7 March 1941

7 March 1941

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7 March 1941

March 1941


War at Sea

German submarine U-47 lost with all hands south west of Ireland.

German submarine U-70 lost south east of Iceland


British, Australian and New Zealand troops land in Greece

Bonus Expeditionary Forces March on Washington

The Bonus Expeditionary Forces camp on Anacostia Flats, Washington, DC.

Library of Congress (LC-DIG-hec-36887)

In the years after World War I, a long battle over providing a bonus payment to WWI veterans raged between Congress and the White House. Presidents Harding and Coolidge both vetoed early attempts to provide a bonus to WWI veterans. Congress overrode Coolidge’s veto in 1926, passing the World War Adjusted Compensation Act, otherwise known as the Bonus Act.

The act promised WWI veterans a bonus based on length of service between April 5, 1917 and July 1, 1919 $1 per day stateside and $1.25 per day overseas, with the payout capped at $500 for stateside veterans and $625* for overseas veterans. The catch was this bonus would not pay out until each veteran’s birthday in 1945, paying out to his estate if he should die before then. Although veterans were allowed to borrow against the bonus certificate beginning in 1927, by 1932, banks were short on credit to give.

In May 1932, jobless WWI veterans organized a group called the “Bonus Expeditionary Forces” (BEF) to march on Washington, DC. Suffering and desperate, the BEF’s goal was to get the bonus payment now, when they really needed the money. Led by Walter W. Walters, the veterans set up camps and occupied buildings in various locations in Washington, DC. The largest camp was a shantytown on the Anacostia Flats, across the river from Washington’s Navy Yard.

By summer, at least 20,000 people had joined the camps, with some estimates putting the total number above 40,000. Many were joined by their families. But the camps attracted an undesirable element as well. President Hoover later claimed “the march was largely organized and promoted by the Communists, and included a large number of hoodlums and ex-convicts bent on raising a public disturbance.” Using scrap wood and other salvaged materials, the protesters constructed a vast field of shacks in view of the Capitol dome, prepared for a siege of Congress.

The BEF camp was organized with the help of the men's military experience. The Washington Navy Yard is visible in the background the USS Constitution was docked there from April 16, 1932 to December 8, 1932.

Library of Congress (LC-DIG-hec-36890)

1966 portrait of Congressman Wright Patman by artist Victor Lallier.

Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

Taking up the veterans’ cause, Congressman Wright Patman (D-TX) - himself a WWI veteran - sponsored a bill that would immediately provide a $2.4 billion bonus payment to WWI veterans. During the debate over the bill on June 15, 1932, Congressman Edward Eslick (D-TN) was making an address on the floor of the House of Representatives when he suffered a heart attack and died. The House carried on with its business, though, and with hundreds of veterans cheering from the gallery, the House passed the bill that same day.

Republicans opposed the Patman bill mainly because it required the government to spend money it did not have in the treasury. The government was no exception to the hard times that had befallen the nation. Although the bill had passed in the House, the bill did not have the votes to pass in the Senate. The Senate voted down the bill on June 17. No immediate relief would be coming to the veterans. Even if the bill had passed the Senate, it most likely would have been vetoed by President Hoover, just as the bonus itself had been vetoed by Coolidge and Harding in the preceding years.

The bill had come to a vote and failed, but many in the Bonus Expeditionary Force refused to pack up and go home. Instead, they continued their occupation of the Anacostia Flats and vacant buildings in the District of Columbia into July.

National Archives, ARC identifier 593253

On July 28, Attorney General William Mitchell ordered the DC police to remove the protesters from government property. At the time, about 50 protesters occupied buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue. When police arrived to move them out, a riot erupted, and police shot and killed two protesters. After that, the Army was called in to restore order.

General Douglas MacArthur led the Army troops, along with his aide Major Dwight D. Eisenhower and an able tank commander, Major George S. Patton. Under President Hoover’s orders to drive the protesters back across the Anacostia River, the Army was in position in the late afternoon. Once the order was given, the troops advanced with tanks, fixed bayonets, and tear gas to drive away the crowd of veterans back across the bridge.

Hoover twice sent messages to MacArthur to not cross the bridge, but MacArthur ignored them and continued pressing into the BEF camp on the Anacostia Flats on the far side of the river. The camp was still inhabited by about 10,000 people, who were driven off by the cavalry with tanks and tear gas. Then the infantry followed, setting fire to the shanties. DC’s hospitals were overwhelmed with the wounded. Operationally, the exercise was seen as a success by the Army. The Bonus Expeditionary Forces had been dispersed permanently.

National Archives, identifier 531102

The press saw it differently. Even the Washington Daily News, typically sympathetic to Hoover’s Republicans called it “A pitiful spectacle,” to see “the mightiest government in the world chasing unarmed men, women, and children with Army tanks. If the Army must be called out to make war on unarmed citizens, this is no longer America.”

The political consequences were severe. 1932 was an election year, and the economy was the prevailing issue. The “pitiful spectacle” of starving, ragged veterans being driven off by tanks weakened Hoover’s bid for re-election. In November, his opponent, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was swept into office by an American populace eager for change. Roosevelt became America’s longest-serving president, elected to four terms in office. Another Republican would not hold the White House until Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration in 1953, his immense popularity for his leadership in World War II vastly overshadowing his role in the affair on the Anacostia Flats.

A modern view of the area where the events of 1932 occurred. The Anacostia Flats are in the near ground the main camp was on the left side of the frame along the near bank of the river. The areas of southeast DC where protesters clashed with police, then the army are on the opposite shore on the right side of the image.

Today, the Bonus Expeditionary Forces and the drama of 1932 are largely forgotten, but you can still visit the same field where the shantytown briefly stood. Now playing fields host flag football and soccer. Picnickers enjoy summer afternoons along the river. Residents walk, jog, and bike the Anacostia River Trail. And the land is home to the US Park Police and National Capital Parks - East headquarters.

*$625 in 1926 equates to roughly $8,600 in 2016 dollars. Distributed among 4.7 million veterans, the total payout would have been about $2.4 billion in 1926, equating to roughly $33 billion in 2016 dollars.

The Onward March of Freedom: The Cold War

In 1946, the Democratic Party was the more conservative party on fiscal issues. For example, Manuel Roxas, the Democratic presidential nominee at the time, was a neoliberal [1] in the likes of Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, advocating for pro-business policies, even though he was in favor of building a safety net for Filipinos. He also favored deregulated trade with the United States.

Meanwhile, the Nacionalista Party was the more progressive party on fiscal issues, advocated for stricter but equal trade relations with the United States and advocated for more government intervention into the Philippine economy. In fact, Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Quezon were progressive Nacionalistas, and the former enacted universal health care in the country, and more Nacionalistas than Democrats voted for the health care bill at the time.

However, numerous national security crises would discredit the progressive Nacionalistas by 1952. The Huk-perpetrated Business Bombing and the death of former Democratic nominee Elpidio Quirino in 1950 and the intensification of Huk insurgencies across the country sunk the Osmeña Administration. Thus, a wave of moderate conservative politicians successfully mounted primary challenges against many progressive Nacionalistas from 1950 by touting their strong commitment to fighting communism in the country.

