Sunday, Oct. 25, 1942
As Chicagoans settled in for winter, they worried about how rationing would affect home heating. The Tribune fashion pages featured stylish night wear “for a rationed winter”: A quilted “bellhop jacket” and lounge pants ensemble looks elegant while a wool/silk “nightie” is more demure. “Coveralls go feminine” offers a sporty look. This ad from Jockey provided a simple solution for men.
Ad after ad this Sunday explained how a particular product would aid the war effort.
Meanwhile, Chicagoans were starting to have more money to spend as war production geared up. The changing job market was beginning to register in public awareness. Weekly wages were averaging $42.03 for men, $22.74 for women. Want ads still specified many more jobs for “Men” and “Boys” than for “Girls” or “Women.” Women were mostly wanted as seamstresses, milliners, office workers, and such. But this ad suggests the way doors were opening for women.
Despite some cheering war news — the Allies had broken the Axis line Egypt while several Japanese ships had been sunk off the Gilbert Islands — more ominous was the news that Congress had approved the draft of 18-19 year olds who would, however, get a year’s training before being sent into combat. No wonder the GOP was confident of a “coast to coast sweep” on November 3.
The Navy was also in the news. For upcoming Naval Day, Col Robert R. McCormick had hosted Naval officers and seamen for a performance of “H. M. S. Pinafore” at WGN’s Chicago Theater of the Air. Off the stage, readers might note but not yet appreciate that William F. Halsey was now commanding Naval operations in the Pacific.
More interested in football? The front page summary was a guide to extensive coverage beginning p. 25: Notre Dame was on a roll beating Illinois 21 to 14. In high school football, Taft beat Lane Tech 2-0 and Fenger beat Parker 41-0. Ouch!
Time to listen to Jack Benny, 6 PM Sunday, on WMAQ. In fact, tune in a half-hour earlier and listen to “The Great Gildersleeve.” Here is the actual show (Episode 7) you would have heard.