9 March 1941

9 March 1941

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9 March 1941

March 1941



Italians begin a counter-attack in Albania

The Onward March of Freedom: The Cold War

As for the idea that the New Deal was about the "onward march of freedom" - that was the OPPOSITE of the what it was about.

It was not just the "Four Horsemen" who struck down the National Recovery Administration (Franklin Roosevelt's "Blue Eagle" thugs) in 1935 - it was all nine Supreme Court justices. The National Industrial Recovery Act and National Recovery Agency (the already mentioned "Blue Eagle" thugs) were trying to impose a monopoly or cartel on every aspect of American economic life - controlling everything in direct imitation of Mussolini's Fascist Italy. The idea that this ever more powerful and ever more centralised government was about "freedom" is the exact opposite of the truth. This was not really liberalism - it was the opposite of Classical Liberalism.


The quotation shows a confused philosophy - freedom, as understood by the tradition of the American Bill of Rights, is about hands-off - limiting government power. Wild promises such as "freedom from poverty" (the cry of the demagogue for thousands of years) are no part of that tradition - they are the opposite of it and open to the door to the very despotism that Albert Ellis Guttierez (fictional character or not) would NOT want. As for "discrimination" that is just a long word for CHOICE - if people have not got the freedom to choose (on whatever silly grounds they have for making their own choices) they-are-not-free. People have to be free to choose who they trade with and who they do not want to trade with (Freedom of Association logically includes the freedom to NOT associate). The irony is that the vast and unlimited government (in spending and regulations) that promises such things as "freedom for poverty" leads to MORE poverty in the end than would otherwise have be the case. Countries where government can do anything they like "for the good of the people" do not work out well (no matter how sincere the rulers). And a fictional future based upon such a philosophy will not work out well either.

Still fiction that is based upon people with good intentions, unintentionally producing terrible results is better (far better) than cardboard villains.

As for the idea that the New Deal was about the "onward march of freedom" - that was the OPPOSITE of the what it was about.

It was not just the "Four Horsemen" who struck down the National Recovery Administration (Franklin Roosevelt's "Blue Eagle" thugs) in 1935 - it was all nine Supreme Court justices. The National Industrial Recovery Act and National Recovery Agency (the already mentioned "Blue Eagle" thugs) were trying to impose a monopoly or cartel on every aspect of American economic life - controlling everything in direct imitation of Mussolini's Fascist Italy. The idea that this ever more powerful and ever more centralised government was about "freedom" is the exact opposite of the truth. This was not really liberalism - it was the opposite of Classical Liberalism.

I'll change that part about the NRA - and change some language that promote needless goverment intrusion into the economy ala NRA (Tbh it was really that intrusive). But I still believe the government should have a strong role in the economy in the welfare state, ensuring a fair economy. Because the pure opposite of that is corporate interests becoming dominant in the USA. Let's reserve this discussion for chat or you can PM me of your concerns

I actually want to find a balance between a good government and a private sector that's nicely working for the interests of many. That's my goal ITTL.


Anyways, next time on the Onward March of Freedom:

(Trust me, this is not ASB-related)​





The New Deal Ascendant
by George Faraday ​

Fresh from his victory in the passing of the Judicial Procedures Reform Act (JPRA), President Roosevelt went big on more New Deal laws to bring the American economy out of the Great Depression. Especially after Felix Frankfurter's appointment to the Supreme Court (Frankfurter was the largest comservative influence in Roosevelt's economic planning), Keynesians controlled the President's ears, and successfully lobbied for more spending from 1937 and beyond.


With these developments, the Recovery Authority Act (RAA) of 1937 was passed on September 24, 1937 after being voted 87-9 in the Senate and 365-70 in the House in the previous nights. It created the Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (RRA), which was first headed by Fiorello LaGauardia, a former Republican-turned Progressive [1], which built public works, infrastructure, dams and other establishments in the South, the Mountain West, Oregon/Washington, California, the Northeast, and other hard-hit areas of the Depression as highly-expanded versions of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which was itself expanded in the RRA. The act also called for the "cleanup" of existing cities and their urban renewal.

Perhaps the most ambitious provision of the Recovery Authority Act was the Reconstruction and Recovery Authority's job to expand the powers of the Resettlement Administration [2] and create new cities in all 48 states of the Union. The cities' construction would provide much needed jobs for millions of Americans, and give further jobs in other economic sectors once these cities are constructed, providing urban opportunities and recovery in each state for the hard-hit people of the Depression. Thus, the cities were called the "new cities of hope" by many.

Most of these cities were located in the Midwest and Northeast to enable industry to recover and expand in these areas and avoid overcrowding in other existing cities in these states and migrants who were flocking to the these ares. Many cities were also located in the West Coast to cater to the needy in those areas, and owing the region's moderate climate, these cities proved to be conducive to good business environments. In the South and most of the Mountain West, there was only one city per state, as there were existing cities that were utilized by the RRA for industrial expansion. Finally, some cities were located near to but not in the Dust Bowl [3], to welcome people fleeing from the worsening environment in that area.

Other large cities constructed during the time, such as Gotham (the name caming from the jumbling of the letters of the surname "Morgenthau", from Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau) and Blüdhaven in New Jersey (named after the late Hans Blüdhaven, a worker who died saving kids from a mishap during the city's construction), Keystone City and Smallville in Kansas, Varsity City, Pennsylvania, Star City, California, Calvin City, Indiana, and other cities were constructed from 1938 to 1941, and the same environment that led to the Central City's success were replicated in such cities.

Finally, since these new cities were created during President Roosevelt's time, these places became extremely solid Democratic strongholds, regularly voting for Democratic candidates in a 9-to-1 ratio. Thus, in states where they were created, these new cities either tilted some states further in favor of Democrats, such us in Delaware, Massachusetts and New York, turned would be-red states into purple ones, such as Indiana, or make the Democrats' vote margins close in some states that remain Republican, such us in Utah and Wyoming. If there was any New Deal initiative that successfully tilted the national environment in favor of the Democrats, it was the construction of these new cities.

Author's note: to see the map of the new cities, check it here.

[1]. The greater decline of the Republicans ITTL and the greater shift to Keynesianism/social democracy leads him to stay with the Progressive Party ITTL.

[2]. The Resettlement Administration created new, small communities to aid the needy during the Depression. ITTL, such efforts get expanded and thus, new and large cities are born ITTL.

[3]. The Dust Bowl was an area in Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico that were devastated by drought, great sandstorms, and erosion in the 1930s. OTL and TTL, those areas get environmental and conservation programs help from the US Government.

This update was originally TNF's ideas, but I borrowed to explore many alternate possibilities in my TL.

Many names from the above cities do come from DC, but, according to this thread I started months ago on legal issues surrounding usage of such cities (and their DC Comics details) in my TL, I can use such details provided I don't make money off of "Onward March of Freedom", and I don't really intend on making money off of this work because it's just a hobby.



Some degree of mainly structural disorganization, however, can be inevitable on setting up these cities that may cause some issues later on. It's either blacks will protest from ghettos, racial tensions, incompetent government, or law enforcement, along with nepotism and cronyism, that I doubt is worth narrating, except when you make one of those events a plot point.

EDIT: What's with footnote #4? It can be quite a scandal that time.


They do exist. as cultural icons and famous mascots

EDIT: Oh, footnote 4 is nothing. Changed it already.


Soon, on the Onward March of Freedom:




After the new cities had been constructed and the additional initiatives and economic stimuli provided by the Reconstruction and Recovery Authority had proven the strength of Keynesianism, and the economy continued to grow past 1937 and 1938. Thus, the economy finally surpassed 1929 levels and by 1940, it fully recovered by 1940, and thus ended the worst economic downturn in American history [1]. Thus, the voters rewarded the Democrats, who retained all their Senate seats and losing just a handful in the House of Representatives. Also, many New Deal Democrats successfully launched primary challenges to many anti-New Deal Democrats in the South during that election cycle, especially in the Mountain West and South. The 76th Congress had a more than two-thirds supermajority of hardcore New Deal Democrats, who gladly passed more New Deal measures. Now, after the midterms, Roosevelt had one major legislative agenda in mind: universal health care.