On the other hand, the Democratic Party, after the twin defeats of neoliberals Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino in 1946 and 1948, respectively, shifted to the left on fiscal issues from 1949 with José Avelino as the party's official head. Unlike progressive Nacionalistas, these "Avelino Democrats" were perceived to be strong fighters of communism, owing to Avelino's strong stance against the Huks. Thus they were able to avoid the anticommunist backlash their fellow progressives in the Nacionalista Party experienced. By 1950 and 1952, as the party shifted leftward, progressive "Avelino Democrats" mounted successful primary challenges to neoliberals within the party, and within four years, the Democratic Party became primarily progressive as the Nacionalista Party shifted the right on fiscal issues. This enhanced the strength of "Vital Center Liberalism" in the country, in which strong government intervention in the economy was coupled with rejections of the extremes of the far left and far right, whilst being strong against communism and other national threats. 1956 showcased the final switch in platforms between the rightwardly-turning Nacionalista Party and the leftwardly-turning Democratic Party, which was evident with their Presidential choices during that year. However, in social issues, both parties were mostly in favor of civil rights, but were still sexually conservative.


1956 came and the Democrats were riding high with their achievements for the past four years. The Democrats unanimously nominated José Avelino and Ramon Magsaysay for President and Vice President, respectively in the Democratic National Convention from August 6 to 10, 1956.

Meanwhile, the Nacionalista Party, reeling from their electoral defeats in 1952 and 1954, face a contentious nomination battle between Carlos Garcia, one of the last progressive Nacionalistas, and Diosdado Macapagal, a Senator from Pampanga who championed moderately conservative viewpoints on economics and foreign policy, but wanted to keep the status quo enacted by the current Administration.

Garcia and Macapagal both faced off from February to June 1956 in the handful primaries in the country. However, the perceived weakness of the progressive Nacionalistas against the Huk rebellion and communism, and the weakening grip of progressives on the party, hurt Garcia' chances. In the Nacionalista National Convention held from August 27 to 31, 1956, Diosdado Macapagal narrowly won over Carlos Garcia by less than 50 votes, and picked Representative Ferdinand Marcos as his running mate to cater to the then-minority progressive Nacionalista faction. Afterwards, more deregulatory policies (whilst still validating pro-labor policies and the existing welfare programs) were enacted, furthering the rightward shift of the party.

The presidential election season started on September 1, 1956. President Avelino and Senator Macapagal worked hard to convey their message to the Filipino people. Avelino championed the good-government policies enacted during the last four years. Travelling across the country, crowd after crowd of working class Filipinos showedup at rallies to support their man. On the other hand, Macapagal, who came from the working class, found it hard to connect with the masses like President did, since he lacked charisma and appeal.Two debates only showcased the strength of Avelino over Macapagal.

When election day came, no one doubted the results.

In yet another landslide, President José Dira Avelino was given a mandate for another four years of leadership over the country. However, even though the Nacionalistas lost, Macapagal's principles became part of the Nacionalista Party platform for years to come, with him managing to greatly lower the President's popular vote percentage by more than ten points being lauded as limiting the Nacionalistas' defeats on Election Day.

As with the past three elections, 1956 entailed gains for the progressive coalition in Congress, even though the Democrats' margins in the Senate and House were unchanged, as the Democratic Party was slowly purged of its neoliberal and conservative members (though never really making the Democratic Party entirely progressive). Finally, fiscal progressives, including the shrinking progressive Nacionalista faction, outnumbered fiscal conservatives by more than a 2-1 margin.

For the ruling Democratic Party, there was nowhere to go but up, and there was nothing to do but go big on policy. Now, the President can enact Constitutional Amendments. The question was what amendment will he push through.

[1]. Compare this to the "Third Way" policies in the 1990s.



The 48th Ronin

Welp, Apong Lakay is near the top, again. But then again, hard to stop a politician as talented and ambitious as him.

What's going on in Mindanao these days?


Welp, Apong Lakay is near the top, again. But then again, hard to stop a politician as talented and ambitious as him.

What's going on in Mindanao these days?

Religius tensions are far, far lower than IOTL, since, unlike President Magsasay IOTL, President Avelino doesn't send former Huk rebels as farmers in Mindanao, which heightened religious tensions in the island.

Instead, he passes wide-scale land reform that enables the Huks to have good lives in the North, in Part XIII.

Religius tensions are far, far lower than IOTL, since, unlike President Magsasay IOTL, President Avelino doesn't send former Huk rebels as farmers in Mindanao, which heightened religious tensions in the island.

Instead, he passes wide-scale land reform that enables the Huks to have good lives in the North, in Part XIII.

The 48th Ronin


They don't. ITTL, a far more equitable deal with the US does not give special privileges to laneded elites, so they're without the sugar quota that privileged them. That and a combination of Osmeña's open contempt against the agriculturist elite, and having the freedom to direct more aid to industrial firms weakens them even further.

Finally, the Democratic Party got taken over by fiscal social democrats from 1950, and when they rose to power in 1952, that was it for the landed elites. By 1957, fiscally progressive "Avelino Democrats", with help from on the shrinking minority progressive Nacionalita faction, dominate Congress 2-1, as said in Part XIV.

ITTL, industrialists are the dominant elite. I have a plan on how Avelino will handle them and make the economy boom.

The basic POD of this TL is that Quezon not contracting tuberculosis enables him and Osmeña's to negotiate a trade deal that is far more equitable than OTL's Bell Trade Act to destroy the paradigm that " the Philippines is destined to be an agricultural country", leading to other positive changes, including the dominance of progressives in Congress.

They don't. ITTL, a far more equitable deal with the US does not give special privileges to laneded elites, so they're without the sugar quota that privileged them. That and a combination of Osmeña's open contempt against the agriculturist elite, and having the freedom to direct more aid to industrial firms weakens them even further.

Finally, the Democratic Party got taken over by fiscal social democrats from 1950, and when they rose to power in 1952, that was it for the landed elites. By 1957, fiscally progressive "Avelino Democrats", with help from on the minority progressive Nacionalita faction, dominate Congress 2-1.

ITTL, industrialists are the dominant elite. I have a plan on how Avelino will handle them and make the economy boom.

The basic POD of this TL is that Quezon not contracting tuberculosis enables him and Osmeña's to negotiate a trade deal that is far more equitable than OTL's Bell Trade Act to destroy the paradigm that " the Philippines is destined to be an agricultural country", leading to other positive changes, including the dominance of progressives in Congress.

Tbh, I don't like the Bell Trade Act after I read it.


The 48th Ronin


Well, Truman and LBJ ITTL wouldn't be hypocritical to overthrow one of their own Vital Center Liberals in the Philippines, especially a Vital Center Liberal who has pledged to be allied militarily with the US in SEATO. Besides, President Avelino proved himself to be a credible anticommunist by taking on the Huks. They won't hurt him

Oh, because LBJ's POTUS by 1953, well, that means things that happened IOTL that discredited Truman in anti-communist crusades are gone (wouldn't want to reveal too much though). So a more sensible Red Scare under such Vitcal Center Liberals such as Truman and LBJ and not the McCarthyite debacle IOTL.

Vital Center Liberal means someone who is a fiscal progressive but is a strong anti-communist. Think Truman, LBJ, JFK, Humphrey, Scoop Jackson.


