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In 2013 Ian Buruma authored “Year Zero: A History
(Econ, 9/28/13, p.80)
Jan-Dec, The worst year in human history measured in terms of people
killed, houses burned, buildings destroyed, and high explosives set
(WSJ, 5/22/98, p.W11)
1945 Jan 1, On Operation
Bodenplatte, German planes attacked American forward air bases in
Europe. This was the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.
1945 Jan 1, France was admitted
to the United Nations.
1945 Jan 2, Allies made an air
raid on Nuremberg. About 90% of the city center was destroyed in
only one hour.
1945 Jan 3, Stephen Stills
singer, songwriter, guitarist: group, was born: Buffalo Springfield:
For What It’s Worth; group: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1945 Jan 3, US aircraft
carriers attacked Okinawa.
1945 Jan 3, Edgar Cayce
(b.1877), American self-proclaimed psychic from Kentucky, died. Jess
Stearn (d.2002) authored "The Sleeping Prophet: The Life and work of
Edgar Cayce" (1968), and "A Prophet in His Own Country: The Story of
the Young Edgar Cayce" (1974). In 2000 Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
authored Edgar Cayce, An American Prophet.
(SFEC, 7/26/98, BR p.3)(SSFC, 1/14/01, BR
p.12)(SFC, 4/2/02, p.A15)(SFC, 8/7/08, p.E6)
1945 Jan 4, The last German
offensive in Bastogne, Belgium, failed.
1945 Jan 4, Ricardo Jimenez
Oreamuno (b.1859), 3-term president of Costa Rica, died.
1945 Jan 5, Uighur rebels in
China’s southwest Xinjiang declared the Eastern Turkestan Republic.
The republic ended in 1949 when Chinese Communists came to power. In
1949 the Russians told the Uighurs to cooperate with Mao.
(SFC, 2/20/01, p.A10)(Econ, 12/3/05,
1945 Jan 6, Pepe Le Pew, the
cartoon skunk created by Chuck Jones and voiced by Mel Blanc,
debuted in Odor-Able Kitty.
1945 Jan 6, George Herbert
Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce in Rye, N.Y.
1945 Jan 6, B-29’s in the
Pacific struck new blows on Tokyo and Nanking.
1945 Jan 7, U.S. air ace Major
Thomas B. McGuire Jr. was killed in the Pacific.
1945 Jan 8, US Tech. Sgt.
Russell Dunham (1920-2009) assaulted 3 German machine gun
placements, killed 9 German soldiers and took 2 as prisoners near
Kaysersberg, France. His bravery earned him the US Medal of Honor.
(SFC, 4/10/09, p.B5)
1945 Jan 9, American forces
began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines, 107 miles from
Manila. MacArthur finally mounted his invasion of Luzon.
(HN, 1/9/99)(AP, 1/9/99)
1945 Jan 9, Maj. Raymond
Cromley, head of the top secret "Dixie Mission," sent a cable to US
military headquarters in Chunking that said Mao Tse-tung would like
send a group to Pres. Roosevelt to explain the situation in China.
Ambassador Patrick J. Hurley, who opposed the meeting, intercepted
the message and failed to pass it to Pres. Roosevelt.
(WSJ, 5/30/02, p.A2)
1945 Jan 9, US carrier planes
bombed the Japanese ship Enoura Maru and 316 US POWs were killed.
(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.B2)
1945 Jan 10, Gunther von
Hagens, German anatomist, was born in Poznan. In 1977 invented the
process of plastination in which natural body fluids are replaced by
(WSJ, 8/5/04, p.D8)
1945 Jan 10, Rod Stewart, rock
singer, was born in North London, England.
(SSFC, 10/10/04, Par p.20)
1945 Jan 12, US Task Force 38
destroyed 41 Japanese ships in Battle of South China Sea.
1945 Jan 12, German forces in
Belgium retreated in Battle of Bulge.
1945 Jan 12, Soviet forces
began a huge offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.
1945 Jan 13, The Red Army
opened an offensive in South Poland, crashing 25 miles through the
1945 Jan 16, The U.S. First and
Third armies linked up at Houffalize, effectively ending the Battle
of the Bulge.
1945 Jan 17, Soviet and Polish
forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
(AP, 1/17/98)(HN, 1/17/99)
1945 Jan 17, Swedish diplomat
Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews,
disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Raoul Wallenberg was
jailed by the Soviets who believed that he was an American spy. He
had saved more than 20,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps.
Wallenberg was a graduate of the Univ. of Michigan and studied there
from 1931-1935. In 2000 a Kremlin commission believed that he was
shot in a KGB prison.
(SFC, 5/5/96, p.A-7)(AP, 1/17/98)(MT, Spg. ‘99,
p.18)(SFC, 11/28/00, p.A18)
1945 Jan 18, The German Army
launched its second attempt to relieve the besieged city of Budapest
from the advancing Red Army.
1945 Jan 18, The Red Army freed
Krakow from Nazi occupation. [see Jan 19]
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.A12)
1945 Jan 18, The Red Army
liberated the Budapest ghetto. Some 50,000 Soviet soldiers lost
their lives in the liberation of Budapest.
1945 Jan 19, The Red Army
captured Lodz, Krakow, and Tarnow.
1945 Jan 20, Franklin D.
Roosevelt was inaugurated for his fourth term.
1945 Jan 20, The Allies signed
a truce with the Hungarians.
1945 Jan 21, Andrew Stein, pres
of NYC council (D), was born.
1945 Jan 21, The Nazi Edelweiss
unit participated in a bloody operation against two villages in
central Slovakia as punishment for local support of Soviet-backed
1945 Jan 22, There was a heavy
US air raid on Okinawa.
1945 Jan 22, The Burma highway
1945 Jan 23, Helmuth J. Moltke
(37), German general, politician (July 20th Plot), was executed.
1945 Jan 24, A German attempt
to relieve the besieged city of Budapest was finally halted by the
1945 Jan 25, The US Justice
Department's Antitrust Division filed suit in the U.S. District
Court in New York against De Beers, four other British or South
African companies, three Belgian companies and one Portuguese
Company which together produced and sold 95 percent of the world's
diamonds, 'charging them with conspiring to restrain and monopolize
the foreign trade of the United States in gem and industrial
diamonds in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Wilson
1945 Jan 27, The Soviet army
arrived at Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland, and found the Nazi
concentration camp and crematorium. It is now believed that 1
million Jews were murdered here, up to 75,000 Polish Christians,
21,000 Gypsies, and 15,000 Soviet POWs.
1945 Jan 28, During World War
II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened
1945 Jan 28, Chiang Kai-shek
renamed the Ledo-Burma Road the Stillwell Road, in honor of General
1945 Jan 28, The US Army 10th
Mountain Division first entered combat in the Apennine Mountains of
(ON, 4/2011, p.7)
1945 Jan 28, The Red Army
captured Klaipeda, the last German-held Lithuanian city.
1945 Jan 30, US Army Rangers
and Filipino guerrillas executed a flawless rescue of 486 POWs from
Camp Cabanatuan north of Manila. In 2001 Hampton Sides authored
“Ghost Soldiers,” an account of the rescue.
(WSJ, 5/24/01, p.A20)(SSFC, 6/17/01, DB p.70)(AH,
1945 Jan 30, The Allies
launched a drive on the Siegfried line in Germany.
1945 Jan 30, Nazi SS guards
shot down an estimated 4,000 Jewish prisoners on the Baltic coast at
Palmnicken, Kaliningrad. The town was later renamed by the Russians
to Yantarny. Some 7,000 prisoners had been marched 25 miles from
Koenigsberg to a vacant lock factory at Palmnicken where they were
mowed down with machine guns. The prisoners had been vacated from a
network of 30 camps that made up Poland's Stutthoff concentration
camp. 90% of the Jews were women from Lithuania and Hungary.
(SFC, 1/31/00, p.C1)
1945 Jan 30,
The German liner "Wilhelm Gustloff" sank in the Baltic Sea between
the Bay of Danzig and the Danish island of Bornholm. An estimated
7000-8000 people, civilian refugees from East Prussia and wounded
German soldiers, drowned in the icy waters. Three torpedoes fired
from a Russian submarine had scored direct hits on the ship. The
result was the largest and most horrible naval disaster of all time.
1945 Jan 31, Private Eddie Slovik (b.1920)
became the only US soldier since the Civil War to be executed for
desertion, as he was shot by an American firing squad near the
village of Ste-Marie aux Mines, France. In 1954 William Bradford
authored “The Execution of Private Slovik.” In 1987 Slovik’s body
was exhumed and returned to Detroit, Mi., his hometown.
(AP, 1/31/04)(SSFC, 7/8/12, DB p.42)
1945 Jan, US Staff Sgt. Beyrle
(1923-2004) escaped from the German the Stalag III-C POW camp in Alt
Drewitz and joined Soviet troops. He was wounded as his unit
approached Berlin, was treated in a field hospital and then sent
back to the US Embassy in Moscow. In 2010 a Russian Museum exhibit,
titled "Joseph R. Beyrle — A Hero of Two Nations," presented 260
artifacts from Beyrle's life and military career, including a
collection of his medals, uniform and photographs.
1945 Jan, The Albanian
Communist provisional government of Enver Hoxha agreed to restore
Kosova to Yugoslavia under Tito as an autonomous region; Yugoslav
leaders brought Kosova under marshal law. Tribunals began in Albania
to condemn thousands of "war criminals" and "enemies of the people"
to death or prison. The Communist regime began to nationalize
industry, transportation, forests, pastures.
(www, Albania, 1998)(WSJ, 4/2/99, p.A9)(SFC,
1945 Jan, Allied forces
repulsed the German counter-offensive in the Battle of the Bulge.
(WUD, 1994, p.195)(SFC, 9/1/96, T3)
1945 Jan, In Poland a Soviet
fighter bomber crashed into the frozen Bzura River. On August 23,
2015, parts of Soviet uniforms, a parachute, a sheepskin coat
collar, parts of boots, a pilot's TT pistol and radio equipment were
found, along with a lot of heavy ammunition, as river levels dropped
to record lows.
1945 Jan, The Red Army drove
the Wehrmacht out of Poland and demolished Danzig (Gdansk) by bomb
(SFEC, 5/24/98, p.T4)
1945 Feb 2, President Roosevelt
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the
Yalta summit with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1945 Feb 2, Some 1,200 Royal
Air Force planes blasted Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe.
1945 Feb 2, Karl F. Goerdeler
(60), mayor of Leipzig, "July 20th plot", was hanged.
1945 Feb 3, The Allies dropped
3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin. Robert Rosenthal (1917-2007) led
1,000 B-17s in the raid on Berlin. Rosenthal later served as an
assistant to the US prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.
(HN, 2/3/99)(SFC, 4/30/07, p.B8)
1945 Feb 3, In the Philippines
the month-long Battle of Manila began.
1945 Feb 4-1945 Feb 12,
President Roosevelt, British PM Winston Churchill and Soviet leader
Josef Stalin held a wartime conference in the Livadia Palace at
Yalta, in the southern Ukraine. Roosevelt joked to Stalin that the
only concession he might give to Ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia was "the 6
million Jews in the US." In 2012 Michael Dobbs authored “Six Months
in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman – From World War to Cold
(AP, 2/4/97)(WSJ, 3/8/99, p.A16)(SSFC, 11/25/12,
p.F4)(Econ, 10/5/13, p.58)
1945 Feb 5, American and French
troops destroyed German forces in the Colmar Pocket in France.
1945 Feb 5, US troops under
General Douglas MacArthur entered Manila ("I have returned!").
1945 Feb 6, Bob Marley
(d.1981), reggae superstar, was born in Jamaica. He is best
remembered for his songs "Buffalo Soldier" and "Fire on the
(HN, 2/6/99)(SFC, 12/14/04, p.E10)
1945 Feb 6, MacArthur reported
the fall of Manila, and the liberation of 5,000 prisoners.
1945 Feb 6, The French
government executed Robert Brasillach, writer and Nazi propagandist.
He had been arrested in January, was tried for treason and
convicted. In 2000 Alice Kaplan authored "The Collaborator: The
Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach."
(SFEC, 8/13/00, BR
1945 Feb 6, In northern Italy a
B-25 Mitchell dubbed "Maybe" was damaged during a bombing run near
Trento during World War II. Pilot Earl Remmel of Hooker, Oklahoma,
and co-pilot Leslie Speer of Jeffersontown, Kentucky, kept the plane
steady long enough for the other five crew members to bail out.
1945 Feb 6, Russian Red Army
crossed the river Oder.
1945 Feb 7, US 76th and 5th
Infantry divisions began crossing Sauer.
1945 Feb 7, German troops and
allied Slovak irregulars massacred 18 Jewish civilians discovered
hiding in underground bunkers at Ksina, Slovakia.
1945 Feb 8, Allied air attack
on Goch, Kleef, Kalkar, Reichswald.
1945 Feb 9, [Maria] Mia Farrow,
actress (Rosemary's Baby, Purple Rose of Cairo, was born in LA.
1945 Feb 9, The German
submarine U-864 with a crew of 73 sank about 2 1/2 miles off Fedje,
Norway. It was on a desperate mission to supply Japan with advanced
weapons technology and carried a poisonous cargo of 70 tons of
mercury. Leakage of the mercury posed a severe threat in 2006 and
plans were made to encase the wreck. In 2007 Norway’s government
said it would be buried in special sand to protect the coastline.
(AP, 12/20/06)(AP, 2/13/07)
1945 Feb 10, "Rum & Coca
Cola" by the Andrews Sisters hit #1.
1945 Feb 10, B-29s hit the
Tokyo area. It was a B-29 that dropped the bomb that ended World War
1945 Feb 11, President
Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet
leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War II
and adjourned. Alger Hiss was one of the advisors who accompanied
(WSJ, 5/5/95, p.A-12)(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A3)(HN,
1945 Feb 11, The 1st gas
turbine propeller-driven airplane was flight tested, at Downey, Ca.
1945 Feb 12, Mayor Roger Lapham
of SF was informed by Washington that San Francisco was chosen as
the site of the Founding Conference of the UN.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W39)
1945 Feb 13, Allied planes
began bombing the German city of Dresden. British bombers in
Operation Thunderclap firebombed the city of Dresden, Germany, and
135,000 people were killed. The Royal Air Force Bomber Command
attacked the city of Dresden at night with raids by 873 heavy
bombers. 796 Lancaster heavy bombers were led by 9 target marking
Mosquito light bombers. A look at aerial maps of the city before and
after the terror attacks clearly shows the large white oil tanks
owned by British-controlled Shell Oil. These tanks remained entirely
untouched by the bombardment. In 2003 Frederick Taylor authored
“Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945.”
p.A20)(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A10)(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T6)(SFEC, 1/30/00,
1945 Feb 13, During World War
II the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans ending a
(HN, 2/13/98)(AP, 2/13/98)
1945 Feb 14, Gregory Hines,
actor, dancer (White Nights, Taps), was born in NYC.
1945 Feb 14, Saudi King Abd
al-Aziz and Franklin D. Roosevelt met on a ship in the Suez Canal
and reached an understanding whereby the US would protect the Saudi
royal family in return for preferred access to Saudi oil. William
Eddy, US minister to Saudi Arabia, arranged the meeting.
(WSJ, 10/4/01, p.A1)(Econ, 11/8/08,
1945 Feb 14, 521 American heavy
bombers flew daylight raids over Dresden, Germany following the
British assault. The firestorm killed an estimated 135,000 people.
At least 35,000 died and some people place the toll closer to
70,000. The novel "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut was set in
Dresden during the firebombing where he was being held as a prisoner
of war. US B-17 bombers dropped 771 more tons on Dresden while P-51
Mustang fighters strafed roads packed with soldiers and civilians
fleeing the burning city. In 2006 Marshall De Bruhl authored
“Firestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden.”
(WSJ, 10/22/96, p.A20)(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A10)(SFEC,
7/27/97, p.T6)(HN, 2/13/99)(SFEC, 1/30/00, p.T13)(SSFC, 12/17/06,
1945 Feb 14, The siege of
Budapest ended as the Soviets took the city. Only 785 German and
Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.
1945 Feb 14, Peru, Paraguay,
Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations.
1945 Feb 16, American
paratroopers landed on Corregidor during World War II, in a campaign
to liberate the Philippines.
(AP, 2/16/98)(HN, 2/16/98)
1945 Feb 17, Gen. MacArthur’s
troops landed on Corregidor in the Philippines. General Tomoyuki
Yamashita was the Japanese general opposing MacArthur.
1945 Feb 18, U.S. Marines
stormed ashore at Iwo Jima. Navajo code talkers used their native
language to communicate by radio on Japanese troop movements.
(HN, 2/18/98)(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A6)
1945 Feb 18, Soviet Gen. Ivan
Chernyakhovsky (b.1906) died from wounds received outside
Konigsberg. Chernyakhovsky was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania, near a
square named in his honor. After Lithuania declared its independence
from the Soviet Union in 1990 and following the dissolution of the
Soviet Union itself in 1991, Chernyaknovsky's remains were reburied
at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow in 1992.
1945 Feb 19, During World War
II, some 30,000 US Marines landed on Iwo Jima, an 8-sq. mile island
of rock, volcanic ash and black sand, where they began a month-long
battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces. The
36-day battle took the lives of 7,000 Americans and about 20,000 of
22,000 Japanese defenders.
