I love old magazines; they don’t mince words. In their retelling of how toddler Peter Jackson came to be the “sensation of the late London season” at the Horse Guards Parade, they made sure to make mention that he was only there because his poor father was jobless and had nowhere else to be, since he wasn’t supporting his family. Was that necessary?
Two-year-old Peter, overcome with emotion, could not simply watch the Mounting of the Guard. He had to be a part of it. It was not a protest at all, but imitation in the highest. Slipping away from the supervision of his father, Peter dashed out onto the grounds, secured his toy rifle (albeit on the wrong shoulder), and marched with military form, to the delight of onlookers. In this image, he is shouting an order, immediately followed by a fearful reaction to his own voice, and flees back to the arms of his papa.
It’s WWII. An injured soldier tolerates appreciates the twang of a skilled Red Cross Gray Lady, plucking the strings of an autoharp. Why Gray Lady, you ask? Because she has gray hair? No. Gray Ladies were volunteers who performed non-medical services to sick, injured, or disabled patients. They were not nurses, but they could read to patients, write letters home for them, or in this case, perform talents worthy of an appearance on Star Search. My question is: why isn’t he donning an open-backed hospital gown? Instead, he sports a Chinese stand collar, frog button jacket, as though he is dressed for his shift at The Golden Tiger. I don’t get it.
Chair carriers support travelers and their goods as they painstakingly make their way up the steep steps from the Kialing River in Chungking, 1941. And they didn’t even have Asics with good arch support. The provisional capital of China, not under Japanese occupation, would suffer from continuous terror bombing by the Japanese air force until 1943.
Below, conscripts of the Chinese Nationalist Army walk through the city on labor detail. Makes social distancing seem like a walk in the park.
Today, what we called Chungking is now Chongqing, but it still looks a bit congested for my taste. You wouldn’t catch me on that tram.
Honestly, before today, I only associated the word with old Chun King ads.
But today, I am sheltered-in-place and more educated than before.
In this image from a February 1941 LIFE, the original Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr chooses to stay hydrated during a meeting of the House of Representatives. At the time, he was serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. During the Battle of Britain in November 1940, a pessimistic Kennedy expressed concern that “Democracy is finished in England,” which annoyed President Roosevelt. Not only would it prove untrue, but it contradicted sentiment by Churchill, who notoriously stated, “Never never never give up.” By the time this picture was published, Kennedy had resigned his position.
H.R. 1776 was also known as the Lend-Lease Act. Per visitthecapitol.gov:
In 1941 Congress passed a bill allowing the president to provide assistance to nations whose defense was considered vital to the security of the United States. Known as the Lend-Lease Act, it became the principal means for providing U.S. aid to key Americans allies, especially Great Britain, during World War II. The act permitted the president to “loan” war materiel such as ammunition, tanks, and airplanes to allies without expectation of repayment. Though the United States would not declare war until December 8, 1941, the Lend-Lease Act effectively ended U.S. neutrality.