Sunday, Dec. 27, 1942
After Christmas sales offered bargains and some stores were even offering deals on spring clothes despite the frigid weather. But regular radio programming at 7 PM would be preempted today for announcements concerning rationing of canned goods. Citing widespread hoarding, the government would soon start a point system. No wonder outgoing Department of Agriculture consumer counsel Donald E. Montgomery advised Americans, “..they had better begin to look after their food needs themselves.” But times were still good enough for the 1943 Cotton, Orange, and Sugar Bowl Games to go on as scheduled although transportation restrictions were expected to cut attendance in Dallas, Miami, and New Orleans.
More upbeat was news of a war hero appointed to Darlan’s place as French commander in Africa. General Henri Honore Giraud’s daring escape from Koenigstein, a German fortress prison was already legend. Sliding down a 67 foot rope and hiding in the moat until he could escape, he rode a train to France disguised as a Swiss salesman and chatted in perfect German to Nazi officers. Outraged Germans offered to trade 70,000 imprisoned French officers for him but Marechal Petain refused. Disguising as an old woman, Giraud escaped from Vichy France to a waiting British submarine which brought him to North Africa.
The Nazi juggernaut, stalled on the Eastern Front, was in full force in Europe. Dutch Jews were notified to prepare for deportation. By this time, there was much more awareness that “deportation” meant death camps yet little help was forthcoming to save these people.
And s small news note on page 11 hinted at the problems that would engulf the world once the war ended. When India was granted independence from Britain, Mohammed Ali Jinnah countered Gandhi’s wish for unity by demanding that a Muslim state be carved out of it.