(SFC, 6/19/96, p.A20)(SFC, 9/21/00, p.C6)(AP,
1945 Feb 19, On Ramree Island
off the coast of old Burma, some 900 Japanese soldiers retreated
from British soldiers into an alligator filled swamp. Only about 20
(SFEC, 2/23/96, Z1 p.2)(MC, 2/19/02)
1945 Feb 19, Ivan Kozhedub of
the Ukraine became the only Soviet pilot to shoot down a
Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter and, on April 19, 1945, he downed
two Focke-Wulf Fw-190s to bring his final tally to 62--the top
Allied ace of the war. He was the Allies’ top ace and one of only
two Soviet fighter pilots to be awarded the Gold Star of a Hero of
the Soviet Union three times during World War II. Ironically
prevented from fighting because his skill as a pilot made him more
useful as an instructor, Kozhedub did not fly his first combat
mission until March 26, 1943.
1945 Feb 21, The Bismarck Sea
was the last U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to be sunk in combat during
World War II. The escort carrier Bismarck Sea was supporting
the invasion of Iwo Jima, when about 50 kamikazes attacked the U.S.
Navy Task Groups 58.2 and 58.3. Fleet carrier Saratoga was struck by
three suicide planes and so badly damaged that the war ended before
she returned to service. At 6:45 p.m., two Mitsubishi A6M5 Zeros
approached Bismarck Sea, which opened fire with her anti-aircraft
guns. One Zero was set on fire, but its suicidal pilot pressed home
his attack and crashed into the carrier abreast of the aft elevator,
which fell into the hangar deck below. Two minutes later, an
internal explosion devastated the ship, and at 7:05 p.m., Captain
J.L. Pratt ordered Abandon Ship. Ravaged by further explosions over
the next three hours, Bismarck Sea sank at 10 p.m., the last U.S.
Navy carrier to go down as a result of enemy action during World War
II. Of her crew of 943, 218 officers and men lost their lives.
1945 Feb 23, Eisenhower opened
a large offensive in the Rhineland.
1945 Feb 23, During World War
II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they
raised the American flag. Actually, there were two flag-raisings
that day, the second was the one captured in the famous Associated
Press photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal. John Bradley (d.1994), was
one of the soldiers who raised the US flag at Iwo Jima. The carnage
on the 8-sq.-mile island continued for another 31 days. One flag
raising was captured by AP photographer Joseph Rosenthal (1911-2006)
and inspired the 1954 sculpture by Felix de Weldon (d.2003) erected
in Washington DC. Sgt. Bill Genaust filmed the event with a 16mm
camera and died in combat 9 days later.
(SFC, 9/21/00, p.C6)(SFC, 6/14/03, p.A21)(SFC,
8/21/06, p.A1)(AP, 2/23/07)
1945 Feb 23, Turkey declared
war on Germany and Japan.
1945 Feb 24, U.S. forces
liberated prisoners of war in the Los Baños Prison in the
1945 Feb 24, American soldiers
liberated the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese control
during World War II.
1945 Feb 24, Egyptian Premier
Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
1945 Feb 26, Mitch Ryder,
rocker (Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels-Devil With the Blue
Dress), was born.
1945 Feb 26, A midnight curfew
on nightclubs, bars and other places of entertainment was set to go
into effect across the US.
1945 Feb 26, Very heavy bombing
on Berlin by 8th US Air Force.
1945 Feb 26, Syria declared war
on Germany and Japan. [see Mar 26]
1945 Feb 28, U.S. tanks broke
the natural defense line west of the Rhine and crossed the Erft
1945 Mar 1, Burning Spear
[Winston Rodney], Jamaican reggae singer, was born.
1945 Mar 1, President
Roosevelt, back from the Yalta Conference, proclaimed the meeting a
success when he addressed a joint session of Congress.
1945 Mar 1, US infantry
regiment captured Mönchengladbach.
1945 Mar 1, British 43rd
Division under General Essame occupied Xanten.
1945 Mar 1, Chinese 30th
division occupied Hsenwi.
1945 Mar 1, Field marshal
Kesselring succeeded von Rundstedt as commander.
1945 Mar 2, The American flag
is raised again over Corregidor, with General Douglas MacArthur and
members of his staff present. MacArthur, commander of U.S. Army
Forces in the Far East, reluctantly fled his headquarters on the
rocky Philippine island of Corregidor in March 1942 as the Japanese
closed in. MacArthur praised the gallant but futile defense of
Corregidor as "an inspiration to carry on the struggle until the
Allies should fight their way back" and vowed to return one day. On
February 16, 1945, elements of the U.S. Sixth Army began the assault
on Corregidor, and after furious fighting, MacArthur made good on
1945 Mar 2, 8th Air Force
1945 Mar 2, King Michael of
Romania gave in to Communist government.
1945 Mar 3, Mystery fans
remember this day as they gathered around the radio set, listening
to the Mutual Broadcasting System as Superman encountered Batman and
Robin for the first time. The cartoon character was created by Joe
Schuster and Jerry Siegel at DC Comics.
(HC, Internet, 3/3/98)(SFC, 7/8/04, p.B9)
1945 Mar 3, US 7th Army
occupied last part of Westwall (Germany).
1945 Mar 3, Churchill visited
1945 Mar 3, Finland declared
war on the Axis.
1945 Mar 3, Roermond-Venlo,
Netherlands, was freed.
1945 Mar 3, RAF bombing error
hit The Hague and killed 511.
1945 Mar 3, The Allies fully
secured the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese forces during
World War II. Manila was destroyed and more than 100,000 civilians
killed. About 16,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,000 US troops also died
in the fighting from Feb 3 to March 3.
(AP, 3/3/07)(AP, 2/28/15)
1945 Mar 5, US 7th Army Corps
1945 Mar 5, Georgia denied
clemency and executed Lena Baker (b.1900), a black maid. She had
been sentenced to die following a one-day trial before an all-male
jury for the murder of E.B. Knight. He had held her against her will
in a grist mill and threatened to shoot her if she tried to leave.
In 2005 the Georgia Board of Pardons decided to pardon her. The
movie The Lena Baker Story (2008) is about her life.
1945 Mar 5, Allies bombed The
1945 Mar 6, Rob Reiner, actor,
director (All in the Family, Stand By Me), was born in Bronx, NY.
1945 Mar 6, Federico Garcia
Lorca's "La Casa," premiered in Buenos Aires.
1945 Mar 6, Cologne, Germany,
fell to General Hodges' First Army.
1945 Mar 6, Erich Honnecker and
Erich Hanke fled Nazis.
1945 Mar 6, In Holland SS
General Hans Albin Rauter, was ambushed, and his driver and orderly
were killed. Rauter was seriously wounded. SS Brigadefuhrer Dr.
Eberhardt Schongarth immediately ordered reprisals and a total of
263 people were shot. A Special Court of Justice in the Hague
sentenced Rauter to death and he was executed March 25, 1949.
Schongarth was tried by a British Military Court, found guilty on
another war crime charge, sentenced to death and was hanged in 1946.
1945 Mar 7, During World War
II, U.S. 9th Armored Division crossed the Rhine River at Remagen,
Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge. This
marked the 1st incursion of Allied forces into Germany.
(AP, 3/7/98)(SFC, 4/9/03, p.A16)
1945 Mar 7, Cologne was taken
by allied armies.
1945 Mar 7, In Yugoslavia the
Communist government of Tito formed.
(MC, 3/7/02)(AP, 10/20/02)
1945 Mar 8, "Kiss Me Kate"
opened in Britain.
1945 Mar 8, Phyllis Mae Daley
received a commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She was the
first African-American nurse to serve duty in World War II.
1945 Mar 8, The U.S. First Army
crossed the Rhine between Cologne and Coblenz.
1945 Mar 8, 53 Amsterdammers
were executed by Nazi occupiers.
1945 Mar 9, During World War
II, 334 U.S. B29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against
Tokyo, Japan, causing widespread devastation.
(HFA, '96, p.26)(AP, 3/9/98)(Econ, 10/7/06, p.52)
1945 Mar 10, Patton's 3rd Army
made contact with Hodge's 1st Army.
1945 Mar 10, Germany blew up
the Wessel Bridge on the Rhine.
1945 Mar 10, Some 300 American
B-29s bombed Tokyo overnight with almost 2,000 tons of incendiaries
killing some 100,000 people.
(HN, 3/10/98)(Econ., 3/7/15, p.42)
1945 Mar 10, US troops landed
1945 Mar 10, In the Philippines
Pfc. Thomas Eugene Atkins (d. 1999 at 78) repulsed a Japanese attack
while wounded and killed 14 enemy soldiers in northern Luzon.
(SFC, 9/24/99, p.D6)
1945 Mar 11, 1,000 allied
bombers harassed Essen with 4,662 tons of bombs.
1945 Mar 11, Flemish Nazi
collaborator Maria Huygens was sentenced to death.
1945 Mar 12, NY became the 1st
state to prohibit discrimination by race and creed in employment.
1945 Mar 12, Italy's Communist
Party (CPI) called for armed uprising in Italy.
1945 Mar 12, In Amsterdam 30
people were executed by Nazi occupiers.
1945 Mar 12, USSR returned
Transylvania to Romania.
1945 Mar 12, Anne Frank, author
of "The Diary of Anne Frank," died at Bergen-Belsen concentration
camp a month before it was liberated. When the British arrived in
April, they found more than 10,000 unburied corpses. Some 14,000 of
the prisoners found at the camp died within a few days.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.B8)(HNQ, 4/13/00)(HN,
1945 Mar 13, Queen Wilhelmina
returned to Netherlands.
1945 Mar 13, Peru declared war
1945 Mar 14, Sgt. 1st Class
Marvin Steinford, a native of Iowa, was part of a 10-man crew of a
B-17 bomber which was hit, while returning to its base in Italy from
a mission over Hungary. In 2004 his remains were found in a grave in
the town on Zirc in western Hungary, where he had been buried with
26 Soviet soldiers. In 2009 his remains were returned to the US.
1945 Mar 14, Chile declared war
1945 Mar 14, A supreme Lithuanian
independence committee was re-formed in Germany. The committee was
1st formed Nov 25, 1943, in Lithuania.
1945 Mar 15, Bing Cosby and
Ingrid Bergman were winners in the 17th Academy Awards along with
the film "Going my Way."
1945 Mar 15, Pierre Drieu La
Rochelle (b.1893), a well-known French collaborationist and fascist
writer, committed suicide.
1945 Mar 16, During World War
II, the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean was declared secured
by the Allies. The U.S. defeated Japan at Iwo Jima. Small pockets of
Japanese resistance still exist.
(AP, 3/16/97)(HN, 3/16/99)
1945 Mar 17, Allied ships
bombed North Sumatra.
1945 Mar 18, 1,250 US bombers
1945 Mar 18, US Task Force 58
attacked targets on Kyushu.
1945 Mar 18, Suicide bombs were
(HFA, ‘96, p.26)
1945 Mar 19, US Task Force 58
attacked ships near Kobe and Kure.
1945 Mar 19, Kamikaze planes
attacked the US carrier Franklin off Japan killing 724 people; the
ship, however, was saved.
1945 Mar 19, Adolf Hitler
issued his so-called "Nero Decree," ordering the destruction of
German facilities that could fall into Allied hands. Hitler ordered
a scorched-earth policy. Hitler had decreed that Paris should be
left a smoking ruin, but Dietrich von Choltitz thought better of his
(AP, 3/19/97)(HN, 3/19/98)
1945 Mar 21, During World War
II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany.
1945 Mar 21, A British bombing
raid was made on Gestapo Headquarters in Denmark to thwart a planned
German arrest of the leadership of the banned Freedom Council. A 2nd
wave of bombers hit a school by mistake killing 86 students and 13
(SFC, 9/23/02, p.B5)
1945 Mar 22, The Arab League
was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt. Saudi
Arabia became a founding member of the UN and the Arab League.
(AP, 3/22/97)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1945 Mar 22, The US 3rd Army
crossed the Rhine at Nierstein.
1945 Mar 23, Premier Winston
Churchill visited Montgomery's headquarter in Straelen.
1945 Mar 23, British 7th Black
Watch crossed the Rhine.
1945 Mar 23, Largest operation
in Pacific war: 1,500 US Navy ships bombed Okinawa.
1945 Mar 24, Gens. Eisenhower,
Montgomery and Bradley discussed advance in Germany.
1945 Mar 24, Largest one-day
airborne drop: 600 transports and 1300 gliders.
1945 Mar 24, Operation Varsity:
British, US and Canadian airborne landings east of Rhine.
1945 Mar 24, Egypt declared war
1945 Mar 25, US 1st army broke
out bridgehead near Remagen.
1945 Mar 26, Generals
Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton attack at Remagen on the Rhine.
1945 Mar 26, US 7th Army
crossed Rhine at Worms.
1945 Mar 26, Japanese
resistance ended on Iwo Jima.
1945 Mar 26, Kamikazes attacked
US battle fleet near Kerama Retto.
1945 Mar 26, Syria declared war
on Germany. [see Feb 26]
1945 Mar 26, David Lloyd George
(b.1863), former prime minister (1916-1922), died. In 1973 John
Grigg (d.2001 at 77) authored "The Young Lloyd George." 2 more
volumes of the biography were published in 1978 and 1985.
(WUD, 1994 p.839)(SFC, 1/3/02, p.A16)(SS,
1945 Mar 27, Ella Fitzgerald
and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded "It's Only a Paper Moon."
1945 Mar 27, General Dwight D.
Eisenhower told reporters in Paris that German defenses on the
Western Front had been broken.
(AP, 3/27/97)(HN, 3/27/98)
1945 Mar 27, Iwo Jima was
occupied, after 22,000 Japanese & 6,000 US killed.
1945 Mar 27, US 20th Army corps
1945 Mar 28, Germany launched
the last of the V-2 rockets (buzz bomb) against England.
1945 Mar 29, German SS as well
as Hitler Youth members shot at least 57 laborers in woods near the
small town of Deutsch Schuetzen, later part of Austria. In 2009
German prosecutors charged a 90-year-old alleged former member of
Hitler's SS with 58 counts of murder.
1945 Mar 30, A Soviet cable was
intercepted that referred to an agent named Ales, later suspected of
being Alger Hiss. The intercepted cables were classified as part of
the "Venona Project" released in 1996. The US began releasing the
coded Venona cables in 1995. They implicated 349 US citizens and
residents as Soviet helpers. In 1999 John Earl Haynes and Harvey
Klehr published "Venona," the story of the Soviet infiltration of
(SFC, 11/21/96, p.A27)(WSJ, 6/24/99, p.A20)
1945 Mar 30, 289 anti-fascists
were murdered by Nazis in Rombergpark, Dortmund.
1945 Mar 30, The Soviet Union
invaded Austria during World War II.
(AP, 3/30/97)(HN, 3/30/98)
1945 Mar 31, The Tennessee
Williams play "The Glass Menagerie" premiered on Broadway.
1945 Mar 31, The U.S. and
Britain barred a Soviet supported provisional regime in Warsaw from
entering the U.N. meeting in San Francisco.
1945 Mar 31, US artillery
landed on Keise Shima and began firing on Okinawa.
1945 Mar 31, Sicherheitsdienst
murdered 10 political prisoners in Zutphen.
1945 Mar, Marcel Carne
(1906-1990), French film director, premiered "The Children of
Paradise" (Les Enfants du Paradis). The 3 ½ hr. film starred
Jean-Louis Barrault and Arletty and centered on the life of 19th
century mime Jean-Baptiste Debureau. The epic film classic was a
singular evocation of show biz in the time of Balzac. Maria Casares
(1922-1996) achieved stardom for her 1943 role in "Les Enfants du
(SFC, 11/1/96, p.A28)(WSJ, 10/20/95, p.
A-12)(SFC, 11/25/96, p.B2)
1945 Mar, The German submarine
U-96, commissioned in September 1940, was sunk during a US bombing
raid on the port city of Wilhelmshaven. It had gone on 11 patrols in
the Atlantic Ocean before it was sunk. In 1981 Lothar-Guenther
Buchheim (1918-2007), authored his autobiographical novel, "Das
Boot," based on his service aboard the sub. In 1981, the book was
turned into an acclaimed German film starring Juergen Prochnow that
detailed the hopelessness of war and its effect on sailors living in
the cramped confines of their submarine.
1945 Mar, American B-29 attacks
on Tokyo caused some 83,703 deaths.
(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.B1)
1945 Mar, In the Philippines
Gen'l. Tomoyuki Yamashita retreated with 140,000 soldiers to the
Central Cordillera and Caraballo mountain ranges of northern Luzon
(SFC, 9/24/99, p.D6)
1945 Apr 1, Easter Sunday, the
American assault on Okinawa began with 150,000 army and marine
soldiers. It was the last campaign of World War II. The island was
defended by 100,000 Japanese troops and auxiliaries. It took three
months of heavy fighting to secure the island. US casualties
numbered 68,000 with 8,000 dead. Japanese civilian casualties are
estimated at 100-200 thousand killed. A book was published in 1995
by Col. Hiromishi Yahara, chief Japanese strategist of Okinawa
titled "The Battle for Okinawa." A counterpoint to the colonel’s
account is a collection of first hand accounts from US soldiers in
Gerold Astor’s "Operation Iceberg."
(WSJ, 8/29/95, p.A-12)(AP, 4/1/98)(HN, 4/1/98)
1945 Apr 1, Canadian troop
freed Doetinchem, Enschede, Borculo & Eibergen.
1945 Apr 2, Linda Hunt, actress
(Bostonians, Eleni, Silverado), was born in Morristown, NJ.
1945 Apr 2, 1st US units
reached the east coast of Okinawa.
