Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Admiral King Visits Lorain's 1942 Home Front Celebration Part 1

In late August 1942, Lorain held a three-day home front celebration commemorating Lorain's sons and daughters in the armed forces, as well as the role that Lorain industries played in the war. The theme of the festivities was "Blast the Enemy."

The special guest, of course, was Admiral Ernest J. King. Here is an article that ran in the Lorain Journal on Thursday, August 27, 1942. (The front page of the paper is shown above; click on it for a closer look.)


Admiral to Arrive for Sunday Program, Parade

Assured that Admiral Ernest J. King will arrive here Sunday morning for the climax of the program, Lorain today prepared to open its three-day home front celebration tomorrow.

Lorain business sections were gaily decorated with flags and buntings today, "all set" for the celebration opening.

King is scheduled to arrive in the city shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday.

The Naval chief's mode of transportation and his travel itinerary cannot be announced because of Navy censorship.

With his day's activities planned to allow the Lorain-born head of the fleet an opportunity to spend some time with his family. King's official participation in the program will include an appearance at the Navy All-Star ball game, a position at the head of the Sunday evening parade, and dedication of the "war memorial shaft" in ceremonies at Lakeview Park.

Luncheon Planned
City officials were assured today that Admiral King's two brothers, Norman J. and P. C. King, and his sister, Mrs. Vernon Wright, all of Cleveland, would be present on Sunday.

The Admiral also will be a guest at a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. for visiting dignitaries and former associates of the Navy chief.

The committee-in-charge also emphasized today that tomorrow night's mass civilian defense demonstration at the high school stadium is absolutely free, with no tickets of any kind required for admission.

Committee members have been besieged with calls during the past few days, inquiring about admission price for the mammoth demonstration.

Big Fireworks Display
It was also pointed out that the fireworks exhibition at the end of the program tomorrow night would be one of the largest of its kind ever to take place in Lorain.

Fire Chief David E. Hatt, who has been putting on fireworks displays for more years than he cares to remember, promised that tomorrow night's exhibit would be "one of the nicest" ever seen here.

The mass civilian defense demonstration at the stadium will show the effects of real fire bombs on three types of "dummy" homes, first aid practices, firefighting methods, and other home defense activities.

Children to Parade
Speaker of the evening will be Battalion Chief John P. Redmond of the Chicago fie department, who is also vice-president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and chairman of the dust explosion committee of the National Fire Prevention Association.

The three-day "Blast the Enemy" celebration officially opens at 4 p.m. tomorrow and one of the first of the program's highlights is a "Children's parade" in South Lorain. The parade forms at Lincoln school at 3:30 p.m.

Following the demonstration at the stadium, a street dance will take place on Pearl Ave. between 28th Street and 29th Street, from 10 p.m. to midnight, with prizes for the "best dancing" couple.

The above article is interesting because we get a glimpse of a united, wartime Lorain. The anticipation surrounding the homecoming of Admiral Ernest J. King is in stark contrast to the apathy that so many people currently feel in 2010 towards the renaming of Admiral King High School.

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