Last month I had to report on the June events from 75 years ago through the pages of the New York Times. Now, however, I was able to visit Girard Free Library in person and spend an hour researching the Girard News from the month of July, 1945.
The articles in the News were a welcome change from just a few months before. The paper was back to headlining local news, and there were very few articles reporting deaths of Girard boys. In the entire month of June, the paper only reported the death of one Girard boy. Of course that was still devastating to his family. He had been killed in a plane crash in England, not war related. Much happier news was the many who were reported home with their families on a 30 day leave. Even though the war in the Pacific was on, there was a lull after winning the Island of Okinawa while the preparations were made for the invasion of Japan. President Truman had promised the nation that when the invasion came it would consist of a force double the size of the entire current Pacific force. Thus, many of the men who were now enjoying their 30 day passes from the war worried that they would be shipped to the Pacific to participate in that invasion. So, the local paper was filled with local news. The headline for the Friday, July 6th edition was “Girard Local Post Office Rated First Class”. The article went on to explain that since 1916, Girard had been a second class post office. Apparently, the classification depended upon the amount of receipts collected per year. The annual receipts since 1940 had increased from $22,678 in 1940 to $45,224 in 1944. Being considered First Class certainly felt good.
The July 13th edition of the News reported that over 100 attended the Union Vesper Service last Sunday evening, July 8th, at the High School Stadium. Our Rev. Maly gave the Scripture Reading. The Sermon was given by Rev. James Foster of the First Baptist Church.
The headline for the July 20th issue of the News read “Walls New President of State F.O.P.” It went on to explain that Harold Walls, Chief of Police of the Village of McDonald was elected Ohio State President of the Fraternal Order of Police, when their organization held their annual War Conference at the Neil House in Columbus last Monday and Tuesday, July 10 and 11. The article went on to state that Chief Wells is one of the youngest members of the F.O.P. to hold the office of President of the Statewide organization - (Not to mention the size of the Village Police Force) He beat out Capt. Clyde Kuntz of Cleveland and Chief Cliff Courtney of Zanesville.
The Friday, July 27th edition of the News concerned the upcoming Primary Election for City seats Most were not contested, but the Republican ballot had what was expected to be a close contest for the Mayor’s race with the incumbent, Mayor Whitford seeking his 4th term. He was challenged by Louis Sabino, present Councilman at Large and Russell O. Vaughn, current President of Council.
There was the following article in the Society Section of the News: “Mr and Mrs D. W. Bloom announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Betty Lou Bloom to Pfc. Stephen W. Genetta, son of Mr and Mrs Andrew Genetta. No date has been set for the wedding. Pvt. Genetta has been serving with the Army of the European Theater Operations. He is now at home spending a 30 day leave. He is a graduate of Girard High School. Miss Bloom, also a graduate of Girard High School is a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps at the Youngstown City Hospital.”
I remember how friendly and welcoming the Genetta family was to Clyde and me when we joined our church back in ’59 and ‘60. Steve and Clyde became especially close friends, and Steve stood with Clyde as Best Man at our wedding. As our family grew, and their children were older than ours, we drifted apart sometime during the various teen years, but the happy memories remain.
This was our town and our church in July of 1945, taking advantage of the respite in the war for lifetime plans which they hoped would materialize for a happy ending.
Our church, our town, and our country in July of 1945 – 75 years ago