Soon, on the Onward March of Freedom:




Outward: The Philippine Social Reforms from the Late 1950s
by Casimiro Castro ​

After his 1956 landslide, President José Avelino seemingly did not have much to do. Also, asides from Democratic Senator Claro M. Recto's entry into his cabinet as Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, nothing much changed from his cabinet. However, economic issues would then dominate his first months in his second term.

Through immense progress achieved in creating a free-trade, social democratic welfare state that promotes individual responsibility and fairness, the economy roared back and surpassed pre-war levels by the 1950s. American aid and the Filipino-American Friendship Treaty certainly helped matters, with it ensuring universal education, universal health care, economic stimuli, and other reforms to boost the economy again. Regulations to reign in greed from corrupt elite people ensured that companies were equitable in their treatment of workers. Voting rights ensured a much fairer democracy, and the Philippines was dubbed as the "finest beacon of hope and democracy in a mostly authoritarian Asia" by President Hubert Humphrey in 1957 (though certainly Korea and Japan were democracies, the Philippines was by far the larger economic power than the two at the time).

However, further economic reforms had to be done to maintain this growth. The country's industries were inefficient and uncompetitive because they were not exposed to foreign investment and were too geared to domestic demand. Thus. Even before Avelino took office, on January 4, 1951, the government, with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) introduced the Economic Stability Plan (ESP). It liberalized foreign trade and investment to all countries besides the United States, while deflationary measures were not needed and reserved for crisis periods since the country was experiencing deflation by then. The double-whammy of investors fleeing the country in 1950 due to the Huk crisis and the impact of these reforms led to a massive recession from 1950 to 1952, which forced as much as 500,000 Filipinos to immigrate mainly to the United States and other countries for better opportunities. The plan helped enabled the country to gain an account surplus of around 500 million US dollars by 1956, which was helped by a boom in tourism and a rapid rise in remittances from Filipinos working abroad.

Avelino builded upon these changes with his export-oriented industrialization in 1957, with greater trade, American aid, foreign investment (much of it coming from the United States), and expertise, the government guided all companies within the Philippines to be oriented towards making exports to other countries, most especially the United States. The domestic market was opened up to foreign industries as well to prevent massive inflation and to promote competitiveness in the Philippine economy. By then, many Filipino companies had already been given sufficient foreign help to survive in the competitive environment brought about by the 1951 reforms. Savings were promoted to ensure greater goods for exports. These export-oriented reforms were what the country needed from the 1950s, as the Philippines did not have a large domestic market like China, India, and other large countries.

Thus, the Philippine economy entered its largest period of economic growth in history, with the GNP dramatically annually expanding by around 10% from 1958 to 1998. Wealth inequality greatly decreased, and the country became the second largest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

These export-oriented economic reforms would not have been possible had it not been for sweeping land reform that was passed in 1954 that removed the landlord class and made a large number of independent farmers who were able to massively increase agricultural production and farmer income. This led to these same farmers, with help from banks and educational institutions, to invest and expand production into other industries in urban areas.

The third reform was greater national security. Heavy investments in military technology, military expansion, and the United States being allowed to station nuclear missiles in the Philippines improved the country's security. The Philippine Armed Forces heavily invested in the navy and air force for power projection, whilst having a decent army to fight domestic threats and for peacekeeping missions abroad. The Armed Forces saw its largest military expansion and modernization in history during the period 1950-1970. Finally, with no more warlords and Huks left, the country was experiencing its most peaceful years since the end of World War II.

The fourth reform was liberalizing the country's currency exchange. The peso was artificially high in 1957 to promote imports, foreign investment and domestic consumption, but was allow to freely float in February 1958, precipitating a collapse of the peso from a two-to-one exchange with the American dollar to a fifteen-to-one exchange by October that year. The Philippines was helped by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a 500 million dollar-stabilization fund, easing inflation woes for many Filipinos.

This resulted in massive gains for Nacionalistas in Congress (toppling Democrats in traditionally Nacionalista areas in the North and Visayas), highlighting the need for greater economic reform. Though goodwill to reforms done by the Avelino administration made sure that Democrats won the popular vote, 1958 saw great gains by Nacionalista conservatives.

The sixth step was export incentivization. Since export subsidies were and are banned in the 1946 Philippine-American Trade Agreement and by the World Trade Organization (WTO), tax cuts for exports that applied to all companies in the country were established. Massive export quotas were implemented, mainly focusing on light industry such as consumer goods and other materials. Heavy industry was also expanded to cater to the needs of light industry to export to other countries. Free-trade/free-export areas around Metro Manila, Clark, Cebu, Davao, and other cities were established in all major Philippine ports to encourage growth.

The seventh step was massive investments in science and technology. By the mid-1960s, scientific and technological investments totalled around 4% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Innovations in production were promoted, thus increasing output and product quality.

The eighth step was education. The workforce was and is constantly educated to adapt to never-ending changes in the workforce, and universal education was promoted to gear Filipinos for future jobs. All students in senior high school and college also had the option of taking vocational training, improving the country's work experience.

The ninth step was infrastructure. Roads, ports, airports, tunnels, trams, subways, bus rapid transit (BRT) systems were established to ease movement of goods, and along with good urban planning, traffic began to ease up. Congestion pricing based on income was introduced, resulting in less congested streets.

The eleventh step was energy. and started to build nuclear power plants by the early 1960s and other cleaner energies such as hydroelectric and wind, although coal and gas was still the dominant form of energy during the time. With the administration's "all-of-the-above" energy strategy and the nation's power grid modernized, electric bills were kept at lower rates and brownouts and blackouts were rare. The Avelino administration finally promoted clean water and clean air policies by the late 1950s. By 1961, with the advent of the Manila Bay and Laguna Lake Cleanup Act (MBLLCA), countless efforts to clean the nation's bays, rivers, lakes and other water sources started to ensure the country industrializes without hurting marine ecology. The Clean Air Act of 1962 set standards for emissions and reduced them, laying the foundation for future clean air efforts.

The thirteenth was disaster preparedness. As the Philippines was in the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Western Pacific Typhoon Belt, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (NDRRMA) created the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) within the existing National Civil Defense Administration (NCDA) to handle non-military disasters and coordinate with the military wing of the the NCDA whenver possible. It also provided for the decentralization of disaster preparedness centers to make sure aid arrives to the needy while central authorities are still far away from the disaster site. The country's building code was also revamped in the NDRRMA, requiring that all buildings, canals, waterways, roads, tunnels, subways and homes be earthquake, flood-proof and typhoon-proof. The NDRRMA also strengthened the NCDA to prepare against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks.

The fourteenth was capital formation and investment. The government had a "savings for investment" approach to national finances, and the financial reserves and banks were heavily utilized to promote investment.

The fifteenth was labor rights. Since wages hikes have been implemented from 1953 to 1970 and would be indexed to inflation afterwards, wage battles were gone by the 1960s, so labor and management relations further developed in the 1960s. By the end of the decade, the Labor Representation Act (LRA) was passed, mandating co-determination in companies. These rights extended to all economic sectors, including the government and the air industry.

The sixteenth was quality management. Ever since William Deming came to the country, strict quality checks ensured that exports would be of high quality, and that domestic products would be of same quality as exported ones.

