1945: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Today
May 1945
Highlights:
V-E Day
Mothers Day and Maple Lake
Larry
Watching the kids
Mostly ‘etc.‘
“A Tree Grows In Brooklyn”
‘Without the technique, he's boring’
Riverview
-


A Russian soldier in Berlin, on May 1st, 1945.

Photo via Société Informatique et NTIC

Previously in Dot's Diary: Dot celebrated her 17th birthday with her currrent boyfriend Jim Parks at her side... a sad nation mourned when President Roosevelt passed away... lights-out at Hal's for Jim's birthday... Dot, Sis and Sunny went to see that “adorable man”, Woody Herman... Dot donned her Englewood High gym suit to do the Ox Dance, and took in the circus.

Tuesday
May 1
1945

Didn't do much in school today. Pretty dull day.

Bob Dusold called; wants me to go out Saturday. Jim also called; wants me to go to the Canteen with him Friday.

Later on we went to Parnell. Bill Swims came to our booth & was talking to me & kidding me about Stan; told me a little more about the old boy.

Hal came over around 9:30 and we talked about this and that. He called up Jim from my house. Went to bed at 1:30.”

Today's news:

  • In Berlin, Soviet advances continue, leaving only a tiny area in German hands; Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels and his wife take their own lives and those of their six children.
  • White Sox 5, Tigers, 0, in Detroit.
  • Birthday: singer Judy Collins (6), Jack Paar (27), Anna Jarvis, founder of Mothers Day (81).

New on the Hit Parade:

  • I'm Beginning to See the Light —Harry James Orchestra [audio]

--

Keys of the Kingdom (1944) was actor Gregory Peck's movie debut (“The young man you will acclaim the Star of the Year!”)

Poster via The Vincent Price Exhibit

Wednesday
May 2
1945

Umm, nice day today, although it's raining.

After school, I washed and put up my hair and went to the Englewood to see Keys of the Kingdom and five acts of Vaudeville with Sis and Helen.

Came home, and who should be over but Johnny (sailor) and his younger brother Bob (17) from Gary, Ind. (a senior in High School), and he is so keen. 6'2 with a gorgeous physique, although he was quite bashful.

We went for a ride, had some beer and went back to our house and talked til 3:30. He's so nice. Gave me a wonderful good nite kiss.”


Sis comments:

I don't remember anything about Johnny and his brother, but he sure sounds nice. Maybe he will pop up again in this diary and I'll have a clue.”

Today's news:

  • Soviet forces announce the capture of Berlin; German troops surrender in Italy and in Trieste, to the New Zealand Army.
  • News of Hitler's death published in newspapers today. Headlines from today's New York Times:

    The Bloody Dog Is Dead

    CITY TAKES REPORT OF DEATH IN STRIDE

    'Deep Satisfaction' Is Felt By U.S. Troops at Death

    NAZI CORE STORMED; Russians Drive Toward Chancellery Fortress, Narrowing Noose...

    ALL JEWS HOUNDED UNDER HITLER RULE; More Than 3,000,000 Slain...

  • Birthdays: Bianca Jagger (born today), Bing Crosby (42), columnist Hedda Hopper (60).

--

James Brown is 12 years old today. The future “Godfather of Soul” was inspired after watching Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five perform “Caldonia”, a hit tune during 1945. [more here; and here.]

Thursday
May 3
1945

Jim called me up after school, wanted to know about Friday night and if I could come over his house Saturday night. I said reet.

Went by Sunny's house, fooled around. She treated us to supper.

Went home and met Totten, so he and I went back to Parnell and called up Viola and Ginny. Pete's going to pick us up tomorrow. Hal and I had a Cherry Coke and talked about marriage. He kept teasing me about Jim.”


Sis comments:

'Well, all reet!' Haven't heard that expression in a long time.

We referred to Hal as 'Totten' more than by 'Hal'.”

Today's news:

  • Birthdays: Frankie Valli (11), James Brown (12), film historian Robert Osborne (13).

--

Speaking of orchestras, the Stan Kenton Orchestra recorded the song Tampico for Capitol Records on May 4, 1945. With vocalist June Christy, the song will become a major hit and a signature tune for Kenton's progressive jazz band.

Friday
May 4
1945

Today was a swell day. Stayed home from school.

Later in the eve., Jim and Hal came, then Pete picked us up with Ginny and Lill. We really had a wonderful time dancing and drinking Cokes. The orchestra was tops.

Left the dance at 11:00. Sat on Jim's lap coming home. Then Pete left us off by Ginny's house. So Hal, Ginny, Jim and I went to see if we could bowl. It was closed, so went to Karson's and had pie and coffee. Goofed around till 1:00 and then walked home.”

Sis comments:

I told you Pete was a popular guy with that car. Not too many guys had cars because, besides gas rationing, tires were hard to come by unless you had a priority (a war-related job).

Pete drops everyone off at Ginny's... and then they all go out for fun and games!”

Notes:

  • Dot's dance might have been at Kelly High; she and Sis had gone to Friday night dances there back in February.

Today's news:

  • German forces surrender in Holland, Denmark and northern Germany.
  • Salzburg, Austria is captured by Americans.
  • Birthdays: Katherine Jackson, mother of the Jackson musical family (15), Audrey Hepburn (16).

--


Hal and Jim

Saturday
May 5
1945

Well, another swell day.

About 7:30, Jim came for me and we went to his house. Jane was home, and Pat. We danced, ate and Hal put out the lights.

