Readers: At times, rather than recalling a specific event, we peek at a day in the past, usually a holiday. Today we mark Thanksgiving, 75 years ago, on Nov. 26, 1942.
America — and, up front and personal, South Florida — had been in World War II for less than a year, and much had not gone well. On the plus side, with wartime employment, people had money. But it wasn’t easy to spend; rationing and shortages were the rule. Through it all, Palm Beach County and America remained thankful. Some highlights from that day’s Palm Beach Post:
Weather: High of 76, low of 53.
Union services were set for 10 a.m. at Flagler Park, on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, with special music by the Palm Beach High Glee Club. The wartime footing meant some federal offices actually stayed open, although schools, courts and municipal offices were closed. The Salvation Army said fewer would be in need this year, but that didn’t mean none.
Fire damaged the personal library of the Rev. Carroll Varner at the WaggMemorial United Methodist Church on Garden Avenue in West Palm Beach (which would close in 2007). And firemen were called to Third Street and Rosemary Avenue to put out a small gasoline stove fire in “a negro residence.”
Five officers from the Morrison Field air base — now Palm Beach International Airport — reported each caught a 7-plus-foot-long sailfish out on the Gulf Stream aboard captain Rudy Steinhauser’s Black Jack. And U.S. Sugar began its annual harvest and predicted a record crop of 100,000 tons, along with 5 million gallons of blackstrap molasses to be used for smokeless powder for the war.
Palm Beach High’s Wildcats, mired at 5-4, were set for a rematch with Miami Jackson High, whom they had beaten 7-6 in October. Lake Worth High’s Trojans already had wrapped up a perfect season with a 52-0 rout at Pahokee.
Mrs. Henry Rea — wives at the time rarely merited a first name in the paper — had opened an office of Volunteers for Victory on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Boy Scout Billy Dethlefs, Troop 10, was awarded his Eagle Badge.
Harry’s News, “opposite Post Office,” needed an experienced morning-shift waitress and fountain girl; pay was $16 a week
The Log Cabin Tea Room. 325 Datura St., offered a full-course turkey dinner for $1 and a special dinner for $1.50; “fried chicken and waffles, sizzling steaks, sea food (sic), fresh vegetables.” Phone 7705; that’s all you needed then.
West End Barber Shop and Dry Cleaners, 518 Clematis — now site of the Respectable Street nightclub — offered one-day service, four pairs of pants $1.
And in honor of Thanksgiving, Blue Front Liquors, 533 Clematis — now a condo — offered a pint of California dry wine for 15 cents. Open all day Thanksgiving Day.
Submit your questions to Post Time, The Palm Beach Post, 2751 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Include your full name and hometown. Email EK@pbpost.com or call 561-820-4418. Sorry; no personal replies.