The Year of 1939 (I was 12 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- Hitler signs a non-aggression pact with Stalin, then Invades Poland.
- WWII begins when Britain and France declare war on Germany.
- Britain lands its Army in France.
- Russia invades Latvia and Estonia.
- The Spanish Civil War ends with Franco as dictator.
- Ataturk, president and national hero of Turkey, dies of alcoholism.
What was happening in the USA:
- The US begins drafting men to expand its armed forces.
- Several years later, I would be one of them.
- Lindbergh urges the US to stay out of the war.
- Einstein proposes the possibility of an "atomic" bomb.
What was happening in California:
- The World Exposition opens on Treasure Island. Our family visited it to see what a world exposition was all about.
- John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is a best seller.
- The top Hollywood Radio Programs are:
- Jack Benny
- Burns and Allan
- The Lone Ranger
- The Shadow
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was USC 7 - Duke 3.
- In the World Series the Yankees swept Cincinnati in 4 games.
- In the NFL championship game it was Green Bay 27 - NY Giants 0.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Nile Kinnick of Iowa.
- The National Champion of College Football was Texas A&M.
- Lou Gehrig is forced to retire from baseball because of illness.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was Gone With The Wind.
- Best actor was Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips.
- Best Actress was Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind.
- Other great movies were:
- Gunga Din (Cary Grant)
- Hunchback of Notre Dame (Charles Laughton)
- Wizard of Oz (Judy Garland)
- Stage Coach (John Wayne)
- Hound of the Baskerville (Basil Rathbone)
Memorable Songs were:
- Somewhere over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
- Beer Barrel Polka
- You Smile and the angels sing
- Amapola (on our crank-up phonograph)
What was happening in my life:
- I was 12 years old and in the big buildings at Garfield. There was no one teacher now but a series of teachers for each class. I remember the fun of learning to make Interesting things in the Wood and Metal shops.
- Some of the classes weren't all that great, like the music class of Mrs. Hirsh where she pushed me to sing when I really didn't want to. Also, the weekly dances in the auditorium where Vice-Principal Mr. Tabor forced us to dance with the girls.
- In 1939,when I was 12, Dad bought Rich and I a Schwinn Bike. With Rich riding on the bar and me doing the pedaling, we took many trips all over Oakland and as far out as Hayward. These were great kid times. Some of our routes were: Up Park Blvd. to Sequoia Park; out Foothill Blvd to the Fairmont Hospital; and down to Lake Merritt to fish for Smelt. This was the first place I ever fished.
What was happening in 1940 ---->
The Home of Joaquin Miller
One of my favorite trips was up Park Boulevard to Sequoia Park. On the way, we always passed these cabins. Miller built them and lived there back in 1886.
Western Newt - about 5” long
During the right time of year, Rich and I would see dozens of these Salamanders migrating down into Dimond Creek to lay their eggs.
Statue of Joaquin Miller
The Poet-Laureate of Oakland, California
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
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