Jim and I had a little argument, but he finally came up to me and said, ‘Aw, let's be friends—good friends.’ So naturally I said yes.

Left Jim's house at 1:30, then went to Karson's again.

Oh, what a life.

Got home at 2:40 a.m. Had a hard time getting in.”


Sis comments:

Dot had a hard time getting in!? Gee, it was only 2:40 a.m.! Boy, I never realized how liberal Mom and Dad were. Didn't appreciate it then.”

Notes:

  • I don't know if Jane and Pat were siblings, parents or some other relatives of Jim's.

Today's news:

  • In the Netherlands and Denmark, German troops surrender to Canadian and British forces.
  • In Austria, the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp is liberated. [more]
  • Cubs 5, Cardinals 1, at St. Louis.
  • Sox 3, Indians 2, at Comiskey.

--


Lillie, Sis and Dot. Dot stayed at home today... except for visits to Parnell, and to Myrt & Henry's for pie and chili...

Sunday
May 6
1945

Today was a beautiful day. Stayed home all day except for occasional visits to Parnell.

About 10:30, Sis and I went to Myrt & Henry's for pie and chili. Met Lillie and her younger soldier brother. Very nice.

Coming home, saw Johnny McBride and also Doty and Chuck. Came home, talked to Hal for awhile, but went to bed quite early.”

Sis comments:

What's with this pie and chili combo?!?

Lillie's younger brother was Bill (Wilbert). He's 4 years older than Lillie.”

Notes:

  • Dot had last seen (“snotty”) Johnny McBride on Sunday, April 1st.
  • Given that she and Sis went out to eat at 10:30 p.m., I guess “quite early” was around midnight.

Today's news:

  • Weather today: Fair and warmer (yesterday was cloudy with a high of 64).
  • “Axis Sally” ((audio)) broadcasts her final propaganda message to the Allies.
  • Soviet and German forces begin the last major battle on the Eastern Front, the Prague Offensive, concurrently with the Prague Uprising.
  • The Sox are 9-3 after winning two against Cleveland. The Cubs lose two in St. Louis today; they are now 8-6.
  • FISH FURNITURE TO ENLARGE ITS 63RD STREET STORE: In addition to the four-story and basement building which [Fish Furniture] will build for Lytton & Co. at 818 W. 63rd St., the Fish building adjoining at 822 W. 63rd St. is to be enlarged and modernized [...] The Lytton's [...] has been leased for 20 years at a guaranteed rental of $50,000. [It] will be completely air conditioned and will have an acoustically treated ceiling first floor. The Chicago Tribune, May 6, 1945.
  • Birthdays: Orson Welles (30), Willie Mays (14).

--


Top: In Rhiems, France, Germany surrenders.

Above: the V-E Day Riot in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Monday
May 7
1945

V-E day and what a day, altho it hasn't been confirmed.

Boy, it rained all day today. Let up about 6:30.

Went to the library and came home and fooled around.

Later, Helen, Sis and I went to Parnell. Had a Cherry Coke. Pat Flodin and 3 other guys were in there.

Came home and Hal dropped in. So we talked about having a hayride and about Jim and stuff like that. Went to bed at 12:30.”

Notes:

  • The official V-E Day happens tomorrow.

Today's news:

  • Nazi General Alfred Jodl signs an unconditional surrender at Reims, France, ending Germany's participation in the war. Operations are to end at 11:01 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8th. Original BBC radio broadcasts ((here)) and ((here)).
  • Author John Hersey is awarded the Pulitzer prize for his book, A Bell for Adano.

--


Top: Front page photo from the May 8, 1945 Chicago Tribune. The caption reads: Don Newberg of the navy and his girl friend, Bernadette Siemon, Grand Rapids, Mich., indulge in a victory embrace at State and Madison sts.

Above: Dot and her sister saw Disney's The Three Caballeros at the Stratford on V-E Day.

Photo via the Chicago Tribune

Tuesday
May 8
1945

“OFFICIAL V-E day. Got up at 8:00. No school—went to bed.

At 11:00, Jim and Hal came over. They wanted me to play baseball, but I didn't want to.

Sunny came over. We had a little snack of fudge cake and root beer.

Later, Sis and I went to the Stratford and saw Three Caballeros and Dead End Kids. Met Helen and Ginny and went to Tasty's and had chili.

Came home and there was a sailor from the U.S.O. over. About 30, but was awfully nice.

Saw Jim and Hal later in the evening. Went to bed at 12:30.”


Sis comments:

V-E day was really special as we knew the War was winding down and all the servicemen stationed in Europe would be coming home and that they were safer, too. Dot and I didn't have any friends over there, but a lot of our relatives did.

***

The Three Caballeros was a special movie and one of my favorite Disney films to this day. I have had the video for some time, and love all the color and the songs. It started me sketching characters and scenes from it, and it didn't hurt that I was taking Spanish, too. I believe this movie was one of the first to include [live] actors and cartoon characters.

***

Where did this sailor come from? I guess Mom or Marge called the USO to have him over in honor of VE day. I wonder why Dot and I didn't stay home to meet him?”

Today's news:

  • Today's Chicago Tribune, page 1:

  • BIG 3 PROCLAIM VICTORY AT 8 A.M.; Truman to Address Nation by Radio This Morning [transcript] [audio]

    Chicago Turns to Next Step: Lick the Japs

    With emotions wrung dry by a series of war climaxes, Chicagoans will receive the official announcement today that victory has ben achieved in the war in Europe.