1945 Apr 3, Nazis began
evacuation of camp Buchenwald. [see Apr 20]
1945 Apr 4,
U.S. forces liberated the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany.
1945 Apr 4, US tanks and
infantry conquered Bielefeld.
1945 Apr 4,
US troops on Okinawa encountered the first significant resistance
from Japanese forces at the Machinato Line.
1945 Apr 4, Hungary was
liberated from Nazi occupation (National Day).
1945 Apr 6, During World War
II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a
suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was
intercepted the next day.
1945 Apr 7,
During World War II, American planes intercepted a Japanese fleet
that was headed for Okinawa on a suicide mission. The Japanese
battleship Yamato, the world's largest battleship, was sunk during
the battle for Okinawa along with 4 Japanese destroyers.
(AP, 4/7/97)(HN, 4/7/99)(MC, 4/7/02)
1945 Apr 8, Nazi occupiers were
executed. Nazi general Christiansen fled the Netherlands.
1945 Apr 9, The Red Army was
repulsed at the Seelow Heights on the outskirts of Berlin.
1945 Apr 9, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(b.1906), a German Lutheran theologian and antifascist, was hanged
by the Nazis at Flossenburg prison. He had participated in the
failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Hitler. A TV documentary
on Bonhoeffer was aired in 2006.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A14)(WSJ, 2/3/06,
1945 Apr 9, Hans Oster, German
major-general, spy and participant in the "July 20th plot", was
hanged by Nazis.
1945 Apr 9, Hans von Dohnanyi,
"July 20th plotter", hanged by Nazis.
1945 Apr 9, Wilhelm Canaris,
Admiral, headed Germany Abwehr, was hanged by Nazis.
1945 Apr 10, US troops landed
on Tsugen Shima, Okinawa.
1945 Apr 10, German Me 262 jet
fighters shot down ten U.S. bombers near Berlin.
1945 Apr 10, In their second
attempt to take the Seelow Heights, near Berlin, the Red Army
launched numerous attacks against the defending Germans. The Soviets
gain one mile at the cost of 3,000 men killed and 368 tanks
1945 Apr 11, The Americans
liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Some 250,000
prisoners passed through the camp and 50,000 are known to have died
there. From 1945 to 1950, occupying Soviet forces used the camp to
hold political prisoners.
(AP, 4/11/97)(WSJ, 3/26/99, p.B1)(SFC, 8/3/99,
1945 Apr 11, U.S. troops
reached the Elbe River in Germany.
1945 Apr 11, The US battleship
Missouri was struck by a kamikaze pilot while it was operating off
the coast of Okinawa.
1945 Apr 11, After two
frustrating days of being repulsed and absorbing tremendous
casualties, the Red Army finally takes the Seelow Heights north of
1945 Apr 11, The Nazi SS burned
and shot 1,100 at Gardelegen.
1945 Apr 12, Richard Strauss
completed his "Metamorphosis."
1945 Apr 12, Pres. Franklin
Delano Roosevelt the 32nd president of the United States, died of a
cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63. Roosevelt, a
polio victim confined to a wheelchair, spent a great deal of time in
the soothing waters of the resort. He succumbed to a cerebral
hemorrhage while posing for a portrait by Elizabeth Shoumatoff at
what came to be known as the Little White House in Warm Springs,
where the unfinished portrait remains on display. Lucy Rutherford
Mercer, his secret companion, was at his bedside. He was succeeded
by his Vice-President, Harry S. Truman. The 63-year-old president
had been at Warm Springs, Georgia, since March 28, resting from the
rigors of leading a nation at war. Roosevelt, left paralyzed by
polio in 1921, was elected to the nation's highest office four times
and is judged by historians to be among the greatest American
presidents. He was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park,
New York. The period is covered in "Mr. Truman’s War" (1996) by
Robert Moskin. In 2001 "The New Dealer’s War," the 5th and
last volume of the Roosevelt biography by Thomas Fleming (d.1999)
was published. In 2001 Kenneth S. Davis authored "FDR: The War
President." In 2003 Conrad Black, aka Lord Black of Crossharbour,
authored "Franklin Delano Roosevelt." In 2008 H. W. Brands authored
“”Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency
of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
(A & IP., ESM, p.167)(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A8)(SFC,
9/6.96, p.A10)(AP, 4/12/97)(HN, 4/11/99)(HNQ, 6/16/00)(WSJ, 4/26/01,
p.A18)(WSJ, 12/3/03, p.D12)(Econ, 11/1/08, p.95)
1945 Apr 12, Robert Daniell
(1901-1996), British tank commander, entered with his tank crew into
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He found some 10,000 corpses
killed by the guards as the allies approached. Of the remaining
38,500 prisoners, barely a third survived.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.B8)
1945 Apr 12, Canadian troops
liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Westerbork, Neth.
1945 Apr 13, US marines
conquered Minna Shima off Okinawa.
1945 Apr 13, Vienna fell to
1945 Apr 14, Robert Dole, later
US senator and 1996 presidential candidate, was severely crippled by
an artillery shell. During World War II, Robert Dole served in the
85th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. While stationed in
Italy he participated in Operation Craftsman where he was wounded
during a firefight with German troops. Dole spent nearly 40 months
in army hospitals and lost most of the use of his right arm as a
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.A-4)(HNQ, 2/7/02)
1945 Apr 14, US 7th Army and
allies forces captured Nuremberg and Stuttgart, Germany.
1945 Apr 14, US forces
conquered Motobu peninsula on Okinawa.
1945 Apr 14, B-29's damaged the
Imperial Palace during firebombing raid over Tokyo.
1945 Apr 14, Arnhem and Zwolle
were freed from Nazis.
1945 Apr 15, President Franklin
D. Roosevelt was buried on the grounds of his Hyde Park home.
1945 Apr 15, Commenting on the
death of American President Franklin Roosevelt in his Order of the
Day, Adolf Hitler proclaimed: "Now that fate has removed from the
earth the greatest war criminal of all time, the turning point of
this war will be decided."
1945 Apr 15, British and
Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp at
Bergen-Belsen. It is a village in west Germany about 30 miles north
of Hanover. About 40,000 people were liberated from the camp,
although about 13,000 later died of illness. Overall, about 70,000
people died in Belsen.
(AHD, p.122)(AP, 4/17/05)
1945 Apr 15, The deadly battle
for Berlin began. The Seelow Heights posed the last natural barrier
to Berlin in April 1945 from an advancing Red Army. The rolling
plains and plateaus of the Seelow Heights were only 35 miles from
the German capital and were well defended. The battle, which raged
for a week, was extremely costly to both sides, leaving some 30,000
Red Army soldiers and at least 80,000 Germans killed.
1945 Apr 15, The USS Laffey,
built at Maine's Bath Iron Works in 1943, got its nickname as "The
Ship That Would Not Die" when it was on picket duty off Okinawa.
About 50 Japanese planes attacked and about half got through to the
Laffey. The ship suffered 103 casualties when it was hit by four
bombs and five kamikaze planes. In 2012 it returned to its home at a
maritime museum on Charleston Harbor on the South Carolina coast.
1945 Apr 16, In his first
speech to Congress, President Truman pledged to carry out the war
and peace policies of his predecessor, President Roosevelt.
Apr 16, After a 2-day fight US troops liberated the German POW camp
at Colditz Castle.
1945 Apr 16, U.S. troops
reached Nuremberg, Germany, during World War II.
(AP, 4/16/98)(HN, 4/16/98)
1945 Apr 16, US troops landed
on He Shima, Okinawa.
1945 Apr 17, The US Army raided
factory in Stassfurt, Germany, and found some 1,100 tons of ore,
some in the form of uranium oxide, a basic material of atomic bombs.
It was part of mission Alsos, intended to track down Germany's
atomic bomb project and nuclear scientists. In 1986 Richard Rhodes
authored "The Making of the Atomic Bomb."
(SFC, 9/1/03, p.B4)
1945 Apr 17, 8th Air Force
1945 Apr 17, Mussolini fled
from to Milan.
1945 Apr 17, Canadian lead
tanks roll into Apeldoorn, Netherlands, loudly cheered by relieved
1945 Apr 17, Hannie Schaft
(24), Dutch resistance fighter who lived in Haarlem, known as the
"Girl with red hair," was executed by the Germans just one month
before the war ended. She was a student who joined the resistance
early in the war. On her bicycle she delivered ration coupons,
newspapers, secret information and weapons. She was shot and buried
in a shallow grave in the Dunes around Bloemendaal.
1945 Apr 17, Walter Model (54),
German field marshal, committed suicide. [see Apr 21]
1945 Apr 18, Ernie Pyle
(b.1900), famed American war correspondent, was killed at age 44 by
Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa. He
did a syndicated aviation column from 1928-1932, and served as a
roving reporter from 1935-1939. In 1997 James Tobin published "Ernie
Pyle’s War: America’s Eyewitness to World War II."
(AP, 4/18/97)(MT, Sum. ‘98, p.22)
1945 Apr 19, The Rodgers and
Hammerstein adopted Ferenc Molnar’s "Lilliom" and produced the
musical "Carousel" on Broadway.
(SFEC, 8/25/96, DB p.40)(AP, 4/19/97)
1945 Apr 19, US aircraft
carrier Franklin was heavily damaged in Japanese air raid.
1945 Apr 20, During World War
II, Allied forces, the U.S. 7th army, took control of the German
cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.
(AP, 4/20/97)(HN, 4/20/98)
1945 Apr 20, American forces
liberated Buchenwald. 350 Americans were imprisoned at Berga, a
sub-camp of Buchenwald, following their Dec, 1944, capture at the
Battle of the Bulge. Charles Guggenheim's (d.2002) last documentary
film was title "Berga." [see Apr 10-11]
(WSJ, 5/28/03, p.D8)
1945 Apr 20, US forces
conquered Motobu peninsula on Okinawa.
1945 Apr 20, Soviet troops
began their attack on Berlin.
(HFA, ‘96, p.28)(HN, 4/20/98)
1945 Apr 21, Allied troops
occupied a German nuclear laboratory.
1945 Apr 21, German Field
Marshal Walther Model, known as the "Fuhrer‘s Fireman," shot himself
near Dusseldorf. Hitler, who called Model "the Savior of the Eastern
Front," sent him to shore up the perceived failings of others and to
faithfully carry out his most ignorant and impossible orders. A
sycophant to the end, Model sent Hitler a note commending his
survival of the July bomb plot. Model‘s army was eventually
enveloped in the Ruhr in 1945 and, although offered terms for
surrender, Model chose to commit suicide.
1945 Apr 21, He Shima, Okinawa,
was conquered in 5 days with 5,000 dead.
1945 Apr 21, Russian army
arrived at outskirts of Berlin.
1945 Apr 22, In Croatia as
Ustashe were killing fast before closing down the Jasenovac camp, 87
inmates escaped. 1000 others were recaptured or shot and killed
while fleeing. Brother Satan, who took part in a World War II
massacre of 2,000 Serbs by Ustashe troops and whose real name was
Tomislav Filipovic Majstorovic, was defrocked in 1943 but stayed on
in the camp, known as "Auschwitz of the Balkans," where he was said
to have killed freely. Independent historians put the number of
victims executed there at between 80,000 and 100,000.
(SFC, 3/23/99, p.A10)(AP, 4/24/05)
1945 Apr 22, Hitler
acknowledged that the war was lost. A stenographic record of
Hitler’s conferences with his generals from Apr, 1942, until Apr,
1945, was published in 2003 as: "Hitler and His Generals." It was
edited by Helmut Heiber and David M. Glantz."
(WSJ, 2/5/03, p.A1)
1945 Apr 22, Soviet troops
liberated the concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen. Soviet secret
police then used the camp just north of Berlin to imprison many
Nazis as well as critics of the Soviet occupation of eastern Germany
after the defeat of Adolf Hitler's regime. In all, an estimated
60,000 people were sent to "Special Camp No. 1" in 1945-50. In 2008
researchers finished compiling a list of 11,890 Germans who died
(AP, 4/17/05)(AP, 3/6/08)
1945 Apr 23, US troops in Italy
crossed the river Po.
1945 Apr 23, The concentration
camp at Flossenburg was liberated.
1945 Apr 23, The Soviet Army
fought its way into Berlin.
1945 Apr 25, Stu Cook, rock
bassist (Creedence Clearwater Revival-Proud Mary), was born.
1945 Apr 25, Bjorn Ulvaeus,
rock vocalist, guitarist (ABBA-Waterloo, Dancing Queen), was born.
1945 Apr 25,
Delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize
the United Nations. Charles Easton Rothwell (d.1987) headed the
500-member group that helped establish the UN Charter.
(AP, 4/25/97)(SFC, 8/14/04, p.B6)
1945 Apr 25, During World War
II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up at Torgau, on the Elbe River,
in central Europe, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi
(AP, 4/25/97)(HN, 4/25/98)
1945 Apr 25, Some 318 British
Lancaster bombers dropped 1,232 tons of bombs on Hitler’s alpine
redoubt at Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden.
(SSFC, 8/6/06, p.G5)
1945 Apr 25, Last B-17 attack
against Nazi Germany.
1945 Apr 25, Clandestine Radio
1212, used to hoax Nazi Germany, made its final transmission.
1945 Apr 26, Marshal Henri
Philippe Petain, the head of France's Vichy government during World
War II, was arrested. In 2001 Adam Nossiter authored "The Algeria
Hotel: France, Memory and the Second World War." The Algeria Hotel
had been headquarters for the Vichy government’s anti-Jewish agency.
Nossiter included accounts of the hangings at Tulle and the massacre
of 642 people in Oradour. In 204 Robert O. Paxton authored “Vichy
France: Old Guard and New Order.”
(AP, 4/26/98)(SSFC, 8/26/01, DB p.80)(Econ,
1945 Apr 27, August Wilson, US
playwright (Fences, Pulitzer 1987), was born.
1945 Apr 27, US 5th army
1945 Apr 27, Italian partisans
1945 Apr 28, John F. Kennedy,
correspondent for the Hearst Newspapers, filed his 1st dispatch on
the founding of the UN in San Francisco.
(SSFC, 6/26/05, p.F1)
1945 Apr 28, US 5th army
reached the Swiss border.
1945 Apr 28, British commands
attacked Elbe and occupied Lauenburg.
1945 Apr 28, Italian dictator
Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by
Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country. In 1961
Charles F. Delzell, a historian at Vanderbilt Univ., wrote
"Mussolini's Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance.” In 2005
R.J.B. Bosworth authored ”Mussolini’s Italy.” In 2007 Philip Morgan
authored “The Fall of Mussolini. In 2009 the diaries of Clara
Petacci were published as a book.
(AP, 4/28/97)(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)(Econ, 10/8/05,
p.92)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.89)(Econ, 11/21/09, p.55)
1945 Apr 29, American soldiers
liberated 31,601 in the Dachau, Germany, concentration camp; that
same day, Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun (b.1912) and designated
Adm. Karl Doenitz his successor. Hitler and Braun committed suicide
the next day. In 2011 Heike B. Gortemaker authored “Eva Braun: Life
(AP, 4/29/98)(HN, 4/29/98)(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.F5)
1945 Apr 29, The German Army in
Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. Venice and Mestre
were captured by the Allies. In 1956 Norman Kogan, historian at the
Univ. of Connecticut, wrote "Italy and the Allies."
(HN, 4/29/99)(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)(MC, 4/29/02)
1945 Apr 29, Japanese army
1945 Apr 30, Annie Dillard,
writer (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek), was born.
1945 Apr 30, "Arthur Godfrey
Time" made its debut on the CBS radio network.
1945 Apr 30, The show “Queen
For Today” began on the Mutual Broadcasting Company radio program.
In 1956 it moved to television as Queen For a Day until 1964 with a
2nd run from 1969-1970.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_for_a_Day)(WSJ, 2/4/08, p.B1)
1945 Apr 30, US troops attacked
at the Elbe.
1945 Apr 30, Lord Haw-Haw
called for a crusade against the Bolsheviks.
1945 Apr 30, Red Army opened an
attack on German Reichstag building in Berlin.
1945 Apr 30, The Russian Army
freed the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. They found 3,000 sickly
prisoners who had been unable to make the march north under the SS.
1945 Apr 30, Adolf Hitler (56)
committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun (33), in
his Fuhrerbunker as Russian troops approached Berlin. Karl Donitz
became his successor. Their bodies were cremated and their remains
hastily buried in a shell hole in the Reich Chancellery garden just
hours before Berlin's fall. A few days later a Soviet officer showed
British troops Hitler's probable gravesite. In 1970 Russia’s KGB
ordered Hitler’s remained to be dug up, turned to powder and thrown
into the nearest river. In 1947 Hugh Trevor-Roper authored “The Last
Days of Hitler.” In 1973 Robert Payne authored a definitive
biography. In 1998 Ron Rosenbaum authored "Explaining Hitler: The
Search for the Origin of His Evil." In 1977 Robert G.L. Waite
(d.1999) authored The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler." In 2002 Ingo
Helm made a film for TV titled "Hitler’s Money." In 2004 the German
film “The Downfall” portrayed the last days of Hitler.
