleanor, Richard K., and Lawrence.”

              Sis comments:

              Dot always won at Monopoly or else she only wrote about it when she did win. Richard K. and Lawrence were Dot's old grammar school heart throbs. Not much written about them, so I guess she was over them by now.”


              Today's news:

              • Expect Britain to Grant Free Speech to India
              • Vets Carry Job Fight to Detroit; Demand Unions Allow Soldiers a Chance
              • Polio Epidemic Reported; 2,048 Cases in 1945
              • 19-HOUR HOP TO PARIS IS PLANNED BY TWA: Paris will be only fifteen hours from New York and nineteen and one-half hours from Kansas City. The airline said the flight time was computed on the performance of the Lockheed Constellation, the fifty-seven-passenger plane conceived by TWA for both foreign and domestic service.
              • 20,000 IN CHICAGO END PLANE ENGINE STRIKE: The three-day strike of more than 20,000 workers at the Dodge plant here of the Chrysler Corporation, which halted production of Superfortress engines urgently needed, was suddenly ended today.
              • Alcohol Fuel Hailed As Boon to U.S. Farmer
              • Cubs Get Hank Borowy in $100,000 Deal; Obtain Yankee Star to Help in Title Drive
              • Birthdays: Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy-Onassis) (16), Rudy Vallee (44)


              The RKO Grand theater, 119 N. Clark St.

              At 9:49 am, a U.S. Army B-25 bomber, while flying in thick fog, crashed into the north side of Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. Fourteen people were killed — 11 in the building, along with three occupants of the plane.

              “The towering Empire State Building that is a city of 102 stories, reaching 1,250 feet high, ‘moved’ twice yesterday when struck by the bomber and then it ‘settled’. [...] What had happened was something that New Yorkers had long feared, particularly since the war. A low-flying airplane, fog-bound, had crashed into the city's tallest structure. [...] For most of the afternoon the upper stories were shrouded in mist and a good part of that time smoke continued to pour from the seventy and eighty-floor levels.”

              (July 29, 1945 The New York Times)

              July 29

              “Got up early and went to Sunny's show and saw Curly Top and Gypsy Wildcat. Both were swell.

              Came home about 5:30 and Marge said Herb and Doots came over last night around 8:00. Helped Mom with supper. Ceil and Joe came over.

              Sis and I dressed and went to Parnell to meet Bob P. and Jim. Had a Coke and met Sunny, then the 4 of us took an L and went to the Grand to see King Kong — swells.

              Jim gripes me. I can't stand him.”

              Sis comments:

              See what I meant about Herb and Doots never calling? I guess they both thought we sat around, waiting for them to come over whenever they felt like it. This irked Dot, too. I'm surprised she didn't mention it (so far) in her diary.

              Ceil & Joe must have been Dad's brother & his wife.

              King Kong was really great and I remember when we went to see it downtown on this day. Too bad Jim was along for Dot!”

              The Olympia, 4619 S. Ashland Ave.

              A scene from Curly Top, starring Shirley Temple

              In Gypsy Wildcat, a wicked baron oppresses gypsies but becomes fascinated by one in particular (Maria Montez)

              The re-release trailer for King Kong (1933)


              • “Sunny's show” was the Olympia, near 46th & Ashland Ave.
              • The RKO Grand, at 119 N. Clark St., was built in 1880, originally seating 1,500 (later 1,200). It was remodeled in the 1940s for movies. In 1958 the building was demolished. The Richard J. Daley Civic Center and a Picasso sculpture now occupy the area.

              Today's news:

              • Senate Ratifies Charter for New League by 89-2 Vote
              • Warning to Pilot Bared in Empire State Crash; Conflicting Reports on Weather Given; Death Toll 13
              • BOMB 6 DOOMED JAP CITIES - 17 B-29 FORCES SET FIRES - FLEET BURNS 5 WARSHIPS - 60 Super Forts Fuel at Iwo on Hop of 3,700 Miles: Seven task forces totaling 550 to 600 Super Fortresses early today rained fire bombs on six Japanese cities of the 11 which the B-29 command warned yesterday would be destroyed unless Japan surrendered.
              • Vets to Receive Psychiatric Aid in Night Clinics
              • DDT EXPERIMENT HERALDS KNELL OF FLY SWATTER: Fly swatters and horse nets may go the way of the dodo bird if the current fly extermination campaign on Michigan's Mackinac Island is a success.
              • Birthdays: Charles Schwab (8), Clara Bow (40), novelist Booth Tarkington (Alice Adams, The Magnificent Ambersons) (76)
              • The USS Indianapolis, returning to the U.S. after delivering atomic bomb components to the Mariana Islands, is sunk by a Japanese submarine. Secrecy surrounding the mission results in the Indianapolis not being missed for several days.
              • The first-place Cubs win the 24th of their last 29 games.


              Above: a dramatization of the events following the torpedoing of the USS Indianapolis.

              Early on the morning of July 30, returning from a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank in twelve minutes. Only 317 of the 1,196 men on board survived. The captain of the Indianapolis was court martialed on charges of “failing to zig-zag”. More information here.