In reality, 1939 was not the first time President Franklin Roosevelt tried to push for universal health care. During the battle to pass Social Security in 1935, Roosevelt tried to extend Social Security coverage to all Americans' medical expenses, but pull the proposal out at the last minute due to American Medical Association (AMA) objections.

The second health care battle commenced on February 18, 1939, when the American Health Services Act (AHSA) was introduced by two-term Representative Hubert Humphrey (D-MN). The proposal called for a single national insurance system to cover all Americans' medical expenses, including prescription drugs and other medically necessary treatments, and pay health care providers decent money, with some regulations. It also called for adequate funding for all health care centers. This proposal was actually watered from Humphrey's ideal version of a full government-run health care similar to what would be established in the United Kingdom in 1946, but Humphrey retracted that idea, since he thought that many Americans considered such a plan as socialistic, and antagonism from the AMA had to be lessened and the organization put to sleep to be able to coax more swing-vote Southern and Mountain West Democrats to vote for the bill.

Also, Southern Democrats, who were still keen on maintaining hospital segregation at the time, opposed government-run health care, as it would allow African Americans to be treated in White-only hospitals. The watered-down version of the bill that provided for national health insurance placated Southern Democrats, because although African Americans get full medical insurance, they would still be treated in Black-only hospitals [2].

The debates lasted for months. More moderate Democrats successfully worked a proposal to establish the Welfare Fraud Administration in the bill, a national apparatus to deal with welfare fraud and prevent able-bodied people from becoming lazy, and ensure a federal jobs guarantee with reeducation like the Works Progress Administration (though in high-paying jobs), whilst all Americans get universal health care and others who needed welfare got what they need. Provisions to exclude the mentally and physically disabled, full-time housewives/housebands, and those who are studying from the work requirement were also included. This ensured supermajoritarian support for the bill. The House of Representatives finally passed the AHSA 332-103 on December 2, and the Senate 76-20 on December 9. It was finally signed by President Roosevelt on New Year's Eve 1939, as a New Year's gift for Americans. America finally had universal health care, and although hospital segregation was still in place, it would eventually be tackled in the future. The new system was called "Medicare" a portmanteau of "medical" and "care". It would become the fourth rail of politics, with no future politician daring to touch the health care system.

[1]. I believe so, yes. The economy would have fully recovery by 1940 ITTL because the New Deal economic expansion won't be stopped from 1937 ITTL.

[2]. Extremely despicable, but yes. This was the system in the United States at the time. Hospital segregation was the system back then.

Happy New Year viewers! This is the last update for 2017. See you in 2018!

The Sunday Record (Mineola, Tex.), Vol. 11, No. 49, Ed. 1 Sunday, March 9, 1941

Weekly newspaper from Mineola, Texas that includes local, state and national news along with advertising.

Physical Description

four pages : ill. page 28 x 20 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

Creation Information

Creator: Unknown. March 9, 1941.


This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Texas Digital Newspaper Program and was provided by the Mineola Memorial Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 47 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this newspaper or its content.



Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

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Located in the East Texas town of Mineola in Wood County, the Mineola Memorial Library came to fruition in 1950 and has since flourished to include more than 46,000 books, digital newspapers, and many other materials. The Tocker Foundation provided funding for digitization of library materials.

9 March 1941 - History

March Air Reserve Base History

The story of March Field began at a time when the United States was rushing to build up its military forces in anticipation of an entry into World War I. News from the front in Europe had not been good as it explained for those at home the horror and boundless human misery associated with stalemated trench warfare. Several European news sources reported significant German efforts at this time to build a fleet of flying machines that could well alter the nature of modern warfare and possibly carry the war to the skies. In response, Congressional appropriations in early 1917 in the neighborhood of $640,000,000 attempted to back the plans of General George O. Squier, the Army's chief signal officer, to "put the Yankee punch into the war by building an army in the air." At the same time the War Department announced its intentions to build several new military installations. Efforts by Mr. Frank Miller, then owner of the Mission Inn in Riverside, Hiram Johnson and other California notables, succeeded in gaining War Department approval to construct an airfield at Alessandro Field located near Riverside, an airstrip used by aviators from Rockwell Field on cross-country flights from San Diego. A parade in Riverside on February 9, 1918, gave notice than an army flying field would soon be coming to Riverside.

The Army wasted no time in establishing a new airfield. Sergeant Charles E. Garlick, who had landed at Alessandro Field in a "Jenny" in November, 1917, was selected to lead the advance contingent of four men to the new base from Rockwell Field. On February 26, 1918, Garlick and his crew and a group of mule skinners from nearby Colton, known to be experts in clearing land as well as for their colorful syntax, began the task of excavating the building foundations at Alessandro. On March 20, 1918, Alessandro Flying Training Field became March Field, named in honor of Second Lieutenant Peyton C. March, Jr., son of the Army Chief of Staff, who had been killed in a flying accident in Texas the previous month. By late April, 1918, enough progress had been made in the construction of the new field to allow the arrival of the first troops. The commander of the 818 Aero Squadron detachment, Captain William Carruthers, took over as the field's first commander and for a time operated out of an office in the Mission Inn. Within a record 60 days the grain stubble-covered plain of Moreno Valley had been partially transformed to include 12 hangers, six barracks equipped for 150 men each, mess halls, a machine shop, a post exchange, a hospital, a supply depot, an aero repair building, bachelor officer's quarters and a residence for the commanding officer. On May 15 when the first JN-4D "Jenny" took off, March Field seemed to have come into its own as a training installation. The signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, did not halt training at March Field initially but by 1921, the decision had been made to phase down all activities at the new base in accordance with sharply reduced military budgets. In April, 1923, March Field closed its doors with one sergeant left in charge.

March Field remained quiet for only a short time. In July, 1926, Congress created the Army Air Corps and approved the Army's five-year plan which called for an expansion in pilot training and the activation of tactical units. Accordingly, funds were appropriated for the reopening of March Field in March of 1927. Colonel William C. Gardenhire, assigned to direct the refurbishment of the base, had just directed his crews to replace underpinnings of many of the previous buildings when he received word the future construction would be in Spanish Mission architectural design. In time, March Field would receive permanent structures. The rehabilitation effort was nearly complete in August, 1927, when Major Millard F. Harmon reported in to take over the job of base commander and commandant of the flying school. Classes began shortly after his arrival. In the months ahead Air Force leaders such as Hoyt Vandenberg, Nathan Twining, Thomas Power and Curtis LeMay completed their initial flight training at March Field. The base, however, was about to enter a new era.

Boeing P-12B's assigned to the 34th Pursuit Squadron then stationed at March Field. Circa 1932 (National Archives)

As March Field began to take on the appearance of a permanent military installation, the base's basic mission changed. When Randolph Field began to function as a training site in 1931, March Field became an operational base. Before the end of the year, the 7th Bomb Group, commanded by Major Carl A. Spaatz, brought its Condor B-2 and Keystone B-4 bombers to the picturesque field. The activation of the 17th Pursuit Group and several subordinate units along with the arrival of the 1st Bombardment Wing initiated a period where March Field became associated with the Air Corp's heaviest aircraft as well as an assortment of fighters.

In the decade before World War II, March Field took on much of its current appearance. It also became more than a place hard to find on aerial maps of Southern California. Lieutenant Colonel Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, base commander from 1931 to 1936, changed this. Through well-publicized maneuvers to Yosemite, Death Valley and other sites in California, a visit by Governor James Rolph in March 1932, numerous visits by Hollywood celebrities including Bebe Daniels, Wallace Berry, Rochelle Hudson and others, and visits by famous aviators including Amelia Earhart, March Field gained prominence. Articles in Los Angeles newspapers kept March Field in the news and brought to it considerable public attention. The completion of the first phase of permanent buildings in 1934 added to the scenic quality of the base. This was also a period of outstanding achievements in test flights and other contributions to the new science of aviation. Dusty March Field had come a long way in one decade.