(AP, 4/30/97)(HN, 4/30/98)(HNPD, 4/30/99)(WSJ,
8/31/99, p.A22)(SFC, 10/11/99, p.A24)(WSJ, 7/24/02, p.A1)(SFC,
8/8/02, p.A14)(Econ, 9/11/04, p.48)(WSJ, 12/29/05, p.D8)
1945 Apr 30, Hanna Reitsch
evaded Soviet searchlights and fighters to reach temporary freedom
in German-held territory. During the final days of World War II,
German female test pilot Reitsch was ordered to fly General Ritter
von Greim 60 miles to Berlin to personally accept Adolf Hitler’s
appointment as Supreme Commander of the German Luftwaffe. Flying her
light plane through heavy Soviet anti-aircraft fire, Reitsch and her
passenger reached Hitler’s underground bunker safely, where they
were among the last to see the German dictator alive. Although both
expected to die in the bunker, Hitler ordered Reitsch and Greim to
escape from Berlin to continue the fight.
1945 Apr, US troops arrived at
Erfurt, Thuringia, Germ.
(Hem., Nov.’95, p.114)
1945 Apr, In the Battle for
Okinawa 35 American ships were sunk and over 300 damaged. 5,000
American sailors were killed. Much of the damage was due to Japanese
kamikaze operations. [see Apr 1]
(WSJ, 9/10/02, p.D8)
1945 Apr, Black officers of the
477th Bombardment Group of the Army Air Forces were arrested for
entering the Freeman Field officer’s club near Seymour, Ind. 101
black officers refused to sign a document that established
segregation of the club and were put up for court-martial. Criminal
charges were dropped but reprimands were placed in the officers’
files. The reprimands were only removed in 1995.
(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A15)
1945 Apr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
a German Evangelical Protestant theologian, was executed a few weeks
before the end of the war. In 1998 Denise Giardina published her
novel "Saints and Villains," that reconstructed his story.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, Par p.20)
1945 May 1, A
day after Adolf Hitler committed suicide, Admiral Karl Doenitz
effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide
of Hitler's propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels. Goebbels committed
suicide with his wife and 8 children.
(AP, 5/1/07)(MC, 5/1/02)
1945 May 1, Martin Bormann,
private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escaped the Fuhrerbunker as the
Red Army advanced on Berlin. Specialists later determined that he
probably died in May 1945. The mystery behind his fate was settled
in 1972 when construction workers in Berlin dug up a skeleton.
Experts concluded the remains were Bormann's after a five-month
examination that included making X-rays of the bones, studying the
teeth, and using the skull as a model to reconstruct what its face
would've looked like. West German authorities officially declared
him dead in 1973. Some skeptics believed the remains had been
brought from elsewhere to be reburied in Berlin. In 2011 Paul van
Aerschodt, a former Belgian collaborator, said Bormann had escaped
to Latin America and lived there disguised as a priest.
(WSJ, 8/30/99, p.A1)(AP, 9/1/09)(AFP, 2/5/11)
1945 May 1, Arthur
Seys-Inquart, Nazi overlord of Netherlands, fled to Flensburg.
1945 May 2, German Army in
1945 May 2, The Soviet Union
announced the fall of Berlin and the Allies announced the surrender
of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria. The Russians took
Berlin after 12 days of fierce house-to-house fighting and General
Weidling surrendered. Yevgeny Khaldei (d.1997 at 80),
soldier-photographer, made pictures of Soviet soldiers hoisting the
red flag over the Reichstag in Berlin.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(AP, 5/2/97)(SFC, 10/11/97,
p.A19)(HN, 5/2/98)(MC, 5/2/02)
1945 May 2, Yugoslav troops
1945 May 3, The US Submarine
Lagarto (SS-371) sank in the Gulf of Thailand following depth
charges from the Japanese mine-layer Hatsutaka. 85 sailors died. In
2005 the wreck of the Lagarto was found. The USS Hawksbill sank the
Hatsutaka on May 15.
1945 May 3, Allies arrested
German nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg.
1945 May 3, A British air force
squadron bombed two ships, the Cap Arcona and the Thielbeck and sank
them. The pilots knew nothing about the ships' human cargo. SS
guards had marched prisoners from Neuengamme to Lubeck on the Baltic
coast, as British troops approached, and put some 8,000 inmates onto
two ships, the Cap Arcona and the Thielbeck.
1945 May 3,
Allied forces captured Rangoon, Burma, from the Japanese.
1945 May 3, Ireland’s PM Eamon
de Valera conveyed official condolences to diplomat Eduard Hempel.
Pres. Douglas Hyde also visited German diplomat Eduard Hempel, a day
after Ireland received reports of Hitler's death. Documents
confirming Hyde’s visit were made public in 2005.
1945 May 3, Japanese forces on
Okinawa launched their only major counter-offensive, but failed to
break the American lines.
1945 May 4, John F. Kennedy,
correspondent for the Hearst Newspapers, filed a dispatch on the
founding of the UN in San Francisco in which he said: Any
organization drawn up here will be merely a skeleton. Its powers
will be limited… The hope is however, that this skeleton will put on
flesh as time goes by.
(SSFC, 6/26/05, p.F6)
1945 May 4, German forces in
the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.
1945 May 5, Ezra Pound (60),
poet and author, was arrested by American Army soldiers in Italy for
treason. He had served during the war as a profascist and
anti-Semitic spokesman for the Mussolini government. He was soon
transferred to Pisa where he wrote his "Pisan Cantos." In 1999 Omar
Pound and Robert Spoo published "Ezra and Dorothy Pound: Letters in
Captivity, 1945-1946." After Pisa Pound spent the next 12 years in
St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the criminally Insane.
(NPR, 5/5/95 interview with the sergeant who
arrested Mr. Pound.)(WSJ, 2/5/99, p.W10)
1945 May 5, A Japanese balloon
bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing Mrs. Elsie
Mitchell, the pregnant wife of a minister, and five children after
they attempted to drag it out the woods in Lakeview, Oregon. The
balloon was armed, and exploded soon after they began tampering with
it. They became the 1st and only known American civilians to be
killed in the continental US during World War II.
(AP, 5/5/97)(MC, 5/5/02)
1945 May 5, The 761st Tank
Battalion, an all black unit under Gen. Patton, linked with Russian
allies near Steyr, Austria.
(SSFC, 5/30/04, p.B4)
1945 May 5, The Mauthausen
Concentration camp in Austria was liberated by American troops. Its
inmates were the last of all concentration camp prisoners to be
freed by the Allies.
(SFC, 5/11/15, p.A2)
1945 May 5, There was an
uprising against SS-occupation troops in Prague.
1945 May 5, Netherlands and
Denmark were liberated from Nazi control. The Liberation of the
Netherlands was completed by the First Canadian Army.
1945 May 6, Bob Seger, folk
singer (Silver Bullet Band-Shake Down), was born in Dearborn, Mich.
1945 May 6, Axis Sally made her
final propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.
1945 May 7, A Pulitzer prize
was awarded to John Hersey (Bell for Adano).
1945 May 7, Germany signed an
unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, to
take effect the following day, ending the European conflict of World
War II. After five years, World War II in Europe ended when Colonel
General Alfred Jodl, the last chief of staff of the German Army,
signed the unconditional surrender at General Dwight D. Eisenhower's
headquarters at Rheims, France. Journalist Edward Kennedy
(1905-1963) made the news public and was suspended for defying
political and military censors.
(AP, 5/7/97)(HN, 5/7/98)(SFC, 8/21/12, p.A6)
1945 May 7, SS opened fire on a
crowd in Amsterdam and killed 22.
1945 May 8, Keith Jarrett, jazz
musician, film composer (Nachtfahrer), was born in Allentown, Pa.
1945 May 8, Life photographer
Alfred Eisenstaedt got signalman Jim Reynolds to pose for a kiss
with a nurse in a famous photo that later appeared in life
Magazine’s issue of Aug 27. This was denied by Life and not verified
(WSJ, 8/14/96, p.A14)(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A11)
1945 May 8, Algerian
demonstrators in the town of Setif unfurled an Algerian flag, banned
by the French occupiers. As police began confiscating the flags, the
crowds turned on the French, killing about two dozen of them. This
led to an uprising in which Algerians say some 45,000 people may
have died. Figures in France put the number at about 15,000 to
20,000. No one is quite sure.
1945 May 8, Germany surrendered
and Victory in Europe was achieved by the allies. Marshal Wilhelm
Keitel surrenders to Marshal Zhukov. The day is commemorated as V-E
Day. President Truman announced in a radio address that World War II
had ended in Europe. In 2004 Max Hastings authored “Armageddon,” an
account of the last days of WW II.
(WSJ, 5/5/95, p.A-12)(AP, 5/8/97)(WSJ, 11/16/04,
1945 May 8, Oskar Schindler
gave a speech and urged the Jews who worked for him not to pursue
revenge attacks. An original list of 1,200 of his workers at the
Plaszow concentration camp was found in 1999.
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A13)
1945 May 9, U.S. officials
announced that the midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted
1945 May 9, Czechoslovakia was
liberated from Nazi occupation (Nat’l Day).
1945 May 9, Jersey was
liberated from Nazis.
1945 May 9, Norwegian Nazi
collaborator Vidkun Quisling was arrested.
1945 May 9, Soviet citizens
celebrated their WW II victory in Europe at Red Square. This became
an annual holiday to commemorate the 27 million Soviet citizens who
died in the war.
(Econ, 5/7/05, p.45)
1945 May 10, US POW Lt. John F.
Kinney (d.2006 at 91) and 4 other Marines jumped off a Japanese
prisoner train in China and journeyed for 47 days with the help of
Chinese communists before reuniting with US troops.
(SFC, 7/11/06, p.B5)
1945 May 10, Russian troops
1945 May 11, Kiyoshi Ogawa,
Japanese pilot, crashed his plane into the US carrier Bunker Hill
near Okinawa. 496 Americans died with him and the ship was knocked
out of the war.
(SFC, 3/29/01, p.A15)
1945 May 12, The Churchill
Barriers were formally opened by the first Lord of the Admiralty.
They were built to protect Scapa Flow from enemy submarines. The 5
causeways linked Orkney’s Mainland to South Ronaldsay and marked a
dividing line between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Thousands of Italian prisoners of war carried out the project and
left behind their decorated Italian Chapel.
1945 May 13, US troops
conquered Dakeshi, Okinawa.
1945 May 13, The Baya, US
submarine SS-318 under the command of Capt. Benjamin C. Jarvis
(d.2008 at age 91), sank a Japanese tanker and left 2 other ships
severely disable off of French Indochina. Capt. Jarvis received a
Navy Cross for his action.
1945 May 14, A Kamikaze Zero
struck the US aircraft carrier Enterprise.
1945 May 14, US offensive on
Okinawa. Sugar Loaf was conquered.
1945 May 16, The Nazi submarine
U-234 surrendered to US forces at Portsmouth, NH. It had been bound
for Tokyo with 10 containers of uranium oxide. The atomic material
ended up in the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
(SFC, 9/1/03, p.B4)(www.uboat.net/)
1945 May 19, Peter Townshend,
England, rock guitarist, vocalist, composer (Who-Tommy), was born.
1945 May 19, The UN Charter
committee met in Muir Woods. The meeting was planned by Roosevelt on
a suggestion by Sec. of the Interior Ickes: one of the sessions
"might be held among the giant redwoods in Muir Woods. Not only
would this focus attention upon the nation’s interest in preserving
these mighty trees for posterity, but in such a "temple of peace"
the delegates would gain a perspective and sense of time that could
be obtained nowhere better than in such a forest."
(Park, Spring/95, p.2)
1945 May 21, Actors Lauren
Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, Par p.6)(MC, 5/21/02)
1945 May 21, German
Reichsfuhrer, SS Heinrich Himmler, was captured.
1945 May 23, Winston Churchill,
the head Britain’s coalition government, resigned pending the
upcoming general election. He continued to serve as the head of the
caretaker government which lasted till he lost the election on July
26 and officially resigned as PM.
1945 May 23, British military
police arrested Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Hitler's designated
successor ("Fuhrer for a Weekend").
1945 May 23, Heinrich
Himmler (44), the head of the Nazi Gestapo, committed suicide while
imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/01)
1945 May 25, Arthur C. Clark
proposed relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
1945 May 25, A B-29 mission
against Tokyo cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464
dispatched from the Marianas.
1945 May 26, US dropped fire
bombs on Tokyo.
1945 May 28, In California the
engine of Helldiver aircraft from an aircraft carrier failed and the
pilot ditched the plane in a San Diego reservoir. The pilot and
gunner swam to shore. In 2009 fisherman spotted the plane and set in
process plans to retrieve the plane.
(SFC, 5/28/10, p.C3)
1945 May 28, Lord Haw Haw (aka
William Joyce), a virulent anti-Semite who broadcast pro-Nazi
propaganda from Germany during the war, was shot in the leg in an
encounter with two British officers near Flensburg on the Danish
border with Germany. He was sentenced to death for treason on 19
September 1945 and hanged on 3 January 1946.
1945 May 29, US 1st Marine
division conquered Shuri-castle in Okinawa.
1945 May 29, Dutch police
arrested and imprisoned Hans van Meegeren (1889-1947) for
collaborating with the enemy. His name had been traced to a sale
made during the second world war of what was then believed to be an
authentic Vermeer to Nazi Field-Marshal Hermann Goering. On July 12,
in order to prove his innocence, Meegeren revealed that he had
forged the painting.
(WSJ, 10/14/06, p.P10)(ON, 12/07, p.12)
1945 May, The Wayne Victory, a
merchant marine ship, was commissioned with the Detroit Wayne Univ.
(WSUAN, Winter 1997, p.10)
1945 May, In Austria US Army
officers and troops plundered a “gold train” on its way to Germany
from Hungary that carried gold, jewels, paintings and other
valuables seized by the Nazis from Jewish families. A 2001 suit
filed in Miami said the army falsely classified it as unidentifiable
and enemy property, which avoided having to return the goods to
their rightful owners. The suit alleged that the US made no effort
to return the goods and lied to Hungarian Jews who sought
information about their property after the war. In 2004 the property
was estimated to be worth ten times its original $200 million
valuation. In 2005 the US government reached a $25.5 million
settlement with families of the Hungarian Holocaust victims for
distribution to needy Holocaust survivors.
(AP, 12/20/04)(SFC, 3/12/05, p.A5)
1945 May-1945 Jun, The graves
of some 1,000 Croatian soldiers killed at this time were found in
1999 near Maribor in eastern Slovenia. Another 6-7,000 bodies were
believed to be buried in the area. Slovenia, which during the war
was occupied by Italy and Germany, became a killing field, as
thousands in the newly formed Yugoslavia, including Germans,
Italians, Hungarians, Croatians, and Serbs, tried to escape to
Austria. The Slovene government began listing "concealed graves" in
2003. By 2010 officials had a list of about 600 suspected graves, at
least one in each community, amounting to perhaps 100,000 bodies.
(SFC, 6/17/99, p.C3)(AP, 11/15/10)
1945 May-Jun, Some 40,000
anti-Soviet Cossacks, who had surrendered to the British in Austria,
were turned over to the Red Army. Some 30,000 Yugoslavs were handed
over to Tito under the pretense that they were being sent to Italy.
The Yugoslavs (mostly Croatian soldiers) were locked into trains and
taken to Slovenia, where they were shot and buried in mass graves.
(WSJ, 3/17/98, p.A16)(SFC, 6/17/99, p.C3)
1945 Jun 3-1945 Jun 14, Koki
Hirota, Japanese envoy, met with Russian ambassador in Tokyo to
propose a new relationship between the two countries and divide up
(WSJ, 5/5/95, p.A-12)
1945 Jun 4, Anthony Braxton,
jazz composer and saxophonist, was born.
1945 Jun 4, US, Russia, England
& France agreed to split occupied Germany.
1945 Jun 5, US air raids on
Kobe, Japan, destroyed over 50% of the city. Some 3,614 Japanese
were killed and 51,399 buildings were demolished in 3 air raids.
(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.B2)
1945 Jun 6, Meinoud M. Rost van
Tonningen, anti Semite, NSB (1937-41), committed suicide.
1945 Jun 7, The opera "Peter
Grimes" by Benjamin Britten," premiered in London.
1945 Jun 9, Japanese Premier
Kantaro Suzuki declared that Japan will fight to the last rather
than accept unconditional surrender.
1945 Jun 11, Adrienne Barbeau,
wife of John Carpenter, actress (Maude, Swamp Thing), was born.
1945 Jun 14, Gen. Dwight D.
Eisenhower was honored as a Companion of the Liberation by Gen.
Charles de Gaulle.
(WSJ, 8/2/00, p.A12)
1945 Jun 14, Burma was
liberated by the British.
1945 Jun 18, Gen. Dwight D.
Eisenhower received a tumultuous welcome in Washington, where he
addressed a joint session of Congress. Eisenhower went on to meet
Pres. Harry Truman and the 2 men established a warm relationship
that later soured. In 2001 Steve Neal authored "Harry and Ike: The
Relationship That Remade the Postwar World."
(AP, 6/18/97)(WSJ, 11/5/01, p.A19)
1945 Jun 18, William Joyce,
known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was charged in London with high treason for
his English-language wartime broadcasts on German radio. He was
hanged the following January.
1945 Jun 18, Organized Japanese
resistance ended on the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
1945 Jun 19, Aung San Suu Kyi,
Myanmar poet, Nobel peace laureate (1991), was born.
(DT, 6/19/97)(HN, 6/19/01)
1945 Jun 19, Tobias Wolff,
American writer (This Boy's Life: A Memoir, The Night in Question),
1945 Jun 19, Millions of New
Yorkers turned out to cheer Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was
honored with a parade.
