Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off the coast of Okinawa. Extremely popular, especially with the average GI, whose life and death he reported on (American infantrymen braved enemy fire to recover Pyle’s body), Pyle had been at the London Blitz of 1941 and saw action in North Africa, Italy, France, and the Pacific. A monument exists to him to this day on Ie Shima, describing him simply as “a buddy.” Burgess Meredith portrayed him in the 1945 film The Story of GI Joe.
US Marines raised the flag on Iwo Jima, on February 23rd. There are six Flag Raisers on the famous Iwo Jima photo. Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). One of the most famous photographs of all time, taken by Joe Rosenthal.
August 14th was V-J Day (Victory over Japan day) Japan surrendered unconditionally to end WW II (also August 15 depending on time zone)… August 22nd – Vietnam conflict begins as Ho Chi Minh lead a successful coup. The world keeps turning.
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Betty Grable
“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities”
– Aldous Huxley
“Who’s on First?”
– Bud Abbott, in ‘The Naughty Nineties’
“I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say – bananas have to ripen in a certain way…”
– Chiquita Bananas
“An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind.”
– Winston Churchill, to Harry S. Truman, regarding the Democracies and the Russian-controlled Communist bloc.
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Harry S. Truman
Bess Myerson (New York, NY)
The Catholic Church, unofficially, but through some of it’s clergy, may have helped some Nazi’s escape Germany for Latin America. Escapees reputedly included Franz Stangl, Klaus Barbie, Heinrich Mueller and Adolf Eichmann.
On July 28th, a U.S. B-25 bomber accidentally hit the Empire State Building in New York. 14 people were killed.
Pepe LePew debuted in Warner Bros cartoon “Odor-able Kitty” on January 5th.
Slinky is from a Swedish word meaning ‘stealthy, sleek and sinuous.’ Each slinky has about 67 feet of steel, and was first invented by Richard James while working for the military in his home. He dropped a spring and it ‘slinkied’ off a tabletop and some books. In 1960, he left the he founded (James Industries) and became an evangelical missionary in Bolivia.
October 5th – “Meet the Press” premiered on radio
In November, 1st issue of Ebony magazine as published by John H Johnson.
Abbott and Costello’s film “The Naughty Nineties” was released, featuring longest version their “Who’s on First” routine.
July 16th – Th first test detonation of an atomic bomb took place,at Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico
March 15, 1945 – Billboard published its 1st album chart (King Cole Trio is #1)
Reading Dr Benjamin Spock’s ‘Baby and Child Care’ was a must for young parents.
1st appearances & 1945’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Going My Way (presented in 1945)
World Series Champions: Detroit Tigers
NFL Champions: Cleveland Rams
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Not played due to WWII
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Sgt. Frank Parker/Sarah Palfrey Cooke
Wimbledon (Men/Women): not held
NCAA Football Champions: Army
NCAA Basketball Champions: Oklahoma A&M
Kentucky Derby: Hoop Jr