The seventeenth was housing. The largest housing expansion was done by the Homes for Life Act (HFLA), which created massive universal public housing, suburban villages and condominium units to give many Filipinos (primarily the latter), especially urbanizing ones, homes. This solved the slum problem in many cities across the country. The HFLA mainly focused on urban housing, so as to prevent urban flight.

The eighteenth and final step was diversification away from Metro Manila. While Metro Manila was and is the largest economic area in the country, the government heavily invested in other cities across the country to make sure that the capital was not overcrowded. Although Metro Manila today is the largest urban area with around 41 million people [2], other metro areas in the country are as equally thriving or surpassing the quality of life in the nation's capital. Today, around 96% of Filipinos live in urban areas, the most number in the world, and these cities are all witnessing ever-expanding and ever-innovating economic activity.

The above reforms resulted in +10% economic growth that positively affected all income brackets by the end of the 1960s, and laid the foundations of the country as Southeast Asia's premier socioeconomic, military and political power and as an "Asian Tiger" economy, along with her neighbors.

[1]. If there's the "keiretsu" conglomerates in Japan and the "chaebols" in South Korea, there are the "yamangkat" group of companies in the Philippines.

[2]. Sounds ironic, but yes, since the Philippines is far more urbanized ITTL, this happens even though the government ITTL made plans to invest in other cities to ease congestion in Metro Manila. Therefore, had they not done encouraged Filipinos to move into other cities, perhaps ITTL around +60% (. ) of Filipinos are living in Metro Manila! Since transportation and infrastructure ITTL are much, much modernized and capable of handling commuters (Subways! BRTs! Trams!), congestion is much less of a problem ITTL.

“Why Should We March?”

Philip Randolph was a major figure in the labor movement, having founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a union for African American train porters. Randolph believed in the use of collective non-violent action to improve the lot of the working class, including demonstrations and strikes. In this article, he proposed adopting a similar approach to combat racial discrimination. Randolph stressed the importance of using collective action to pressure the government to end racial discrimination while black soldiers and workers were needed to defend the nation. Randolph’s essay appeared in the journal Survey Graphic (1921–52), a progressive journal that published articles on various social issues.

Source: A. Philip Randolph, “Why Should We March?” Survey Graphic 31 (November 1942), pp 488-89.

The March on Washington Movement 1 has taken a leaf out of labor history in turning from industrial to political action. Its mass campaign is headed by the founder of the outstanding Negro union in the country: – by the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (AFL).

Though I have found no Negroes who want to see the United Nations 2 lose this war, I have found many who, before the war ends, want to see the stuffing knocked out of white supremacy and of empire over subject peoples. American Negroes, involved as we are in the general issues of the conflict, are confronted not with a choice but with the challenge both to win democracy for ourselves at home and to help win the war for democracy the world over.

There is no escape from the horns of this dilemma. There ought not to be escape. For if the war for democracy is not won abroad, the fight for democracy cannot be won at home. If this war cannot be won for the white peoples, it will not be won for the darker races.

Conversely, if freedom and equality are not vouchsafed the peoples of color, the war for democracy will not be won. Unless this double-barreled thesis is accepted and applied, the darker races will never wholeheartedly fight for the victory of the United Nations. That is why those familiar with the thinking of the American Negro have sensed his lack of enthusiasm, whether among the educated or uneducated, rich or poor, professional or non-professional, religious or secular, rural or urban, north, south, east or west.

That is why questions are being raised by Negroes in church, labor union and fraternal society in poolroom, barbershop, schoolroom, hospital, hair-dressing parlor on college campus, railroad, and bus. One can hear such questions asked as these: What have Negroes to fight for? What’s the difference between Hitler and the “cracker” Talmadge of Georgia? 3 Why has a man got to be Jim Crowed to die for democracy? If you haven’t got democracy yourself, how can you carry it to somebody else?

What are the reasons for this state of mind? The answer is: discrimination, segregation, Jim Crow. Witness the navy, the army, the air corps and also government services at Washington. In many parts of the South, Negroes in Uncle Sam’s uniform are being put upon, mobbed, sometimes even shot down by civilian and military people, and on occasion lynched. Vested political interests in race prejudice are so deeply entrenched that to them winning the war against Hitler is secondary to preventing Negroes from winning democracy for themselves. This is worth many divisions to Hitler and Hirohito. 4 While labor, business, and farm are subjected to ceilings and floors and not allowed to carry on as usual, these interests trade in the dangerous business of race and hate as usual.

When the defense program began and billions of taxpayers’ money were appropriated for guns, ships, tanks, and bombs, Negroes presented themselves for work only to be given the cold shoulder. North as well as South, and despite qualifications, Negroes were denied skilled employment. Not until their wrath and indignation took the form of a proposed protest march on Washington, scheduled for July 1, 1941, did things begin to move in the form of defense jobs for Negroes. The march was postponed by the timely issuance (June 25, 1941) of the famous Executive Order No. 8802 by President Roosevelt. But this order and the President’s Committee on Fair Employment Practice, established thereunder, have as yet only scratched the surface by way of eliminating discriminations on account of race or color in war industry. Both management and labor unions in too many places and too many ways are still drawing the color line.

It is to meet this situation squarely with direct action that the March on Washington Movement launched its present program of protest mass meetings. Twenty thousand were in attendance at Madison Square Garden, June 16 sixteen thousand in the Coliseum in Chicago, June 26 nine thousand in the City Auditorium of St. Louis, August 14. Meetings of such magnitude were unprecedented among Negroes. 5 The vast throngs were drawn from all walks and levels of Negro life – businessmen, teachers, laundry workers, Pullman porters, waiters, and red caps 6 preachers, crapshooters, and social workers jitterbugs and Ph.D’s. They came and sat in silence, thinking, applauding only when they considered the truth was told, when they felt strongly that something was going to be done about it.

The March on Washington Movement is essentially a movement of the people. It is all Negro and pro-Negro, but not for that reason anti-white or anti-Semitic, or anti-Catholic, or anti-foreign, or anti-labor. Its major weapon is the non-violent demonstration of Negro mass power. Negro leadership has united back of its drive for jobs and justice. “Whether Negroes should focus on Washington, and if so, when?” will be the focus of a forthcoming national conference. For the plan of a protest march has not been abandoned. Its purpose would be to demonstrate that American Negroes are in deadly earnest, and all out for their full rights. No power on earth can cause them today to abandon their fight to wipe out every vestige of second class citizenship and the dual standards that plague them.

A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess. To trample on these rights of both Negroes and poor whites is such a commonplace in the South that it takes readily to anti-social, anti-labor, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic propaganda. It was because of laxness in enforcing the Weimar constitution 7 in republican Germany that Nazism made headway. Oppression of the Negroes in the United States, like suppression of the Jews in Germany, may open the way for fascist dictatorship.

By fighting for their rights now, American Negroes are helping to make America a moral and spiritual arsenal for democracy. Their fight against the poll tax, against lynch law, segregation, and Jim Crow, their fight for economic, political, and social equality, thus becomes part of the global war for freedom.