1945 Jun 21, Japanese forces on
Okinawa surrendered to the Americans. American soldiers on Okinawa
found the body of the Japanese commander, Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima,
who had committed suicide. The embattled destroyer USS Laffey
survived horrific damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off
Okinawa. [see Jun 22]
(HN, 6/21/98)(AP, 6/21/99)
1945 Jun 22, The World War II
battle for Okinawa officially ended; 12,520 Americans and 90,000
Japanese soldiers, plus 130,000 civilians were killed in the 81-day
campaign. The battle for Okinawa proved to be the bloodiest in the
Pacific Theater. A huge assemblage of American forces from both
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz's Central Pacific drive and General
Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific thrust converged on
Okinawa--over 180,000 troops. For three months they faced more than
100,000 Japanese troops of Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima's Thirty-Second
Army. Tokyo needed time to prepare for the expected American
invasion of the home islands, so Ushijima wanted to make his
adversary wrench each hill and ridge from his well-armed men.
(HN, 6/27/01)(AP, 6/22/07)
1945 Jun 23, Lt Gen Ushijima,
Japanese commander, committed suicide at Okinawa.
1945 Jun 25, Imperial General
Headquarters in Tokyo announced the fall of Okinawa.
1945 Jun 26, The United Nations
Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) was held in San
Francisco. Officials gathered to draft a UN Charter, and 50
countries signed the Charter on this date at what is now the Herbst
Theater. This signifies the birth of the UN. The Charter was drafted
in the Garden Room of the Fairmont Hotel.
(Park, Spring/95, p.2)(AP, 6/26/97)(SSFC, 2/4/07,
1945 Jun 27, Norma Kamali,
dress designer (Costumes for the Wiz), was born in NYC.
1945 Jun 28, General Douglas
MacArthur announced the end of Japanese resistance in the
1945 Jun 29, Ruthenia, formerly
in Czechoslovakia, became part of Ukrainian SSR.
1945 Jun, During this time,
General Curtis LeMay had been firebombing Japanese cities daily,
dropping napalm-filled bombs. In one three-day period, Tokyo,
Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka had been destroyed.
(WSJ, 7/19/95, p.A-12)
1945 Jun, The Japanese army,
faced with an impending US invasion, handed out grenades to
residents in Okinawa and ordered them to kill themselves rather than
surrender to the Americans. About 500 people committed suicide.
1945 Jun, James Franck, head of
a group of scientists in the study of the social and political
implications of nuclear weapons, delivered the report to Washington
directed to Sec. of War Henry L. Stimson.
(SFEM, 7/30/00, p.16)
1945 Jul 1, New York
established the New York State Commission Against Discrimination to
prevent discrimination in employment because of race, creed or
natural origin; it was the first such agency in the United States.
1945 Jul 3, U.S. troops landed
at Balikpapan and took Sepinggan airfield on Borneo in the Pacific.
1945 Jul 5, US General Douglas
MacArthur announced that the liberation of the Philippines from its
Japanese occupiers was complete.
1945 Jul 5, Clement Atlee’s
Labour Party won the British parliamentary election.
(http://tinyurl.com/yk38nh)(Econ, 4/13/13, p.26)
1945 Jul 6, President Truman
signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom.
1945 Jul 6, B-29 Superfortress
bombers attacked Honshu, Japan, using new fire-bombing techniques.
1945 Jul 6, Operation Overcast
began in Europe--moving Austrian and German scientists and their
equipment to the United States.
1945 Jul 6, Nicaragua became
the first nation to formally accept the United Nations Charter.
1945 Jul 7, Matti Salminen,
operatic basso (King Philip-Don Carlos), was born in Turku, Finland.
1945 Jul 9, Dean R[ay] Koontz,
US author (Star Quest, Beastchild), was born.
1945 Jul 9, A 3rd big Tillamook
fire occurred near the Salmonberry River, and was joined two days
later by a second blaze on the Wilson River, started by a discarded
cigarette. This fire burned 180,000 acres before it was put out. The
cause of the blaze on the Salmonberry River was mysterious, and many
believed it had been set by an incendiary balloon launched by the
Japanese, and brought to Oregon by the jet stream.
1945 Jul 11, Napalm was first
(HFA, ‘96, p.34)
1945 Jul 14, American
battleships and cruisers bombarded the Japanese home islands for the
first time. The battleship USS South Dakota was 1st US ship to
(HN, 7/14/98)(MC, 7/14/02)
1945 Jul 16, The first US test
explosion of the atomic bomb was made at Alamogordo Air Base, south
of Albuquerque, New Mexico, equal to some twenty thousand tons of
TNT. The bomb was called the Gadget and the experiment was called
Trinity from a poem by John Donne (Batter my heart, three-person’d
God), and it was conducted in a part of the desert called Jornada
del Muerto, (Dead Man’s Trail), and measured the equivalent of
18,600 (21,000) tons of TNT. It was the culmination of 28 months of
intense scientific research conducted under the leadership of
physicist Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer under the code name Manhattan
Project. The successful atomic test was witnessed by only one
journalist, William L. Laurence of the New York Times, who described
seeing the blinding explosion: "One felt as though he had been
privileged to...be present at the moment of the Creation when the
Lord said: Let There be Light." Oppenheimer’s own thoughts from the
Hindu Bhagavad-Gita were very different: "I am become death, the
shatterer of worlds." The event is described in Richard Thode’s "The
Making of the Atomic Bomb." In 2005 Diane Preston authored
“Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima.”
(NOHY, 3/1990, p.212-213)(HNPD, 7/16/98)(SFC,
12/31/98, p.D4)(SFEC, 12/19/99, Par p.15)(SSFC, 7/10/05, p.E3)
1945 Jul 16, The US cruiser
Indianapolis left SF with an atom bomb to be assembled at Tinian
Island in the western Pacific.
(SSFC, 7/31/05, p.B1)
1945 Jul 17-1945 Aug 2,
President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime
Minister Winston S. Churchill (and his successor Clement Atlee)
began meeting at the Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam in the final
Allied summit of World War II. It re-established the European
borders that were in effect as of Dec 31, 1937.
(WSJ, 5/5/95, p.A-12)(Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996,
p.2)(AP, 7/17/97)(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T6)
1945 Jul 20, Paul Valery
(b.1871), French poet (Le cimetiere Marin, Mon Faust), died at age
73. He was buried in his home town of Sete.
(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)(MC, 7/20/02)
1945 Jul 23, French Marshal
Henri Petain, who had headed the Vichy government during World War
Two, went on trial, charged with treason. He was condemned to death,
but his sentence was commuted; Petain died in prison on this date in
1945 Jul 24, U.S. Navy bombers
sank the Japanese battleship-carrier Hyuga in shallow waters off
1945 Jul 25, Donna Theodore,
Broadway singer (Hollywood Talent Scouts), was born.
1945 Jul 26, US cruiser
Indianapolis reached Tinian with atom bomb.
1945 Jul 26, The US, Britain
and China issued the Potsdam Declaration to Japan that she surrender
unconditionally. Two days later Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki
announced to the Japanese press that the Potsdam declaration is to
be ignored. In 1961 Herbert Feis authored “Japan Subdued.”
(WSJ, 5/5/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 1/14/07, p.P8)
1945 Jul 26, Winston Churchill
resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were
soundly defeated by the Labor Party. Clement Attlee became the new
1945 Jul 27, US Communist Party
1945 Jul 28, Jim Davis,
cartoonist (Garfield), was born.
1945 Jul 28, Richard Wright,
rocker (Pink Floyd-The Wall), was born.
1945 Jul 28, The US Senate
ratified UN charter 89-2.
1945 Jul 28, A twin-engine U.S.
Army B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building between the
78th and 79th floors and killed 14 people. The plane’s propellers
severed elevator cables and sent one on a 38-story fall in which the
(SFC, 2/24/96, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/11/97, p.A1)(HT,
5/97, p.26)(AP, 7/28/97)
1945 Jul 29, After delivering
parts of the first atomic bomb to the island of Tinian, the U.S.S.
Indianapolis was hit and sunk by the I-58 Japanese submarine around
midnight. Some 879 survivors jumped into the sea and were adrift for
4 days. Nearly 600 died before help arrived. In 1958 Richard F.
Newcomb authored "Abandon Ship," the story of the Indianapolis and
the subsequent court-martial of Capt. Charles Butler McVey III. [see
Jul 30] Charles B. McVay III was exonerated in 2001.
(HN, 7/29/98)(SFEC, 8/20/00, Par p.4)(SFC,
1945 Jul 30, The USS
Indianapolis, which had just delivered key components of the
Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian, was torpedoed
by a Japanese submarine. Only 317 out of 1,196 men survived the
sinking and shark-infested waters. [see Jul 29] In 2001 Doug Stanton
authored "In Harm’s Way," an account of the sinking and trial of
Capt. McVey. In 2001 the Navy exonerated the Indianapolis’ captain,
Charles Butler McVay the Third, who was court-martialed and
convicted for failing to evade the submarine that sank his ship.
(AP, 7/30/97)(SFEC, 8/20/00, Par p.4)(WSJ,
4/6/01, p.W9)(AP, 7/29/01)
1945 Jul 31, Pierre Laval,
premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S.
authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later
tried and executed him.
1945 Jul, Vannevar Bush
published his report to Pres. Roosevelt: "Science—The Endless
Frontier," a vision for government-funded science and engineering.
His essay in the Atlantic Monthly described how adding structured
code words to microfilm pages in his imaginary “Memex” information
retrieval system would help researchers.
(WSJ, 10/20/97, p.A20)(Econ, 3/3/07,
1945 Jul, Soviet troops took
over the city of Erfurt, Thuringia, Germ.
(Hem., Nov.’95, p.114)
1455 Aug 2, Johan Cicero,
elector of Brandenburg (1486-99), was born.
1945 Aug 2, President Truman,
Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee
concluded the Potsdam conference.
1945 Aug 2, Pietro Mascagni
(81), Italian composer (Cavalleria Rusticana), died.
1945 Aug 2, Emil Nikolaus von
Reznicek (b.1860), Austrian composer, died in Berlin. The overture
to his opera Donna Diana (1894) was later used as the theme for the
radio and TV series “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_von_Reznicek)(SFC, 2/19/07, p.B4)
1945 Aug 3, Ron Hendren, TV
host (Entertainment Tonight), was born in Pinehurst, NC.
1945 Aug 3, Chinese troops
under American General Joseph Stilwell took the town of Myitkyina
from the Japanese.
1945 Aug 6, Hiroshima, Japan,
was struck with the uranium bomb, Little Boy, from the B-29
airplane, Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets (1915-2007) of the
US Air Force along with 11 other men. The 9,600 pound bomb had a
2-part core of enriched uranium-235. It killed an estimated 140,000
people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare. Major Thomas
Wilson Ferebee (d.2000 at 81) was the bombardier. Richard Nelson
(d.2003) was the radio operator. In 1946 John Hersey authored
“Hiroshima,” an account of the bombing based on interviews with 6
(AP, 8/6/97)(SSFC, 7/31/05, p.B2)(WSJ, 8/12/06,
p.P8)(SFC, 11/2/07, p.A23)
1945 Aug 8, President Truman
signed the United Nations Charter.
1945 Aug 8, The Soviet Union
declared war against Japan. 1.5 million Soviet troops launched a
massive surprise attack (August Storm) against Japanese occupation
forces in northern China and Korea. Within days, Tokyo's million-man
army in the region had collapsed in one of the greatest military
defeats in history.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A19)(AP, 8/8/97)(AP, 8/6/05)
1945 Aug 9, The 10,000 lb.
plutonium bomb, Fat Man, was dropped over Nagasaki after the primary
objective of Kokura was passed due to visibility problems. It killed
an estimated 74,000 people. The B-29 bomber plane Bock's Car so
named for its assigned pilot, Fred Bock, was piloted by Captain
Charles W. Sweeney (d.2004). Kermit Beahan (d.1989) was the
(WSJ, 7/19/95, p.A-12)(AP, 8/9/97)(HN,
8/9/98)(SFC, 3/17/00, p.D6)(HNQ, 3/31/00)
Aug 10, Robert Goddard (b.1882), American rocket scientist, died. He
received 214 patents for rocket systems and components. In 2003
David Clary authored "Rocket Man," a biography of Goddard.
1945 Aug 10, Japan announced
its willingness to surrender to Allies provided that the status of
Emperor Hirohito remains unchanged. Yosuke Yamahata photographed the
aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki. He was dispatched by the
Japanese military, but did not turn over the pictures to the
(HFA, ‘96, p.36)(WSJ, 8/1/95, p.A-8)(MC, 8/10/02)
1945 Aug 13, 35 Jews sacrificed
their lives to blow up a Nazi rubber plant in Silesia.
1945 Aug 14, Steve Martin,
American comedian, actor and screenwriter, was born.
1945 Aug 14, Alfred Eisenstaedt
shot a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. In 2007
Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson completed a
detailed investigation and concluded that Glenn McDuffie (80) is the
man in the image, which was published on the cover of Life Magazine
on Aug 27.
1945 Aug 14, President Truman
announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World
War II. Shaken by the atomic destruction wreaked on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki and faced with the daunting prospect of Allied invasion,
the Japanese Emperor Hirohito met with his ministers on the morning
of August 14 and announced, "We cannot continue the war any longer."
Japan accepted the Allies "Potsdam Declaration," a cease-fire. In
1999 Prof. John W. Dower published "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the
Wake of World War II." Dower earlier published "War Without Mercy,"
a study of the war in the Pacific.
(WSJ, 8/14/95, p. A-11)(AP, 8/14/97)(HN,
8/14/98)(WSJ, 3/31/99, p.A20)(AP, 8/14/08)
1945 Aug 14, Japanese
occupation of Hong Kong ended.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)
1945 Aug 15, Gasoline and fuel
oil rationing ended in the United States.
1945 Aug 15, A riot ensued in
San Francisco while the city was celebrating the end of WW II. Three
days of rioting left 13 dead, at least six women raped and over
1,000 people injured. 90 percent of the revelers were said to be
young Navy enlistees who had not served overseas.
(SFC, 8/15/05, p.B1)(SFC, 8/15/15, p.C1)
1945 Aug 15, Emperor Hirohito
announced to his subjects in a pre-recorded radio address that Japan
had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II. This day
was proclaimed "V-J Day" by the Allies, a day after Japan agreed to
surrender unconditionally. At 7 p.m. reporters gathered in the Oval
Office to hear President Harry S. Truman announce the unconditional
surrender of Japan.
(HNPD, 8/13/98)(AP, 8/15/07)
1945 Aug 15, Korea was
liberated after nearly 40 years of Japanese colonial rule, but
it soon faced the tragic division of the North and South along the
1945 Aug 16, Suzanne Farrel,
ballerina, was born.
1945 Aug 16, Lieutenant General
Jonathan Wainwright, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese on
Corregidor on May 6, 1942, was released from a POW camp in Manchuria
by U.S. troops.
1945 Aug 16, Takijiro Ohnishi,
leader of Japanese kamikaze pilots, died.
1945 Aug 16, The communist
dominated Polish government signed a treaty with the USSR to
formally cede eastern territories, including Galicia.
1945 Aug 17, Indonesian
nationalists declared independence from the Netherlands. Upon
hearing confirmation that Japan has surrendered, Sukarno proclaims
Indonesia’s independence. Sukarno helped lead Indonesia to
independence from the Dutch. President Sukarno, an ardent
nationalist, became president at the time of Indonesian independence
and helped the Communists become the leading party in the country.
The Dutch resisted and 4 years of fighting followed.
(SFC, 10/12/96, p.A13)(SFC, 6/22/96, p.A12)(SFEC,
4/27/97, p.T7)(HNQ, 5/21/98)(AP, 8/17/99)(SFC, 9/8/99, p.A17)(HN,
1945 Aug 18, Subhas Chandra
Bose (b.1897), a leader of the Indian Independence Movement, died
after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-occupied
Formosa. He had led some 40,000 soldiers against the British during
WWII as an ally of Hitler and imperial Japan.
p.92)(Econ, 12/20/14, p.57)
1945 Aug 18, Indonesia adopted
a new Constitution. It was later described as a “dictator’s dream.”
This Constitution (usually referred to by the Indonesian acronym
UUD'45) remained in force until it was replaced by the Federal
Constitution on December 27, 1949.
1945 Aug 21, Patty McCormack,
actress (Mama, Peck's Bad Girl, Ropers), was born in Brooklyn NY.
1945 Aug 21, President Harry S.
Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50
billion in aid to America’s Allies during World War II.
(AP, 8/21/97)(HN, 8/21/98)
1945 Aug 22, Soviet troops
landed at Port Arthur and Dairen on the Kwangtung Peninsula in
1945 Aug 22, Conflict in
Vietnam began when a group of Free French parachuted into southern
Indochina, in response to a successful coup by communist guerilla Ho
(HFA, '96, p.36)(HN, 8/22/00)
1945 Aug 24, The women at the
Japanese internment camp in Sumatra were liberated.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, p.C3)
1945 Aug 24, A blast aboard a
Japanese Navy transport carrying 4,000 Koreans home killed at least
524 Koreans and 25 Japanese crew members in Mizuru port in Kyoto. In
2001 a Japanese court awarded $375,000 to 15 Korean survivors of the
(SFC, 8/24/01, p.A16)
1945 Aug 25, At Leavenworth
Prison in Kansas the last US mass execution was held. 7 German
U-boat seamen were hanged for the murder of a fellow seaman, a
traitor in their eyes who spied on them on behalf of the US
1945 Aug 25, John Birch,
Baptist missionary and US army intelligence specialist, was killed
by Chinese Communists. His death is considered the first US death in
the struggle against communism.
