1940-1949 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 - 1945 - 1946 - 1947 - 1948 - 1949

1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles include a 1940-1949 Timeline from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives and Stories From Our Archives from a different archive of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Fort Wayne memories. The forties / producer, writer, Claudia Johnson ; a production of WFWA-TV39 PBS Fort Wayne, 1995, Accompanied by photographs and film footage, Fort Wayne residents tell what life was like in their city in the 1940s. DVD at Allen County Public Library.


The Parkinsons Power for the Parkinsons, narrated by Walter Cronkite, which was first broadcast in 2008. That documentary tells the story of the making of the Rural Electrification Administration film Power and the Land (1940). Power For the Parkinsons web site has more about the 2008 PBS story about making the 1939-1940 video. 1940 video is also available on Archive.org from the FDR Presidential Library.
Flora of Indiana (1940) on Archive.org by Charles C. Deam Indiana Department of Conservation, Division of Forestry. Flora of Indiana is a good read for what Indiana native plants were here when the pioneers started clearing the forests for settlement. May also have clues about areas before 1940 that were still in pristine native conditions. Other Books on Indiana Native Plants are on the INPAWS - Indiana Native Plant And Wildflower Society web site.

1940 - Wolf & Dessauer's G. Irving Latz requested a Santa light display. It was designed by Isabel Parker of local firm Brinkman Corp. Santa first took flight in 1940 with three pairs of reindeer, then a fourth pair of reindeer was added for the 1941 holiday season for a total of eight. “Where was Rudolph?” Well, Rudoloph not invented until 1939, had not yet risen to national popularity. The display took a brief hiatus after the United States entered World War II. Santa returned to the side of the Wolf & Dessauer store in 1945 and spent every holiday season there until the late 1950s, when the display was put into storage. It remained there until the late 1970s when a General Telephone installer named Jim Green came upon the display in storage at L.S. Ayers, which had taken over the former Wolf & Dessauer. The display was then moved to a General Telephone lot near Southtown Mall, where the pieces lay out in the elements for a year until the telephone company needed the storage space back, when the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce was contacted which helped support restoration efforts. In June 1979, General Telephone lent a truck to a group of volunteers who prepared to move the display to yet another storage space. On a Sunday in late September 1979, all 35 pieces were laid out on a gravel lot. Lots of stories in print and television news increased involvement in the project, and in the holiday season of 1979, the first two sets of reindeer had been restored and hung on the side of the Fort Wayne National Bank building. Santa and his other two sets of reindeer joined them the following year. Copied and paraphrased from Fond memories of Santa display include path to restoration by Corey McMaken published November 23, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Santa Claus is comin' back to town by Dell Ford appeared in the November 10, 1980 The Journal Gazette newspaperand posted for Throwback Thursday on November 23, 2017. Thousands of people now gather every year the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the lighting of Santa and his reindeer, the Merrry Christmas wreath, a Christmas tree, and other lighting projects added over the years with various groups posting photos and videos on social media!

1940, January 31 -

January 31, 2023 post by Social Security Administration on Facebook.

On this day in 1940, the first monthly retirement check was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont in the amount of $22.54. Miss Fuller, a legal secretary, retired in November 1939, and started collecting benefits in January 1940 at age 65. Ida May Fuller lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1975. In this photo, she is seen receiving her first Cost of Living increase benefit check on October 3, 1950.

Want to learn more about retirement benefits? Visit Social Security in retirement.

1940, February 2 - debut of singer Frank Sinatra in Indianapolis at the Lyric Theater appearing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

1940, April 2 - Robert Hiss, the census enumerator, started recording the 16th U.S. Federal Census in Aboite Township.

1940, May 13 – World War II: Germany's conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse. Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons. From May 13, 2013 The Greatest Generations Foundation on Facebook.

1940, May 15 - McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1940, November 5 - Robert Lee Brokenburr, son of a former slave, became the 1st African-American elected to the Indiana Senate. Tweeted November 5, 2015 on Indiana 2016 Twitter and on Facebook referenced Legislator attacked racial barriers article by Diana Penner published February 26, 2009 on IndyStar newspaper.

1940 November 20 - Santa and his reindeer made their debut on the Washington Blvd. side of Wolf & Dessauer department store. It was the second largest display of its kind at 155 feet long and 5.5 tons. It now uses 24,717 LED lights.

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1941, January 14 - Westfield Village, Fort Wayne's first public-housing project, opened on a 15-acre site north of Taylor Street near Rockhill Park. A two-bedroom apartment in the 120-unit complex operated by the 3-year-old Fort Wayne Public Housing Authority rented for $12.50 a month. For another $1, you could get a three-bedroom apartment. The units were torn down in 1974. Copied from the 1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1941, February 19 - the Indiana General Assembly passed House Bill 47 know as Delayed Birth Records. Births were from many years earlier - in some cases as early as the 1850's and 1860's.