  1. We demand, in the interest of national unity, the abrogation of every law which makes a distinction in treatment between citizens based on religion, creed, color, or national origin. This means an end to Jim Crow in education, in housing, in transportation and in every other social, economic, and political privilege and especially, we demand, in the capital of the nation, an end to all segregation in public places and in public institutions.
  2. We demand legislation to enforce the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guaranteeing that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, so that the full weight of the national government may be used for the protection of life and thereby may end the disgrace of lynching.
  3. We demand the enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the enactment of the Pepper Poll Tax bill 8 so that all barriers in the exercise of the suffrage are eliminated.
  4. We demand the abolition of segregation and discrimination in the army, navy, marine corps, air corps, and all other branches of national defense.
  5. We demand an end to discrimination in jobs and job training. Further, we demand that the FEPC [Fair Employment Practices Committee] 9 be made a permanent administrative agency of the U.S. Government and that it be given power to enforce its decisions based on its findings.
  6. We demand that federal funds be withheld from any agency which practices discrimination in the use of such funds.
  7. We demand colored and minority group representation on all administrative agencies so that these groups may have recognition of their democratic right to participate in formulating policies.
  8. We demand representation for the colored and minority racial groups on all missions, political and technical, which will be sent to the peace conference so that the interests of all people everywhere may be fully recognized and justly provided for in the post-war settlement.

Study Questions

A. What double-victory campaign were African Americans waging at home and overseas? Why did Randolph believe that a March on Washington Movement was needed? What would a “nonviolent demonstration of Negro mass power” accomplish?

B. How do the points in Randolph’s 1942 program build on his accomplishments in 1941 (See Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802)?

Brisbane rejoices as the US Navy comes to town (March 1941)

On 25 March 1941, a US Naval squadron visited Brisbane on a three-day goodwill visit. The United States had not yet entered the Second World War – Rear-Admiral Newton stating, "We just dropped in to show that we are not so far away from Australia after all. We are on a training cruise and a visit of goodwill.”

Sightseers started gathering along the Brisbane River at dawn to welcome the US Naval squadron. The fleet consisted of the cruisers, Chicago and Portland and the destroyers, Clark, Cassin, Conyingham, Reid and Downes. The destroyers berthed at New Farm and Bulimba and the cruisers docked at Hamilton.

At midday the American sailors and marines marched from Fortitude Valley to the City Hall, with approximately 250,000 people attempting to line the 2 mile parade route 90,000 more than was predicted. Also marching were about “100 men of the Royal Australian Navy, 400 soldiers of the AIF and 130 RAAF men”.

Gun turret and bridge of an American warship docked in Brisbane March 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 77817

Published in Brisbane's souvenir of the American fleet, 1941 (SLQ collection)

U.S. Navy ship Chicago in Brisbane, March 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 77816

People cheered, clapped, sang and threw confetti as the servicemen passed. Others climbed buildings and onto window ledges and awnings to get a better view. During the parade eight RAAF fighter bombers flew overhead. At the end of the parade Council workers had the unenviable job of cleaning the streets, salvaging 60 truck loads of paper.

Crowds cheering American sailors marching through Brisbane as part of a goodwill visit, 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 158512

American fleet marching down Queen Street, Brisbane, March 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 102768

An official welcome was given by the Lord Mayor at the City Hall as well as a civic luncheon. At the reception Rear-Admiral Newton expressed his appreciation - "Please accept our sincere thanks for the fine reception your city has given us. It is beyond what we had imagined possible.”

Scene in Queen Street after the U.S. naval march, Brisbane 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 104983

Taking the salute on the steps of the Brisbane Post Office building, Queen Street, Brisbane, 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 104171

That night a dance was held at the City Hall, arranged by the State Government. The dance was invitation only. According to the Courier Mail – “Groups of girls from voluntary war work organisations and business houses were specially invited to partner the visitors. Sailors were not allowed to take uninvited girls into the ball, and many refused to enter without these girls”. Even members of parliament were not allowed in unless on the guest list. The crowd outside the City Hall grew to around 2,000, to the point where extra police were required.

The US servicemen described Brisbane girls as "excellent dancers, but not too accustomed to jitterbugging".

Cartoon which appeared in the Telegraph, Tuesday 25 March 1941, p. 12, in connection with the goodwill visit to Brisbane of the American Naval Squadron. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 158500

American sailors and Aussie diggers pose for the camera, March 1941. Published in Brisbane's souvenir of the American fleet (SLQ collection)

Next day there were a number of excursions offered to the American visitors including visits to Maleny, Coolangatta and Ipswich. Some visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to cuddle assorted Australian fauna. Others went souvenir shopping. Several stationers had to request emergency supplies of picture postcards of Brisbane as they were selling out. Furry koala toys and Queensland polished hardwood desk ornaments were also very popular.

Advertisement in the Brisbane Telegraph newspaper from T. C. Beirne department store

Advertisement from Finneys Menswear in Brisbane, 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 158511

Left - Seaman M. McCutcheon makes friends with the koalas. Right - Seaman B.A. Kraver (U.S.S. Portland) and a wallaby at Lone Pine. Published in Brisbane's souvenir of the American fleet, 1941 (SLQ collection)

Welcomed Visitors Aka Welcome Visitors (1941) - YouTube

So what did our American cousins think of our fair city?

“The girls here are terrible friendly. Brisbane is the most popular liberty port of the US Navy” - Quarter Master Winslow Goodwin

“Everything about Brisbane is fine. I come from Fort Worth, Texas, where everybody is friendly and this makes me feel I’m back there” - Marine Glyn Cannon

“Brisbane? I like it a million. As for the girls, speaking as an expert, they’d knock spots off Hollywood stars” - Seaman Leslie Williams

“Brisbane is the best port of call ever. Reminds me of home. Better beer than USA ever brewed” - Seaman Ralph Wleklinski

Many of the American sailors and marines loved to dance. On March 26, a dance at the Trocadero in South Brisbane saw 800 American petty officers and ratings jitterbugging “to their heart’s content for more than 3 hours”. The bandleader of the Trocadero dance band cut out all the slow paced pieces – “I'm playing the quick tempo numbers like 'Tiger Rag', 'Twelfth Street Rag', 'Bugle Call' and 'Roll out the Barrell'."

On March 27, a concert was held at City Hall in honour of the men of the visiting American Naval Squadron. State Library is fortunate to have a copy of the program of this concert in its collection.

The Failed Attempt to Avert War with Japan, 1941

The attack by the Imperial Japanese Army against the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor catapulted the United States into World War II. While many are familiar with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, less is known about the attempts by Japan and the U.S. to avert war.

Tensions were running high between Japan and the United States long December 7th. Japan was fighting what was almost a decade-long war against the Chinese in Manchuria. After the bombing of the USS Panay on the Yangtze River in December 1937 (which Japan had claimed was an accident), the U.S. and their allies began sending assistance to China. The Japanese continued their aggression with the occupation of French Indochina, and the U.S. began taking preventative measures. In 1941 the United States ceased oil shipments to Japan. The U.S. and Japan began negotiations to end sanctions and make peace, but their efforts were unsuccessful. President Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoye (at right), and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew were on the verge of arranging a meeting in Alaska, but the parties could not come to an agreement on terms.

Robert A. Fearey was serving as the private secretary Ambassador Grew, during the time surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1998, he shared his memoirs with ADST, recollecting the days leading up to the attack, the failed attempts at peace and the declaration of war. Read about his time as a detainee in the embassy as well as his thoughts about the failed negotiations written years after the war.