1945 Aug 25, Jewish
immigrants were permitted to leave Mauritius for Palestine.
1945 Aug 26, Japanese diplomats
boarded the Missouri to receive instructions on Japan's surrender at
the end of WW II.
1945 Aug 26, Franz Werfel (54),
Czech-German-US poet, writer (Mirror Man), died.
1945 Aug 27, B-29 Superfortress
bombers began to drop supplies into Allied prisoner of war camps in
1945 Aug 27, American troops
began landing in Japan following the surrender of the Japanese
government in World War II.
1945 Aug 27, Life Magazine’s
issue for VJ-Day featured a photo that Life photographer Alfred
Eisenstaedt made on May 8, VE-Day when he got signalman Jim Reynolds
to pose for a kiss with a nurse on Times Square. That the photo was
posed was denied by Life and Reynold’s role was not verified. Edith
Shain (d.2010 at 91) in a letter claimed to be the nurse with
documented letters from Eisenstaedt. In 2007 Houston Police
Department forensic artist Lois Gibson completed a detailed
investigation and concluded that Glenn McDuffie (80) is the man in
Alfred Eisenstaedt's Aug. 14, 1945 image of a sailor kissing a nurse
in Times Square.
(WSJ, 8/14/96, p.A14)(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A11)(AP,
8/4/07)(SFC, 6/24/10, p.A9)
1945 Aug 28, US forces under
General George Marshall landed in Japan.
1945 Aug 28, Chinese communist
leader Mao Tse-Tung arrived in Chunking to confer with Nationalist
leader Chiang Kai-Shek in a futile effort to avert civil war.
1945 Aug 29, Gen MacArthur was
named the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in Japan.
1945 Aug 29, U.S. airborne
troops landed in transport planes at Atsugi airfield, southwest of
Tokyo, beginning the occupation of Japan.
1945 Aug 29, British liberated
Hong Kong from Japan.
1945 Aug 30, Gen. Douglas
MacArthur arrived in Japan and set up Allied occupation
1945 Aug 30, Dmitri
Shostakovitch completed his 9th Symphony.
1945 Aug 31, Itzhak Perlman,
violinist, was born.
1945 Aug 31, Van Morrison,
singer (Here Comes the Night), was born in Belfast, Ireland.
1945 Aug, George Orwell
published "Animal Farm" in England.
(SFEC, 10/1/00, BR p.5)
1945 Aug, Harry Truman signed a
death order for the execution of 7 German prisoners of war. The
German submariners had killed an 8th POW for giving information to
the US captors. They were hanged.
(SFC, 4/19/97, p.E4)
1945 Aug, A British Royal Air
Force B24 Liberator bomber crashed in Malaysia. Later research
showed that it was carrying supplies for Force 136, a British
Special Operations unit.
1945 Aug, In Manchuria some 1
million Japanese civilians were stranded as the war ended. An
estimated 179,000 are thought to have died trying to get back to
(Econ, 8/15/15, p.37)
1945 Summer’s end, The
Ukrainian Trophy Brigade occupied the castle of Count von Althmann
in Silesia, Poland. It was packed with Nazi archival records.
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A18)
1945 Sep 1, Americans received
word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. Because of
the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony
1945 Sep 2, The Japanese
surrender delegation boarded the USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay
to formally sign documents of surrender, ending World War II.
(WSJ, 8/31/95, p.A-10)(AP, 9/2/97)(HN, 9/2/98)
1945 Sep 2, Ho Chi Minh (55)
promulgated the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence and unity
from the north to the south. He was known to have written letters to
President Truman asking for humanitarian assistance and advocated
political rather than military action. His letters went unanswered.
(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-23)(SFEM, 6/9/96, p.9)(AP,
1945 Sep 2-1991 Dec 26, This
period marked the beginning and end of America's longest war, the
1945 Sep 3, George Biondo
(musician-Steppenwolf: Born to Be Wild), was born.
1945 Sep 3, General Tomoyuki
Yamashita, the Japanese commander of the Philippines, surrendered to
Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio.
1945 Sep 4, US regained
possession of Wake Island from Japan. The American flag was raised
on Wake Island after surrender ceremonies there.
(HN, 9/4/98)(MC, 9/4/01)
1945 Sep 5, Iva Toguri D'Aquino
(1916-2006), a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio
propagandist "Tokyo Rose," was arrested in Yokohama. In 1949 she was
tried in San Francisco and convicted for having spoken “into a
microphone concerning the loss of ships.” Toguri was sentenced to 10
years in prison but was released after six years for good behavior;
she was pardoned in 1977 by President Ford.
(AP, 9/5/99)(SFC, 9/28/06, p.A18)(SFC, 9/28/06,
1945 Sep 6, George Weller
(d.2002), a Chicago Daily News journalist, wrote his 1st story on
the bombing of Nagasaki. Posing as a US Army colonel Weller had
slipped into Nagasaki in early September. His stories infuriated
MacArthur so much he personally ordered that they be quashed, and
the originals were never returned. Carbon copies of his stories,
running to about 25,000 words on 75 typed pages, along with more
than two dozen photos, were discovered by his son, Anthony, in 2004
at Weller's apartment in Rome, Italy. In 2005 the national Mainichi
newspaper began serializing the stories and photographs for the
first time since they were rejected by US military censors. In 2007
Weller’s son Anthony edited “First Into Nagasaki: The Censored
Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of
(AP, 6/19/05)(WSJ, 3/1/07, p.D5)
1945 Sep 8, Jose Feliciano,
blind singer, was born in Lares, Puerto Rico.
1945 Sep 8, Bess Myerson of New
York was crowned Miss America, the first Jewish contestant to win
1945 Sep 8, Hideki Tojo,
Japanese PM during most of WW II, failed in his attempted suicide
rather than face war crimes tribunal attempt. He was later hanged.
1945 Sep 8, Korea was
partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States. The US
invaded Japanese-held Korea.
(HN, 9/8/98)(MC, 9/8/01)
1945 Sep 9, The Japanese in S.
Korea, Taiwan, China and Indochina surrendered to Allies.
1945 Sep 9, The 1st "bug" in a
computer program was discovered by Grace Hopper. A moth was removed
with teasers from a relay and taped into the log.
1945 Sep 10, Vidkun Quisling
was sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating with the Nazis.
He was executed by firing squad in October 1945.
1945 Sep 11, Leo Kottke,
guitarist (Ice Water, Greenhouse), was born in Athens, Ga.
1945 Sep 12, French troops
landed in Indochina.
1945 Sep 13, Iran demanded the
withdrawal of Allied forces.
1945 Sep 15, Jesse Norman,
soprano, was born.
1945 Sep 16, Japan surrendered
Hong Kong to Britain.
1945 Sep 18, 1000 white
children walked out of Gary, Indiana, schools to protest
1945 Sep 19, Nazi propagandist
William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was sentenced to death by a
1945 Sep 20, German rocket
engineers began work in US.
1945 Sep 22, President Truman
accepted U.S. Secretary of War Stimson’s recommendation to designate
the war World War II.
1945 Sep 23, The first American
died in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.
1945 Sep 26, Bryan Ferry,
singer in group Roxy Music and solo, was born.
1945 Sep 26, Bela Bartok
(b.1881), Hungarian pianist and composer, died at age 64.
1945 Sep 27, Misha Dichter,
pianist (Tchaikovsky 2nd prize-1966), was born in Shanghai, China.
1945 Sep 27, Stephanie Pogue,
artist and art professor, was born.
1945 Sep 30, US daylight saving
time (also called war time), begun Feb 9, 1942, ended.
1945 Oct 1, The US Army Air
Corps founded the RAND Corporation less than 2 months after bombs
were dropped on Japan. Gen. Arnold and others met at Hamilton Field,
California, to set up Project RAND under special contract to the
Douglas Aircraft Company. In 2008 Alex Abella authored “Soldiers of
Reason: The RAND corporation and the rise of the American empire.”
(SSFC, 6/8/08, Books
1945 Oct 6, Gen Eisenhower was
welcomed in Hague on Hitler's train.
1945 Oct 8, President Truman
announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only
with Britain and Canada.
1945 Oct 8, Felix Salten
(b.1869), Austrian writer and the creator of Disney’s Bambi (1923),
died in Switzerland. In 1906 he authored the novel Josephine
Mutzenbacher, the fictional autobiography of a Vienna prostitute, a
notorious pornographic novel.
1945 Oct 10, The Workers' Party
of Korea (North Korea) was officially founded.
1945 Oct 11, Negotiations
between Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and Communist leader Mao
Tse-tung broke down. Nationalist and Communist troops we soon
engaged in a civil war.
1945 Oct 13, Milton Hershey
(b.1857), Philadelphia chocolate tycoon, died. In 2005 Michael D.
Antonio authored “Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of
Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams.”
1945 Oct 14, British Chief
Justice Geoffrey Lawrence was elected president of the Int’l.
Military Tribunal for the trial of war criminals at Nuremberg.
Drexel A. Sprecher (d.2006), a prosecutor during the trial, later
edited the official 15-volume work on the 4-year trial.
(http://tinyurl.com/pnk7h)(SFC, 4/11/06, p.B5)
1945 Oct 15, The former Vichy
French Premier Pierre Laval was executed by a firing squad for his
wartime collaboration with the Germans.
(AP, 10/15/97)(HN, 10/15/98)
1945 Oct 17, Col. Juan Peron,
the future president of Argentina, was released from prison after
protests by trade unionists, ending a crisis that began with his
forced resignation from his government posts and his arrest.
1945 Oct 18, The first German
War Crimes Trial began in 1945. The International Military Tribunal
met at Nuremberg and lasted through to 1946. Ranking Nazi officials
were tried and convicted of war crimes, crimes against peace and
crimes against humanity. The proceedings were endorsed by the UN.
William D. Denson (d.1998 at 85) was the chief prosecutor for the
(HFA, ‘96, p.40)(MT, Dec. ‘95, p.16)(SFC,
Telford Taylor in 1992
published "Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials." He helped write the
rules for the prosecution of the war criminals and became the
trial’s chief prosecutor.
(SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)
1945 Oct 19, Divine, [Harris
Glenn Milstead], cross-dressing actor-actress (Pink Flamingo), was
born in Baltimore, Md.
1945 Oct 19, Romulo Betancourt
began serving his first term as president of Venezuela and continued
to 1948. founded Accion Democratica.
1945 Oct 20, Egypt, Syria, Iraq
and Lebanon formed the Arab League to present a unified front
against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1945 Oct 20, In Germany Richard
Sonnenfeldt (1923-2009), British chief interpreter at the Nuremberg
war trials, served out the indictments to the Nazis facing trial.
(Econ, 10/31/09, p.100)
1945 Oct 21, Women in France
were allowed to vote for the first time.
1945 Oct 23, Jackie Robinson
signed a Montreal Royal contract.
1945 Oct 24, The United
Nations was born with the ratification of its charter by the first
29 nations at a San Francisco Conference chaired by the State
Department’s Alger Hiss.
(TMC, 1994, p.1945)(AP, 10/24/97)(HN,
10/24/98)(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
1945 Oct 24, Vidkun Quisling,
Norway's wartime minister president, was executed by firing squad
for collaboration with the Nazis.
1945 Oct 24, Robert Ley, Nazi,
1945 Oct 25, Japanese
surrendered Taiwan to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Taiwan was
returned to Chinese control following the Japanese occupation during
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Taiwan)(SFC, 6/9/97, p.A8)
1945 Oct 26, Pat Conroy,
American writer (Great Santini, Prince of Tides), was born in
Atlanta, Georgia. His work included "Conrack" (1973; film, 1974;
stage musical, 1987); "The Great Santini" (1976; film, 1979); "The
Lords of Discipline" (1980; film, 1983); "The Prince of Tides"
(1986; film, 1991); and "Beach Music" (1995; film, 1997).
1945 Oct 29, A.B. ("Happy")
Chandler, resigned as a US Senator. He remained as baseball
1945 Oct 29, The first
ball-point pen was sold by Gimbell's department store in New York
for a price of $12.
1945 Oct 30, The US government
announced the end of shoe rationing, effective at midnight.
1945 Oct, The Federal Hourly
Minimum Wage was set at $0.40 an hour.
1945 Nov 1, John H. Johnson
(1919-2005) published the 1st issue of Ebony magazine. His weekly
Jet magazine was founded in 1951 and Ebony Man began in 1985.
(HN, 11/1/98)(SFC, 8/8/05, p.B4)
1945 Nov 6, HUAC began an
investigation of 7 radio commentators.
1945 Nov 6, The first landing
of a jet on a carrier took place on the USS Wake Island when an FR-1
Fireball touched down.
1945 Nov 8, A riverboat sank
off Hong Kong and 1,550 were killed.
1945 Nov 9, FBI agents staked
out a house in Berkeley, Ca., to watch George Eltenton, a suspected
Soviet spy. In 1946 Eltenton admitted that he had tried to obtain
secret data on Berkeley’s radiation lab. Eltenton moved to Britain
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F2)
1945 Nov 11, Jerome Kern (60),
US composer (Sally, Leave it to Jane), died.
1945 Nov 12, Tracy Kidder,
writer, was born. (Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends).
1945 Nov 12, Neil Percival
Young, musician, singer and songwriter, was born in Toronto. His
rock groups later included "Buffalo Springfield," "Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young" and "Crazy Horse." In 2002 Jimmy McDonough authored:
"Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography."
(SSFC, 5/12/02, p.M1)(MC, 11/12/01)
1945 Nov 12, Cordell Hull
(d.1955) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding
the United Nations. Hull served as secretary of state in the
Franklin Roosevelt Administration (1933-1944) longer than any other
individual. Hull, born in Tennessee in 1871, had been a U.S. senator
prior to his appointment by Roosevelt.
(HNQ, 7/6/98)(MC, 11/12/01)
1945 Nov 13, Charles de Gaulle
was elected president of France.
1945 Nov 14, H. Lindsay &
R. Crouse "State of the Union," premiered in NYC.
1945 Nov 15, A report issued by
General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers,
offered a detailed account of Japanese military brothels run as
(SSFC, 12/7/03, p.A19)
1945 Nov 16, Eighty-eight
German scientists, holding Nazi secrets, arrived in the U.S.
1945 Nov 20, Dmitri
Shostakovitch's 9th Symphony premiered.
1945 Nov 20, In Nuremberg,
Germany 22 out of 24 indicted Nazi officials went on trial (one in
absentia) before an international war crimes tribunal.
1945 Nov 21, Goldie Hawn,
Takoma Park, Md., actress (Laugh-in, Private Benjamin), was born.
1945 Nov 21, General Motors
workers went on strike.
1945 Nov 21, The last residents
of the US Japanese-American internment left their camps.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, Z1 p.6)
1945 Nov 21, Robert Benchley
(56), US humorist (My 10 Years in a Quandary), died.
1945 Nov 21, Bummy Davis
(b.1920 as Albert Davidoff), former middleweight boxer turned thug,
died after taking on 2 hoodlums in Brooklyn, NY. In 1951 W.C.
Heinz's wrote "Brownsville Bum," an account of the Bummy
Davis tragedy for True Magazine. In 2003 Ron Ross authored Bummy
Davis vs. Murder, Inc.”
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.D9)(www.ronross.us/reviews.html)
1945 Nov 23, Most US wartime
rationing of foods, including meat and butter, was set to expire by
(HN, 11/23/98)(AP, 11/23/07)
1945 Nov 27, Gen. George C.
Marshall was named special U.S. envoy to China to try to end
hostilities between the Nationalists and the Communists.
1945 Nov 27, Argentina declared
war on Axis.
1945 Nov 28, Deborah Kerr wed
1945 Nov 29, In India Bajaj
Auto came into existence as M/s Bachraj Trading Corporation Private
(www.bajajauto.com/aboutbajaj/milestones.asp)(Econ, 6/3/06, Survey
1945 Nov 30, Radu Lupu, pianist
(Enesco 1st prize-1967), was born in Galati, Romania.
1945 Nov 30, Russian forces
took Danzig, and invaded Austria.
1945 Nov, Glenn Miller’s Army
Band was dissolved.
(WSJ, 10/24/96, p.A16)
1945 Nov, Hungary held national
elections. The communists took 17% of the vote.
(Econ, 10/20/12, p.75)
1945 Dec 1, Bette Midler,
singer, actress (Do You Want to Dance?), was born in Patterson, NJ.
1945 Dec 4, The Senate approved
U.S. participation in the United Nations.
1945 Dec 5, Four TBM Avenger
bombers disappear approximately 100 miles off the coast of Florida,
in what is considered the Bermuda Triangle.
1945 Dec 6, U.S. extended a $3
billion loan to Britain to help compensate for the termination of
1945 Dec 7, The microwave oven
was patented. Percy LeBaron Spencer accidentally discovered that
microwaves would also heat food. Spencer, an eighth-grade dropout
and electronic wizard, worked for the Raytheon Manufacturing
Corporation of Massachusetts developing a radar machine using
(HN, 9/5/01)(Econ, 10/29/11, p.100)
1945 Dec 11, B-29 Superfortress
shattered all records by crossing the U.S. in five hours and 27
1945 Dec 13, France and Britain
agreed to quit Syria and Lebanon.
1945 Dec 14, Josef Kramer,
known as "the beast of Belsen," and 10 others were hanged in Hameln
for crimes committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration
1946 Dec 15, Vietnam leader Ho
Chi Minh sent a note to the new French Premier, Leon Blum, asking
for peace talks.