1935 March Field Air Show (California Military Department)

The attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 quickly brought March Field back into the business of training air crews. Throughout the war many soon-to-be-famous bombardment groups performed their final training at March before embarking for duty in the Pacific. During this period the base doubled in area and at the zenith of the war effort supported approximately 75,000 troops. At the same time, the government procured a similar-sized tract west of the San Diego highway that bordered the base and established Camp Haan as an anti-aircraft artillery training facility. It supported 85,000 troops at the height of its activity. For a time, March Field remained a bust place indeed. In 1946, Camp Hahn became a part of March's real estate holding when operations at the base returned to a more normal setting.

After the war, March reverted to its operational role and became a Tactical Air Command base. The main unit, the famed 1st Fighter Wing, brought the first jet aircraft, the F-80, to the base. This deviation from the traditional bombardment training and operations functions did not long endure. In 1949, March became a part of the relatively new Strategic Air Command. Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force along with the 33d Communications Squadron moved to March from Colorado Springs in the same year. Also in 1949, the 22d Bombardment Wing moved from Smoky Hill Air Force Base, Kansas to March. Thereafter, these three units remained as dominant features of base activities.

From 1949 to 1953, the B-29 Superfortresses dominated the flightline at March Air Force Base. For four months, July to October, the 22d saw action over Korea and in this brief period, contributed to the elimination of all strategic enemy targets. Involvement in the Korean Conflict had no sooner ended when the wing converted from the huge propeller-driven B-29s to the sleek B-47 jet bombers and their supporting tankers, the KC-97s. The KC-97s belonging to the 17th and 22d Air Refueling Squadrons represented an amazing jump in technology. Planes and crews from March began breaking altitude and distance records. The new refueling planes introduced a significant advance in operational range. Overall operational capability could now be measured in global terms. This had been demonstrated earlier when General Archie Old, the Fifteenth Air Force commander, had led a flight of three B-52s in a non-stop around-the-world flight termed "Power Flight" in just 45 hours and 19 minutes. Ceremonies upon their arrival at March on January 18, 1957, emphasized the global reach of the Strategic Air Command. In 1960, the first Reserve unit was assigned to March, flying C-119s. The end of the 1960s saw March Air Force Base preparing to exchange its B-47s and KC-97s for updated bombers and tankers. Increasing international tensions in Europe and elsewhere by September 16, 1963, brought March its first B-52B bomber, "The City of Riverside." Soon 15 more of the giant bombers appeared on the flightline along with new KC-135 jet "Stratotankers." March's first KC-135, "The Mission Bell" arrived on October 4, 1963. For the next twenty years this venerable team would dominate the skies over what had come to be called the Inland Empire as the 22d Bombardment Wing played a feature role in the Strategic Air Command's mission.

Boeing B-47s "Stratojets" assigned to March AFB's 12th Air Division (California Military Department)

During this period both tankers and bombers stood alert at March as part of America's nuclear deterrent force. The might of March's bombers and tankers, however, were soon to be used in quite another scenario. During the conflict in Southeast Asia, the 22d Bombardment Wing deployed its planes several times and March crews learned well the meaning behind such names as Young Tiger, Rolling Thunder, Arc Light and Linebacker II. In these troubled years the base served as a logistical springboard for supplies and equipment en route to the Pacific. Near the end of the conflict, March operated as one of the reception centers for returning prisoners of war.

Following the end of hostilities in Southeast Asia, the 22d returned to its duties as an integral part of the Strategic Air Command. For the next eighteen years until 1982, March effectively supported America's defensive posture. The occurred through several post-Vietnam adjustments. One of these brought the retirement of the wing's last B-52 on November 9, 1982. This event signaled yet another era for March Air Force Base and for the 22d. The 22d Bombardment Wing , so long a key ingredient in March's long history, would become an air refueling wing with the new KC-10 tanker. The new tankers, able to accomplish considerably more than the KC-135s, promised a new tomorrow for the Strategic Air Command. Within months after the first KC-10 arrived at March on August 11, 1982, crews quickly realized the ability of the new aircraft to carry cargo and passengers as well as impressive fuel loads over long distances. Air refueling for March Air Force Base had entered a new age. The California Air National Guard also arrived in 1982, bringing with them the F-4C's.

Beginning in the early 1980s the KC-10 became the vehicle carrying March Air Force Base into a new technological epoch. The large KC-10s with their versatility and their dependability again gave the base a featured part in America's efforts to retain a strong and flexible military air arm. The utter importance of the KC-10s in conventional operations became a particularly apparent during Desert Shield and Desert Storm where their outstanding service contributed measurably to the success of American forces in the defense of Saudi Arabia and the liberation of Kuwait.

In 1993, March Air Force Base was selected for realignment. In August 1993, the 445th Airlift Wing transferred to March from Norton AFB, Calif. On January 3, 1994, the 22d Air Refueling Wing was transferred to McConnell AFB, Kansas, and the 722d Air Refueling Wing stood up at March. As part of the Air Force's realignment and transition, March's two Reserve units, the 445th Airlift Wing and the 452d Air refueling Wing were deactivated and their personnel and equipment joined under the 452d Air Mobility Wing on April 1, 1994. On April 1, 1996, March officially became March Air Reserve Base.

From the dusty stubble that once was Alessandro Flying Strip to today, March, for over 70 years, has been a key element in the advance of aviation and in the growth of the modern Air Force. As the Air Force restructures and prepares for new challenges, March seems destined to remain as an important base for the air operations of tomorrow.

  • Capacity:
    • Enlisted:
      • Permanent: 2,570
      • Mobilization: 11,370
      • Theater of Operations: 1,750
      • Hutments:
      • Tents:
      • Total: 15,690
      • Owned: 2,304 acres
      • Leases: 890 (11 leases)
      • Total: 3,194 acres
      • Covered: 349,000 sq ft
      • Open: 2,553,000 sq ft
      • Annual lease payments: $1,048.00
      • Land: $168,662.00
      • Construction: $16,365,706.00
      • Total (less annual leases): $16,534,368.00

      A postcard showing KC-97's "Stratotankers" on the flightline at March AFB, circa 1950's (California Military Department)

      9 March 1941 - History

      Battalion Summaries

      Defense battalion war diaries, muster rolls, and the unit files held by the Marine Corps Historical Center provide the basis for the following brief accounts of the service of the various defense battalions. The actions of some units are well documented: for example, the 1st Defense Battalion on Wake Island in 1941 the 6th at Midway in 1942 and the 9th in the Central Solomons during 1943. Few of the battalions received group recognition commensurate with their contributions to victory, although the 1st, 6th, and 9th were awarded unit citations. Each defense battalion created its own distinctive record as it moved from one island to another, but gaps and discrepancies persist nevertheless.

      1st Defense Battalion
      (November 1939-May 1944)

      The unit, formed at San Diego, California, deployed to the Pacific as one of the Rainbow Five, the five defense battalions stationed there in accordance with the Rainbow 5 war plan when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Under Lieutenant Colonel Bert A. Bone, elements of the battalion arrived in Hawaii in March 1941. The unit provided defense detachments for Johnston and Palmyra Islands in March and April of that year and for Wake Island in August. The Wake Island detachment of the 1st Defense Battalion received the Presidential Unit Citation for the defense of that outpost — which earned the battalion the nickname "Wake Island Defenders" — and other elements dealt with hit-and-run raids at Palmyra and Johnston Islands. In March 1942, the scattered detachments became garrison forces and a reconstituted battalion took shape in Hawaii. Command passed to Colonel Curtis W. LeGette in May 1942 and to Lieutenant Colonel John H. Griebel in September. Lieutenant Colonel Frank P Hager exercised command briefly his successor, Colonel Lewis H. Hohn, took the unit to Kwajalein and Eniwetok, in the Marshall Islands, in February 1944. The following month found the battalion on Majuro, also in the Marshalls, where it became the 1st Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 7 May 1944, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jean H. Buckner. As an antiaircraft unit, it served as part of the Guam garrison, remaining on the is land through 1947.