You can read Niles Bond’s account of being detained in the U.S. Consulate in Yokohama in the months after Pearl Harbor as well as other accounts of World War II.

“Washington’s initial reaction to a Roosevelt- Konoye meeting was not unfavorable”

FEAREY: As the weeks passed, I became aware that Grew and [Embassy Counselor Eugene] Doorman were heavily preoccupied with an undertaking which they believed could critically affect the prospects for averting the war. Though the matter was closely held within the embassy, I learned that it related to a proposal Grew had transmitted to Washington from Prime Minister Konoye that he and President Roosevelt meet face-to–face in Honolulu in an effort to fundamentally turn U.S.-Japan relations around before it was too late.

Grew had told Washington that Konoye was convinced that he would be able to present terms for such a settlement at such a meeting which the U.S. and its allies would be able to accept. Konoye had said that the terms had the backing of the Emperor and of Japan’s highest military authorities and that senior military officers were prepared to accompany him to the meeting and put the weight of their approval behind the hoped-for agreement with the President on the mission’s return to Japan. Grew and Doorman had strongly recommended that Washington agree to the meeting.

Reverting to the Konoye proposal, although my knowledge of the cables back and forth was limited at the time, the records show that Washington’s initial reaction to the proposal was not unfavorable. The idea caught the President’s imagination. In a late August session with Japanese Ambassador Kichisaburu Nomura, Roosevelt “spoke of the difficulty of going as far as Hawaii and elaborated his reasons why it would be difficult to get away for 21 days. He turned to Juneau, Alaska as a meeting place, which would only require some 14 or 15 days, allowing for a three or four days conversation with the Japanese Prime Minister….

In his August 28 reply to Roosevelt through Nomura, Konoye said that “he would be assisted by a staff of about twenty persons, of whom five each would be from the Foreign Office, the Army, the Navy and the Japanese Embassy at Washington.” Nomura “thought that the inclusion of Army and Navy representatives would be especially beneficial in view of the responsibility, which they would share for the settlement reached.” Konoye told Grew about this time that a destroyer with steam up awaited in Yokohama to carry him and his associates to the meeting place. An Embassy officer who lived in Yokohama confirmed this.

However, at a meeting with Nomura at the White House on September 3, the President read a message, prepared at State, from him to Konoye, which included the statement that “it would seem highly desirable that we take precautions toward ensuring that our proposed meeting shall prove a success by endeavoring to enter immediately upon preliminary discussions of the fundamental and essential questions on which we seek agreement….”

When Nomura asked whether the President was still favorable to a conference, “the President replied that he was but that it was very important to settle a number of these questions beforehand if the success of the conference was to be safeguarded…” He added that “it would be necessary for us to discuss the matter fully with the British, the Chinese and the Dutch, since there is no other way to effect a suitable peaceful settlement for the Pacific area.”

In succeeding meetings, Roosevelt and Hull reiterated these two themes: that the proposed meeting must be preceded by preliminary U.S.-Japan discussions of (by which they clearly meant agreement on) “the fundamental and essential questions on which we seek agreement,” and by U.S. consultation with our Chinese, British and Dutch allies. In a September 4th meeting with Nomura, Hull said that “this was especially necessary with the Chinese who might otherwise be apprehensive lest we betray them. He (Hull) felt that before we are in a position to go to the Chinese, the American and Japanese Governments should reach a clear understanding in principle on the various points to be discussed affecting China.” Concern for Chiang Kai-shek’s reactions was clearly a key factor in the Administration’s thinking.

Konoye’s Fear of Assassination by Fanatical Japanese

Konoye [seen at right], in his initial broaching of the meeting idea in the spring, had explained to Grew, and he to Washington, why it was necessary for him to meet personally with Roosevelt outside Japan and why he would be able to propose terms at such a meeting which he could never propose through diplomatic channels. If he had said he was to use such channels to provide the specific assurances Washington sought on the China question and other issues, his Foreign Minister, Yosuke Matsuoka, who had led Japan into the Axis Pact with Germany and Italy and who, with the Germans and Italians, would do anything to prevent a Japanese accommodation with the U.S., would immediately leak those assurances to fanatical Japanese elements and to the German and Italian embassies he (Konoye) would be assassinated, and the whole effort would fail.

A further risk of hostile leaks lay in the codes through which the Embassy and the State Department communicated. The Embassy hoped that one of its codes was still secure, but Konoye told Grew that he believed that Japanese cryptographers had broken all the others. The Embassy did not know that we had broken the Japanese codes and that Washington knew everything that passes by cable between Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Tokyo.

After Matsuoka was forced to resign as Foreign Minister following the German invasion of Russia in June, Konoye told Grew, and he Washington, that Matsuoka had left supporters behind in the Foreign Office who would equally leak the positive and forthcoming terms which he (Konoye) intended to propose to the President. On the other hand, Konoye maintained that if he, accompanied by senior representatives of the Army and Navy, could meet face-to-face with Roosevelt, propose those terms and have them accepted in principle, subject to Washington and Allied concurrence and the working out of detailed implementing arrangements, the reaction of relief and approval in Japan would be so strong that die-hard elements would be unable to prevail against it.

Grew and Doorman supported this reasoning. From the Emperor down, they told Washington, the Japanese knew that the China venture was not succeeding. Particularly after the July freezing of Japanese assets abroad and the embargo on oil and scrap shipments to Japan, the endless war in China was driving Japan into ruin. Every time a taxi went around the corner, Japan had less oil. There was solid reason to believe that the bulk of the Japanese people, except for the die-hards and fanatics, would sincerely welcome a face-saving settlement that would enable the country to pull back, on an agreed schedule, from China and Southeast Asia, even if not from Manchuria.

Japan had now held Manchuria for nine years and successfully integrated its economy into the homeland economy, and its disposition presented special problems which would have to be worked out in agreement with Nationalist China (Chiang Kai-shek reportedly declared in 1937 that China was determined to give up no more of its territory — a tacit admission that the return of Manchuria to China could not at that time be expected). But the time was now — the opportunity had to be seized before Japan’s economic situation and internal discontent reached so serious a level that the military felt obliged and entitled to take complete control and launch Japan on a suicidal was against the West.

