76.5 F
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: New Year's in wartime

Editor’s Notebook: New Year’s in wartime

Must Read

I have made this threat/promise before, but some day when I get some free time on my hands, I am going to find myself some grant-funding moolah and use it to stitch together a compilation of the weekly columns that the then-editor of the Northern Virginia Sun wrote from the late 1930s until the early 1950s.

The columns – effectively the blogs of their day – were often pithy and sardonic rundowns of the big and little news of the week. From the Depression through World War II and into the start of the I-Like-Ike era, they chronicled what was going on in Northern Virginia. It’s a time capsule worth reopening and bringing back to life.

And sometimes, the editor (whose name at the moment is not at the tip of my typing fingers) could be dead-on in prognostications.


Consider his column from the Dec. 30, 1942, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun. Things had turned around for the Allies during the war (the big one, the one that was in all the papers….), and there were some who were proclaiming that we could knock the Axis on their axis in the coming year.

Don’t count on it, the editor cautioned.

“Forget right now any hopes you may have that the war will end in 1943,” he told readers, while encouraging them that the coming year needed to be “the greatest year in our history.”

He was right about the war not ending in 1943; it would slog on for two more years. But by the end of 1943, it definitely was clear that barring some major turn of events, the conflict was going to turn out in our favor.

But even as global events were uppermost in the eyes of many, the end of 1942 also brought local news into the homes of Northern Virginia Sun subscribers.

That same edition noted that Basil DeLashmutt, whom I consider to have had the greatest name of all Arlington elected officials through the years, was going to be rotating in as County Board chairman for 1943. Meanwhile, the editorial page said that Arlington officials weren’t doing enough to address the threat of juvenile delinquency in the county.

(Of course, the minute those juvies turned 18, and sometimes earlier, Uncle Sam was going to put a gun in their hands, send them to Europe or Asia and tell them to get shootin’. No better way to whip somebody into shape.)

– Scott McCaffrey

- Advertisement -

Latest News

New School Board member receives liaison assignments

New Arlington School Board member Bethany Sutton has her assignments. School Board members on Feb. 2 are expected to approve...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This