      2d Defense Battalion
      (March 1940-April 1944)

      The battalion was formed at San Diego, California, under Lieutenant Colonel Bert A. Bone. By the time the unit deployed to Hawaii in December 1941, five officers had exercised command Major Lewis A. Hohn took over from Colonel Bone in July 1940, followed in August of that year by Colonel Thomas E. Bourke, in November 1940 by Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Murray, and in February 1941 by Lieutenant Colonel Raymond E. Knapp. Under Knapp, who received a promotion to colonel, the battalion deployed in January 1942 from Hawaii to Tutuila, Samoa. Lieutenant Colonel Norman E. True briefly took over, and Knapp succeeded him from October 1942 to May 1943, but True again commanded the battalion when it deployed in November 1943 to Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. True remained in command when the unit was redesignated the 2d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 16 April 1944. The organization subsequently served in Hawaii and Guam before landing on Okinawa in April 1945. It returned to the United States in 1946 and was deactivated.

      The Sperry 60-inch searchlight was employed by the 3d Defense Battalion both to illuminate incoming enemy aircraft and to spot approaching surface vessels. National Archives Photo 127-N-62097

      3d Defense Battalion
      (October 1939-June 1944)

      Activated at Parris Island, South Carolina, with Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Pepper in command, the battalion deployed in May 1940 to Hawaii where it became one of the Rainbow Five. Colonel Harry K. Pickett took command in August of that year, and in September approximately a third of the battalion, under Major Harold C. Roberts, went to Midway and assumed responsibility for the antiaircraft defense of the atoll. Lieutenant Colonel Pepper brought the rest of the unit to Midway in 1941, but the battalion returned to Hawaii in October and helped defend Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on 7 December. A detachment of 37mm guns and the 3-inch antiaircraft group joined the 6th Defense Battalion at Midway, opposed the Japanese air attack on 4 June 1942, and shared in a Navy Unit Commendation awarded the 6th Battalion for the defense of that atoll. In August 1942. the battalion, still led by Lieutenant Colonel Pepper, participated in the landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. During 1943, the unit experienced a change of commanders, with Harold C. Roberts, now a lieutenant colonel, taking over in March 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth W. Benner in May, and Lieutenant Colonel Samuel G. Taxis in August. After a stay in New Zealand, the battalion returned to Guadalcanal in September 1943 and in November of that year, while commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Edward H. Forney, landed at Bougainville, remaining in the northern Solomons until June 1944. Redesignated the 3d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 15 June 1944, the organization was disbanded at Guadalcanal on the last day of that year.

      4th Defense Battalion
      (February 1940-May 1944)

      The organization took shape at Parris Island, South Carolina, under Major George F. Good, Jr. Colonel Lloyd L. Leech took over in April and Lieutenant Colonel Jesse L. Perkins in December 1940. Colonel William H. Rupertus commanded the unit when it deployed in February 1941 to defend the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Under Colonel Harold S. Fasset, the battalion arrived in the Pacific in time to become one of the Rainbow Five. Its strength was divided between Pearl Harbor and Midway, and helped defend both bases against Japanese attacks on 7 December. The unit deployed in March 1942 to Efate and Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, It moved in July 1943 to New Zealand and then to Guadalcanal before landing in August 1943 at Vella Lavella in support of the I Marine Amphibious Corps. After becoming the 4th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 15 May 1944, the unit returned to Guadalcanal in June but ended the war on Okinawa. arriving there in April 1945.

      5th Defense Battalion
      (December 1940-April 1944)

      Organized at Parris Island, South Carolina, under Colonel Lloyd L. Leech, the 5th Defense Battalion subsequently became the 14th Defense Battalion, thus earning the unofficial title of "Five: Fourteenth." Colonel Leech took the 5th Defense Battalion (minus the 5-inch artillery group) to Iceland with the Marine brigade sent there to relieve the British garrison. He brought the unit back to the United States in March 1942, and in July it sailed for the South Pacific, where one detachment set up its weapons at Noumea, New Caledonia, and another defended Tulagi in the Solomons after the 1st Marine Division landed there in August 1942. The bulk of the battalion went to the Ellice Islands there Colonel George F. Good, Jr., assumed command in November, and was relieved in December by Lieutenant Colonel Willis E. Hicks. On 16 January 1943, the part of the unit located at Tulagi was redesignated the 14th Defense Battalion, while the remainder in the Ellice group became the Marine Defense Force, Funafuti. In March 1944, the Marine Defense Force, Funafuti, sailed for Hawaii, where, on 16 April, it became the 5th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, seeing action under the designation during the latter stages of the Okinawa campaign.

      6th Defense Battalion
      (March 1941-February 1946)

      Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Murray formed the battalion at San Diego, California, but turned it over to Colonel Raphael Griffin, who took it to Hawaii in July 1941. It relieved the 3d Defense Battalion at Midway in September. In June 1942, the 6th, now commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Harold D. Shannon, helped fight off a Japanese air attack and repair bomb damage, thus earning a Navy Unit Commendation. The battalion remained at Midway until redesignated Marine Barracks, Naval Base, Midway, on 1 February 1946. The wartime commanders who succeeded Shannon were Lieutenant Colonels Lewis A. Hohn, Rupert R. Deese, John H. Griebel, Charles T. Tingle, Frank P Hager, Jr., Robert L. McKee, Herbert R. Nusbaum, and Wilfred Weaver, and Major Robert E. Hommel.

      Marines of the 7th Defense Battalion, one of the "Rainbow Five," give their new M3 Stuart light tank a trial run at Tutuila, American Samoa, in the summer of 1942. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 54082

      7th Defense Battalion
      (December 1940-April 1944)

      Lieutenant Colonel Lester A. Dessez formed the unit at San Diego, California, as a composite battalion of infantry and artillery. In March 1941, he took the outfit to Tutuila, Samoa, as one of the Rainbow Five. The 7th later deployed to Upolu and established a detachment at Savaii. Colonel Curtis W. LeGette took command in December 1942, and in August of the following year, the battalion moved to Nanoumea in the Ellice Islands in preparation for supporting operations against the Gilbert Islands. Lieutenant Colonel Henry R. Paige took over in December 1943 and brought the unit to Hawaii where, on 16 April 1944, it became the 7th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. As an antiaircraft outfit, it deployed to Anguar, Palau Islands, in September 1944, where it served in the garrison force for the remainder of the war.

      8th Defense Battalion
      (April 1942-April 1944)

      Lieutenant Colonel Augustus W. Cockrell raised this battalion from Marine units at Tutuila, Samoa. In May 1942, the battalion deployed to the Wallis Islands, where it was redesignated the Island Defense Force. Lieutenant Colonel Earl A. Sneeringer assumed command for two weeks in August 1943 before turning the unit over to Colonel Clyde H. Hartsel. Colonel Lloyd L. Leech became battalion commander in October 1943, a month before the unit deployed to Apamama in the Gilberts, On 16 April 1944, after moving to Hawaii, the organization became the 8th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion and, as such, took part in the Okinawa campaign, remaining on the island until November 1945 when the unit returned to the United States.

