24 December 1940

24 December 1940

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24 December 1940

December 1940



Greek troops continue to advance

War in the Air

The RAF attacks Valona

With the Labor Unions – On the Picket Line

From Labor Action, Vol. 4 No. 38, 30 December 1940, p.ق.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Girdler Plays Santa – Unwillingly

Tom Girdler, tough guy of Republic Steel, “played Santa Claus to 7,000 workers who had been fired during the ‘little steel’ strike of 1937 . ” says the railroad workers paper, Labor. The NLRB ordered dirty-mouth-Tom to pay $7,000,000 in back pay to these discharged workers. As is the custom with the industrial big shots. Girdler appealed the decision of the Board all the way up to the Supreme Court. He lost.

Last week Tough Tom sent out $373,000 in checks covering vacation pay which the fired workers would have gotten the past three years if they had been slaving away in Tom’s mills. There will be more later, just as quickly as the NLRB accountants cam figure out how much is coming to each of the 7,000 discharged men. Girdler is the guy who said during the days of the NIRA that he would quit and grow potatoes before he would abide by that act. Now we find him paying out $375,000 and ordered to hand over millions more to men he fired because they dared join a union and fight against his thugs and company union. Tom doesn’t mind the money so much, he just hates like hell to be forced to give anything to his workers.

A Kick in the Pants for Company Unionism

John Pew’s Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company is presumably a business for the building of ships. But it was brought out at an NLRB hearing last week that the company shops were used also for the manufacturer of blackjacks, nine inches long, and made of rubber covered wire with a lead head. These “hand-andys” as they are called, were used by Pew’s gorillas to club union men on strike in his shipyard.. Besides the plug-uglies that Pew hired, he had a company union. All this was revealed at the hearing by a “Aggie” Campbell who at one time was the commanding officer of the Sun gorillas.

Campbell said that he was employed at the yard as a boiler maker but all that he ever made was blackjacks. He also served as chairman of the “grievance committee” he said. For this “work” “Aggie” was paid $7.30 a day and expenses.

Shipbuilding Pew is the brother of the other Pew who is a leader and boss in the Republican Party in Pennsylvania. He is also the person who wanted this NLRB hearing postponed because to have the hearing now would interfere with the “defense” program. Pew doesn’t want any worker’s rights mixed up with his patriotism. The real truth is that Pew knew that what would be interfered with was his thugs, gorillas and company union. That’s why he didn’t want the hearing.

Blackjacks For “National Defense?”

Two more company unions have been knocked out on the railroads. The Boilermakers, Sheet Metal Workers and Blacksmiths unions, by a vote of 303 to 121, kicked the pants off a company union on the Lehigh Valley Railroad. This makes the Lehigh Valley shops 100% organized. The Brotherhood of Railway Clerks cleaned out an 18 year old company union on the Norfolk and Western. It’s really funny how the workers keep voting for real unions every time they get the chance unmolested and where they understand the value of trade unionism. The bosses try to make us believe that to join a union is to waste our money and give it to a gang of “outsiders” whose only interest in the workers is the wages they draw. The argument of the bosses is that the workers should let the boss form and finance a nice “employers association” that will take care of all our interests without any cost or inconvenience to us. They will appoint the chairman of the grievance committee, the secretary and the company treasurer will be the finance officers of the “union.” Then all the workers have to do is to remain at their machines and not waste time running to the office complaining about hours and wages. All of this will be taken care of by the bosses’ man in the company union.

Was There a Workers’ Son Among Them?

High School YMCA students, organized into what is called “Hi-Y” clubs, held an assembly recently at Albany, New York. This assembly, and the things it did, are an illustration of just how reactionary middle class youth can be when under the influence of such a conservative and reactionary organization as the YMCA.

The assembly had several “bills” up for consideration. By a vote of 95 to 30 the assembly adopted a “bill” to “prohibit” strikes in New York state rearmament plants used by the federal government in the “defense program.” According to these high school youths the government should appoint a mediation board to take the place of the State Labor Relations Board. This board would assume charge within two weeks of the outbreak of a dispute and render a decision within 60 days.

These youth evidently do not understand that such a proposal eliminates not only the SLRB, but the unions also. But perhaps like their leaders in the YMCA. they are against unions. The mediation board will take “charge” and “render a decision.” This evidently means that the workers will remain at work, wait for the board’s decision and abide by it no matter what that decision may be.