1941, March 11 - The Lend-Lease Act of 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Lend-Lease Act—authorizing the President to sell, lease, or lend military hardware to any country he designated as vital to American national security. In December 1940, British leaders informed American officials that the war against the Axis Powers had nearly bankrupted the country. Great Britain no longer would be able to pay cash for arms as U.S. law required. From Historical Highlights Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk United States House of Representatives.

1941, October 3 - Charles Lindbergh told 10,000 people crammed into and around an America First Committee rally at the Gospel Temple that President Franklin Roosevelt was "drawing dictatorial power into his hands" in an attempt to condition the United States for war. Copied from the 1940-1949 Timeline from Fort Wayne History from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper. You can listen to the 3 minute On Free Speech by Charles Lindburghon WWII Homefront: Pre-war Defense page at HistoryOnTheNet. The Lindbergh speaks again Fort Wayne, Ind. - Backed by a large portrait of George Washington, Charles A. Lindbergh addresses some 3,000 persons at an America First rally in Fort Wayne's Gospel Temple. Speech marked his first appearance since his controversial address at Des Moines. image is at The Library of Congress.

1941, October 31 - The 60-foot-tall Mount Rushmore National Memorial containing head sculptures of US presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt was completed after 14 years of work. 

1941, November - the 4th Thursday becomes "official" Thanksgiving day after various days of celebration from various government proclamations going back to November 21, 1678 in Boston, Massachusetts. Read the Thanksgiving history on the Happy Thanksgiving! November 25, 2010 Library of Congress Law Library blog by Kelly Buchanan. Thanksgiving was not a fixed holiday; it was up to the President to issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation to announce what date the holiday would fall on. Tradition had dictated that the holiday be celebrated on the last Thursday of the month, however, this tradition became increasingly difficult to continue during the challenging times of the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s first Thanksgiving in office fell on November 30, the last day of the month, because November had five Thursdays that year. This meant that there were only about 20 shopping days until Christmas and statistics showed that most people waited until after Thanksgiving to begin their holiday shopping. Business leaders feared they would lose the much-needed revenue an extra week of shopping would afford them. From US National Archives November 21, 2012 Facebook post. Read more in Thanksgiving With Presidents on The National Archives December 2012 blog.

1941, December 1 - gas rationing went into effect across the nation in order to conserve rubber for use in World War II. The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was cancelled for the duration of the war. Read President Roosevelt's stand on nationwide gasoline rationing by reading the New York Times.

1941, December 6 - Baer Field World War II Military Base becomes a live Army base with the arrival of 31 P-39 Airocobra fighter planes. Within days, as many as 100 of the planes were stationed there. Copied from the 1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1941 December 7 - a Sunday, Pearl Harbor Hawaii is attacked by the Japanese. Approximately 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 others were wounded, galvanizing the nation around the rallying cry "Remember Pearl Harbor." Five servicemen from the Fort Wayne died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma, Fort Wayne men who died were Seaman Raymond Boynton, Machinist’s Mate Arthur Glenn and Seaman Maurice Spangler. Aboard the battleship USS Arizona, Fort Wayne men who died were Gunner’s Mate Marshall Coffman and Seaman Harold Summers. None of the bodies of these sailors were ever recovered until 2017 when Machinist Mate Arthur Glenn's remains were identified and received a proper burial August 21, 2018. See Remembering Pearl Harbor - 2015 on YouTube by Department of Defensepublished December 6, 2015. Pearl Harbor Attack Newsreel and Archival Footageon YouTube by PublicDomainFootage.com published December 7, 2010. Or Pearl Harbor - Dec. 7, 1941 - The only color film of the attack by CVL23USSPrinceton published December 6, 2012.

Major General Charles Douglas Herron, who was born and raised in Crawfordsville [Indiana], warned that Hawaii was susceptible to such an attack a year before. According to an US Army historian, Herron, while acting as commander of the Hawaiian Department from 1938 to 1941, "warned that carriers would approach at night, launching their planes to strike the naval base at dawn, in an attempt to destroy the US air forces. He expressed concern about the weaknesses of Hawaiian air and artillery defense against a surprise attack. He also argued for a long-range reconnaissance patrol and an efficient early warning communications system." Herron retired from service 10 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and while his suggestions were taken seriously, they were not implemented quickly enough to avert disaster.  Copied from a December 7, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. Learn more about Charles Herron: A man of character, fearless and dependable Beth Swift published August 19, 2016 in the JournalReview.com.

1941, December 8 - The Declaration of War against Japan.