      This Browning M2 watercooled antiaircraft machine gun, operated by 9th Defense Battalion Marines, shot down the first attacking Japanese aircraft at Rendova. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 56812

      9th Defense Battalion
      (February 1942-September 1944)

      Formed at Parris Island, South Carolina, and known as the "Fighting Ninth," the battalion was first commanded by Major Wallace O. Thompson, who brought it to Cuba where it helped defend the Guantanamo naval base. Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Dubel and his successor, Colonel David R. Nimmer, commanded the battalion while it served in Cuba, and Nimmer remained in command when the unit landed in November 1942 to reinforce the defenses of Guadalcanal. In preparation for further action, the battalion emphasized mobility and artillery support of ground operations at the expense of its coastal defense mission. Lieutenant Colonel William Scheyer commanded the 9th during the fighting in the central Solomons. Here it set up antiaircraft guns and heavy artillery on Rendova to support the fighting on neighboring New Georgia before moving to New Georgia itself and deploying its light tanks and other weapons. The battalion's tanks also supported Army troops on Arundel Island. Lieutenant Colonel Archie E. O'Neil was in command when the unit landed at Guam on D-Day, 21 July 1944. The battalion was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its service in action at Guadalcanal, Rendova, New Georgia, and Guam. Redesignated the 9th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion in September 1944, the unit returned to the United States in 1946.

      10th Defense Battalion
      (June 1942-May 1944)

      Formed under Colonel Robert Blake at San Diego, California, the unit arrived in the Solomon Islands in February 1943, and participated in the defense of Tulagi in that group and Banika in the Russell Islands. The battalion's light tanks saw action on New Georgia and nearby Arundel Island. Under Lieutenant Colonel Wallace O. Thompson, who assumed command in July 1943, the 10th landed at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, in February 1944. The unit was redesignated the 10th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 7 May 1944.

      11th Defense Battalion
      (June 1942-May 1944)

      This battalion was activated at Parris Island, South Carolina, under Colonel Charles N. Muldrow and deployed during December 1942 to Efate in the New Hebrides. Beginning in January 1943, it helped defend Tulagi in the Solomons and Banika in the Russells group. During the Central Solomons campaign, it fought on Rendova, New Georgia, and Arundel Islands. In August, the entire battalion came together on New Georgia and in March 1944 deployed the short distance to Arundel Island. Redesignated the 11th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 16 May 1944, the unit moved in July to Guadalcanal where it was deactivated by year's end.

      12th Defense Battalion
      (August 1942-June 1944)

      Colonel William H. Harrison activated this unit at San Diego, California, and took it to Hawaii in January 1943. After a brief stay in Australia, the 12th landed in June 1943 at Woodlark Island off New Guinea. Next the 12th took part in the assault on Cape Gloucester, New Britain in December 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Merlyn D. Holmes assumed command in February 1944, and on 15 June the defense battalion was redesignated the 12th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. It moved to the Russell Islands in June and in September to Peleliu, where it remained through 1945.

      13th Defense Battalion
      (September 1942-April 1944)

      Colonel Bernard Dubel formed the battalion at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where it defended the naval base throughout the war. In February 1944, Colonel Richard M. Cutts, Jr., took command. The unit became the 13th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 15 April and was disbanded after the war.

      14th Defense Battalion
      (January 1943-September 1944)

      Colonel Galen M. Sturgis organized this battalion from the elements of the 5th Defense Battalion on Tulagi, which inspired the nickname "Five: Fourteenth." Lieutenant Colonel Jesse L. Perkins took command in June 1943, and during his tour of duty, the battalion operated on Tulagi and sent a detachment to Emirau, St. Mathias Islands, to support a landing there in March 1944. Lieutenant Colonel William F. Parks took over from Perkins that same month and in April brought the unit to Guadalcanal to prepare for future operations. The organization landed at Guam in July and in September be came the 14th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, remaining on the island until after the war had ended.

      15th Defense Battalion
      (October 1943-May 1944)

      Organized in Hawaii by Lieutenant Colonel Francis B. Loomis, Jr., from the 1st Airdrome Battalion at Pearl Harbor, the unit bore the nickname "First: Fifteenth." Beginning in January 1944, it served at Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshalls, Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Negri assumed command in May 1944, shortly before the unit, on the 7th of that month, became the 15th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.

      16th Defense Battalion
      (November 1942-April 1944)

      Lieutenant Colonel Richard P Ross, Jr., formed the unit on Johnston Island from elements of the 1st Defense Battalion that had been stationed there. Lieutenant Colonel Bruce T. Hemphill took over in July 1943 and turned the unit over to Lieutenant Colonel August F. Penzold, Jr., in March of the following year. Redesignated the 16th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 19 April 1944, the outfit went to Hawaii by the end of August. It subsequently deployed to Tinian, remaining there until moving to Okinawa in April 1945.

      17th Defense Battalion
      (March 1944-April 1944)

      At Kauai in Hawaii, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas G. McFarland organized this unit from the 2d Airdrome Battalion, which had returned from duty in the Ellice Islands. The redesignation gave rise to the nickname "Two: Seventeen," and the motto "One of a Kind." On 19 April, the defense battalion became the 17th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. It moved to Saipan in July and to Tinian in August. At the latter island, it provided antiaircraft defense for both Tinian Town and North Field, from which B-29s took off with the atomic bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      18th Defense Battalion
      (October 1943-April 1944)

      Activated at New River, North Carolina, by Lieutenant Colonel Harold C. Roberts, who was replaced in January 1944 by Lieutenant Colonel William C. Van Ryzin, the unit became the 18th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion on 16 May of that year. By August, echelons of the battalion were located at Saipan and Tinian, but by September it had come together on the latter island, where it remained until the end of the war.

      51st Defense Battalion
      (August 1942-January 1946)

      Organized at Montford Point Camp, New River, North Carolina, this was the first of two defense battalions commanded by white officers, but organized from among African American Marines who had trained at Montford Point. Colonel Samuel Woods, Jr., who commanded the Montford Point Camp, formed the battalion and became its first commanding officer. Lieutenant Colonel William B. Onley took over in March 1943 and Lieutenant Colonel Floyd A. Stephenson in April. The initial plan called for the 51st to be a composite unit with infantry and pack-howitzer elements, but in June 1943 it became a conventional defense battalion. Lieutenant Curtis W. LeGette assumed command in January 1944 and took the battalion to Nanoumea and Funafuti in the Ellice Islands, where it arrived by the end of February 1944. In September, the 51st deployed to Eniwetok in the Marshalls where, in December, Lieutenant Colonel Gould P. Groves became battalion commander, a post he would hold throughout the rest of the war. In June 1945, Lieutenant Colonel Groves dispatched a composite group to provide antiaircraft defense for Kwajalein Atoll. The battalion sailed from the Marshalls in November 1945 and disbanded at Montford Point in January 1946.

      52d Defense Battalion
      (December 1943-May 1946)

      This unit, like the 51st, was organized at Montford Point Camp, New River, North Carolina, and manned by African Americans commanded by white officers. Planned as a composite unit, the 52d took shape as a conventional defense battalion. It absorbed the pack howitzer crews made surplus when the 51st lost its composite status and retrained them in the employment of other weapons. Colonel Augustus W. Cockrell organized the unit, which he turned over to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Earnshaw in July 1944. Under Earnshaw, the 52d the unit deployed to the Marshalls, arriving in October to man the antiaircraft defenses of Majuro Atoll and Roi-Namur in Kwajalein Atoll. Lieutenant Colonel David W. Silvey assumed command in January 1945, and between March and May the entire battalion deployed to Guam, remaining there for the rest of the war. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. Moore, Jr., replaced Silvey in May 1945, and in November, the 52d relieved the 51st at Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls before returning to Montford Point where in May 1946 it became the 3d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (Composite).

      8 thoughts on &ldquoThe Morrison Shelter is introduced&rdquo

      I remember sleeping in an Anderson Shelter in our garden.and watching a large spider spinning a w be across the entrance.
      We slept in there while expecting to hear the buzz bombs falling and the eexplosions that followed immediately after. They were very frightening times.

      Born in 1937. We lived in Exeter I remember the Morrison shelter we had one in our front room. Mum would throw a sheet over it and we would climb out and have breakfast on the top. When the next air raid started our family of six would climb inside and settle down as best we could, it was very tight for our parents but they always made enough room for us children.
      My friend across the road had the Anderson shelter, which his father had built. The biggest problem was if it rained, the water would come in from the front run down the steps and pool inside. It would get very cold, there was no light, it was hard to be cheerful in there. It was roomier than our Morrison but very miserable. The buzz bombs were frightening, we would lie listening for the sound of the rocket to stop, there would be a long moment of silence when we all counted, then the explosion and the vibration through the house. Then we would all sing in defiance that we were still alive. I think the worst part was the no light anywhere and no heat to warm us.
      When it was announced that Hitler was dead, everyone cheered.

