World War II had gripped the country for the better part of the last five years. This was the first peacetime July Fourth celebration in many years and for some cities, the first celebration of any kind since 1940 or 1941. Around the state, newspapers reported how it was observed:
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Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. is not a name that most people would associate with the State of Texas, but he had Texas roots. Walter, Jr. was born November 4, 1916 to Dr. Walter L. and Helen Lena Fritsche Cronkite in Missouri. The surname Cronkite is thought to be derived from a similar sounding Dutch name. However, traditional genealogical sources show that this particular Cronkite family had resided in the United States as far back as the middle 1600s with similar spelling, though for a time it was spelled “Cronkhite,” with an h after the k. Dr. Cronkite was a dentist like his own father had been. The family moved to Houston, Texas when Walter, Jr. was ten years old when Dr. Cronkite had accepted an offer to teach at a local dental school.
Earlier this summer, World War II historian G. P. Cox posted an excellent blog entry in his blog Pacific Paratrooper about Japanese balloon bombs reaching the United States. His article was reblogged here immediately before this post. If you are interested in World War II in the Pacific, we highly recommend this blog.
Japanese Balloon Bomb Project, reblogged from Pacific Paratrooper:
Avenging the Doolittle Raids – Project Fugo November 1944 – Young Japanese girls wore headbands that designated them as Special Attack Force members. Daily they would recite the Imperial Precepts for Soldiers and Sailors before they began a twelve-hour shift in a makeshift factory in Kokura, Japan. Here they were producing 40 foot balloons to […]
To see the entire post: Japanese Balloon Bombs hit USA & Canada — Pacific Paratrooper
The USS Texas is now berthed near the San Jacinto Monument. She is second of the New York ship class, which consisted of only two ships, the USS New York and the USS Texas. The New York Class (1908-1914) was characterized as being more heavily armed than the previous Wyoming Class. They were the first battleships to use 14 inch/45 caliber guns. This particular gun was used on the Nevada- and Pennsylvania Class ships. The ships of the New York Class were also powered by coal and had five gun turrets when first built. Some of the above was changed during overhauls and retrofitting, including her conversion from coal to diesel power.
(Image credit: U. S. Air Force. Cole is on the front row, to Doolittle’s right.)
Just a little more than one month after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, details were released to the media about the military action. The occasion was an award ceremony honoring pilots and crew of the historic attack. In an Associated Press report out of Washington on May 22, the identity of the leader was revealed to be Brig. Gen. James H. Doolittle. Coming only a few months after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, the raid shook the Japanese belief that the U.S. could not reach them on their own soil. In addition, it greatly improved the morale in the United States at a time when it was extremely low.
Chester William Nimitz came from a German Texas family having a long seafaring tradition. His grandfather, Charles Henry Nimitz, a former seaman of the German Merchant Marine, broke the string when he moved to the Hill Country of Texas to landlocked Fredericksburg and built the hotel that bears the family name.