    It will be a sober day—almost a sorrowful day—because of the realization that another war needs to be fought in Asia and because of the memory that the price of V-E day was paid with the lives and blood of many Chicago sons.

    Churches will be open. The call to prayer will be sounded by the great bells of Holy Name cathedral [...] War plants will operate—full speed ahead—turning out weapons for V-J (Victory over Japan) day. [...] Taverns and liquor stores [and] downtown retail stores will be closed.

    Elaborate precautions have been taken to prevent a repetition of the riotous Armistice day celebration of 1918...

    Police Commissioner Allman expressed regret that the formal announcement of victory was delayed until today. Yesterday's rain would have helped curb unruly celebrants, the commissioner said.

    Judging from the solemn mood after yesterday's announcement of Germany's surrender, there is little likelihood that today's celebration will get out of hand [...] Bars reported little extra carousing before last night's curfew.

    • One thousand or more Algerians are killed by the French Army in the Sétif massacre.
    • President Truman's 61st birthday.

    Audio:

    • President Truman: "I only wished President Roosevelt could have lived to witness this day". [audio]
    • BBC report from outside Buckingham Palace. [audio]
    • Winston Churchill: "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing". [audio]
    • Listen to three V-E Day radio programs here. Shows include an Arch Obler drama (aired 5-13), an episode of Fibber McGee & Molly, and an all-star Hollywood Victory program.

    --

    Aunt Lill

    Wednesday
    May 9
    1945

    Today we really worked hard in school. Went to the library, stayed in there for 2 hrs. Came home and worked like a horse on my history. Aunt Lill came over later on and we talked and had some tea. I finished my work at about 1:30 and went to bed.”

    Today's news:

    • German Luftwaffe Commander Hermann Göring is captured by the U.S. Army.
    • Official Victory Day in the Soviet Union.
    • Phillies 5, Cubs 2.
    • Sox 6, A's 4, at Philadelphia.

    Hit Parade this week:

    • Candy - Johnny Mercer & Jo Stafford [audio].

    --


    Sunny, Dot and Sis

    Berlin, immediately following V-E day. (1-min.; no audio)

    Thursday
    May 10
    1945

    Today, Sis and I went by Sunny's house. Had a swell supper. Then we fooled around trying on hats and wishing we were going to a Prom this June.

    Later on we went to the Greeks on 47th & Western and had a Coke. Came home about 10:30. Got a letter from Bud today. He's overseas.”


    Sis comments:

    You would have loved the ice cream parlor on 47th. Marble tops, booths with mirrors, dark paneling—and what a soda fountain! Even in '45, it was what you thought a typical soda fountain should be. And oh, what great home-made ice cream! I wonder why all we had was a Coke??”

    Notes:

    • No further information on the “Greeks“ ice cream parlor, or on Bud's relation to Dot.

    Today's news:

    • The New York Times, May 10th:

    ALLIED AIR POWER ELOQUENT IN BERLIN; Capital Four-Fifths Destroyed by U.S. and British Bombs, American Writer Says

    Berlin is dead. As a city, it no longer exists.

    The proud capital of Germany ... has been wiped from the map of Europe—wholly and irrevocably. [...] a hideous, nightmarish labrynth of ruins beyond all hope of repair or rebuilding.

    The Russians are everywhere. The only transport is Russian. ... At every main intersection there is a smart Russian WAC in khaki uniform and beret flagging the traffic along with a red and yellow flag and giving a snappy parade-ground salute to each vehicle as it passes.

    [...]

    There is no running water in the city and the electricity supply has not yet been restored. Along the main streets in the less-blitzed areas you see men and women trudging along, pushing hand-carts, baby carriages—anything on wheels, in fact—loaded down with dining-room tables, wardrobes, chairs, beds and other pieces of furniture.”

    [...]

    Except for an occasional Russian Army car or the gentle trot of the small, steppe horses drawing Russian Army carts, there is a complete silence over the city, and the air is filled with rubble dust.”

    --


    Larraine and Lillie; Dot and Ginny.

    Friday
    May 11
    1945

    After school today I met Jim in the library, so he walked me home. Later on Hal called and asked me to meet him at 11:00.

    Pete came about 8:00 with Ginny, Larraine and Lillie and her brother Wilbur. He's ok, but that's all. The Canteen was pret-ty lousy tonight. Must have been the orchestra.

    Got home at 11:00 and then Hal came over and we talked again and then had coffee at 2:30. He went home at 3:00.”


    Sis comments:

    I guess Wilbur wasn't Mr. Excitement for Dot!”

    Notes:

    • No pic of Larraine's brother Wilbur.

    Today's news:

    • Cubs 7, Phillies 1.
    • A's 5, Sox 2, at Phila.
    • Composer Irving Berlin's 57th birthday.
    • Frost warning for tonight.

    --



    Top: the McVickers Theatre in the late 1920s, with the Marshall Field's clock at the corner of State & Madison; Above and below, To Have and Have Not was in its first Chicago theatrical run at the McVickers Theater. The second feature was House of Fear.

    (Photo via Chicago History Museum)


    Saturday
    May 12
    1945

    Stayed in all afternoon except for a short visit to Parnell and Halsted. Dressed and left for downtown at 6:30. Met Sunny by the McVickers and saw To Have and Have Not, also House of Fear.

    Walked around downtown and then came down 63rd and ate in Southtown Restaurant. My feet burned so I took off my shoes and stockings and walked home barefoot. Washed my hair too.”