Washington Stalls

Grew told Washington that because of the risks of hostile exposure, Konoye could not provide the clear and specific commitments concerning China, Indochina, the Axis Pact, non-discriminatory trade and other issues which Washington sought before the proposed meeting. On the other hand, he argued, there was strong reason to believe that Konoye would be able to provide those commitments at the proposed meeting and that with the Emperor’s [Hirohito, at left], the top military’s and the people’s support, they would be carried out. No one could guarantee this, but the alternative was almost certainly replacement of the Konoye Government and a rapid descent toward war. A State Department paraphrase of an August 18th Grew cable to Hull concluded as follows:

“The Ambassador urges with all the force at his command for the sake of avoiding the obviously growing possibility of an utterly futile war between Japan and the United States that this Japanese proposal not be turned aside without very prayerful consideration. Not only is the proposal unprecedented in Japanese history, but it is an indication that Japanese intransigence is not crystallized completely, owing to the fact that the proposal has the approval of the Emperor and the highest authorities in the land. The good which may flow from a meeting between Prince Konoye and President Roosevelt is incalculable. The opportunity is here presented, the Ambassador ventures to believe, for an act of the highest statesmanship, such as the recent meeting of President Roosevelt with Prime Minister Churchill at sea, with the possible overcoming thereby of apparently insurmountable obstacles to peace hereafter in the Pacific.”…

As the weeks passed and Washington still withheld approval of Konoye’s meeting proposal, he and Grew became increasingly discouraged. Konoye warned at their secret meetings that time was running out, that he would soon have no alternative but to resign and be succeeded by a prime minister and cabinet offering far less chance of determinedly seeking and being able to carry out a mutually acceptable U.S.-Japan settlement. Again and again Grew urged Washington to accept the meeting as the last, best chance for a settlement. He urged that not only Konoye, but he and Doorman firmly believed the Emperor and Japan’s top military and civilian leaders wished to reverse Japan’s unsuccessful military course, if this could be accomplished without an appearance of abject surrender. Japan could not pull its forces out of China and Indochina overnight without such an appearance, but it could commit itself to a course of action which would accomplish that result in an acceptable period of time under effective safeguards.

With New Men in Charge, Hopes Fade

Personalities can make an important difference in such situations. Secretary Hull’s principal Far Eastern advisor was a former professor named Stanley K. Hornbeck. Coming to the post with a China background, he was personally known by Grew and other Embassy Tokyo officers to have shown disdain and dislike for the Japanese. Word reached the Embassy that it was largely as a result of his influence and advice that Roosevelt’s and Hull’s initially favorable reaction to the meeting proposal had cooled. It was largely at his insistence that the policy of requiring Japan to provide clear and specific assurances on outstanding issues, particularly respecting China, before such a meeting could be held had been adopted.

Hornbeck was quoted as saying that Grew had been in Japan too long, that he was more Japanese than the Japanese and that all one had to do with the Japanese was to stand up to them, and they would cave. The Embassy heard that State’s “Japan hands,” led by Joseph W. Ballantine, tended to agree with its recommendations, but how strongly was not clear. What did seem clear was that Hornbeck had the upper hand and that his views were prevailing with Hull and Roosevelt.

On October 16, Konoye, having pleaded and waited in vain for U.S. acceptance of his meeting proposal, resigned and was replaced by General Hideki Tojo. In a private conversation with Grew, Konoye put the best face he could on this development, recalling that Tojo, as War Minister in Konoye’s cabinet, had personally supported the meeting proposal and had been prepared to put his personal weight behind the hoped-for agreement with the President. But Grew and Doorman now held little hope for peace, believing that the chance which Konoye had presented of a reversal, not at once, but by controlling stages, of Japan’s aggressive course had been lost. The Washington talks continued, and Grew employed his talents to the full with his old friends, the new Foreign Minister, Admiral Teijiro Toyoda, and others to make them succeed. But he was privately frank to say that in his view, the die had been cast when Konoye gave up on the proposed meeting and resigned.

Reflecting this view, Grew sent a number of cables during October and November, warning that the Japanese, finding themselves in a corner as a result of the freeze and embargo, not only might, but probably would, resort to an all-out, do-or-die attempt to render Japan invulnerable to foreign economic pressures, even if the effort were tantamount to national hara-kiri.

In a message on November 3, he expressed the hope that the U.S. would not become involved in war “because of any possible misconception of Japan’s capacity to rush headlong into a suicidal struggle with the United States.” He said that “the sands are running fast,” and that “an armed conflict with the United States may come with dangerous and dramatic suddenness.”

Earlier in the year, he had reported that the Peruvian Ambassador in Tokyo had informed diplomatic colleagues that a Japanese Admiral in his cups had been heard to say that if war came, it would start with an attack on Pearl Harbor. The contrast between Grew’s prescient warnings and Hornbeck’s reported view that if one stood up to the Japanese, they would cave, could not be more stark. But “China-hand” Hornbeck’s analysis prevailed over that of our Tokyo Embassy, not only with Hull and the President, but also apparently with our military authorities responsible for our Pacific defenses.

“And So War Came”

And so war came. It was Sunday in the U.S. but Monday morning, December 8, when the news reached us in Tokyo. At about 8:00, I walked over from my apartment to the Embassy chancery–a distance of about forty feet. There, standing or lying around on the chancery lobby floor, were a collection of golf bags. It was the day for the “Tuffy’s Cup” annual golf tournament, inaugurated some years before by the British Naval Attaché, Captain Tuffnel.

Chip Bohlen came down the stairs. Had I heard the news? The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and other points around the Western Pacific, and the Imperial Headquarters had announced that a state of war existed between Japan and the U.S. and its Allies. As I absorbed this intelligence, other Embassy officers arrived, most having heard the news from their drivers, who had heard it over their car radios.

The Ambassador had not yet come in, so I went up to his residence. He was relating to Ned Crocker how he had delivered a personal message from the President to the Emperor through Foreign Minister Togo [named to that position in October 1941] at midnight and how he had been called over to Togo’s office at 7:30 that morning to receive the Emperor’s reply. Grew said that if Togo had known about the attack, he had given no sign of it on either occasion, through his manner had been even stiffer than usual that morning. That, however, could be accounted for by the fact that the Emperor’s response to the President’s message had broken off the year-long U.S.-Japan negotiations. Grew later heard on good authority that Togo knew nothing of the attack until the news came over the radio early Monday morning….

“Gokkai, Gokkai,” “Extra, Extra”

I then went down to the compound’s front gate, which was closed tight with Japanese police standing all about. Outside, up the street, I heard a newsboy calling “Gokkai, Gokkai,” meaning “Extra, Extra” and waving copies of the English language “official” Japanese Government newspaper, The Japan Times and Advertiser, on which I could see gigantic headlines. It occurred to me that the paper would probably not only be informative on what happened, but would make a great souvenir. So I walked as inconspicuously as I could back along the eight-foot wall surrounding the compound to a corner where some small pine trees provided a little cover. There I scrambled over the wall, bought two copies of the paper, one to give to Grew and one to keep, and scrambled back. Fortunately, this somewhat foolhardy maneuver was not noticed by the police, who I knew had orders to allow no one in or out of the compound without express official permission.

FDR's Infamy Speech

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

7 March 1941 - History

Dachau , one of the first Nazi concentration camps, opened in March 1933, and at first interned only known political opponents of the Nazis: Communists, Social Democrats, and others who had been condemned in a court of law. Gradually, a more diverse group was imprisoned, including Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies , dissenting clergy, homosexuals, as well as others who were denounced for making critical remarks about the Nazis.

Five photographs and a map of Einsatzgruppen activities may be viewed in the Resources section.

A chilling report by the commander of one of the Einsatzgruppen, detailing the murders of 137,346 persons in a five month period.

Detailed information about the Einsatzgruppen, with primary source material.

A growing collection of documents related to the Einsatzgruppen is available at this site.

Map of Einsatzgruppen massacres in Eastern Europe, 1941-1942.

In September 1941, the Nazis began using gassing vans--trucks loaded with groups of people who were locked in and asphyxiated by carbon monoxide. These vans were used until the completion of the first death camp, Chelmno, which began operations in late 1941.

Nazi correspondence detailing the operation of gassing vans.

Nazi testimony regarding gassing vans.