On this date, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, addressing the nation in a Joint Session in the House Chamber, asked Congress to declare war against Japan for the surprise attack against American naval facilities in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a day earlier. With much of the U.S. Pacific Fleet still smoldering, Roosevelt assured Members of Congress and the American people, “With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.” From Office of the Clerk U.S. House of Representatives.

1941, December 11 - The House declaration of war against the Axis Powers (Germany and Italy)

On this date, the House approved a declaration of war against Axis Powers Germany and Italy—just three days after Congress had declared war against Japan. On the morning of December 11, during a rambling speech at the German Reichstag, Adolph Hitler declared war on the United States in accord with the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940; Italy followed suit. President Roosevelt’s swift rejoinder requesting a declaration of war against both Axis nations was read to the House by reading clerk Irving Swanson. “The forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere,” Roosevelt wrote. “Rapid and united effort by all of the peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and of righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism.”

1941, December 27 - U.S. begins rubber rationing, including tires. See WWII Food Ration Stamps on Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

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1942-1947 - The Beacon military base newspaper was published weekly on base containing war news, local troop events, supportive Fort Wayne businesses and organizations and more.

February 8, 2023 post by Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum on Facebook:

Thanks to our newest partner, the Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum, the history of Baer Field and its war time works told through the pages of the base newspaper "The Beacon" will be shared digitally with the public. From 1942 to 1947, the Beacon was published weekly on base containing war news, local troop events, supportive Fort Wayne businesses and organizations and more. Stay tuned for more details to come.

See our World War II military page.

See our Baer Field section.

1942 - World War II the U.S. Office of Price Administration (OPA) rationed gasoline Gas Ration Stickers samples at Cartyped.com.

1942, January 1 - U.S. Government prohibits new car and truck sales to civilians while automakers dedicate plants to war effort. From Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Twitter post January 1, 2014.

1942, January 16 - Carole Lombard, age 33, the movie actress, third wife of Clark Gable,  after attending a war bond rally in Indianapolis, died in an airplane crash near Table Rock Mountain, Nevada. She was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908.

1942, January 17 - Vernon Engelbrecht crew member of B-26 #40-1475, Bomber Squadron 33 and Carole Lombard deaths were printed side by side in the The Journal Gazette newspaper. The bomber squad story is retold in Follow Up: Researched Background of the members of the crew of B-26 #40-1475, Bomber Squadron 33 by Marie S. Schmidt. The crew died in a military plane crash just 23 days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but the wreckage was not located until 1992 when three hikers were curious about the old wreckage of a plane on Keller Peak in California's San Bernardino Mountains. The story was retold in the article Memorial honors local soldier killed in '41 crash by Nancy Vendreley November 11, 1994 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1942, February 19 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 allowing internment of Japanese Americans. 110,000 Japanese Americans living in coastal Pacific areas were placed in concentration camps in remote areas of Arizona, Arkansas, inland California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. They were allowed to return to their homes 2 January 1945. For more see A | More | Perfect | Union Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution by the Smithsonian National Museum of National History. It was repealed February 19, 1976 by President Gerald R. Ford. See Japanese American Internment on Today's Document.

1942, April - the USS Indiana was commissioned in and served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Considered one of the fastest and most powerful in the naval fleet. The ship was involved in several invasions, including Iwo Jima. Decommissioned in 1947, the ship was sold for scrap metal but select pieces, including the prow, were preserved on display at a seafood restaurant in California until its recent acquisition by Indiana University. In 1966 the U.S. Navy gave IU the ship’s mainmast and two gun mounts. All three pieces are on display on the west entrance of Indiana University's Memorial Stadium. Copied from USS Indiana Dedicated At Memorial Stadium by Lacy Nowling and Ben Decamp published September 8, 2013 on IndianaPublicMedia.com. Wood from the deck was used to make the desk currently used by the Governor of Indiana. From a November 21, 2013 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

1942, April 18 - The Doolittle Raiders struck Tokyo, Japan in response to the Pearl Harbor attack causing only minor damage, it forced the Japanese to recall combat forces for home defense, raised fears among Japanese civilians, and boosted morale among Americans and our Allies abroad. From PublicDomainFootage.com (Public Domain Archival Stock Footage)

1942, April 26 -Sunbeam bread production began at Perfection Bakery, distribution started in 1947, and in 1957 the rotating Sunbeam sign was installed on the roof. From Business at a glance May 5, 2013 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Sign is still rotating as Aunt Millie's Bakery.

1942, May 4

May 4, 2018 post by Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site on Facebook:

On this day in 1942 War time food rationing began in the U.S. Civilians first received ration books—War Ration Book Number One, or the "Sugar Book"—on 4 May 1942, through more than 100,000 schoolteachers, PTA groups, and other volunteers.