    Sis comments:

    I can't place all these eating spots—Southtown, Myrt & Henry's, etc.—but the names are familiar. So many restaurants, so little time! We made them all, I bet. No wonder I couldn't lose weight, although Dot didn't have that problem—lucky her!”

    Notes:

    • The first two McVickers buildings were destroyed in fires, in 1871 and 1890. The theatre Dot and Sunny visited in'45 was built in 1922 and demolished in 1985. It sat over 2,200.
    • No information about the Southtown Restaurant.

    Today's news:

    • Senators 3, Sox 0.
    • Cubs 13, Braves 12, at Boston.
    • Birthdays: George Carlin (8), Burt Bacharach (17).

    --


    Dot; Pulaski Woods

    Sunday
    May 13
    1945

    56 degrees. It was beautiful outside today.

    About 1:45, Bob Dusold called up and asked me to go for a ride and I said sure.

    He came for me at 4:15 and we went to pick Alice and Carl up. Then went all the way out to Maple Lake and Pulaski Woods. I told them I had to be home by 6.

    Got home and Sunny was over, so we took our pictures and then went to Parnell. Jim, Hal and Bob were in there.

    Later on I saw Hal and he said he and Jim want to take Viola and me to the Prom.”


    Sis comments:

    Dot sure was happy about going to the Prom. I can't remember Viola and Hal as a couple (but what do I remember all that well?!) I always thought it was Hal's girlfriend, Janice, I believe, who he invited. I knew they took a Prom picture, but I never had it.”

    Notes:

    • Maple Lake and nearby Pulaski Woods are forest preserves in the southwest suburbs, not too far from the location of the March 31st hayride.
    • Alice and Carl are friends.
    • This is Mother's Day—in both 1945 and 2007.

    Today's news:

    • Braves 3, Cubs 2, at Boston; Sox win their double-header against the Senators.
    • Chicago Sunday Tribune headlines:

    CAMP FIRE GIRLS TO PAY TRIBUTE ON MOTHER'S DAY

    Chicago's Cafes Are Back on Pre-Curfew Schedules

    HONOR MOTHERS AS NATION BOWS IN PRAYER TODAY

    --

    General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George Patton inspect stolen art treasures.

    Photo via isurvived.org

    Monday
    May 14
    1945

    Today was cold and rainy, so Sis and I went to the library after school, and later on went to Parnell. Met Hal in there, so he sat with us.

    The only catch in the Prom deal is getting a car. We kept fooling around about how we're going to act and dress. Jim called later on and wanted to meet me in Parnell, but I couldn't. Aunt Lill came over later on, so we stayed up till 1:00.”

    Today's news:

    • The U.S. Army has found millions of dollars in art looted by Nazis from all over Europe, and 100 tons of gold bars and currency hidden in an Austrian salt mine.
    • The Ebensee concentration camp is liberated; described as “more horrible than Buchenwald”.
    • 472 U.S. B-29 Superfortresses fire-bomb Nagoya, Japan.
    • From today's Chicago Tribune:

    Britons Sent to Reopen Breweries in Germany

    CAA HEAD BACKS CHICAGO ISLAND AIR PARK PLANS; Proximity to Heart of City Cited: T.P. Wright, civil aeronautics administration head [said] a landing place near the “business-industrial, banking-hotel center of a city attacks the air transport problem... affected all these years by the necessity of locating airports far away from business centers.

    “Unless the airplane can pick up its passengers and cargo from points close to their origin, and deliver them close to the final destination, air transport cannot perform its greatest service to the public”

    Wright said he believed the lake front area of Chicago presents a promising location [...] He mentioned in particular a proposed sight on Northerly Island.

    “It is our recommendation that the site be selected and landing strips laid out to permit take-offs over clear areas such as rivers, parks, golf courses, and fields.”

    • Birthdays: George Lucas (1), Bobby Darin (9).

    --

    Larry

    Tuesday
    May 15
    1945

    Colleen told me Stan came in today.

    After school, Helen called up and asked me to go on a blind date with a sailor and her and Bob. They came at 7:30. His name was Larry Amato. Not bad-looking and a swell personality.

    We had a wonderful time. Drove out to 95th & Western and Beverly Hills. Stopped at the White Mill to eat.

    That guy really has a technique, like Ralph but better. He's in Stan's Co., 383. Knows him, too. Got home at 12:00. (What a guy, whew.)”


    Sis comments:

    Helen was funny. She wouldn't go out with Italian guys (like Larry), claiming they weren't as nice to her—an Italian—as they were to non-Italian girls.”

    Notes:

    • Colleen is in Dot's gym class. She is the sister of Irene Davis—Stan's girlfriend. Stan and Dot had broken-up sometime in 1944.
    • No information on the White Mill, although it's possible that the restaurant, in the Beverly neighborhood, was in later years renamed or reopened as Mickelberry's—a favorite southwest side eatery for many years.
    • Just what ever happened to Ralph anyway??

    Today's news:

    • Last skirmish of the Second World War in Europe fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.
    • Birthdays today: painter Jasper Johns (15); Richard J. Daley, future Chicago mayor (43).
    • Giants 5, Cubs 4, at New York.
    • From today's Chicago Tribune: “Ration Roundup — Peanut Butter Is a Versatile Bread Spread: There's no shortage of peanut butter, an excellent meat and butter replacer, and one of the best sandwich spreads ever invented. Homemakers who have lunches to pack are discovering the dozens of peanut butter combinations which please their lunch carrying husbands.

    --

    Dell (right) with her sister Pauline (Dot and Sis' mother), at Jackson Park beach in 1949.