      Morrison shelters superior to Anderson . As children we didn’t have to be dragged into the garden and thrust into a cold and possibly wet shelter. After heavy rain they could be flooded. Though Morrison shelters were low and cramped they were warmer, snug and an adventure for us kids. We were often in them all night from the time we went to bed until getting up in the morning. Some air raids had come and gone during the night and we knew nothing about them. Try doing that in a garden Anderson shelter. We were brought up all through the war in Weymouth, Dorset.
      Next door to Portland naval base.

      I shared one with my younger brother and older sister Joy in Worthing while dad was on Home Guard duties. Sometimes the overhead droning was deafening – but the doodlebugs were the scariest. I remember in later years using the steel top as a roof for my pigeon loft.

      I could not avoid muttering “Morrison Shelter” at Johnny Ball’s television recollection of hiding under the ‘kitchen table’ (sic), in Bristol during air-raids. My wife looked at me rather oddly, but she is somewhat younger than I am and was spared living through those bad old days. I was born fairly early on in WW2 in Cardiff. We had no garden, thus no Anderson Shelter. Dad had been discharged from the army and spent his nights as, first a Fire Warden (incendiary bombs) and then, driving a fire engine. I recall him donning a helmet and rushing out at night whenever raids were on, whilst mam and, I in our siren suits, burrowed under that Morrison table to the tune of the air-raid sirens.

      On March 1941 Scarborough was heavily bombed which resulted in substantial damage and deaths.On that evening my mother and I took shelter in a Morrison cage in my Grandmothers house which was attached to our own house which took a direct hit and completely destroyed.There I no doubt that the shelter saved the lives of myself and mother.

      Born in 1940, I remember using our Morrison shelter in 1944 in Twickenham. Dad was 6ft 4in, and I remember him in a bad temper because he could not straighten his legs and so could not sleep. It was in the corner of our front downstairs room and when I looked up a picture of it was shocked by how low it was. My brother was newly born, Mum was only short, and I don’t know how we all packed in so tightly. Later on we evacuated to an Anderson shelter in the backgarden of a neighbour. They talked about Buzz-bombs all the time, but would never let me see one. This shelter was cold and wet and we had to sit on benches until the all clear….

      African Americans threaten march on Washington, 1941

      In June 1941, President Roosevelt created the Fair Employment Practices Commission, with the stated goal of ending employment discrimination in the defense industries and government on grounds of race, creed, color or national origin. In 1943, Roosevelt introduced a new clause, which enhanced the Commission’s authority and required that all government contracts have a non-discrimination clause. Some of Randolph’s admirers formed the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and contributed decisively to the introduction of “nonviolent direct action” into the vocabulary and practice of black protest.

      The march itself did not take place however, the organizations involved lived on and contributed to the fight for civil rights and nondiscrimination in the United States.

      The march did not take place, but the organizations involved increased in numbers of members and developed into strong catalysts of social change.

      Database Narrative

      The 1941 March on Washington campaign, precursor of the 1963 March on Washington, was an important moment in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. The proposal for a nationwide mass demonstration for a greater black share in the defense effort had been put forth in January 1941, but it wasn’t until the spring of 1941 that A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), called for a march on Washington, D. C., to challenge the discrimination that African Americans were faced with in the national defense industry. The specific goal of the campaign was to pressure the Administration to end discrimination in the government, the armed forces, and defense industries. The more general goal was to make the grievances of the black population heard and to bring about social change. In June 1941, in response to this specter, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 and created the Committee on Fair Employment Practices. Randolph cancelled the march but founded the MOWM (March on Washington Movement) to maintain the threat of a mass black march to pressure federal officials to advance civil rights.

      In September 1940, three prominent black leaders (Randolph, T. Arnold Hill and Walter White) met with President Roosevelt, wanting to discuss the inclusion of Black Americans in the armed forces after the passage of the Selective Service Act. Although Roosevelt promised to investigate the matter, he issued a statement declaring that a segregation policy would be maintained in the military. Randolph concluded that the conference method of handling black problems was ineffective. He told his colleague Milton Webster: “I think we ought to get 10,000 Negroes and march down Pennsylvania Avenue asking for jobs in defense plants and integration of the armed forces. It would shake up Washington”, conceiving of the march as a show of black mass power.

      Randolph had traveled extensively throughout the US in 1940 and continued to do so in 1941, seeking to raise awareness and increase participation in the movement against discrimination. Although encountering reticence from whites and blacks alike, including opposition from influential individuals, Randolph’s persistence resulted in public support for the cause. Black leaders all over the US began forming and preparing black “committees” to march on Washington in protest. Led by Philip Randolph, other BSCP members, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leaders, the initiative was supported by a number of external allies, mainly liberals and trade unionists, as well as partners such as NAACP local branches (New York, Chicago and other cities), the National Negro Congress and its affiliates, and Randolph’s Socialist associates. The War Resistors League (WRL) and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) worked with Randolph and influenced the emergent nonviolent strategy of his MOWM. The number of white allies was kept to a minimum, because, in Randolph’s view, “there are some things Negroes must do alone.” It is precisely this view that motivated the prevalence of mass actions among the tactics used in preparation for the March, as well as for the following March on Washington in 1963. Randolph believed that broad, organized mass action was required to put pressure on the political authorities, while speeches, petitions and conferences had become irrelevant. His plans featured not only the March on Washington, but synchronized “monster” mass meetings and marches on city halls across the country.

      The tactics used to organize the March on Washington were based on the struggle and community organizing at the local level (through protest networks) that the US had seen as early as the 1920s. Preparation for the March became the major vehicle uniting the African American community around equal citizenship. When first promoting the March idea in black communities, Randolph and the BSCP members spoke as organizers and participants in the new-crowd networks that had emerged from the upheaval of the 1930s. The language spoken by the organizers was familiar to communities steeped in the struggles for democratic rights for black Americans that had unfolded during the 1920s and 1930s. Between January and March 1941, chapters of the BSCP began organizing in railroad centers like New York, Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago. Most members of the black press and clergy promoted the march. Organizers chartered buses and trains to carry African Americans to the capital on July 1, 1941. By March 1941 Randolph was educating readers of the Black Worker, the press organ of the BSCP, to his plan. He built the new movement of protest and pressure by explaining its aim and urging support in speeches and articles in the black press, which, with the exception of the Pittsburg Courier, was generally supportive.

      In New York City, Randolph and other Brotherhood members took to the streets for outdoor meetings, poster walks and similar forms of direct contact. Randolph claimed that he and others canvassed Harlem by “talking up the March by word of mouth…in all the beauty parlors and taverns and barber shops, etc.” The BSCP office in Chicago was the major site for organizing, and the majority of the funding came from Brotherhood dues. The Chicago BSCP drew upon the new-crowd protest networks, which they had helped shape, to mobilize black Chicago for the proposed March on Washington. One such network, the Chicago Congress of Negro Organizations, was so well organized it was prepared to march on Washington in late March 1941. In Oakland, California, Union Porters canvassed the black community for support of the March by organizing public meetings and giving public speeches. In Montgomery, Alabama, E. D. Nixon, head of the local BSCP and president of the NAACP local chapter, participated by organizing transportation to get participants to Washington. Randolph requested existing black organizations in cities throughout the country to set up local committees to recruit marchers. In addition, they were to march on the city halls of their respective cities. The sale of buttons at ten cents a piece, supplemented with collections made in participating churches on special ‘March” Sundays, helped finance March activities. Bulletins explaining the main objectives of the campaign appeared in beauty parlors, pool halls, churches, clubs, stores, selected black magazines and newspapers in at least eighteen cities.