1942, May 14 - Yielding to public pressure, Fort Wayne's Park Commissioners renamed the Japanese Gardens in West Swinney Park in honor of former Park Superintendent Adolph Jaenicke. Copied from the 1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1942, May 15 - They also served by Judy G. Russell published May 15, 2013 in The Legal Genealogist blog about the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), President Roosevelt signed into law the first federal statute enabling women to serve officially in noncombat positions.

1942, September 25 - the earliest Fort Wayne has ever experienced measurable snow, amounts of one-tenth of an inch or greater. From First snowfall brings record 4 inches by Dave Gong published November 22, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1942, December 1 - Nationwide gasoline rationing goes into effect due to WWII. See New York Times article.

1942, December 4 - FDR ordered the dismantling of the WPA, created to provide jobs during the Depression. From December 4, 2014 Tweet by American History Museum on Twitter. The WPA indexed many books like birth, marriage, and death records for most counties useful for researching genealogy before their funding ended. Many of those books are now digitized and found online at Internet Archive.


Food Rationing During Wartime: War Time Food Policies: Food and Magic (1943) - CharlieDeanArchives - by Charlie Dean Archives published August 27, 2013 on YouTube.

1943, January 4 - Fort Wayne Waste Paper fire destroyed the building - Fire Police City County Federal Credit Union calendar.

1943, February - Shoe rationing went into effect in the U.S. 80 years ago, in February 1943, with 3 pairs allotted per person per year.

February 8, 2023 by Newspapers.comon Facebook:

Shoe rationing went into effect in the U.S. 80 years ago, in February 1943, with 3 pairs allotted per person per year.

As this front-page article from February 8 reported, shoe rationing was implemented "without advanced warning" and "almost immediately crowds stormed shoe counters in stores operating on Sundays in many cities."

Only a few types of shoes (mainly soft-soled) were exempted from rationing. A person's shoe ration coupons could be shared within their family, and police, mail carriers, and people in certain other industries could qualify for extra shoes.

Do you have any family stories about shoe rationing? Share them with us in the comments!

Read the full article in the Decatur Daily Review on our site: https://www.newspapers.com/.../wwii-shoe-rationing-begins/

1943, March 29 - rationing of meat, butter, and cheese begins during World War II.

1943 May - another flood

1943 May - the United States Post Office Department began a Delivery Zone address system in 124 large cities a precursor to the Zip Code introduced in 1963. From page 54 of 149 page document The United States Postal Service An American History Publication 100 2020. An example of Delivery Zones was shown in 1960s: Reaching out to Industry to Level Mountains of Mail on PostalMuseum.si.edu for a question about Duesler Music 1213 Calhoun Street Fort Wayne 2, Ind. business card address shown and discussed June 25, 2022 on Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne Private Facebook Group.

1943, July 14 -

July 14, 2023 post by The Library of Congress on Facebook:

It's National Mac And Cheese Day! Check out these old newspaper ads from 1943 and 1944 for clues about how boxed macaroni and cheese became a pantry staple in America. When war rationing changed how grocery shopping was done, boxed macaroni was advertised as a wholesome and ration point-friendly dinner option.

Check out more of our historical newspaper archive: http://go.loc.gov/rQTM50Lcspp

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1944 - Selected sentences from a long February 5, 1994 newspaper article state: By the end of 1944, two more young women would be beaten and strangled; in 1945, another two would die. It was a series of murders as horrific as any we see in our own violent age and, for that simpler time, it was a cause for civic hysteria. ''It looks like the work of a maniac," declared Police Chief Jule Stumpf after the third murder. The victims were: Wilhelmina Haaga - Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1944, Anna Kuzeff - May 22, 1944, Phyllis Conine - Sunday, Aug. 6, 1944, and Dorothea Howard Tuesday, March 6, 1945. From Killer in the rain A HALF-CENTURY AGO, FAST-GROWING FORT WAYNE WAS PARALYZED WHEN YOUNG WOMEN STARTED TURNING UP MURDERED, ALL THOUGHT TO BE VICTIMS OF A KILLER IN THE RAIN. NO ONE WAS ABOVE SUSPICION IN A STRING OF VIOLENT DEATHS OF LOCAL WOMEN IN THE 1940S - CRIMES THAT WOULD BAFFLE AUTHORITIES FOR YEARS. In SUMMIT CITY HISTORY NOTES by Richard Battin posted in I Remember Fort Wayne in the online archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper. This article was shared in a June 26, 2022 post on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with lots of comments including a newspaper article on the accused murderer Franklin Click who died in the electric chair and A history of executions in Indiana by Dawn Mitchell published December 11, 2019 on indystar.com stating: Franklin Click, Dec. 30, 1950 - In 1949, Fort Wayne police arrested Franklin Click on a charge of raping and almost strangling a housewife. Click then confessed he had killed Anna Kuzeff, Phyllis Conine and Billa Haaga. He was indicted for all three murders but tried and convicted of only the Conine murder. The tragic story of Ralph Lobaugh, the innocent man who spent 30 years in prison by Kristine Phillips Indianapolis Star. The tragic story of Ralph Lobaugh the innocent man who spent 30 years in prison August 19, 2022 on YouTube. A January 18, 2023 post on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

1944 - Kids gathered milkweed pods for WWII effort paid 20 cents a bag for use in life jackets from Pantagraph.com October 13, 2007 article by Bill Kemp Archivist/Librarian McLean County Museum of History in Illiniois.