    Wednesday
    May 16
    1945

    Today was rainy as usual. Sis and I walked down 63rd intending to go to the show, but found out we didn't have enough money*.

    Went home. Johnny and Dell were over. Johnny really looks swell. He bought Sis and I a necklace and bracelet from Italy. We promised to watch their kids Saturday night. They went home about 12:30.”


    Sis comments:

    “We always had fun talking to both [uncle] Johnny and [aunt] Dell. We wrote V-E letters to Johnny when he was overseas.

    Uncle Johnny was in the infantry and had seen some rough times. He'd gotten frostbite when there and almost lost a few toes. He used to write to Dot and me, warning us about boys and dating.”

    Notes:

    • *Average movie ticket price in 1945 = 35 cents.

    Today's news:

    • The Giants shut out the Cubs, 6-0, at New York's Polo Grounds.
    • FORESEES ATOM SHIPS, TRAINS IN THIS GENERATION: Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the audion tube which makes modern radio broadcasting possible, declared that this generation will see atomic power so developed that it will propel ships and trains, and possibly even automobiles. [This power] “will provide the keys for more leisure, education, and for better living, with the era of ‘slave labor’ left behind.” —Chicago Tribune, May 16, 1945
    • Birthdays: Liberace (26), Woody Herman (32), Studs Terkel (33).

    --

    Hal Totten


    The battle for Okinawa claimed more lives than any US campaign against Japan in the Pacific war. Situated between the Ryukyu group of islands north of Formosa and the Japanese home islands, it was chosen as the final springboard for the invasion of Japan itself that was for so long felt vital to bring the war to an end. (color; 10-min.)

    Thursday
    May 17
    1945

    Didn't go to school today. Just fooled around at home. Larry called. Sunny came over after school and we went to the library and then to Parnell.

    Later on saw Totten so stayed outside with him for quite awhile. We acted like a bunch of nuts, until he practically broke my arm. So I went in the house kind of sore.

    Lill was over, so Marge and I led her up to Halsted. Two soldiers walked home with us.”


    Sis comments:

    Don't you love the way Dot casually says ‘two soldiers walked home with us’?! Good thing uncle Johnny didn't get wind of this!”

    Today's news:

    • On Okinawa, U.S. Marines continue their assault of Sugar Loaf.
    • NY Giants 8, Cubs 5.
    • 10,000,000 Bottles of Beer—All Headed for GI Japan
    • Marx Brothers Back, Zany and Funny as Ever in “A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA”: Been a long time since we've seen the Marx brothers, hasn't it? I'm happy to tell you they haven't changed much; they're just as insanely entertaining as ever. Harpo looks older and thinner, but he works with the same happily frenzied madness. —Mae Tinee, the Chicago Tribune

    --

    Downtown-State and Madison (about 1950). Marshall Field's is on the left.

    Friday
    May 18
    1945

    Didn't go to school again. Sis and I went downtown to look for a formal, but couldn't find a darn thing.

    Got home and at 7:30, Merle came over. We danced and went to Parnell. Saw Hal too. Merle went home about 10:30.

    Jim called up at 7:00 today and wanted me to go to the Southtown with him, but I told him I couldn't. Larry also called; wanted Helen and I to go out with him and Bob on Sat.

    (Saw Bob Dusold today.)

    Notes:

    • Dot and Helen met Larry and Bob (not Bob D.) this past Tuesday, on a blind date.

    Today's news:

    • Dodgers 15, Cubs 12, at Brooklyn. The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 15.
    • White Sox 2, Red Sox 0.

    Hit Parade this week:

    --

    Johnny and Bobby

    .

    Saturday
    May 19
    1945

    Ah, Saturday.

    Sis and I went down Ashland, but still couldn't find any formals.

    Later, Dell came with the two kids and the folks left. Viola, Hal and Jim came to help me watch the 4 of them (kids). Gosh, we had more fun dancing and tangling with the kids, and god—were they bratty.

    About 2:00, Sis and Sunny came home, so Jim, Hal and I took Viola home. Then the 3 of us went to Tasty's and ate. Hal and I got a big kick out of Jim's bashfulness.”


    Sis comments:

    Yeah, Dell's kids—Johnny & Bobby—were good kids but a little wild. Guess Dell never was too strict with them, and even let them eat messy foods all over the house—something Dot and I couldn't do.

    Aunt Dell was a war bride, and with these children had no help. So I guess it was easier on her to give them a little slack.

    But Son dreaded when they or any of our other younger cousins came over. Son took good care of his toys and his room was sort of ‘off-limits’ to them. Once in awhile they'd sneak in and you can imagine what all ‘broke loose’!”

    Notes:

    • The ‘kids’ were four boys. Two belonged to aunt Dell. One of the others was Son (Lou). The fourth kid might have been Junior.
    • Dot and Sis most likely went shopping at 63rd St. & Ashland. Ashland is 8 blocks west of Halsted Street.

    Today's news:

    • Arab nationalists protest French troops arrival in Syria and Lebanon.
    • Over 270 U.S. B-29s strike Hamamatsu, Japan, 120 miles from Tokyo.
    • Sox 3, Boston Red Sox 2.
    • Buckingham Fountain's Lights Hit by Dim-Out
    • LONDON'S SHOPS NOW BULGE WITH PLENTY TO EAT
    • MRS. KAY NINE IS DOGGY HOSTESS FOR OPEN HOUSE
    • Birthday: Pete Townshend (The Who), born today.