      During April, Randolph announced that “plans for an all-out march of 10,000 Negroes on Washington are in the making, and a call will be issued in the next few weeks to keep in their minds night and day the idea that all roads lead to Wash, DC”. The big spurt in organizational and propaganda activity came during May with the issuance of the “Call to Negro America to March on Washington for Jobs and Equal Participation in National Defense on July 1st, 1941”. By mid-May, the NAACP contributed money to the March on Washington and advised all its branches to cooperate with local March committees to organize marchers, distribute March buttons and disseminate publicity.

      After a discussion about which position to take if the President did not issue an executive order, the Committee agreed, unanimously, to march. Randolph suggested that the participants should march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital singing “John Brown’s Body Lies a ‘Mouldering in the Grave” and “Before I’ll be a Slave, I’ll Be Buried in My Grave”. Randolph permanently tried to ensure the legitimacy of the campaign by advocating against violence and anarchy. The black community divided over the wisdom and the efficacy of militant non-violent tactics. Randolph’s approach was not only inspired by Gandhian principles (which Randolph considered the most appropriate in this case), but also by the protest tactics of the 1930s and by his past experience as a radical Marxist and trade unionist.

      By early June, word had spread that 100,000 African Americans planned to march on Washington on July the 1st and carry out a “monster” demonstration at Lincoln’s memorial. Although alerted in January that Randolph had suggested a black march on the Capital, the White House had been ignoring the March all spring and denying repeated requests from Walter White to discuss the exclusion of black workers from employment. However, it could no longer deny the threat of a mass march, especially since Randolph had sent letters to President Roosevelt and other high government officials requesting them to address the marchers at the Lincoln Monument following the March. The idea that masses of blacks would be brought into one of the most segregated cities in the country shocked and frightened the white community. When Eleanor Roosevelt demanded to know how Randolph proposed to feed and house his black marchers, Randolph answered they would register in hotels and order dinner in restaurants. This constituted a revolutionary challenge that could result in a race war in the capital. However, the Washington Committee (the management board of the campaign, composed of eight Black leaders: Walter White, William Lloyd Imes, Laster B. Granger, Frank R. Crosswaith, Layle Lane, Richard Parrish, Henry K. Croft and A. Philip Randolph) was requested to obtain churches and schools to feed the marchers at cost at the same time an image of black invasion of white Washington restaurants and hotels was conveyed to the dominant power structure. “Complete organization” which implied “the power to control the March” was of “paramount importance”, Randolph emphasized. The Committee had veto power over all slogans, banners and statements of purpose. It also reserved to itself the selection of battalion chiefs and deputy inspectors both at the point of assembly and throughout the line of March.

      Not knowing how to react to the new situation of pressure tactics employed by Randolph and worried by the prospect of thousands of black participants descending upon Washington, President Roosevelt enlisted Eleanor Roosevelt and Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City and a friend of Randolph’s, to intercede and try to convince Randolph to cancel the March (the meeting was held on June 13). When they failed, Randolph and Walter White were summoned to Washington on June 18. The president asked them to stop the March in return for his personal promise for better treatment of blacks, but Randolph refused to do so without a tangible concession: an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in employment. Eventually, Randolph was offered a series of drafts for an executive order, drafts which he would have to consider and eventually approve. Randolph eventually approved a draft and Executive Order 8802, which banned employment discrimination in the defense industry and in the government, was signed on June 25. The March was then “postponed” via a radio broadcast.

      Addressing the many voices claiming that he had settled for too little, he wrote in the Black Worker that the primary objective of the march was to gain jobs for unemployed black workers in defense industries and that the March was not an end in itself, but a means to a larger end and, as such, it had a simple, clearly defined objective.

      The President later created the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to help ensure that defense manufacturers would not practice racial discrimination. The Committee, which was established to investigate violations of Executive Order 8802, lacked enforcement power, which was one reason Randolph turned the March on Washington Committee into the March on Washington Movement shortly after the order was issued. The MOWM was to be the “watchdog” over the enactment of Order 8802. The major demand for jobs had been met through the Order, which Randolph regarded as a first step. The next step consisted of perpetuating and sustaining the momentum generated for the March, which was done through the MOWM.

      9 March 1941 - History


      "Old Reliables"

      (Updated 7-5-10)

      The 9th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army is nicknamed the "Old Reliables." It was created during World War I as the 9th Division, but it was never deployed overseas. The division proved to be an important asset during World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

      During the pre-war buildup for World War II, the 9th Infantry Division was constituted August 1, 1940 at Fort Bragg, NC. The Old Reliables were among the first U.S. troops to enter combat in WWII. Along with the 3rd Infantry and 2nd Armored Divisions, the 9th landed in North Africa on November 8, 1942. It pushed through Tunisia into Bizerte, which fell May 1943. The 9th Infantry Division then entered the Sicily campaign with landings at Palermo in August. The Division took part in the capture of Randazzo and Messina.

      After Sicily, the Old Reliables were sent to England to re-equip and train for the impending cross-channel invasion of France. The 9th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy on June 10, 1944 (D-day plus 4). The Division advanced to cut off the Cotentin Peninsula and assisted in the capture of the fortified French port city of Cherbourg. In July, the division participated in the breakthrough at St.-Lo and in August helped to close the Falaise Gap. The Old Reliables then swept across northern France. The 9th Infantry Division held defensive positions near the Roer River from December 1944 through January 1945, and then crossed the Rhine at Remagen Bridge on March 7, 1945, pushing into the German Harz Mountains. On April 21, 1945, the Division relieved the 3rd Armored Division along the Mulde River near Dessau and held that line until VE Day, (May 8, 1945).

      During WWII, the Old Reliables spent 264 days in combat, participating in eight separate campaigns. The 9th Infantry Division lost 4,581 soldiers killed in combat, 16,961 wounded, 750 missing in action, and 868 captured. Their total of battle and non-battle casualties represented more than 240 percent of their authorized strength. Along with this sacrifice, Old Reliable soldiers earned 4 Medals of Honor, 86 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1,789 Silver Stars, and 5,518 Bronze Stars.

      Shortly after the war, the 9th Infantry Division was inactivated. Nevertheless, they were re-activated on July 15, 1947 at Fort Dix, NJ, serving some 15 years before being inactivated once more. On February 1, 1966, however, the Old Reliables were called on again. The Division was re-activated at Fort Riley, Kansas and deployed to the III Corps Tactical Zone in Vietnam on December 16, 1966. During the Vietnam War, the 9th Infantry Division's units often served with the Mobile Riverine Force and other US Navy units that made up the Brown Water Navy. Its area of operations was in the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta from 1967 to 1972.

      The division swept through Dinh Tuong Province during January 6-May 31, 1967 in Operation PALM BEACH, spending February and March with South Vietnamese forces combating the enemy in Long An Province. Meanwhile, Old Reliable's 2nd Brigade was selected to fulfill the concept of a Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) created in 1967 and integrated with Navy Task Force 117 at each level of its command. One of the unique units serving with the division was the experimental Armor Platoon (Air Cushion Vehicle) which used the specially designed hovercraft to patrol marshy terrain like the Plain of Reeds along the south Vietnamese/Cambodian border.

      For the first time since the Civil War, when Union Army forces operated on the Mississippi, Cumberland, and other rivers, the U.S. Army was utilizing an amphibious force operating afloat. The force was a complete package, independent of fixed support embarked or in tow. The troops lived on barracks ships docked at the MRF anchorage. On tactical operations, Navy armored troop carrier boats, preceded by minesweeping craft and escorted by armored boats (monitors) transported the soldiers along the vast waterways in the Delta. The first element of the Mobile Riverine Force (2nd Brigade) arrived in Vietnam in January 1967 and after training in the Rung Sat swamps moved into a base near My Tho. This base was named Dong Tam, a 600-acre island created among inundated rice paddies by dredging earth from the bottom of the Mekong River. The MRF often operated with other specialized units such as Navy Seal teams, South Vietnamese Marines, units of the ARVN 7th Division and River Assault Groups on reconnaissance blocking and pursuit operations.

