Posts Tagged ‘WW2’

FLASHBACK – Our Town Today, circa 1944

Stay on the job and finish the job, Los Angeles!

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lb7obs3daM[/youtube]
From the book The Bad City in the Good War: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego:

In early 1944, fearing a labor shortage, the Citizens Manpower Committee of Los Angeles staged a drive to induce war workers to “Stay on the Job.” The Committee took advantage of the great Army and Navy show at the Los Angeles Coliseum to stress the need for housing. Like so many other institutions in the area, the Los Angeles Coliseum was built by city boosters. It arose in 1923 and was increased in size in order to lure the 1932 Olympics to that city. The Coliseum well illustrates the kind of hubris that Los Angeles’s detractors cite, but it also gave the homefront popularizers of the war effort a magnificent urban space in which to persuade defense workers to “Finish the Job” and landlords to keep renting to transients. (more…)


FLASHBACK – The Exuberant Zest of WW2 SoCal

I’m not sure how many of the Japanese Americans who were relocated into local internment camps (or their descendants) would’ve considered it a “minor incident” of World War 2… but hey, those people could write their own dagnabbed newsreels! Um, or not.

“This video (part two, which focuses on local character, is after the jump) looks at what the future might be for California after World War II ends. Would there be enough jobs given the rapid population growth that was occurring? What industries might take up the slack when military spending ended? The post-WW2 Cold War was not foreseen. References are made to opportunities for trade with Russia and China. Nuclear energy – surprisingly – is seen as an alternative to hydro (and this is before Hiroshima.) The movie industry is recognized as important for the future. References are made to prewar social movements such as EPIC and the Ham & Eggs pension scheme and religious movements.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J58jg9jWvsA[/youtube] (more…)


HISTORY – The Hollywood Canteen

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aDrPsbLwuY[/youtube] The Hollywood Canteen existed at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood between October 3, 1942 and Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1945

With Steven Colbert’s recent adoption as USO mascot, I thought it might be timely to revisit one of Hollywood’s biggest efforts to bond with our nation’s soldiers.

Throughout World War II, Americans were very much in the habit of making hospital visits, putting on shows at military bases, and serving doughnuts and hot coffee in canteens in an effort to boost the spirits of enlisted men. As many of them were enlisted themselves, the biggest stars of stage and screen were very much involved in the morale building as well. On American soil, the goal was set to give the servicemen an option to come to the celebrities instead of vice versa… and that was how The Stage Door Canteen Nightclub (located at the 44th Street Theater in Times Square) was born. The driving forces behind the creation of the USO‘s West Coast location, The Hollywood Canteen, were Bette Davis and John Garfield, along with legendary songwriter Jule Styne (FYI, he wrote more than a few tunes you’ve heard before). The Canteen was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from various aspects of the local entertainment industry. By the time the doors opened in 1942, over 3000 stars, players, directors, producers, grips, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, technicians, wardrobe attendants, hair stylists, agents, stand-ins, publicists, secretaries, and allied craftsmen of radio and screen had registered as volunteers. On any given day or night, actresses such as Ann Sothern, Hedy Lamarr and Linda Darnell could be found pouring coffee.

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