    --

    Englewood High School



    Winged Victory told the story of a group of men undergoing pilot training, and both the heroic and tragic events that followed.

    .

    Sunday
    May 20
    1945

    “Aujord hui, Dell and Johnny came for their children at 2:30 and stayed for dinner. Larry called twice. Once I wasn't home. Asked me to go out. (Bob D., too, called—ugh.)

    Larry came at 7:30 and we went to see Winged Victory, then walked all around the neighborhood. It was beautiful outside.

    Stopped by Englewood and sat on a window ledge by the railroad tracks and talked, etc.

    Mostly etc.

    He can never be beat in technique, if I live to be 200. He's the only fellow that thrilled me when he kissed me. Just can't be compared.”


    Sis comments:

    Let me know if you can figure out what aujord hui means. Dot took French so that's maybe where it came from. [It translates to ‘today’D.]

    Oh yes, the window ledge by the railroad tracks at Englewood High—the city's Lovers Lane! No cars, no lake, no open fields, so I guess the ledge had to do!

    And oh—as I was saying... about those Italians?? I rest my case!”

    Today's news:

    • The Cubs and Sox win double headers. The Cubs over the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Sox over the Red Sox.

    --


    James Dunn plays the tune Annie Laurie for his son and daughter on their new hand-me-down piano, in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

    Monday
    May 21
    1945

    Well, continuing from last night (which was his last night)... He knows my name and address by heart and asked me if I went steady or anything. Today he was still on my mind, and Helen kidded me quite a bit.

    After school, I washed my hair and then Sis and I went to the Southtown and saw A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I cried like a baby.

    Came home, put up my hair, and went straight to bed. Funny I was in such a melancholy mood today.”


    Sis comments:

    That was a great movie. We both cried like babies.”

    Notes:

    • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of a handful of movies my mother made sure I saw when I was young. I own a copy of it today, and have watched it three or four times. I can see how she related to the story, being (like Peggy Ann Garner's character) an older sister to a young brother, a similar, big city neighborhood, the piano, and a dad who had a couple of rough edges but loved his children very much.

    Today's news:

    • On Okinawa, Americans seize Chocolate Drop Hill.
    • Married today: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

    --

    Aunt Aggie (left), with Dot's mom Pauline

    Tuesday
    May 22
    1945

    Today, Sis and I went to [aunt] Aggie's and [uncle] Joe's to get our pictures, then sat and talked to Lill.

    Walked to the Olympia and met Sunny. We all had a sundae and walked her home up to Western, then took our car. Got home at 12:00.”


    Sis comments:

    I stand corrected. The show Sunny worked at was not the Ashland or whatever I said it was, but the Olympia. I never would have remembered that name if I didn't see it in this diary.”

    Notes:

    • I, too, stand corrected. I had thought Sunny worked at the Peoples. The Olympia—a 500-seat theatre built in 1917 and gutted in 1950— was at 4619 South Ashland Ave. I haven't located a photo.

    Today's news:

    • Heinrich Himmler, Nazi Germany's SS Reichsfuhrer, is arrested near Hamburg by the British. Himmler initially claims to be a rural policeman named Heinrich Hitzinger.
    • 25 German POWs are assigned to rebuilding work in the London suburbs. British Minister Sandys says, “We hope to get a lot of good work out of these chaps.”
    • BILL GIVING U. S. AID TO AIRPORTS ENTHUSES KELLY: Mayor Kelly discussed Chicago's post-war airport with fresh enthusiasm yesterday as he made arrangements to attend hearings in Washington D. C.
    • LATEST RUMOR ON JAP PEACE: WITHIN 10 DAYS: Japanese peace feelers have set off rumors that if there is a peaceful end to hostilities in the Pacific it will come in the next 10 days. Neutral Afghanistan is said to be the contact country for the peace negotiations. --Chicago Tribune

    --

    Wednesday
    May 23
    1945

    Didn't do much all day, just sat around, did some of my homework. Even Parnell was closed. Washed my hair and put it up. Didn't stay up very late.”

    Today's news:

    • Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, commits suicide while in custody of the Allies.
    • American bomber attacks bring shipping at Japan's Yokohama harbor to a halt.
    • Cubs 5, Phillies 3; Yankees 5, White Sox 3.
    • Backless Dress Becomes Even More Popular: One of Chicago's smartest dress designers not only enthusiastically approves the cool summer backless dresses but predicts record breaking sales of these "presentably naked" teams of dress and brief bolero jacket. They went over with a bang last summer. —Chicago Daily Tribune

    --


    From a Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour souvenir program: “At the Morris B. Sachs stores you will see more famous name labels than at any other store in America.”



    Cesar Romero stars as the Cisco Kid

    Thursday
    May 24
    1945

    Today after school, Mom and I went down 63rd looking for my formal. Finally got a pretty pink one at Morris B. Sachs.

    Later on, Sis and I went to the Linden and saw Romance of the Rio Grande and an oldie, Sign of the Cross. It was wonderful.

    Came home and then Hal came over. While he was over, Larry called at 10:30. Hal kept butting in the conversation. I took my shoes and stockings off and talked to Larry until 11:30.”

    Sis comments:

    “Dot's formal was a very pretty pink, which was her favorite color, I believe. She also looked good in pink.

    I don't know how she put up with Hal and his pesty ways!”