              July 30

              Marge told us Doots came over last nite right after we left for Parnell. Oh gee whiz...

              Marge, Sis and I got up early and went downtown for a job. But no soap, so came home all hot and bothered.

              Sis and I went to the Southtown and saw Without Love and The Unseen. Wonderful.

              Came home, sat on the front steps. Jim came and sat with us, then Ken Seiler, Bob P., and later Chuck. Nice night.

              Sis comments:

              Our front steps were a regular local hangout. I wonder how we fit one and all. And why was Ken Seiler hanging around so much?

              I have to laugh at Dot & I looking for a job, when summer is almost over. I don't think our hearts were really in it!”

              Spencer Tracy portrays a WWII scientist involved in a working relationship with Katharine Hepburn, in Without Love

              The Unseen stars Joel McCrea as a suspicious and secretive widower who hires a governess for his children

              Today's news:

              • Bombard Jap Railway City; Fire 1,000 Tons of Steel; Planes Hit Tokyo Area
              • FORD, 82 TODAY, SEES GREATEST PROSPERITY ERA: Henry Ford, who will be 82 today, asserted in a statement that “the nation and the world are on the threshold of a prosperity and standard of living that never before was considered possible. [...] There are problems— human, economic and political— that must be solved ... there must be more and more industry, more and more competition for greater excellence in quality.”
              • 4,477 MORE JAPS KILLED ON LUZON - 587 CAPTURED
              • ‘MOST HIT’ U. S. CARRIER SINKS 80 JAP SHIPS - Intrepid's Planes, Guns Bag 650 Aircraft
              • RADIO NETWORKS BREAK OUT WITH WHODUNIT RASH: If there is any trend in network shows this summer it is an increased swing toward more detective and mystery shows. There are dozens of them on the networks and major stations. New ones have been added, some old ones revived.
              • Birthdays: Paul Anka (4), sculptor Henry Moore (47), Henry Ford (82)

              Sis and Dot

              Dot's younger brother, Son (Louis)


              In April 1945, Benny Goodman's album Hot Jazz (above) had reached the Top Ten on the newly instituted record album charts. Goodman reorganized his big band and scored three more Top Ten hits during 1945, among them Gotta Be This or That which just missed hitting number one (see video at right.)

              July 31

              Sis and I got up sort of early and went to Cromwell Paper Co.* Got there and changed our minds, so went downtown. There was a parade*, and Benny Goodman was playing —Jive—.*

              Came home and dressed and went to the beach with Sis, Sonny, Sunny, and Ken Seiler. Swam about a half-hour and it started to lightning. Was really quite a storm. The waves tossed and we came home drenched.

              Sis comments:

              I remember going to Cromwell Paper Co. It was in a manufacturing area near the loop. We didn't care for factory jobs and that's what it was. It wasn't a total loss tho, for Benny Goodman was great!

              A busy day. I can't believe we had the energy to go to the beach after all that. Ahh, youth!”

              Benny Goodman and his orchestra play their then-current hit song, Gotta Be This or That


              • * Jive is decribed by Wikipedia as a “lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of swing dance”, and as a dance style that originated from African-Americans such as Cab Calloway in the early 1930s.
              • It appears that Cromwell Paper Co. was located at 4801 S. Whipple, at least as of 1937. The original, red brick building still stands at that address, which is located within the Kenwood Manufacturing District. Whipple is a north-south street that dead-ends at 48th Place. The company may have been known as Cromwell Paper Bag Co. back then.
              • The Monday, July 30 Chicago Daily Tribune notes various Air Force Day events that will take place downtown on Wednesday, Aug 1st:

              “A B-29 Super Fortress will lead a patrol of fighting aircraft which will fly over State st. at noon Wednesday to open Chicago's observance of National Air Force day. … Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker… will review a parade of 1,000 civil air patrol cadets at noon in a program to be presented at State and Madison sts.

              Dot may have gotten behind in her diary, and then later mixed-up the days & events.

              Today's news:

              • Enter Jap Gulf; Shell City; 80 More Ships Blasted by Fleet and Army Planes; U.S. Destroyers 80 Mi. from Tokyo
              • Million Yanks to Return in Next 5 Months
              • WAVES at Great Lakes Parade to Mark 3d Year: 500 of the 1800 girls on duty at the station marched to the music of a band and a drum corps [celebrating] the third anniversary of their branch.
              • Tokyo ‘Deserted City’: Ships of this giant task force moved in close to the shores of Japan today as carrier planes blasted the enemy mainland. Pilots returning from early strikes against fogshrouded Honshu Island reported they met no air opposition.
              • HITLER MAY BE ALIVE, RUSSIAN GENERAL ADMITS: ‘We do not exclude the possibility that Hitler is alive,’ said Gen. Alexander Gorbatov, commanding the Red army's zone of Berlin and acting commandant of the entire city.
              • Birthdays: Geraldine Chaplin (1), Curt Gowdy (26) columnist Irv Kupcinet (33)
              • Weather forecast: Fair and continued warm; high 92.

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