September 12th, 2005

krazy koati

We did it before

With the 60th anniversary of the return of Singapore from Japanese overlordship to British overlordship, there's naturally been a flurry of interesting little documentary bits appearing, about everything from 1945 in general to the saving of the Botanical Gardens.

Coincidentally -- which is the wrong word, since they're motivated by the same impulse, but were motivated independently -- the American Council for the Blind's Radio Treasure-Trove has been playing a recording of one NBC station's programming from the day after the Japanese offered surrender, but -- so far -- have not gotten to the American announcement that the offer was sincere and was being accepted. It's fascinating listening to people trying to guess whether the offer was legitimate (the Japanese radio transmission was cut off, several times, before being received in full, and the best notes came through roundabout diplomatic channels), what the Japanese reservation of not infringing on the sovereignty of the Emperor really meant, describing the outbursts of joy among Allied soldiers all across the Pacific ...

The best ``Past is another world'' moment, though, was a mention of what it did for the business community. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped at the rumor of peace by a whole -- you may want to brace yourself -- two points. And was holding both points. Yeah, I know, in those days the Dow Jones hovered around 15 and it didn't break 1929's record of 25 until the late Eisenhower administration, but still. The program's running at least Mondays at 4 am Eastern Time, and undoubtedly other times of day.

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Trivia: Delaware's population grew by 7,240 people during World War II. Source: Don't You Know There's A War On?, Richard Lingeman.

Currently Reading: A Logic Named Joe, Murray Leinster.