    Notes:

    • The Morris B. Sachs store was at 6638 South Halsted Street. In 1934, Sachs began broadcasting the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour, first from an auditorium near the store and, later, from the downtown radio and tv studios of WGN, WENR and WBKB. The popular show, which continued until the 1950s, helped launch the careers of Mel Torme, Bob Fosse, Frankie Laine, the Harmonicats and many other artists. Listeners and viewers were able to call and vote for their favorite contestants.

    Today's news:

    • 550 B-29s Set Tokyo Afire in Biggest Attack: Striking before dawn, more than 550 Super Fortresses today dropped 4,500 tons of bombs on important Tokyo industrial targets, the greatest load of destruction hurled on the Japanese capital to date. —Chicago Daily Tribune
    • Phillies 6, Cubs 3; Yankees 6, White Sox 3.
    • Birthdays: Priscilla Ann Wagner (Priscilla Presley), born today; Bob Dylan (4).

    --

    Spalding High School, looking towards the east, in a satellite view from about 2001-02. Washington Blvd. is to the right, Ashland Ave. at top.

    Image via Google Earth

    Friday
    May 25
    1945

    Today after school, Larry called. He said that he had a weekend pass and asked me if he could see me tonite. I said no, cause I was going to the music festival at Spalding High School.

    The festival was keen, and then we went down 63rd to eat and stopped in Parnell. Came home about 11:30 and stayed up till 3:00.”


    Sis comments:

    “I believe I saved the program from this festival. Sunny played the violin, but I can't remember if that she played it during this evening.”

    Notes:

    • I regret that I never asked my aunt if she did, in fact, have that festival program.
    • Spalding High School (“for crippled children”), was located at 1628 West Washington Blvd. (just west of Ashland Ave.). According to a March, 2004 news story, the special needs facility was slated to be closed.
    • An interview with Carol Gill—disability activist and Spalding alumnus—here.

    Today's news:

    • Crosby, Hope Ticket Sale Passes 17,000: Tam o' Shanter Country club, accustomed thru the annual All-American tournaments to entertaining sizeable fairway audiences, will set an American record for a single day's attendance at a golf match tomorow, when Bing Crosby and Chick Evans tee off at 2 p. m. —Chicago Daily Tribune
    • In Washington, military commanders set November 1, 1945 for the launch of Operation Olympic—the planned invasion of Japan.
    • Cubs 4, Phillies 3.
    • At Yankee Stadium, the Sox lose, 5-4.

    --



    The Oriental Theatre. At center is a view looking west on Randolph, with the Oriental and its large marquee just past the Old Heidelberg restaurant. Above, a present day view of the restored interior.



    A scene from Delightfully Dangerous

    Saturday
    May 26
    1945

    Today, Larry called up and told me about our date tonight. Then Sis and I went down 63rd and I got beautiful white sandals and had my dress altered. Sis and Sunny went to Riverview; I wanted to go too.

    Larry came at 7:30, so we took an L and went to the Oriental. Saw Delightfully Dangerous and stage show. Came right home after the show. I told him I didn't feel good and that I was sleepy.

    I guess a technique isn't all that counts, because without it, he's boring.

    Sis, Sunny and I went to Minuet about 1:00.”


    Sis comments:

    “Without the technique he's a bore! Smart girl!!

    I can't believe we ate so late at night.

    Sunny stayed over quite a bit, as you can read, but I'm trying to remember where she slept and haven't a clue.

    Dot and I slept in a full-size bed and that's all we had in there for sleeping. No other spare bedrooms—they were all taken. I don't think Sunny would sleep on a couch, all by her lonesome downstairs. Maybe we had a folding cot in our bedroom...

    I wish I had a better memory!”

    Notes:

    Today's news:

    • At Wrigley Field, it's Cubs 2, Phillies 1. With a 15-14 won-lost record, the Cubs will never again this season dip below .500.
    • The first place Yankees beat the White Sox, 13-0.
    • Boys Express Their Opinion About Smoking: Here is some inside information from high school Joes: dating characters who know what they do and do not like, which may make the gals pick up their smoke rings and take notice.

    “I used to think that I didn't like to see girls smoking cigarets, but the other evening at a local drug store a couple of girls draped themselves on the stools, and if they didn't haul out painted corn-cobs and light up! Now I don't even like girls!”

    “If I see a girl smoking, my opinion changes automatically. And the way I look at it—if a girl is man enough to smoke, she's man enough to pick up her own books, open her own doors, wait her turn in line—and I'm just man enough not to want to date that kind of girl.”

    from On the Solid Side, by Sheila Daly, Chicago Tribune

    • Birthdays: Miles Davis (19), Peggy Lee (25).

    --

    Larry

    Sunday
    May 27
    1945

    Larry called about noon. He asked me to go out but I told him I didn't know if my Dad would let me and to call back after 5:00.

    A little later, Jim came and told me he works at the railroad now.

    Larry called again at 5:00 and I had Marge tell him I was out. Well, he was quite mad.

    He called again at 6:15 and at 7:00 also. Came over at 9:15, but Sis and I had already gone to Sunny's house. Came home at 10:00 and Marge said Larry was awfully mad. Jim and Hal came over at 12:30, till 1:30.”

    Today's news:

    • TELL HOW FIRE RAZES TOKYO: B-29S BURN OUT TWO PALACES, SAYS JAP RADIO: American Super Fortresses almost wiped out Tokyo, at a cost of 31 of the big planes, in record fire raids Thursday and Saturday, reports today disclosed.
    • READY TO START VAST EXPANSION OF ILLINOIS TECH: The Illinois Institute of Technology will begin construction of its new 10 million dollar campus program as soon as materials and labor can be obtained.
    • Riverview Park Opens for 42d Season of Fun
    • 37,133 SEE CUBS WIN, TIE: YOU'D HAVE THOUGHT DODGERS WERE PLAYING THE UMPIRES! DODGERS FALL, 6-1 THEN GAIN 2-2 DEADLOCK—Rain, Rows Make for 8:10 Finish!
    • Sox lose a double header to the Red Sox.

