1941 News and Interesting Tidbits From History

"V For Victory" Campaign
While Britain is at one of it's lowest points in World War II Churchill one of the most motivators and speech makers of his time launches the "V for Victory" campaign across Europe by telling those in Europe under Nazi control to use the letter "V" ( for Victory ) at every chance they got in speaking, writing and urges them to write in big letter the letter V to signify V for Victory and let the Germans know they still had spirit and believed they would overcome Nazi Rule. Churchill gave a speech over the radio .

The letter V began to appear everywhere painted on walls or tapped out in Morse code on shop counters with knuckles or beer glasses or pencil stubs, and was a rallying call across Europe that there was still hope. This is also why Churchill's most famous pictures from World War II always featured him giving the V for Victory Sign.

Lend Lease Act
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act allowing the United States to provide military aid to the Allies during World War II.

Winston Churchill Address To US Congress
Winston Churchill becomes the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress when he tells them the progress of the war in Europe.

Enigma Code Broken
British cryptologists including the leader of the group of Alan Turing break the secret code from the Enigma machine used to encrypt and decrypt secret messages. It was used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front.

German Bombs British Coastal Navy Cities
German Bombers Bombed with fire and explosives on the South Coast Cities of Plymouth and Portsmouth causing fires throughout the cities

German Battleship Bismarck Sinks HMS Hood
The German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with with the loss of more than 1,400 lives after a shell exploded in the armory in a battle of the giants of the sea during the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

German Battleship Bismarck is sunk by Royal Navy
The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the Atlantic by the Royal Naval ships Dorsetshire, King George V and Rodney after it had been damaged by torpedo's dropped by British aircraft from HMS Ark Royal.

US Bans Pinball Games
This may sound a little weird to some people, but pinball games were banned by the U.S. Supreme Court during this time in history. The reason why is because young men used to gamble with them, unlike now when they are used strictly for the fun of it.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Recorded
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo." The song was first featured in the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade," a movie that stared many of the biggest names of the day. It became one of the most popular hits from the era and even has its own website.

First FM Radio Station
Nashville, Tennessee becomes the home of the very first FM radio station in the country. While the FM band had less static and more range, it didn’t become popular until the early 1960s.

China Declares War with Gemany, Japan and Italy
In Chungking, Quo Tai-Chi, China’s foreign minister confirmed that China was now at war with Germany, Japan, and Italy. The minister declared that the Chinese would back the allies, the U.S., and Great Britain one hundred percent.

GI Bill
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II.

Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor and US Declares War
Japan launches a surprise dawn attack using midget submarines, 350 bombers and torpedo carrying planes targeting warships, aircraft and military installations on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and has declared war on Britain and the United States. The attack destroyed two battleships, one mine layer, two destroyers with the loss of more than 2,300 US servicemen The US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, has mobilized all forces and is poised to declare war on Japan. The next day when the president addressed Congress and the nation he swore that America would never forget December 7, 1941, as a "date that would live in infamy." Following the unprovoked Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war. Hitler and Mussolini announce they are at war with America who retaliates with its own declaration of war .
Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel is relieved of his command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet as part of a shake up in the wake of the Pearl Harbor disaster, His superiors believed that Kimmel was accountable, to a certain degree, for the devastation of the U.S. Pacific Fleet by the Japanese attack.

Thanksgiving Day
President Franklin D Roosevelt signs a bill that establishes the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day .

Douglas Bader Captured
Douglas Bader the British RAF fighter pilot who had lost his legs in a flying accident, was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. During his time as a POW, Douglas Bader made as much trouble as possible and escaped in August 1942, on his recapture by the Germans he was sent to Colditz Castle which provided a more secure prison. Before he was shot down he had claimed 22 German aircraft shot down which was the fifth highest total in the RAF. In 1956 the movie “Reach for the Sky” was based on The Story of Douglas Bader, Hero of the Battle of Britain.”

Mt. Rushmore Completed
The Mt. Rushmore sculpture is completed after Gutzon Borglum and 400 stone masons sculpt the colossal 60-foot carvings of U.S. presidents, The project had started on October 4, 1927 to represent the first 150 years of American history

George Washington 1732–1799,

Thomas Jefferson 1743–1826

Abraham Lincoln 1809–1865

Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919

Frank Whittle Jet Airplane Flight
The Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 Jet aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, The aircraft's jet engine, was devised by Frank Whittle, a British aviation engineer and pilot generally regarded as the inventor of the jet engine.

Although Frank Whittle is considered the inventor of the Jet Engine Concept which he patented in 1930 the Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 Jet aircraft was not the first Jet aircraft to fly successfully.

The first was the German Heinkel He 178, designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, on August 27, 1939.

Germany invades Yugoslavia
Germany invades Yugoslavia resulting in the death of 17,000 civilians in a swift and brutal attack

Rudolf Hess, parachutes into Scotland
Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission, he was captured by British forces and held by the British for the remainder of the war.

In 1945 Rudolf Hess was taken before the Trial of the Major War Criminals during the Nuremberg Trials where he was found guilty

(1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace

(2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace

He was sentenced to life imprisonment and committed to Spandau Prison where he died in 1987

After 1966 for the next 20 years Hess was the sole remaining inmate of Spandau Prison, because the Soviet Union would not allow leniency.

His main companion was warden Eugene K. Bird, with whom he formed a close friendship.

Bird wrote a 1974 book titled "The Loneliest Man in the World" about his relationship with Hess during the 30 years of his imprisonment.

Germans get to within 125 Miles Of Moscow
German armies have mounted an all out offensive towards Moscow in an attempt to beat the winter , they are now only 125 miles from the Russian capital itself. Hitler believes that conquering the Soviet Union early will provide a great source of supplies and that Russian armies are close to collapse and defeat.

Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) Created
The Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) created to cause havoc behind German lines, the SAS Moto is "Who Dares Wins"

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