1945 Dec 19, Congress confirmed
Eleanor Roosevelt as the U.S. delegate to the UN.
1945 Dec 19, Jean Giraudoux'
"La Folle de Chaillot," premiered in Paris.
1945 Dec 20, The US Office of
Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective
Jan. 1, 1946.
1945 Dec 21, Gen. George S.
Patton died at the age of 60 in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries
from a car accident. He was buried at Hamm, Luxembourg. A biography
of Patton was written in 1995 by Carlo D’Este titled: "Patton: A
Genius for War." In 1998 Brian Sobel published "The Fighting
Pattons." It was a history of the Patton family.
(AP, 12/21/97)(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.W7)(HN, 12/21/98)
1945 Dec 22, Diane Sawyer,
newscaster (60 Minutes, ABC Prime Time), was born in Glasgow, Ky.
1945 Dec 22, The U.S.
recognized Tito's government in Yugoslavia.
1945 Dec 23, Frederick Ashton's
"Cinderella" premiered in London.
1945 Dec 26, The Big Three, the
US, Soviet Union and Great Britain, ended a 10-day meeting, seeking
an atomic rule by the UN Council.
1945 Dec 27, Arthur Laurent's
"Home of the Brave," premiered in NYC.
1945 Dec 27, Foreign ministers
from the former Allied nations of the United States, the Soviet
Union, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate
occupation zones and to govern the nation for five years.
1945 Dec 27, The International
Monetary Fund and the Int’l. Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(World Bank) were created. 28 nations signed an agreement creating
the World Bank. The IMF was created to promote healthy international
trade and began transactions in 1947. The World Bank was designed by
Englishman John Maynard Keynes and American Harry Dexter White. The
IMF and WB were originally intended to part of the UN, but this link
was abandoned under American pressure. WB chronology @
(AP, 12/27/97)(HN, 12/27/98)(HNQ, 12/27/00)(Econ,
7/24/04, p.63)(Econ, 6/22/13, p.18)
1945 Dec 27, The Dutch formally
relinquished sovereignty to Indonesia.
(WSJ, 7/24/01, p.B4)
1945 Dec 28, Congress
officially recognized the "Pledge of Allegiance."
1945 Dec 28, Max Hastings,
British editor-in-chief (Daily Telegraph), historian, was born.
1945 Dec 31, The ratification
of the UN Charter was completed.
1945 Dec 31, Czechoslovakia
began forcing the German population of the Sudetenland back to
(WSJ, 11/25/96, p.A15)
1945 Dec, In Albania elections
were held for the People's Assembly. Only members of the Democratic
Front were permitted to participate.
(www, Albania, 1998)
1945 The German Quedlinburg
Manuscript of 1516 and other church treasures were stolen from a
cave where they were being stored and guarded. Lt. Joe Tom Meador of
Whitewright, Texas, shipped 13 items home. They were then sold by
his brother and sister. In 1996 a criminal trial focused on the
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A20)
1945 The Schliemann treasure
from Troy, bequeathed to the German people, was shipped by the
Soviets to Moscow.
(WSJ, 4/17/96, p.A-18)
1945 Willem de Kooning painted
"Study for Pink Angels" and "Still Life."
(SFC, 6/28/02, p.D1)
1945 Pierre Bonnard painted his
"Large Landscape, South of France (Le Cannet)."
(WSJ, 6/24/98, p.A16)
1945 Polish born painter Irving
Norman won the prestigious Albert Bender Prize. His work included
The Bridge (1953), War and Peace (1965-67), and Rebellions and
Revolutions (1970). He was much influenced by his experiences in
Spain while serving with the Abraham Lincoln battalion against
(SFEM, 9/22/96, p.33,34)
1945 Georgia O’Keeffe painted
"Pelvis Series, Red With Yellow."
(SFC, 7/16/97, p.E3)
1945 Jackson Pollock (d.1956)
and Lee Krasner (d.1984) purchased a property in East Hampton, NY,
with a loan from Peggy Guggenheim. It was declared a National
Historic Landmark in 1994. (www.pkhouse.org)
1945 The photograph used for a
"Rosie the Riveter" poster was taken at the Kaiser Shipyards in
Richmond, Ca. Charles Etta Turner, 21, posed for the photo at which
time she also met her future husband.
(SFC, 10/4/96, p.A1)
1945 Alan Cranston, later US
Senator, authored "The Killing of the Peace," about America’s
decision to stay out of the League of Nations.
(SFC, 1/1/01, p.A5)
1945 John Hersey won a Pulitzer
Prize for his novel "Bell for Adano." It was later made into a
Broadway play and a movie. The story was modeled on Major Frank E.
Toscani (d.2001 at 89), military governor of Licata, Italy.
(SFC, 1/30/01, p.A22)
1945 Varian Fry published
"Surrender on Demand," the story of his experiences helping some
4,000 Jewish refugees escape from France between 1940-1941.
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.E3)
1945 Chester Himes authored "If
He Hollers Let Him Go," an exploration of work-place racism.
(SFC, 5/9/03, p.E7)
1945 Christopher Isherwood
wrote his novella "Prater Violet." It was about a young English
screenwriter and an old Austrian director and the romance of
(WSJ, 11/25/98, p.A16)
1945 Carlo Levi (1902-1975),
Italian journalist, artist and doctor, authored “Christ Stopped at
Eboli,” his first documentary novel.
1945 Astrid Lindgren
(1907-2002) of Sweden authored her novel "Pippi Longstocking."
(SFC, 1/29/02, p.A17)
1945 Writer Richard Patrick
Russ changed his name to Patrick O’Brian. He went on to author 20
sea novels that featured Capt. Jack Aubrey and surgeon Stephen
Maturin. In 2000 Dean King published "Patrick O’Brian: A Life
(SFEC, 4/30/00, BR p.3)
1945 Karl Popper (1902-1994)
authored “The Open Society and Its Enemies.” “Unlimited tolerance
must led to the disappearance of tolerance.”
(WSJ, 9/9/06, p.P8)
1945 Nevil Shute authored “Most
Secret,” a novel about a French-crewed trawler that uses a flame
thrower against a German gunboat during WW II.
(SFC, 10/28/06, p.P12)
1945 John Steinbeck wrote his
novel "Cannery Row."
(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB p.35)
1945 Meridel Le Sueur
(1900-1996) wrote "North Star Country." It told the story of how
Minnesota and Wisconsin were settled.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, C12)
1945 E.B. White published his
children’s book "Stuart Little," about a tiny mouse that is adopted
by a family. It was planned as a movie in 1998.
(NG, 5/93, p.6)(SFC, 7/17/98, p.D5)
1945 The nonfiction book by Ira
Wolfert "American Guerilla in the Philippines" was made into a 1950
film of the same title.
1945 Richard Wright (1908-1960)
authored "Black Boy."
(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.61)
c1945 The US Army published
"112 Gripes about the French," as a prejudice-busting primer for
American troops occupying France following WWII. It was re-published
(SFC, 9/1/03, p.A2)
1945 JB Priestly, British
playwright, staged his thriller "An Inspector Calls." The play is
set in 1912.
(SFC, 4/12/96, p.D-1)
1945 Mary Hunter Wolf (d.2000
at 95) made her Broadway debut as director of "Only the Heart."
(SFC, 11/13/00, p.A24)
1945 Paramount Studios released
a theatrical short cartoon titled "The Friendly Ghost." It featured
Casper, a character invented by Seymour V. Reit (d.2001 at 81) and
1st drawn by Joe Oriolo.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A25)
1945 The film "Mildred Pierce"
starred Ann Blyth and Joan Crawford and was directed by Michael
Curtiz. The screenplay was by Catherine Turney (d.1998 at 92) and
was based on a novel by James M. Cain. Crawford won an Academy Award
for her role.
p.C3)(SFEC, 11/7/99, DB p.49)
1945 Rogers and Hammerstein
converted the 1933 film "State Fair" into a musical film with
(WSJ, 3/29/96, p.A-9)(SFC, 6/19/97, p.A22)
1945 Samuel Barber composed his
"Sonata for Piano and Cello, Op.6."
(SFC, 1/30/97, p.B3)
1945 Pierre Boulez, composer,
wrote his "Opus 1, a Sonatina for Flute and Piano."
(WSJ, 6/20/96, p.A16)
1945 Hadda Brooks (d. 2002 at
86) sang the hit "Swingin’ With the Boogie," her 1st record.
(SFC, 11/23/02, p.A19)
1945 Benjamin Britten composed
his opera "Peter Grimes."
(SFC, 12/29/99, p.E1)
1945 Johnny Otis (1921-2012),
band leader and song writer, made his first hit with “Harlem
(SFC, 1/20/12, p.A16)
1945 Richard Thomas Goldhahn
(d.2003 at 88), aka Dick Thomas, wrote "Sioux City Sue." Bing Crosby
recorded it in 1946 and made the Lucky Strike Hit Parade for 14
(SFC, 11/29/03, p.A20)
1945 Wesley Tuttle (d.2003 at
85), country singer, made a hit with the song "With Tears in My
(SFC, 10/3/03, p.A20)
1945 Oscar Peterson, Canadian
Jazz pianist, in a trio made his first record for Victor.
(WSJ, 1/11/95, A-12)
1945 In Germany Hans Pfitzner
composed his last work: "the Sextet for Piano, Clarinet and
(WSJ, 7/29/97, p.A12)
1945 George Kleinsinger
composed "Tubby the Tuba," a children’s piece about a fat, brass
tuba. It was re-issued in 1997 on a CD.
(SFEM, 8/31/97, p.13)
1945 Todd Duncan (d.1998 at
95), baritone, became the first black artist to perform with the NY
City Opera as Tonio in "Pagliacci."
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.D8)
1945 The NYC house at 7 Middagh
St. in Brooklyn Heights was among those destroyed to make way for
the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. A group of American and English
artists had lived there from the early 1940s. They included Carson
McCullers, Wystan Auden, Benjamin Britten, Gypsy Rose Lee, Jane and
Paul Bowles and guests such as Salvador Dali. In 2005 Sherrill
Tippins authored “February House,” an account of their interactions.
(SSFC, 3/6/05, p.B1)
1945 The Arrowmont School of
Arts and Crafts was founded in Gatlinburg, Ten.
(WSJ, 12/24/03, p.D7)
1945 Florence Wysinger "Flo"
Allen (d.1997 at 84), legendary SF artist’s model, founded the
Models Guild. She was sketched, painted and sculpted by such artists
as: Diego Rivera, Mark Rothko, Elmer Bischoff, Hassel Smith, Roy De
Forest, Ralph Du Casse, Wayne Thiebaud, Eleanor Dickenson, Beth Van
Heusen, Mark Adams, Richard Shaw, Nathan Oliveira, Karl Kasten,
Glenn Wessels, Helen Salz, Art Grant, Joan Brown, Frank Lobdell and
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A20)
1945 In California the Zamorano
Club published “The Zamorano 80: A Selection of Distinguished
California Books Made by Members of the Zamorano Club.” The
criterion for inclusion was that a selection above all should be
distinguished, and that rarity and importance would be secondary.
The Club printed 500 copies and gave a copy to each member at its
June 6, 1945 meeting. On June 8, Dawson’s Book Shop bought 300 of
the remaining copies. In all, the Club had spent $1,699.93 to
present this book to the world.
1945 The Kentucky Derby was won
by Hoop Jr., owned by Fred Hooper (d.2000 at 102).
(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A21)
1945 The Pulitzer Prize for
drama went to Mary Chase for her play "Harvey."
(SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.54)
1945 Sir Alexander Fleming was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his codiscovery of
penicillin along with Ernst B. Chain (b.1908), German chemist,
bacteriologist, and Dr. Howard Florey, who found Fleming's paper in
1938 and began clinical trials.
(WUD, 1994, p.542)(SFC, 1/19/04, p.B4)
1945 Wolfgang Pauli (b.1900),
Austrian-born physicist, received the Nobel prize.
1945 Byron Nelson (1912-2006),
American golfer, won a record 11 tournaments in a row. He retired at
the end of the 1946 season at age 34 with 52 PGA wins.
(WSJ, 9/27/06, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/30/06, p.A6)
1945 Gundeer Haag (1919-2004),
Swedish runner, set the world record for the mile and held it until
(SFC, 12/3/04, p.B7)
1945 William O’Dwyer was
elected mayor of NYC. He left the post after 5 years to become the
ambassador to Mexico.
1945 Saipan and some nearby
islands began to be administered by the US on behalf of the United
Nations after WW II.
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)
1945 US submarine losses for WW
II totaled 52.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A17)
c1945 LCVPs (landing craft
vehicle, personnel). LCVPs (landing craft vehicle, personnel), an
innovation by Andrew Jackson Higgins prompted General Dwight D.
Eisenhower to refer to Higgins as "the man who won the war for us."
For the Allied war effort Andrew Jackson Higgins designed and built
approximately 20,094 boats and landing craft, including the LCVPs,
LCPLs (landing craft personnel, large) and LCMs (landing craft,
mechanized) that made beach landings of large numbers of equipment
and troops, such as D-Day, possible.
1945 It was made illegal to
chew tobacco in any US federal building.
(SFC, 1/30/99, p.D3)
1945 From this year on Congress
left the regulation of the insurance industry to the individual
(WSJ, 1/14/98, p.A1)
1945 The US Navy was officially
(SFC, 5/17/04, p.B4)
1945 The 120 members of the
Werner von Braun German rocket team came to the US to help start the
US space program.
(SFC, 4/4/98, p.A24)
1945 John S. Service (d.1999 at
89), one of the US "China hands" experts, participated in the "Dixie
Mission" as a US Foreign Service officer, and visited Mao Zedong at
Yanan. He reported that Chiang Kai-shek was vulnerable due to
corruption and that the Communists would win the war. The US
ambassador to China, Army Gen'l. Patrick Hurley, ordered him back to
the US and later accused him of handing secret US documents to the
Chinese. In the US Service was arrested by the FBI in the Amerasia
affair and became a target of Joseph McCarthy. He was dismissed from
the State Dept. in 1951 but later vindicated.
(SFC, 2/5/99, p.D4)
1945 With the war over 16
million GIs began reentry to civilian life. Some 406,000 Americans
died in WW II. In 1987 a national war memorial was proposed and in
1993 Congress approved funding to build it on the Mall in Washington
(TMC, 1994, p.1945)(SFEC, 5/30/99, Par p.16)
1945 The US War Production
Board lifted the motor vehicle production ban.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1945 The Soviets presented
American ambassador Averell Harriman a plaque that contained a
listening device designed by Leon Theremin. Harriman hung the seal
over his desk and the implanted device was not discovered until
(ON, 11/01, p.8)
1945 Filipino New Scouts were
inducted into the US Army toward the end of WW II. On Dec 6, 2003,
Pres. Bush signed a measure that made Filipino American veterans
eligible for full Veterans Affair health care. Previous benefits
were at half the rate of US veterans.
(SFC, 12/17/03, p.A2)
1945 The offices of Amerasia, a
twice-monthly journal of Asian affairs, were raided by the US
government. Hundreds of classified documents of US-China policy and
other matters were found.
(SFC, 7/19/96, p.B1)
1945 The US Forest Service
named "Smokey the Bear" as its spokesman to fight forest fires:
"Remember, only you can prevent forest fires." Smokey the Bear was
named after NYC assistant chief Smokey Joe Martin (d.1945). Rudolph
A. Wendelin (d.2000 at 90) served as the "caretaker" of the Smokey
Bear icon. [see Aug 9, 1944]
(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.C8)(ON, 4/03, p.9)
paratroopers, as part of the 555th battalion (the Triple Nickle),
were assigned to Operation Firefly as smoke jumpers to disarm
explosives and extinguish fires in the Pacific Northwest.
(SSFC, 2/23/14, Par, p.18)
1945 The 1,000-foot aircraft
carrier USS Midway began service. It was decommissioned in 1992 and
set up as a museum in San Diego in 2004
(SFC, 12/29/03, p.A9)
1945 Grand Rapids, Mi., became
the world’s first city to add fluoride to its water supply to reduce
tooth decay. A study six years later found a dramatic decline in
tooth decay among the children there.
(WSJ, 7/22/05, p.B1)(SFC, 4/28/15, p.A5)
1945 The 1st plastic mannequin
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.M6)
1945 Joseph P. Kennedy bought
Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for $13 million, less than half of what
it cost to build.
(WSJ, 1/26/98, p.A1)
1945 Henry Ford II (1917-1987)
was named president of the Ford Motor company.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1945 Bill Miller (d.2002 at 98)
bought the Las Vegas hotel Riviera. It closed in 1953 to make way
for the Palisades Parkway.
(SFC, 12/17/02, p.A23)
1945 Sam Walton opened his
first variety store in Newport, Arkansas, with a $20,000 loan from
his wife’s father. [see 1950]
(SFEC, 9/3/00, Par p.4)
1945 British author Arthur C.
Clarke was the first to put forward the idea of a communications
satellite in a magazine article in 1945. The American satellite
Telestar, launched in 1962, ushered in the age of satellite
1945 Kaiser established a
health maintenance organization for its workers.
(Econ, 7/17/04, Survey p.13)
1945 At the Mayo Clinic
streptomycin was first used to treat TB. Also the first lab
principles to evaluate chemotherapy were established.
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)
1945 Jacob A. Marinsky
(1918-2005) and L. E. Glendenin, while working on the Manhattan
Project, identified the element promethium (147-Pm) in the
by-products of uranium fission. The American Chemical Society
acknowledged the result in 1949, recognizing the finding as element
61 for the periodic table.