Not satisfied with this, the “Hi-Y” youth went further. They passed a “bill” calling for the fingerprinting of everyone past 8 years old the prints to be filed with the state Bureau of Fingerprinting and the FBI.

It is clear that the majority of these youth do not come from trade union families or even workers’ families that are not in trade unions. They are the sons and daughters of little businessmen and other middle class parents. If they were workers’ sons and daughters they would have more intelligence and would not be playing around with serious questions in such nonsensical and stupid fashion.

The Bartlett Tribune and News (Bartlett, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 15, Ed. 1, Tuesday, December 24, 1940

Daily newspaper from Bartlett, Texas that includes local, state and national news along with extensive advertising.

Physical Description

eight pages : illus. page 16 x 22 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

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This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: The Bartlett Tribune and was provided by the Bartlett Activities Center and the Historical Society of Bartlett to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 80 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

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  • Main Title: The Bartlett Tribune and News (Bartlett, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 15, Ed. 1, Tuesday, December 24, 1940
  • Serial Title:The Bartlett Tribune and News


Daily newspaper from Bartlett, Texas that includes local, state and national news along with extensive advertising.

Physical Description

eight pages : illus. page 16 x 22 in.
Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.


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  • Library of Congress Control Number: sn87091169
  • OCLC: 16963607 | External Link
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metapth76659


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The Bartlett Tribune

Since 1886, the paper played a vital role in the community by reporting on national, state, and local news, obituaries and a record of legal notices. Funding from a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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Christmas Message, 1940

In days of peace the feast of Christmas is a time when we all gather together in our homes, young and old, to enjoy the happy festivity and good will which the Christmas message brings. It is, above all, children’s day, and I am sure that we shall all do our best to make it a happy one for them wherever they may be.

War brings, among other sorrows, the sadness of separation. There are many in the Forces away from their homes today because they must stand ready and alert to resist the invader should he dare to come, or because they are guarding the dark seas or pursuing the beaten foe in the Libyan Desert.

Many family circles are broken. Children from English homes are today in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. For not only has the manhood of the whole British Commonwealth rallied once more to the aid of the Mother Country in her hour of need, but the peoples of the Empire have eagerly thrown open the doors of their homes to our children so that they may be spared from the strain and danger of modern war.

And in the United States also, where we find so many generous loyal friends and organisations to give us unstinted help, warm-hearted people are keeping and caring for many of our children till the war is over.

But how many more children are there here who have been moved from their homes to safer quarters?

To all of them, at home and abroad, who are separated from their fathers and mothers, to their kind friends and hosts, and to all who love them, and to parents who will be lonely without them, from all in our dear island I wish every happiness that Christmas can bring. May the new year carry us towards victory and to happier Christmas days, when everyone will be at home together in the years to come.

To the older people here and throughout the worlds I would say – in the last Great War the flower of our youth was destroyed, and the rest of the people saw but little of the battle. This time we are all in the front line and the danger together, and I know that the older among us are proud that it should be so.

Remember this. If war brings its separations, it brings new unity also, the unity which comes from common perils and common sufferings willingly shared. To be good comrades and good neighbours in trouble is one of the finest opportunities of the civilian population, and by facing hardship and discomfort cheerfully and resolutely not only do they do their own duty, but they play their part in helping the fighting Services to win the war.

Time and again during these last few months I have seen for myself the battered towns and cities of England, and I have seen the British people facing their ordeal. I can say to them that they may be justly proud of their race and nation. On every side I have seen a new and splendid spirit of good fellowship springing up in adversity, a real desire to share burdens and resources alike. Out of all this suffering there is a growing harmony which we must carry forward into the days to come when we have endured to the end and ours is the victory.

Then, when Christmas Days are happy again, and good will has come back to the world, we must hold fast to the spirit which binds us together now. We shall need this spirit in each of our own lives as men and women, and shall need it even more among the nations of the world. We must go on thinking less about ourselves and more for one another, for so, and so only, can we hope to make the world a better place and life a worthier thing.

And now I wish you all a happy Christmas and a happier New Year. We may look forward to it with sober confidence. We have surmounted a grave crisis. We do not underrate the dangers and difficulties which confront us still, but we take courage and comfort from the successes which our fighting men and their Allies have won at heavy odds by land and air and sea.