1944 - the Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Co. in Fort Wayne began work on a contract with the Manhattan Engineering District to turn short, stubby chunks of uranium into long rods. Those rods would help fuel atomic bombs, make America the world’s first superpower and begin the Cold War, a nuclear standoff that lasted for the next half-century.

1944, March 14

March 14, 2018 post and a different photo posted March 14, 2019 by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. .

On March 14, 1944, the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons defeated Sheboygan to claim the franchise’s first National Basketball League championship. Bobby McDermott, a great scorer and a sometimes combative personality from Queens, led the team to victory. McDermott was also named the league’s most valuable player. Learn more about the history of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons here:


Learn more about the history of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons.

1944, March 27 - Capt. Walker A. "Bud" Mahurin of Fort Wayne, an Army ace with 21 "kills" to his credit, is shot down over France by German fighters. He is rescued by the French underground and later adds two Japanese planes to his total. Copied from the 1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1944, June 6 - Allied forces landed on beaches at Normandy as ‘Operation Overlord’ also known as D-Day began. See D-Day Invasion 1944 Newsreel PublicDomainFootage.coma 9:30 minute YouTube uploaded October 9, 2011 on PublicDomainFootage.

1944, June 22 - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the GI Bill of Rights, authorizing benefits for WWII veterans, just days after the D-day invasion of Normandy. The bill had unanimously passed both chambers of Congress in the spring of 1944. The act put higher education, job training, and home ownership within the reach of millions of World War II veterans. See On display: GI Bill of Rights by the The National Archives and their Google+ post June 9, 2014.

1944, October 28 -

October 28, 2022 post by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

On October 28, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Fort Wayne. Joined by Indiana Governor Henry Schricker and Senator Sam Jackson, Roosevelt delivered a speech, hoping to persuade Hoosiers to re-elect him as president. Most Hoosiers voted for Republican candidate Thomas Dewey instead.

You can read Roosevelt’s speech here: Remarks at Fort Wayne, Indiana. October 28, 1944. Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States: 1933 ‐ 1945, on The American Presidency Project.

Fdr At Soldier's Field & Ft Wayne Nov 1944 with WOWO radio microphone visible by George Skadding in the Life Photo Collection on Google. A similar photo taken by Louis J. Culp of the public relations department at International Harvester shows FDR speaking, with Governor Henry Schricker and Senator Sam Jackson on the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

February 20, 2023 post by Genealogy Center on Facebook:

Happy Presidents Day!

Fort Wayne has had several presidential visits. In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was passing through the area on his way to Chicago and his train was halted for 10 minutes at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. The President made a speech to the crowd and spoke about all that the citizens of Indiana were doing to help win the war. Every U.S. President “from Harding to Eisenhower” made stops at this station to deliver campaign speeches.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan made a spontaneous visit to Fort Wayne before returning to Washington. The area was experiencing record flooding, causing thousands to evacuate and leaving thousands more homeless. Reagan met with residents and helped pass sandbags up to the edge of the St. Mary’s River.

Have you met a U.S. President? Share in the comments.

(1944, October 28). Thousands Greet FDR in This City. Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, p. 1.

History. Baker Street Train Station. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2023, from http://www.bakerstreetstation.com/history.htm

Leininger, Kevin (1982, March 17). President Pitches in For Cameras. Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, p. 1

1944, December 16 - Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The United States suffered 19,276 fatalities, more than in any other battle in the war. Read the full story  The Bloodiest Battle in The National Archives publication Prologue. 

1944, December 17 - the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II ended on this day in 1944 by Maj. Gen. H. Conger Pratt, Western commander, in a proclamation effective January 2, 1945. See Monday, December 18, 1944 The New York Times - Times Machine .

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1945, February 19 – March 26 - The Battle of Iwo Jima when U.S. Marines landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Between 20,530 and 21,060 Japanese defenders entrenched on the island, from 17,845 to 18,375 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide. Only 216 were captured during the course of battle. With more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. From February 19, 2016 post by The Greatest Generations Foundation on Facebook.

