Jan. 31, 1942: Members of Congress from the West Coast call on the U.S. to expedite the evacuation of “enemy aliens,” a term that includes native-born people of Japanese ancestry. Officials concede that some of them may be loyal – but in wartime, why take a chance?
Note the byline: Kyle Palmer, who would forge a dubious legacy as one of Richard Nixon’s most ardent and unquestioning cheerleaders. (Nixon was, in fact, a pallbearer at Palmer’s funeral.).
Palmer’s inverted sentence structure is particularly remarkable:
Taking sharp issue with the leisurely program of the Department of Justice for evacuating enemy aliens and possible sympathizers from Pacific Coast defense areas, members of Congress from California, Oregon and Washington today approved recommendations calling for immediate action.
Speedy exercise of authority by President Roosevelt and Army and Navy authorities to clear the vital defense areas of enemy aliens at once was advocated.
Expressions of dissatisfaction with the government’s procedure to date with indicated plans for carrying out the evacuation program were voiced by those attending the conference of Western States representatives.
And so on.
It reminds me of Wolcott Gibbs’ satire on the language once used in Time magazine: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind. Where it will all end, knows God.” This odd, stiff language also appears in the opening newsreel portion of “Citizen Kane” and I’m sure it was intentional.
Dateline Ennis, Texas. “Seven Negroes were killed and a white woman was injured when a tornado leveled two houses” in Bristol. No names are provided on the seven dead blacks, but the injured white woman is Mrs. Walter Sparkman.
Ouch. The old newspapers are full of this kind of thing.
A few days ago,I posted that Traffic Engineer R.T. Dorsey was advocating a program of staggered work shifts to reduce downtown traffic. I wondered at the time whether rationing of gas and tires — and the halt in passenger car production — would increase the use of mass transit.
The answer is: yes.
Los Angeles Railway officials announce that use of streetcars and buses increased 7.3% since April. Pacific Electric passenger revenue is up 20% for the first three weeks of January, compared to a year ago.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” opens at Warners Hollywood and Downtown.
Jimmie Fidler says: CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNIQUE to Dorothy Lamour — I commend your fine attitude when, after working hard for Defense Bond sales and then being denied the privilege of visiting an airplane factory because “your presence would delay production,” you were American enough to refuse a higher-up’s offer to intervene for you.