The future will be hard, but our feet are planted on the path of victory, and with the help of God we shall make our way to justice and to peace.

This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of the United Kingdom with Crown Status and commercially published before 1971.

Time for a Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Tis December 24, the day before Christmas, and all through the land, families send excited children to bed with a reading of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there….

A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore. Boston: L Prang & Co., [1864]. Rare Book Selections. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

Moore is thought to have composed the tale, now popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas,” on December 24, 1822, while traveling home from Greenwich Village, where he had bought a turkey to fill the last of several baskets that his family was accustomed to donating to the poor during the holiday season.

[Santa Claus With a Basket of Toys][between 1870 and 1900]. Part of Marion S Carson Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Perhaps inspired by the plump, bearded Dutchman who took him by sleigh on his errand through the snow-covered streets of New York City, Moore penned “A Visit from St. Nicholas” for the amusement of his six children, with whom he shared the poem that evening. His vision of St. Nicholas draws upon Dutch-American and Norwegian traditions of a magical, gift-giving figure who appears at Christmas time, and was likely influenced by descriptions of St. Nicholas appearing in contemporary publications including Washington Irving’s A History of New York External .

[Small children gazing at Macy’s Christmas window display, New York City.]. Bain News Service, N.Y.C., [1908-1917]. Bain Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Clement Moore was born in 1779 into a prominent New York family. His father, Benjamin Moore, president of Columbia University, in his role as Episcopal bishop of New York participated in the inauguration of George Washington as the nation’s first president. The elder Moore also administered last rites to Alexander Hamilton after he was mortally wounded in a tragic duel with Aaron Burr.

A graduate of Columbia, Clement Moore was a scholar of Hebrew and a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. He is said to have been embarrassed by the light-hearted verse, which was made public without his knowledge in December 1823. Moore did not publish it under his name until 1844.

…But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement C. Moore. Boston: L. Prang & Co., [1864]. Rare Book Selections. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

The Hockley County Herald (Levelland, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 20-A, Ed. 1 Tuesday, December 24, 1940

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

Physical Description

ten pages : ill. page 24 x 17 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

Creation Information


This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Hockley County Area Newspaper Collection and was provided by the South Plains College to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

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




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

Provided By

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The libraries of South Plains College support academic, vocational-technical, continuing education, and community service programs of the college by providing information resources and services users need to achieve their educational objectives. The libraries also supply students and faculty with an assortment of recreational and general interest materials for their reading, listening, and viewing enjoyment.

Good News in History, December 24

Happy Birthday to Dr. Anthony Fauci who turns 80 years old today. America’s leading infectious disease expert, he’s advised 6 Presidents on HIV AIDS, and was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an AIDS program that has saved millions of lives in the developing world. He’s now famous for being the top scientist on the White House coronavirus task force.

To honor the immunologist for his service, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed today to be ‘Dr. Anthony Fauci Day,’ tweeting, “We are incredibly proud to count Dr. Fauci among the many DC residents.”

Since 1984, Fauci has performed as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (1940)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Verdi’s opera Aida premiered at the opening of the Suez Canal (1871)
  • First broadcast of a music program on radio, from Massachusetts (1906)
  • Albania became a republic (1924) Libya (1951) and Laos (1954) gained independence
  • Happy 61st Birthday to filmmaker Lee Daniels, who directed The Butler and his film Precious, which received 6 Academy Award nominations including Best Director, and also created the TV series Empire and Star (1959)
  • A rare Christmas Eve snowstorm fell on the southern U.S. (2004)

And, on this date every year, the Declaration of Christmas Peace is read aloud at noon in the Old Great Square in Finland’s oldest city, Turku, a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. With fanfare and warning, the declaration calls for quiet and peaceful conduct during the Christmas period, including no animal hunting. It is broadcast throughout the country every year on December 24.

And, 101 years ago today, the inventor Theophilus Van Kannel passed away, but he left the world a warmer more civilized place. On one cold day in wintery Philadelphia, Van Kannel sat working at the lobby desk in a busy building. Each time people entered and exited the main doors, Van Kannel was exposed to a chilling gust of wind and snow. He put his mind to work and shortly thereafter patented a solution—the revolving door.