1945, March 10

March 10, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1945, Governor Ralph F. Gates signed the Fair Employment Practices Act at a time when returning World War II veterans pushed women and Black workers out of jobs at a higher rate than white male workers. In early 1946, the Fair Employment Practice Commission was set up “to discourage, the practice, when and where found, of denying employment by discriminating against employees on account of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.” The Indianapolis Recorder noted that the Indiana law, one of the first in the nation, was “advisory,” whereas the recently passed New York State fair employment law had “real teeth.” Learn more at: Ralph F Gates

The image below is courtesy of Wikipedia

1945, April 12 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. FDR held the office of president longer than anyone, more than twelve years. Under his direction, the United States endured two of its most significant and overwhelming crises, the Great Depression and World War II. FDR's White House Stenographer's diary. Read more in Life and Death in the White House on Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

Heroes of WWII by IndianaStateMuseum published on Jan 21, 2011

1945, April 18 - Hoosier reporter Ernie Pyle died covering WWII’s Pacific Front. Discover Pyle & a Hoosier hero. Heroes of WWII January 21, 2011 from IndianaStateMuseum YouTube channel.

1945, April 29 – World War II: The Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops. Disturbing government video of Dachau Nazi Concentration Camp Footage on YouTube stock footage published January 27, 2013 by PublicDomainFootage.

1945, April 30 – World War II: Führerbunker: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after being married for one day. Soviet soldiers raise the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building. Fold3 shows the front page Hitler Dead headline of The Star and Stripes newspaper.

1945, May 8 - Jubilant crowds take to the streets as Allies accept Nazi surrender and celebrate WWII victory in Europe on V-E Day.

1945, May 24

May 24, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

On May 24, 1945, the Fort Wayne Daisies won their first game of the inaugural season in the All-American Girls Professional League. The league was established during World War II to help keep baseball in the public eye while men were drafted in the U.S. Armed Services. The Daisies were league champions from 1952 to 1954.

Learn more about AAGBL here: http://www.aagpbl.org/index.cfm

The photo below is courtesy of The History Center of Fort Wayne.

Another AAGBL photo was posted May 24, 2019 by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

1945, July 16 - “Trinity” First atomic explosion at Alamogordo, NMat Today's Document.

1945, July 30 -  the cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Survivors drifted in the ocean until August 2. See USS Indianapolis Memorial on IN.gov. A submarine commisisoned January 5, 1980 was the third ship named USS Indianapolis in the United States Navy named for the state capital Indianapolis, Indiana. See also The Worst Shark Attack in History by Natasha Geiling published August 8, 2013 on Smithsonian.com.

Bombing of Hiroshima WWII Enola Gay Public Domain Archival Stock Footage uploaded March 17, 2010 by PublicDomainFootage on YouTube
A newsreel on the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The Enola Gay and its crew as well as aftermath of the devastation. 

1945, August 6

August 6, 2015 post by the US National Archives on Facebook:

On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay released the atomic bomb “Little Boy” over Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb leveled the city and left between 70,000 to 100,000 dead. A second bomb, “Fat Man,” was dropped three days later on the city of Nagasaki, killing another 50,000 to 70,000 people. On August 14, the Japanese surrendered, ending World War II.

On August 15, 1945, President Truman requested that the United States Strategic Bombing Survey conduct a study of the effects of the atomic bombs against Japan. The Survey examined confiscated records of the Japanese government and interrogated numerous Government officials and private citizens throughout Japan.

The Survey concluded “..that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

Some historians have used these findings to argue against the decision to use the bombs against Japan. Others point out that the Survey had access to information unavailable before the war’s conclusion and that those conducting the survey purposefully downplayed the importance of the atomic bombs in securing Japan’s surrender.

The debate continues today, confirming President Truman’s decision over 60 years ago as one of the most controversial decisions of the 20th century.

Text via http://ourpresidents.tumblr.com

August 6, 2023 post by Fold3 on Facebook:

The atomic bomb "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima 78 years ago today. Pictured here is a mockup of Little Boy. It was the first photograph of the bomb casing ever to be released by the government. http://fnote.it/6xx5

1945, August 14 - Japanese forces surrendered, ending World War II. Around 338,000 Indiana men fought in the war and over 118,000 Hoosier women also served in the military. 13,370 Indiana servicemen were killed.

January 25, 2013 post on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook:

Some favorites. A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered at the corner of Calhoun Street and Washington Boulevard on Aug. 14, 1945, to celebrate the victory over Japan and the end of World War II.

August 13, 2023 post by Fold3 on Facebook:

This iconic photograph was captured on August 14, 1945, in New York City as Americans celebrated the surrender of Japan. A euphoric US Navy sailor kissed a complete stranger during a V-J day celebration in Times Square: http://fnote.it/6xx6

1945, September 2 - a written agreement was signed by General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Allied Commander on the deck of USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan, on V-J, Victory in Japan, Day when Japan surrendered ending their participation in World War II!