On December 7, 1941, the Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) order was issued to deter resistance by allowing military courts to swiftly sentence resisters to death. Those arrested under this order were said to have disappeared into the "night and fog."

Wannsee Conference entry from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Minutes of the Wannsee Conference planning the annihilation of over 11 million European Jews.

Starting early in 1942, the Jewish genocide (sometimes called the Judeocide) went into full operation. Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau), Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibór began operations as death camps. There was no selection process Jews were destroyed upon arrival.

Ultimately, the Nazis were responsible for the deaths of some 2.7 million Jews in the death camps. These murders were done secretly under the ruse of resettlement. The Germans hid their true plans from citizens and inhabitants of the ghettos by claiming that Jews were being resettled in the East. They went so far as to charge Jews for a one-way train fare and often, just prior to their murder, had the unknowing victims send reassuring postcards back to the ghettos. Thus did millions of Jews go unwittingly to their deaths with little or no resistance.

The total figure for the Jewish genocide, including shootings and the camps, was between 5.2 and 5.8 million, roughly half of Europe's Jewish population, the highest percentage of loss of any people in the war. About 5 million other victims perished at the hands of Nazi Germany.

View hundreds of archival photographs of camps in the Resource section.

View hundreds of recent photographs of camps in the Resource section.

This table gives the name, location, type, years of operation, closure, and present status of the major concentration camps.

Many photographs of Buchenwald.

History of Buchenwald from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

This site contains photos and maps of tunnels, shelters, and underground production facilities built with forced labor from nearby camps.

Soviet cameramen made the first pictures of the camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with its prisoners' barracks from the air.

Slideshow of Auschwitz and Birkenau camps by Scott Sakansky.

History of the Auschwitz camp from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Information about Chelmno, the first Nazi extermination camp.

Notes on the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women.

A collection of 11 articles about the Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka extermination camps.

An extensive article about Treblinka from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Article and photographs of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

This article provides a concise history of the Majdanek camp.

"Majdanek: Cornerstone of Himmler's SS Empire in the East" by Elizabeth B. White.

This article traces the phases of the Final Solution, from early resettlement plans, through ghettoization, to the death camps.

Nazi correspondence and reports on "medical" experiments carried out on camp inmates.

Nazi correspondence concerning plans to sterilize Jews needed as slave laborers for the Reich.

A lengthy article (with photographs) on Nazi medical experiments.

"Holocaust Numismatics," an article by Joel Forman about monetary systems used in concentration camps.

Staff Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek describes the liberation of Mauthausen and Gusen camps.

Article, maps, and photographs of the Stutthof concentration camp.

By the end of 1943 the Germans closed down the death camps built specifically to exterminate Jews. The death tolls for the camps are as follows: Treblinka, (750,000 Jews) Belzec, (550,000 Jews) Sobibór, (200,000 Jews) Chelmno, (150,000 Jews) and Lublin (also called Majdanek, 50,000 Jews). Auschwitz continued to operate through the summer of 1944 its final death total was about 1 million Jews and 1 million non-Jews. Allied encirclement of Germany was nearly complete in the fall of 1944. The Nazis began dismantling the camps, hoping to cover up their crimes. By the late winter/early spring of 1945, they sent prisoners walking to camps in central Germany. Thousands died in what became known as death marches.

Map of major death marches and evacuations, 1944-45.

Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall describes a death march from Auschwitz and her escape into the forest.

Interactive quiz on the camps.

Lesson plans, discussion questions, term paper topics, reproducible handouts, and other resources for teaching about the camps are available here.

Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech-ring

Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech-ring, 1943, by Laura Knight. Loftus is at her lathe in the Royal Ordnance Factory in Newport, South Wales.

From early 1941, it became compulsory for women aged between 18 and 60 to register for war work. Conscription of women began in December. Unmarried 'mobile' women between the ages of 20 and 30 were called up and given a choice between joining the services or working in industry.

Pregnant women, those who had a child under the age of 14 or women with heavy domestic responsibilities could not be made to do war work, but they could volunteer. 'Immobile' women, who had a husband at home or were married to a serviceman, were directed into local war work.

As well as men and women carrying out paid war work in Britain’s factories, there were also thousands of part-time volunteer workers contributing to the war effort on top of their every day domestic responsibilities. Other vital war work was carried out on the land and on Britain's transport network.

7 March 1941 - History

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January 13, 1840 - Off the coast of Long Island, New York, 139 people lose their lives when the steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast.

May 7, 1840 - The Great Natchez Trace Tornado strikes Natchez, Mississippi and wreaks havoc. In the second most deadly tornado in U.S. history, 317 people are counted among the dead and 209 are injured.

December 2, 1840 - President Martin Van Buren is defeated for reelection by William Henry Harrison. Harrison, a Whig, receives 234 Electoral College votes to 60 and also wins the popular vote contest.

March 9, 1841 - The Supreme Court of the U.S. states that in the case of the slave ship Amistad that the Africans who had wrested control of the ship had been bound into slavery illegally.

April 4, 1841 - President William Henry Harrison, sworn into office only one month before on March 4, dies of pneumonia. His tenure of one month is the shortest in history and his death in office the first for a president of the United States. He is succeeded by Vice President John Tyler.

January 31, 1842 - Elizabeth Tyler, the president's daughter, marries William Nevison Walker, at the White House in Washington, D.C.

February 6, 1843 - At the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City, the first minstrel show in the United States debuts.

November 28, 1843 - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by European nations as an independent nation. This date signifies Hawaiian Independence Day.

April 6, 1844 - Edgar Allan Poe, the highly regarded writer of short stories, departs his home in Philadelphia for New York City. Although most of this best works were written while in the City of Brotherly Love for two years, he left the city with $4.50 to his name.

March 3, 1845 - Congress overrides a presidential veto. President Tyler's veto of a military appropriation was overturned.

American inventor Elias Howe, working as a machinist after losing his factory job in the Panic of 1837, invents his sewing machine. Howe would patent the device on September 10, 1846.

January 5, 1846 - The United States House of Representatives changes its policy toward sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom. On June 15, the Oregon Treaty is signed with Great Britain, fixing the boundary of the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

July 1, 1847 - The first adhesive postage stamps in the United States went on sale with Benjamin Franklin gracing the 5 cent stamp and George Washington fronting the 10 cent stamp.

July 24, 1847 - One hundred and forty-eight Mormons under Brigham Young settle at Salt Lake City, Utah after leaving Nauvoo, Illinois for the west on February 10, 1846 due to violent clashes over their beliefs, which included the practice of polygamy through the end of the 1800s.

January 12, 1848 - Abraham Lincoln, as Congressman from Springfield, Illinois, attacked President Polk's handling of the Mexican War in a speech in the House of Representatives.

November 7, 1848 - Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican War, defeats Lewis Cass in the presidential election of 1848. Whig Taylor garners 163 Electoral College votes to 127 for the Democratic candidate. This was the first U.S. election held on the same date in every state.

January 23, 1849 - The first woman doctor in the United States, Elizabeth Blackwell, is granted her degree by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York.

April 4, 1849 - The first baseball uniforms are introduced by the New York Knickerbockers club blue and white cricket outfits were used.

Watch the video: 7th March, 1971 Speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman HD (June 2022).


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