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CSotD: The 1944th Noel

Looking back 75 years, we find ourselves on the edge of victory but with plenty yet to go.

There was a lot of good news: The Allies were about to break the German hold on what would be known as the Battle of the Bulge, though the fighting would continue for another month, while, in the Pacific Theater, the Japanese were retreating and were about to lose the Philippines.

However, there was still a war going on, and the news on Christmas Day, 1944, was not universally good. Thousands would mourn Glenn Miller, but thousands would also get the same bad news about their own family members before peace came the following August.

There were, of course, still distractions and fun to be had. Movies in those days were “bicycled,” the prints sent from theater to theater rather than released to all theaters at once, which added not only to the suspense of waiting for a blockbuster to arrive, but to the variety available at any given time.

For my part, I’d have headed to Indianapolis on Christmas.

Though I’d have had the radio on earlier in the day for this special!

 

The emphasis was on morale, as seen in the contrast between Gracie Allen’s feature on Christmas, compared to her more typical humorous take the next day.

That mood extended into many of the comics that Christmas.

So, how was morale on Christmas, 1944? Ask the people on the street:

 

And Judy Garland offered what would become a Christmas classic, but whose lyrics in 1944 spoke directly to the moment as few carols ever have:

Community Comments

#1 Chris West
December/25/2019
@ 10:09 am

Merry Christmas to you and thanks for all the posts.

#2 Kip Williams
December/25/2019
@ 7:41 pm

The 1944 lyrics are the ones that really speak to me. “Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow,” instead of the sappy Hallmark Cards (“When you care enough to send a card.”) version that got stuck in there because ol’ Blue Eyes wanted something more upbeat there.

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