    --

    Larry Amato

    Monday
    May 28
    1945

    “Today at 7:00 a.m., Larry called. His train left at 7:30. He said he went to the show last night and then went home. He asked me why I did that*. I kept saying I'm sorry so he finally said he'd write to me, and said maybe I'd explain then. I feel like a dog, cause I never did that before.

    Sis and I later sat on the porch and Jim came straight from work. Hal joined us in a little while and he called up Viola. I went in about 11:45. Bed at 12:15.”

    Notes:

    • *Dot is referring to Sunday.

    Today's news:

    • Soviet units eliminate most of the German resistance in Czechoslovakia. In Austria, Soviet pressure forces some German units to surrender as well.
    • In Croatia, German forces continue to resist against Yugoslavian troops.
    • GERMAN WOMEN TOSS BOUQUETS TO BEATEN ARMY — Officers Retain Side Arms on Way to Camps: From Austria and Italy there moves an almost endless convoy of German officers and men on their way to collecting points where they are disarmed, screened, and in many cases discharged, to work on farms, in mines and other essential industries. —Chicago Daily Tribune
    • Thunderhead, Son of Flicka, Is Grand Movie: If your patriotism in leaving any available train space for service men has resulted in an unfulfilled yen for the wide open spaces, you can get a nice taste of them in this film. You'll find mountains and pines and clear, rushing streams, all pleasingly photographed in color. —Mae Tinee, Tribune
    • The Cubs, who have won 7 of their last 9, beat the Dodgers 5-3 at Wrigley Field.
    • Birthday: writer Ian Fleming (37).

      --



      Riverview Park, with the Chutes at left; Sunny, Dot, Sis at one of the park's photo booths. (Note that on this cold May 29th, everyone is wearing a jacket.)

      Above: historian Chuck Wlodarczyk talks about the park (14 min.).

      Tuesday
      May 29
      1945

      “Today, Sis, Sunny and I went to Riverview and man, was it cold. I nearly froze to death. I do wish I had worn more clothes.

      Fooled around down there until 11:00 and then Sis and I took an L straight home. Got home about 12:45. I was so tired that I went straight to bed.”


      Sis comments:

      Riverview twice within two days! Where did the money come from?? Maybe Sunny treated.”

      Notes:

      • Riverview was a very long L ride away--about 12 miles.

      Today's news:

      • Today's temperatures: a high of 75, low of 50.
      • 450 American B-29 Superfortresses bombers drop incendiary bombs on the port city of Yokohama, Japan.
      • The Sox and Cubs both lose.
      • Hot Weather Styles Play Up the Bare Look: With the first real long holiday of the summer staring you in the face, out of doors clothes are tremendously important. All the sun tan fashions in cottons and jerseys are ready, with the one shoulder bare, the other covered model going strong. —Chicago Daily Tribune
      • Birthdays: Navy Lt. John F. Kennedy (28); Bob Hope (42).

        --


        You Belong To My Heart, from The Three Caballeros (2 min.).

        Movie poster via soundtrackcollector.com

        Wednesday
        May 30
        1945

        “Today was Memorial Day, but not much to do.

        Sis and I went to the Englewood with Sunny and saw Three Caballeros (again), and Belle of the Yukon; also 5 acts of keen vaudeville.

        Came home about 8:30 and sat around listening to the radio. Also read a little and wrote a letter.”


        Sis comments:

        I told you we liked The Three Caballeros!!”

        Notes:

        Today's news:

        • 51 SQ. MI. OF TOKYO IN RUINS - Super Forts' Fire Bombs Wipe Out Heart of Capital: The heart of Tokyo has been wiped out by Super Fortress fire bomb raids, 21st bomber command headquarters announced today while squadrons of the B-29s were returning from an incendiary assault on Yokohama, new target for the big planes. —Chicago Daily Tribune
        • Iran requests the withdrawal of all American, British and Soviet troops.
        • French aircraft bomb Damascus, Syria.
        • The Cubs and Sox both split their holiday double headers.
        • Birthdays: Benny Goodman (36); Gale Sayers (2).

        --

        Thursday
        May 31
        1945

        Very boring day, can't even recall anything worth writing about, not even the weather. Went to bed about 12:00, quite early for this chick.”


        Sis comments:

        ‘Quite early for this chick’—priceless!”

        Today's news:

        • EVEN LESS MEAT SEEN FOR JUNE - PORK POINTS UP: The meat shortage will become even more acute next month, the office of price administration announced in Washington, D. C., last night, as point requirements for some pork cuts were raised from one to three points effective Sunday. —Chicago Daily Tribune

        WARN CONGRESS MENS CLOTHING FAMINE IS NEAR - Summer Wear Scarce, Retailers Say: Manufacturers of men's suits, who assert that war production board restrictions are tying the industry in knots and will cause an acute shortage of clothing next winter, have opened a campaign in congress to ... assure an adequate flow of goods to retail. —Tribune

        • Birthdays today: Joe Namath (2), Clint Eastwood (15), Don Ameche (37).
        • A's 3, White Sox 2, at Philadelphia.

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