      During the Tet Offensive in 1968, the 9th Infantry Division engaged in bitter fighting in the Saigon area. After the battle, General Westmoreland stated that the Old Reliables and the Mobile Riverine Force saved the Delta region from falling to the North Vietnamese Army. In 1969, the division also operated throughout the IV Corps Tactical Zone. As part of the U.S. draw down in Vietnam, two brigades were brought home in August 1969. The 3rd Brigade stayed in Vietnam (and fought in Cambodia) until October 1970. Elements of the 9th Infantry Division had served 1,440 days in Vietnam.

      After Vietnam, the 9th Infantry Division was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington for the remainder of the Cold War. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the division served as the high-technology test-bed for the army. This led to the division testing the concept of "motorized infantry," designed to fill the gap between light infantry and heavy mechanized forces. The idea was to create lighter, mobile units capable of rapid deployment with far less aircraft than a heavier mechanized unit. Motorized infantry doctrine concentrated on effectiveness in desert warfare.

      The Division eventually fielded two brigades of motorized infantry in battalions of designated either "motorized" or "attack." Motorized units fielded the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV or "humvees") and attack units drove Fast Attack Vehicles (FAV), which were essentially dune buggies (later designated the "Desert Patrol Vehicle"). The FAVs were prone to rollover and offered the crew little protection to enemy fire. They were eventually all replaced by versions of the humvee.

      The Old Reliables was one of the divisions identified for inactivation at the end of the Cold War. Although their special training and equipment made them a logical asset to deploy to the Gulf War, they did not deploy to the Middle East. Since the 9th Infantry Division was already in the process of inactivation, during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the division provided soldiers and equipment to fill out deploying units from other divisions and trained National Guard and Army Reserve units deploying to the Persian Gulf.

      The existing 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division did not inactivate and was instead reflagged as the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and assigned directly to I Corps. By December of 1991, all of the units of the 9th Infantry Division had cased their colors. This ended over 50 years of service to the country, earning the Division's nickname: The Old Reliables.

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      The March on Washington

      For many Americans, the calls for racial equality and a more just society emanating from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, deeply affected their views of racial segregation and intolerance in the nation. Since the occasion of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago, much has been written and discussed about the moment, its impact on society, politics and culture and particularly the profound effects of Martin Luther King's iconic speech on the hearts and minds of America and the world. Several interviewees from the Civil Rights History Project discuss their memories of this momentous event in American history.

      Sisters Dorie and Joyce Ladner grew up in Mississippi and became civil rights activists as teenagers in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a student at Jackson State University, Dorie was expelled for participating in a civil rights demonstration. She then went to work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, commonly pronounced "Snick"), a group founded in 1960 by college students who challenged segregation through sit-ins at restaurant counters, protest marches and other forms of non-violent direct action. Dorie discusses the physical harm and brutality that front-line activists endured during the summer of 1963 – jailing, beatings and even murder – leading up to the march in August. Joyce Ladner describes her shock and sorrow at hearing about the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, a friend since childhood, and her subsequent decision to move to New York to work with her sister and others to plan the march. Joyce worked as a fundraiser with Bayard Rustin, Rachelle Horowitz and Eleanor Holmes (now Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton) at the March headquarters in Harlem, while Dorie helped fundraise for members of SNCC to attend the march. The two sisters lived with Horowitz and Holmes for the summer. Joyce remembers long hours, hard work and "Bobby" Dylan hanging out in their apartment and playing guitar late into the night when the residents only wanted to go to sleep.

      The Ladners' views of the March, like those of other activists, offer an interesting study in contrast to popular memories of the event. The latter overwhelmingly tend to dwell on the peaceful harmonious crowd of people joined together in common purpose with the dominant memory being King's majestic speech. Both Joyce and Dorie attended the March, and are quick to note that their day started off with a protest at the Justice Department over the case of colleagues in Americus, Ga., who had been jailed, weeks earlier, on false charges of sedition. The charges against SNCC's Don Harris, John Perdew and Ralph Allen, and Congress of Racial Equality activist Zev Aelony carried a maximum sentence of death. SNCC chairman John Lewis's speech later that day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial criticized the Kennedy administration's refusal to intervene in this and other deadly assaults on civil rights workers and community members in the South, which caused considerable difficulties. Joyce recalls the enormous numbers of marchers and also the presence of several notable figures on the stage such as Marlon Brando and Lena Horne. Joyce goes on to talk about Lena Horne declining to be interviewed by the press and insisting instead that the young activists go on camera. As a result of Horne's insistence, Joyce was interviewed by NBC News, which made her mother proud to see her daughter on television. The Ladners contrast those memories with the shock and horror of returning to the South after the end of the March and attending the funeral of the four girls who were killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, just a few weeks later.

      Courtland Cox was a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., when he helped found the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) to protest segregation in the D.C. area. Members of NAG soon joined with other student groups across the nation to found SNCC. Cox was the SNCC representative to the March on Washington's steering committee. John Lewis, then chairman of SNCC and now Congressman from Georgia, was slated to deliver a speech at the March and Cox notes that he circulated a draft of Lewis' speech beforehand. The speech was an impassioned delivery in which Lewis directly confronted the Kennedy administration for its lack of commitment to enforcing civil rights law and particularly Robert F. Kennedy's Justice Department for its refusal to pursue and prosecute racist assaults on activists and black Southerners. The original speech, written by a committee of SNCC activists, included the rhetorical question, "I want to know, which side is the federal government on?" Another dramatic line in the speech was this: "We will march through the South, through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own &lsquoscorched earth' policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground — nonviolently."

      Cox in his telling of the story, recounts the reaction of Patrick O'Boyle, archbishop of Washington and a Kennedy administration supporter and speaker that day, along with others in the coalition of unions and religious and civic leaders. These speakers threatened to withdraw from the march unless criticism of the administration was removed from the speech. Cox talks about SNCC's initial resistance to doing so and subsequently being persuaded by A. Philip Randolph to make changes to the speech for the sake of March unity. But the episode still rankles SNCC members today as he and Joyce Ladner attest in their interviews. Both versions of Congressman Lewis's speech are available to researchers in the James Forman papers held in the Library's Manuscript Division.

      Gloria Hayes Richardson was a SNCC activist in Cambridge, Maryland. She remembers being asked to speak at the march but only on the condition that she wear a dress. In the end, she was not allowed to speak, nor were any women allowed to make a significant speech. In hindsight, she says, "it seemed to me it was turning into a big party, when a lot of us were out in the streets, you know, very threatened, when you're going to have all this music and – and a picnic."

      The American Folklife Center in collaboration with Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

      A winter of poverty and hunger was followed by several bright spring days. There were rumours of bread rationing in Petrograd. The huge Putilov engineering works there had just shut down. Tens of thousands of workers were jobless.

      • An International Women’s Day demonstration was taken over by marchers demanding bread.
      • The Duma had been recently dismissed by the Tsar. It carried on debating in the Tauride Palace, criticising the government.
      • The crowds grew more aggressive.
      • Nearly all the industrial plants in the city closed down.
      • There were violent clashes: some demonstrators and soldiers died but the trouble was contained.
      • Orders came from the Tsar at Mogilev to suppress the demonstrations by force.
      • Control of workers’ quarters was lost.
      • Troops fired on demonstrators in Znamenski Square: 40 killed as many wounded.
      • That evening recruits from the Guard regiments, training to go to the Front, mutinied.

      They were living in overcrowded conditions and refused to fire on their own people.

      • By 12 March Petrograd was controlled by the ‘peasants in uniform’.
      • By the following night Nicholas, marooned in the royal train at Pskov, had abdicated.

      Nicholas expected the throne to pass to his brother Michael who refused it.

      Watch the video: Remioromen - Sangatsu Kokonoka 9th March (November 2022).

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