On August 7, 1888 he won the patent which described, “Three radiating and equidistant wings . . . provided with weather-strips to insure a snug fit. . . and perfectly noiseless. Moreover, the door cannot be blown open by the wind . . . there is no possibility of collision, and yet persons can pass both in and out at the same time.” The patent goes on to describe how a partition can be hinged so as to open and allow the passage of long objects through the revolving door.” The world’s first wooden revolving door was installed at Rector’s, a restaurant on Times Square in Manhattan to minimize their heating and air conditioning losses, and in 1889 he founded the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company. (1919)

On this day 202 years ago, the Christmas carol Silent Night(Stille Nacht) was composed in a few hours and performed in this little church in Austria.

St Nicholas church in Oberndorf, Austria, where the song was first sung, by Gakuro, CC license

The parish priest Joseph Mohr, himself a violinist and singer, wrote the lyrics some two years earlier. He wanted to use it for Midnight Mass, so he walked nearly two miles (3 km) from his home in Oberndorf bei Salzburg to visit his friend Franz Xaver Gruber.

In only a few hours, Gruber, a school teacher who also served as the church’s choir master and organist, set his poem to music. The simple song was sung that evening in a simple arrangement for guitar and choir. Within a few years, arrangements of the carol spread to churches in the Salzburg Archdiocese by folk singers from the Ziller Valley who took the composition on tours around Europe—performing for audiences that included Franz I of Austria and Alexander I of Russia. Mohr’s name was almost lost.

Over the years, because the original manuscript had been lost, Mohr’s name was forgotten and although Gruber was known to be the composer, many people assumed the melody was composed by a famous composer—and it was variously attributed to Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven. However, a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr’s handwriting proving that he authored the poem in 1818.

Recorded by a large number of singers from every music genre, the version sung by Bing Crosby became the third best-selling single of all-time. During his life, Mohr also created a fund to allow children from poor families to attend school and set up a system for the care of the elderly. (1818)

And, on this day in 1914, the Christmas truce of World War I began when German troops fighting in Belgium began decorating their trenches and singing Christmas carols.

The British troops on the other side soon joined in the singing and soon these soldiers greeted each other on the plains between them, putting the war on hold while exchanging gifts of whiskey and cigars. Watch a wonderful depiction below…

Letter to Adolf Hitler

That I address you as a friend is no formality. I own no foes. My business in life has been for the past 33 years to enlist the friendship of the whole of humanity by befriending mankind, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

I hope you will have the time and desire to know how a good portion of humanity who have view living under the influence of that doctrine of universal friendship view your action. We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents. But your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity, especially in the estimation of men like me who believe in universal friendliness. Such are your humiliation of Czechoslovakia, the rape of Poland and the swallowing of Denmark. I am aware that your view of life regards such spoliations as virtuous acts. But we have been taught from childhood to regard them as acts degrading humanity. Hence we cannot possibly wish success to your arms.

But ours is a unique position. We resist British Imperialism no less than Nazism. If there is a difference, it is in degree. One-fifth of the human race has been brought under the British heel by means that will not bear scrutiny. Our resistance to it does not mean harm to the British people. We seek to convert them, not to defeat them on the battle-field. Ours is an unarmed revolt against the British rule. But whether we convert them or not, we are determined to make their rule impossible by non-violent non-co-operation. It is a method in its nature indefensible. It is based on the knowledge that no spoliator can compass his end without a certain degree of co-operation, willing or compulsory, of the victim. Our rulers may have our land and bodies but not our souls. They can have the former only by complete destruction of every Indian-man, woman and child. That all may not rise to that degree of heroism and that a fair amount of frightfulness can bend the back of revolt is true but the argument would be beside the point. For, if a fair number of men and women be found in India who would be prepared without any ill will against the spoliators to lay down their lives rather than bend the knee to them, they would have shown the way to freedom from the tyranny of violence. I ask you to believe me when I say that you will find an unexpected number of such men and women in India. They have been having that training for the past 20 years.