1945, September 10 - Mike, the headless chicken, Sept. 1945

September 10, 2023 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

On September 10, 1945, a rooster named Mike "sprung into prominence by his refusal to quit this earth even though his head had been severed with an axe." Mike would go on to live for about a year and a half without a head, being displayed in sideshows and featured in the media during that time.

Read the full clipping in the Deseret News on our site: Mike, the headless chicken, Sept. 1945


Mike the Headless Chicken on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia says In Fruita, Colorado, United States, an annual "Mike the Headless Chicken Day" is held in May. See the festival History page!

1945, November 23 - the wartime rationing of most foods ended. From The End of Rationing and the Celebration of Thanksgiving on The National WWII Museum.

1945, December 28 - The US Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. On Flag Day in 1954 Congress added the words “under God.”

  1. See our Timeline history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
  2. December 28, 2013by The History Center on Facebook:

    Today's history lesson from Writer's Almanac:

    It was on this day in 1945 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. It was written in 1892 by a minister and Socialist named Francis Bellamy, who was eventually forced out of his position because he preached too many sermons about Jesus and socialism. Bellamy wrote the Pledge for Youth's Companion magazine, which had launched a program offering kids a flag for their school in return for every 100 magazine subscriptions they sold. Youth's Companion decided to step it up a notch and partner with the Columbian Exposition in Chicago (the World's Fair) to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing in America. They wanted schools nationwide to participate in honoring the flag. One hot August evening, the magazine's employees were in the offices planning for the celebration, and the editor asked Bellamy to write something for students to recite. Bellamy agreed to hole himself up in his office for an hour and see what he could do. He said later: "Here arose the temptation of that historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty, equality, fraternity.' No; that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all. That's all any one nation can handle. [...] The words seemed to take care of themselves — they were the old words of American history and evolution, with the ear instinctively helping in their choice. They had been condensed to 23. When they were said aloud, they seemed to have a carrying resonance together with ease of speech." His pledge was published in early September, and it read simply: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." On Columbus Day, October 12th, it was recited in public schools all over the country.

    In 1923, the National Flag Conference changed the words from "my Flag" to "the Flag of the United States of America," so that immigrants wouldn't be confused about which flag they were honoring. In 1942, Congress first acknowledged the Pledge as part of legislation codifying flag-related rituals, but it wasn't until this day in 1945 that they officially recognized it and it was sanctioned by Congress. The words "under God" were added in 1954 to make sure it didn't sound like something that would be recited by Communists.

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1946 Baer Field renamed Fort Wayne Municipal Airport.

1946, December 20 - the first official Indiana state historical marker was installed, which commemorated the history of the State Capitol as it moved from Corydon to Indianapolis in 1825. The Indiana Historical Bureau had worked with the WPA on a series of markers in the 1930s and early 1940s that featured white painted signs with black lettering. These markers quickly began to show deterioration from weathering and needed to be replaced. After World War II ended, many expressed interest in a more permanent marker program to commemorate the people, places, events, and organizations that shaped the development of the state. This led to the standard design and format we know today: a cast aluminum marker featuring the outline of the state in the crest, a dark navy background, and gold lettering, mounted on a post. Since the installation of the State Capitol marker in 1946, nearly 750 other markers have been installed across Indiana. Find a complete listing of the topics that are commemorated here: https://www.in.gov/.../state-historical.../find-a-marker/ The image below is courtesy of the Indianapolis News, December 25, 1946. December 20, 2022 post by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.


1947, June - the last run of the Indiana Service Corporation streetcar with Frank Carbaugh as conductor who was also the first conductor in 1892.

1947, October 7 - 10/7/1947. Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad passenger train hit an earth mover at crossing on California Road, north of city, at 12:17 p.m. 3 died and 14 hurt. is the description on three photos in the Allen County Community Albumlabeled G. R. & I. WRECK (1293) from a distance, G. R. & I. WRECK (1294) shows a drainage creek, G. R. & I. WRECK (1295). Discussed May 10, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook

1947, November 5 - Even though the federal government would pay all but $4.08 million of the $27 million total, Fort Wayne voters rejected construction of the proposed Anthony Wayne Parkway. Copied from the 1940 to 1949: In the shadow of war various newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.


1948 - Mike's Carwash opens the first full service car wash in Indiana.

1948 - In 1947 the Bell Telephone System (AT&T) assigned 86 area codes across the entire United States. Two area codes were assigned to Indiana. Area code 317 served Indianapolis north to Michigan. Area code 812 served Bloomington south to Kentucky. See map on Indiana - Area Code History on telecom.com.

