The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: World War II

The Daily Mirror Is Moving




 
 
  Feb. 27, 1931, Bekins  

I’m moving to LADailyMirror.com



Henry Fuhrmann, one of the assistant managing editors at The Times, likes to say: “Always take the high road. The view is nicer up there.”

Henry is my friend, as well as my supervisor, and he and Mark McGonigle, my boss, have been strong supporters of the Daily Mirror, even when the decision was made at a higher level to shut it down. (And don’t worry; I’m still working as a copy editor on the Metro desk.)

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Army Clears Strikers at North American Aviation





  image  

  June 10, 1941, Comics  


  June 10, 1941, North American Strike  

June 10, 1941: Bill Henry files a color story on soldiers using rifles with bayonets to herd strikers away from the North American Aviation plant. Unfortunately, my new optical character recognition software can’t handle these old clips, so I have to post the images of the stories. Henry’s story is worth reading.

Also on the jump, Ethel Waters stars in “Cabin in the Sky.”
 
Jimmie Fidler says: On the newsstands this month is a magazine which features an astrological analysis of Cary Grant's present status and future prospects... The birthday used in preparing Grant's chart was 1909, a date given out in a studio publicity department biography. Cary's real birth year was 1904!

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North American Aviation Strike





  June 6, 1941, North American Aviation Strike  
  Photograph by the Los Angeles Times  

Labor activists picket the North American Aviation plant in a photo published June 6, 1941.


  April 17, 1941, Reds  

June 7, 1941, Industrial Freedom One of the first challenges in studying the 1941 North American Aviation strike is using The Times as source material.

The newspaper had been a vocal opponent of organized labor since the 19th century and became even more strident after the 1910 bombing of The Times Building by union activists. The motto “True Industrial Freedom” appeared on the nameplate for years and “TRVE INDVSTRIAL FREEDOM” is carved into the building.  

April 17, 1941, Reds Given its other pronouncements, I wouldn’t expect The Times editorial page to be impartial, but news stories ought to be a different matter. Here’s what I consider an example of dubious reporting. This April 17, 1941, Times story leads with the statement that a UAW contract proposed for North American Aviation workers would forbid "barring of Communist Party members."

Further down, the story quotes the precise wording of the contract, which is a far broader statement forbidding discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, political affiliations “or nativity of his parents or ancestors.”  Notice that it doesn’t mention anything about gender. In this era, of course, loyalty oaths were supposed to weed out subversives – but that’s another story. 

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North American Aviation Strike


 



  June 7, 1941, U.S. Ready to Seize Plane Plant  


  June 7, 1941, Comics  


June 7, 1941, North American Strike June 7, 1941: The strike at the North American Aviation plant, in which Army troops dispersed union activists and took over an essential American defense facility,  is one of the landmark events in Los Angeles history.

Because of its importance – and because the details are sometimes mangled –  I’m going to devote several posts to the events that unfolded in the first half of 1941 at  North American Aviation, which was making the NA-73 (P-51) Mustang, the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber and the  AT-6A trainer at a sprawling facility at 5701 Imperial Highway.  Notice that North American is usually described as being in Inglewood, but the plant was actually at Mines Field in Los Angeles.

Although the United States would not enter the war until December, it was clear by the middle of 1941 that America would almost certainly be involved, making aircraft production a vital defense industry not only for the U.S., but for Britain, which was receiving some of North American’s planes. Aircraft workers were deferred from the draft because of the nature of their jobs.

 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 31, 1941





  May 31, 1941, Arthur Hohmann's Son Dies  

  May 31, 1941, Comics  

May 31, 1941 – Arthur Hohmann, the LAPD’s reform police chief, will step down in June, citing the deaths of his son and his mother. He was replaced by Clemence C.B. “Jack” Horrall, who served as chief during World War II and retired in 1949 during the Brenda Allen scandal.

Lee Shippey says: It is strange how masterminds disagree as to whether the president's speech last Tuesday means war. So I think I should clear up the matter for my readers.

The speech does not necessarily mean war. All it means is that we must fight or the Nazis must surrender. I'm not joking. I do not think it impossible that the Nazis will surrender.


Also on the jump:  The Times opposes gasoline conservation, Daylight Saving Time and other measures as the country moves toward  wartime stringency measures. Typically, The Times says that the real way to prepare for war is to forbid strikes by unions!

And yes, The Times’ editorial page featured a Bible quote every day for many years.

HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK: Carole Lombard grinning apologetically at the Hollywood and Vine traffic cop as her car rolls too far into the intersection, Jimmie Fidler says.

Also From The Times’ Editorial Page:

Don’t Recall Mayor Frank Shaw, 1938
Don’t Change Immigration Quotas for Jewish Refugees Fleeing Hitler, 1938
We Don’t Need a Federal Anti-Lynching Law, 1938
U.S. Shouldn’t Recognize Red China, 1959
Times Endorses Nixon, 1960

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Memorial Day, 1941





  May 31, 1941, Memorial Day  
  May 31, 1941, Memorial Day
May 31, 1941, Memorial Day
 


  May 31, 1941, Spanish American War Veterans  
  May 31, 1941, Spanish American War  

  May 31, 1941, Civil War  

  May 31, 1941, Memorial Day  

Memorial Day, 1941: “The crowd rose to its feet in acclaim to two troops of Boy Scouts marching along behind their unit banners and the national ensign.

“The boys were all Japanese.

“But none carried themselves more proudly than these boys of Los Angeles Scout Troops 197 and 379.

“And who could say that he was a better American than 16-year-old Yoneo Nakashima, color-bearer of Troop 197?”
 
History will provide an ugly answer to that question in a few months.

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