We have been trying for the past half a century to throw off the British rule. The movement of independence has been never so strong as now. The most powerful political organization, I mean the Indian National Congress, is trying to achieve this end. We have attained a very fair measure of success through non-violent effort. We were groping for the right means to combat the most organized violence in the world which the British power represents. You have challenged it. It remains to be seen which is the better organized, the German or the British. We know what the British heel means for us and the non-European races of the world. But we would never wish to end the British rule with German aid. We have found in non-violence a force which, if organized, can without doubt match itself against a combination of all the most violent forces in the world. In non-violent technique, as I have said, there is no such thing as defeat. It is all 'do or die' without killing or hurting. It can be used practically without money and obviously without the aid of science of destruction which you have brought to such perfection. It is a marvel to me that you do not see that it is nobody's monopoly. If not the British, some other power will certainly improve upon your method and beat you with your own weapon. You are leaving no legacy to your people of which they would feel proud. They cannot take pride in a recital of cruel deed, however skilfully planned. I, therefore, appeal to you in the name of humanity to stop the war. You will lose nothing by referring all the matters of dispute between you and Great Britain to an international tribunal of your joint choice. If you attain success in the war, it will not prove that you were in the right. It will only prove that your power of destruction was greater. Whereas an award by an impartial tribunal will show as far as it is humanly possible which party was in the right.

You know that not long ago I made an appeal to every Briton to accept my method of non-violent resistance. I did it because the British know me as a friend though a rebel. I am a stranger to you and your people. I have not the courage to make you the appeal I made to every Briton. Not that it would not apply to you with the same force as to the British. But my present proposal is much simple because much more practical and familiar.

During this season when the hearts of the peoples of Europe yearn for peace, we have suspended even our own peaceful struggle. Is it too much to ask you to make an effort for peace during a time which may mean nothing to you personally but which must mean much to the millions of Europeans whose dumb cry for peace I hear, for my ears are attended to hearing the dumb millions? I had intended to address a joint appeal to you and Signor Mussolini, whom I had the privilege of meeting when I was in Rome during my visit to England as a delegate to the Round Table Conference. I hope that he will take this as addressed to him also with the necessary changes.

24 December 1940 - History

SS GB Manchester – Hitler’s Plans for the City.

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The second world war began in September 1939 but for months nothing much happened. It became known as the Phoney War.

After the surrender of France on 20 June 1940 the first Manchester air-raid sirens were heard and there were minor German raids on Lancashire, and on 29 July 1940 the first bomb fell locally. It dropped on a hut in Salford at the corner of Trafford Road and Ordsall Lane. Two weeks later, on 8 August 1940 an aircraft rained on Salford not bombs but Nazi propaganda leaflets, “A last appeal to reason,” a translation of a Hitler speech. One bundle hit a policeman at Castle Irwell.

It was not until 22 December 1940 that the first serious attacks on Manchester began. This was the Christmas Blitz of Sunday 22 December to Tuesday 24 December 1940. On the first night 270 aircraft released 272 tons of high explosive and 1,032 incendiary bombs. On the next night 171 aircraft dropped another 195 tons of high explosive and 893 incendiaries on central Manchester and Salford. More than 650 people were killed more than 2,300 injured.

Many major buildings were wrecked or destroyed: the Free Trade Hall, Cross Street Chapel, the Corn Exchange and Smithfield Market. Within days the mediaeval pubs of the Shambles, apart from the still surviving Wellington Inn and Sinclair’s had been wiped out. Only one English cathedral – Coventry – took more bombardment than Manchester’s.

Manchester would never look the same again.

But as you probably know, the first casualty in war is the truth, which is why we will unveil Manchester’s war time secrets: the dirty tricks, the black propaganda, subversion, subterfuge and disinformation. How some unpatriotic locals went to absurd lengths to avoid conscription how American GIs took over the city and nearly caused a riot how the authorities built a mock-up version of Manchester in the moors at Burnley out of plywood and oil drums which were lit at night to make it look as if “Manchester” had already been bombed!

Baseball History on December 24

Baseball Births on December 24 / Baseball Deaths on December 24

Players Born on, Died on, Debut on, Finished on December 24

Baseball history on December 24 includes a total of 42 Major League baseball players born that day of the year, 28 Major League baseball players who died on that date, baseball players who made their Major League debut on that date, and Major League baseball players who appeared in their final game that date.

Bill James, on the same page of the same book we used at the top of this page, said, "But as I began to do research on the history of baseball (in order to discuss the players more intelligently) I began to feel that there was a history a baseball that had not been written at that time, a history of good and ordinary players, a history of being a fan, a history of games that meant something at the time but mean nothing now." To that end, I have created Baseball Almanac. A site to worship baseball. A site by a fan who is trying to tell the history of good and ordinary baseball players.

Watch the video: Germany 1945 during World War II in color 60fps, Remastered wadded sound