1948, May 3 - Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) is a U.S. Supreme Court case that held that restrictive covenants in real property deeds which prohibited the sale of property to non-Caucasians unconstitutionally violate the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment from Cornell Law School or SHELLEY ET UX. v. KRAEMER ET UX. NO. 72. CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI Argued January 15-16, 1948 - Decided May 3, 1948 at The Library of Congress.

1948, June 4 - President Harry S. Truman's campaign train visits Fort Wayne shown April 24, 2014 in photo on Visit Fort Wayne on Facebook. Harry S. Truman 33rd President of the United States: 1945 ‐ 1953 Rear Platform Remarks in Ohio and Indiana. at The American Presidency Project.

1948, July 9 - the U.S. Air Force welcomed its first female recruit. Read more Today in 1948, the U.S. Air Force Accepted Its First Female Member on Smithsonian.com.

1948, August 11 - Hagerstown Indiana’s Ralph Teetor, blind since youth, filed a patent for what he trademarked as Speedostat which became known as curise contrl on automobiles. Photo and information posted August 11, 2018 on Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebookreferencing the article The Sightless Visionary Who Invented Cruise Control Self-driving cars were far from Ralph Teetor’s mind when he patented his speed control device by David Sears published March 12, 2018 on Smithsonian.com.

1948, November 2 - Harry Truman who as Vice-President took over as President when Franklin D. Roosevelt died suddenly in 1945 towards the end of the World War II, upset New York Governor Thomas Dewey for a second term.


1949, March - the Indiana legislature abolished the policy of public schools being segregated by race or color. Kindergartens and grade schools had until the start of the 1950 school year to comply; junior high schools were given until the start of the 1951 school year and high schools until the start of the 1954 school year. The law also stated that school districts did not have to provide transportation to students who lived within 1 mile of a school. Source: Laws of the State of Indiana passed at the eighty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly begun on the sixth day of January A.D. 1949 (Indianapolis: The Bookwalter Co., 1949). April 11, 2014 FRIDAY FACT copied from Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook.

1949, May 13 - Old train equipment on display in Fort Wayne by Corey McMaken posted September 15, 2022 on Facebook sharing from History Journal features and stories of historical interest from the archives of The Journal Gazette. See our Railroad History of Fort Wayne page.

1949, May 30 - the first TV station in Indiana went on the air. WFBM, Channel 6, premiered with a live broadcast of the 500-Mile Race. Copied from May 30, 2017 Facebook post by Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebook.

1949, June 14 -  President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day. Read The Father of Flag Day on the The National Archives Prologue: Pieces of History blog about 19 year old teacher Bernard J. Cigrand who placed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk on June 14, 1885 at the Stony Hill School in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. He then asked his students to write essays on the flag and its significance to them.

1949, June 24 - first TV Western, Hopalong Cassidy, airs on NBC. See 1950 lunchbox featuring the cowboy hero on Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1949, July 13 - July 13, 1949: Fire at St. Vincent's Villa in Fort Wayne by Corey McMaken in The Journal Gazette newspaper. See our St. Vincent Villa information.

1949, August 3 - After three years of acrimonious competition in the late 1940s, the BAA, Basketball Association of America, and the NBL, National Basketball League, merged Aug. 3, 1949, to form the NBA. How the NBA’s 75th anniversary sweeps away its early history Curtis Harris, January 21, 2022 at The Washington Post. See Fred Zollner and the Zollner Pistons mainstays of the NBL who became the Detroit Pistons basketball team.

photo Look magazine cover Fort Wayne America's Happiest Town in 1949
News-Sentinel file photo
Look magazine declared Fort Wayne
"America's Happiest Town" in 1949

1949, August 30 - Look magazine called Fort Wayne America's Happiest Town. Griswold-Phelps labeled Fort Wayne Indiana's Happiest City in their 1914 Handbook and Guide to Fort Wayne. See photo on 1940-1949: In the Shadow of War: Postwar era best, worst of times by Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel newspaper. Martin Gumbert stated: With all Fort Wayne's vitality, people don't shout, push or show symptoms of irritation. There are no extremes of poverty, no sprawling slums, no organized vice and gambling. There is little open prejudice. Everybody knows his neighbor. There is no ‘boss,' no bad civic memories. The story was revisited in Happy Fort Wayne label has roots in 1914 guidebook discussing the 1914 book by Dell Ford published August 21, 1978 in The Journal Gazette newspaperand Is this town still happy? A Look back by Gary Penner published September 29, 1982 in The News-Sentinel newspaper and again in Fort Wayne: Fat, stupid ... and melancholy? Magazine says city's no longer nation's 'happiest,' but that's OK by Kevin Leininger published December 3, 2011 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Several photos of these newspaper articles were discussed June 29, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

1949, August 23 - Shelley Lee Long is born in Fort Wayne, she grew up to play Diane Chambers on top ranked sitcom TV show Cheers and star of the movie Money Pit.

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