1945 Radiocarbon dating 1st
became available for archeological use.
(Arch, 7/02, p.51)
1945 Charles L. Schepens
(1912-2006), Belgian-born eye researcher, developed in London a
binocular indirect opthalmoscope to allow a more thorough
examination of the retina.
1945 Mary Caroline Richards
(d.1999 at 83) joined the faculty at Black Mountain College near
Ashville N.C. Her later books included "The Crossing Point" (1973),
"Opening Our Moral Eye" (1996), "Imagine Inventing Yellow" (1991)
and "Toward Wholeness: Rudolf Steiner Education in America."
(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)
1945 A new medium priced home
in the US was priced at $7,500.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.B10)
1945 The industrial force
exceeded the number of people engaged in agriculture in France.
1945 Ralph Ellis Jr. was
released from commitment. He had collected some 65,000 books,
plates, manuscripts and illustrations with such a mania that his
mother feared bankruptcy and had him committed.
(SFC, 9/6.96, p.C5)
1945 The US merchant marine
ship Bushnell sank in the Arctic Ocean after being hit by a German
torpedo. It was headed for the Russian port of Murmansk.
1945 W.T. Anderson, editor and
publisher of the Macon Telegraph, died. He willed much of his wealth
to help indigent blacks receive medical care but by 1996 his will
had still not been executed. The original bequest of $600,000 had
only grown to $2 million and the executor’s were under scrutiny for
(WSJ, 9/27/96, p.B1)
1945 Bela Bartok, Hungarian
composer, died of leukemia in New York. He composed the 6 volume
Mikrokosmos for piano students amongst other extensive works.
(WSJ, 8/18/95, p.A-1)
1945 Robert Benchley, New
Yorker theater critic and actor, died. He was a founding member of
the Algonquin Round Table. Members included George S. Kaufman,
Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woolcott, Robert Sherwood, Heywood Broun,
Franklin P. Adams, Edna Ferber and Marc Connelly. In 1997 Billy
Altman wrote: "Laughter’s Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley."
His films included "Foreign Correspondent" by Alfred Hitchcock and
"I Married a Witch" by Rene Clair.
(WSJ, 4/14/97, p.A13)
1945 David Lloyd George
(b.1863), former British prime minister (1916-1922), died.
(WUD, 1994 p.839)
1945 Rene Jules Lalique, French
jewelry designer, died.
(SFC, 5/8/03, p.A26)
1945 Anton Webern (b.1883),
Austrian composer, died. He was accidentally shot by an American
soldier policing his town.
(WSJ, 2/14/00, p.A20)
1945 N.C. Wyeth, illustrator of
children’s adventure books, died. He was the father of artist Andrew
Wyeth and grandfather of artist Jamie Wyeth.
(SFEC, 4/30/00, p.T3)
1945 Australian soldier Edward
Kenna (d.2009 at 90) single-handedly stormed a Japanese machine-gun
nest at Wewak, New Guinea, firing a Bren gun from his hip with enemy
bullets passing under his arms as he advanced. Kenna was awarded a
Victoria Cross for his valor.
1945 Austria retrieved some
18,000 looted artworks from a US Army depot in Munich. The bulk of
them were restituted to former owners over the next 3 years.
(WSJ, 12/9/98, p.A20)
1945 Former members of
Britain’s Special Operations Executive founded the Special Forces
Club in London.
(Econ, 2/16/13, p.69)
1945 In Britain Clement Atlee
was the prime minister after WW II. The Labor party toppled Winston
Churchill with a 146-seat majority win.
(WSJ, 2/21/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 5/2/97, p.A1)
1945 Britain’s M15 opened a
dossier on Harold Wilson (29) and kept it through Wilson's two terms
as prime minister in the '60s and '70s. It was opened out of concern
for Wilson's contacts with Eastern European businessmen and a belief
amongst British civil servants that Wilson may have been sympathetic
to Communist ideologies. The file was kept not to undermine Wilson
but to keep tabs on contacts deemed suspicious, according to "The
Defense of the Realm," the first authorized account of MI5's history
serialized in The Times on Oct 3, 2009.
1945 Maria Dickin decorated
Rip, a dog, for finding more than 100 people trapped by German bomb
damage in World War II. Dickin was the creator of the Dickin Medal
program, Britain's highest honor for animals. Rip died in 1948 and
is buried in a pet charity cemetery in east London. In 2009 the
medal sold at auction in London on Friday for 24,250 pounds
1945 Some 732 teenage
concentration camp survivors were settled in Britain. They formed
the Primrose Club of London in 1947 to maintain contact. Their story
was told in the 1997 book "The Boys: The Story 0f 732 Young
Concentration Camp Survivors" by Martin Gilbert.
(SFC, 7/8/97, p.B4)
1945 Barbara Hutton
(1912-1979), heir to the Woolworth fortune, gifted Winfield House,
her London mansion, to the United States government and moved to
California. In 2008 Maria Tuttle and Marcus Binney authored
1945 Canada’s Molson Brewery
(WSJ, 6/29/04, p.A11)
1945 After WW II the Caroline
Islands became trust territories of the United States, eventually
gaining independence as Micronesia in 1986 and Palau in 1994.
1945 In China Aisingyoro Henry
Puyi, the last emperor, Xuantong, and the figurehead ruler of the
Manchurian state, was captured by Soviet troops and later turned
over the Chinese Communists. He was sent to a re-education camp.
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)
1945 Some 13,000 pro-Nazi
soldiers and civilians were executed as the WWIII ended. In 2009
Croatia asked that charges be brought against Simo Dubajic (86), a
former major in the Yugoslav army, on suspicion of ordering the
(SFC, 4/1/09, p.A2)
1945 Eduard Benes returned from
exile in London to Prague, and set up a government. Under the "Benes
decrees" millions of Germans, Austrian and Hungarians were
dispossessed and expelled.
(Econ, 12/6/03, p.45)
1945 Hamas began life as a
branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which advocated the creation
of states based ion Muslim law across the Middle East. [see
1945 In France the magazine
Point de Vue was founded as a general-interest publication. By the
1960s its coverage was directed to royalty.
(WSJ, 1/30/97, p.A16)
1945 The Salon de Mai was held
in France and organized to continue the French tradition of salon
art exhibits, but by this time artists no longer needed salon
approval and presented their work through public galleries. private
exhibitions, and individual art dealers.
(Calg. Glen., 1996)
1945 France set up the Ecole
Nationale d’Administration, a post-graduate civil service college,
to turn out a meritocratic elite equipped to run an administered
economy battered by war.
(Econ, 4/3/04, p.86)
1945 In Germany an American air
raid destroyed most of the buildings of Hitler’s "Eagle’s Nest"
above the town of Berchtesgaden in the Alps. The area was used by
the Americans for recreational purposes until it was returned to
Bavaria in 1996
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.16A)
c1945 In Germany Josef Ritter von Gadolla saved
the people, the old town and the square of Gotha by surrendering to
the advancing Americans. He was shot for surrendering without a
fight. His conviction was overturned in 1998.
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.C12)
1945 In Germany a US transport
train collided with a trainload of German war prisoners and 102
people were killed.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)
1945 In Germany Albert A.
Hutler (d.1998 at 89) served as chief of the Displaced Persons
Section of the US 7th Army Military Government. He authored "Agony
of Survival" in 1988, a recounting of his efforts to aid the
concentration camp survivors.
(SFC, 10/24/98, p.A22)
c1945 In Hong Kong Nadya Jacobova Moiseeva
(daughter of Jacob Moiseef) and John Henry McCann, a former officer
with Gen’l. Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers, managed CAT
Airlines, formed by formed by former Flying Tiger pilots. The couple
had met and married in Shanghai in 1944.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A22)
1945 The AVO, Hungary’s State
Security Agency, was formed under Soviet masters. Its first leader
was a Hungarian called Gabor Peter. The role of the AVO was to hunt
out anyone who was even vaguely against the rule of Moscow over
c1945 The India Gate in New Delhi was built to
memorialize the 85,000 Indians who died in WW II.
(Hem., 2/97, p.58)
1945 Indonesia, formed from the
former Dutch East Indies, claimed West Timor. East Timor remained
under Portuguese control.
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.A6)(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.A19)
1945 Indonesia’s original
constitution of 1945 had 71 clauses. By 2004 amendments had expanded
it to 199 clauses.
(Econ, 12/11/04, Survey p.13)
1945 Indonesia’s future
President Sukarno, facing the need to pull together the diverse
archipelago, promulgated Pancasila as the philosophical foundation
of the Indonesian state. Its five principals included: Belief in the
one and only God; Just and civilized humanity; the unity of
Indonesia; Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity
arising out of deliberations amongst representatives; and Social
justice for all of the people of Indonesia.
1945 From Iraq foreign minister
Fadhel al-Jamali (1903-1997) signed the UN Charter for Iraq. He
later became prime minister under colonial rule and tried to get
more freedom from Britain.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A22)
1945 The Italian film “Rome
Open City” was directed by Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977). It was
about the German occupation of Rome and was the first film of his
(SFC, 1/22/10, p.E2)
1945 American occupiers broke
up Japan’s national power company into 9 privately-owned utilities.
After the Americans left the government set up a 10th, publicly
owned utility, J-Power.
(Econ, 9/4/04, p.60)
1945 Some 760,000 Japanese were
imprisoned in Soviet labor camps after WWII. Records of their
internment were discovered in 2009 at a national archive in Moscow.
(SSFC, 7/26/09, p.A4)
1945 An uprising in Kosovo was
put down by Tito’s Communists.
(SFC, 3/14/98, p.A8)
1945 The Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP) was founded by Mullah Mustafa Barzani (1903-1979). He
played a major role in establishing the short-lived Kurdish Republic
of Mehabad (Mahabad), “Red” Kurdistan, in Iran. It lasted for just
ten months. In the 30s and 40s he had organized “Pesh merga”
guerrillas from clans in the Zagros region.
(SFC, 9/4/96, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/20/02, p.A14)(Econ.,
1945 On the island of Saipan
thousands of (Japanese) civilians killed their wives and children
and then committed suicide (hara-kiri). This was in response to
imminent US takeover and is quoted from an eye-witness account along
with other incidents.
(WSJ, 6/13/95, p.A-19)
1945 In Lithuania the 2nd
Communist invasion occurred.
(DrEE, 11/23/96, p.3)
1945 Kiro Gligorov was one of
the organizers of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's
Liberation of Macedonia, or ASNOM. The organization worked to
establish Macedonia's identity and territory within the Yugoslav
federation and is considered the cornerstone of the Macedonian
1945 In the Philippines the US
recaptured the island of Corregidor and nearly 6,000 Japanese
soldiers leapt to their death off a ridge rather than face capture
(SFEC, 12/15/96, p.T6)
1945 Wladyslaw Szpilman
published his Warsaw ghetto memoir "The Pianist," right after the
war. An English edition was released in 1999.
1945 The allies settled on the
Oder-Neisse line as the new Western border of Poland. It cut through
the German city of Guben, called Gubin on the Polish side.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.50)
1945 In Poland a monument,
designed by Red Army artists, was put up by Warsaw authorities to
commemorate the joint struggle of Soviet and Polish troops against
Nazi Germany. It also honored some 600,000 Soviet troops who fell in
the struggle in Poland. It was put into storage in 2011 to make room
for a subway. In 2015 Warsaw city councilors voted to keep it in
1945 The Portuguese returned
after WW II to run Roman Catholic East Timor.
(SFC, 10/12/96, p.A13)
1945 The Red Army took
Koenigsberg, dynamited the city and killed or expelled the German
population. They renamed it Kaliningrad after Mikhail Kalinin, the
Soviet figurehead president.
(Econ, 11/22/03, p.7S)
1945 Russian code clerk Igor
Gouzenko defected to Canada and Elizabeth Bentley changed her role
from Soviet courier to FBI informant. They helped the West gain an
understanding of Soviet spy rings in North America. In 2003 Lauren
Kessler authored "Clever Girl: Elizabeth Bentley, the Spy Who
Ushered in the McCarthy Era." Bentley provided the FBI with the
names of 150 spies.
(WSJ, 9/22/99, p.A22)(SSFC, 8/17/03, p.M2)(SSFC,
1945 Russia’s Operation
Tarantella, designed to reach emigres who fled after the Communist
takeover, turned Viktor Bogomolets back to Moscow. He became a
double agent passing British secrets to top-tier Soviet operatives.
This was made public in 2007.
1945 The Soviet Army adopted
the SKS-45, a semi-automatic rifle adopted. It fired the same
7.62x39mm round as the AK-47, which was a shortened, lighter round
that was the standard Soviet cartridge of World War II. This meant
the rifle firing the round could be lighter, and the soldier could
carry more ammunition. Although Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese
Army (NVA) soldiers in Vietnam preferred the fully-automatic AK-47,
the SKS was an effective weapon that many of them carried during the
1945 Carmen Laforet (23),
Spanish writer, authored her first novel “Nada” (Nothing). It was
set in Spain during the 1930s and conveyed the crushing weight of
war through its characters. An English translation became available
(SFC, 3/2/07, p.E7)
c1945 After the war Sweden
returned about 14 tons of presumably looted gold to Belgium and the
Netherlands that it had received from the Nazis in payment for
1945 Switzerland agreed with
the US to freeze financial transactions with Germany in early 1945.
The agreement was violated.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A10)
1945 The Union Bank of
Switzerland took over the Eidgenoessische Bank which had built up an
extensive business with Germany during the Third Reich.
(SFC, 1/17/97, p.A1)
1945 At the end of World War II
Thailand was compelled to return territory it had seized from Laos,
Cambodia and Malaya. The exiled King Ananda returned.
1945 A secret internal US
Treasury Dept. document, hidden for 50 years, revealed in 1997 that
the Vatican held some 200 million Swiss francs plundered from Serbs
and Jews by the Nazi puppet government of Croatia after WW II.
(SFC, 7/22/97, p.A8)
1945 In Vietnam Bao Dai
abdicated his throne in the city of Hue with the approach of the
Viet Minh guerrillas. He moved to China and then became an advisor
to Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi until 1949 when the French set him up as
chief of state of Vietnam.
(SFC, 8/2/97, p.A21)
1945 In Vietnam Ho Chi Minh
united the north and south. He was known to have written letters to
President Truman asking for humanitarian assistance and advocated
political rather than military action. His letters went unanswered.
(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-23)
1945 The Viet Minh in Vietnam
formed a provisional government in a bid for independence and Pham
Van Dong served as finance minister.
(SFC, 5/3/00, p.A24)
1945-1946 Picasso painted his purposely unfinished
1945-1946 France underwent another round of
nationalization. Similar rounds of nationalization again took place
in 1936 and 1981.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.18)
c1945-1946 After the war the US and its allies
made a deal with the Swiss to accept repayment of $60 million and
waived further claims. The claims were for gold acquired from the
Nazis during the war. Much of the gold was from occupied countries
(FB, 9/12/96, p.A9)
1945-1946 In India the British government
organized elections for a constituent assembly.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)
1945-1947 The US West Coast sardine industry
plummeted from abundance to empty nets.
(PacDis, Summer ’97, p.2)
1945-1947 A nutrition study at Vanderbilt Univ.
gave a radioactive iron tracer to 829 women. Four of their children
later died of childhood cancers. In 1998 a $10.3 million settlement
was awarded to the women.
(SFC, 7/28/98, p.A2)
1945-1949 A series of wars for independence during
this period spread from India to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and
Singapore. In 2007 Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper authored
“Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia.”
(WSJ, 8/9/07, p.D7)
1945-1950 In 2002 Ruth Gay authored "Safe Among
the Germans," an account of Eastern European Jews in the post-war
(SFC, 9/19/02, p.D12)
1945-1952 Lithuanian Freedom Fighters (partizanai)
continued resistance against Soviet occupation.
(DrEE, 11/23/96, p.6)
1945-1953 Harry S. Truman became the 33rd
President of the US. He was elected Vice-President under FD
Roosevelt in 1945, and assumed the presidency upon Roosevelt’s
death. "Make no little plans," advised Harry. "Make the biggest one
you can think of and spend the rest of your life carrying it out."
(A&IP, ESM, p.96b, photo,171)(SFEC, 11/17/96,
1945-1956 Matyas Rakosi served as General
Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party.
1945-1970 Norris Bradbury directed the Los Alamos
National Laboratory in New Mexico. The Bradbury Science Museum in
Los Alamos was later named after him.
(SSFC, 8/1/04, p.D6)
1945-1970 Some 47,000 55-gallon drums of
radioactive waste, from US government research programs, was dumped
near the northern California Farallon Islands.
(SFC, 7/8/05, p.F2)
1945-1971 William Tubman, president of Liberia,
began to address the inequalities between the Americo-Liberians and
the native tribes.
(SFC, 4/16/96, p.A-9)
1945-1973 The modern American middle class was
created thanks to favorable economic trends and government policies
that encouraged investments in education and home ownership.
(LSA, Spg/97, p.21)
1945-1974 This period in US history is covered in
a book by James T. Patterson. It is the 3rd volume of the Oxford
History of the US and is titled: "Grand Expectations: The United
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1945-1980 Moose hunting during this period was
banned in Maine due to their scarce numbers.
(Econ, 9/30/06, p.41)
1945-1988 The Swiss maintained contingency plans
for building 400 nuclear warheads. A supply of uranium was
maintained in Wimmis, 21 miles southeast of Berne.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1945-2002 Some 100,000 nuclear bombs were
manufactured over this period.
(SSFC, 12/15/02, p.E6)
Go to 1946