This is to certify that E.M. Everest has signed this U.S.A. Consumer’s Pledge for Total Defense:
As a consumer in the total defense of democracy, I will do my part to make my home, my
community, my country ready, efficient, and strong.
I will buy carefully.
I will take good care of the things I have.
I will waste nothing.
By carrying out the terms of this pledge she has enlisted, is performing a distinguished service in the defense of her country and WINS her star. She is therefore entitled to WEAR her star which is hereby presented to her by McCall’s Magazine.
And that is how the year 1942 began for Elsie Everest…
January 1: Really cold. Came to work on late shift – quiet. Letters from Jean, Marie, Dale, Margaret. Fire at Harold Olson’s……. Oregon Beavers won Rosebowl game over Duke in North Carolina, 20 to 16. Doug won pool, $100, Art also $100.
January 6: Cold – Day home – washed regular wash & silks – clothes froze. Listened to President Roosevelt speak to Congress & the whole world – War to the finish. No end of planning, etc.
January 7: U.S. War one month old.
January 17: Airtransport wrecked – 21 dead. War news bad – Sad day, Army bomber wrecked also. 9 dead.
January 24: Pouring rain, but warm. Report of conditions at time of attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941 given to nation. Lt Gen Walter Short and Admiral H.D. Kimmel held derelict in duty. Uncooperative. Listened to full report. Sad and some pity felt for these men though facts proved them negligent. Air power underestimated & unrepentant.
January 26: American troops landed in Ireland. Surprise to American people ? What is the reason? $20,000,000 for the Navy Expansion programs. Japanese aircraft carrier torpedoed by U.S. Sub. First accounted for. Sea battle raging.
January 31: Went to work early. Rain & wind all day. Seige of Singapore begun. Bought first of the sugar ration – 2# = 7 1/2 cups per pound.
February 2: Beautiful morning. Walked to work. Ground hog can sure see his shadow this sunny day.
February 7: Listened to broadcast from New York. No use kidding ourselves, this is a long hard war to be & we may even loose. Worst since revolution when we won independence from England.
February 9: Monday – Rained all day – fog. Ship Normandie (French) now American. Lafayette is on fire at docks in New York. 26 Billion dollar Navy bill signed. Greek ship torpedoed and sunk in Atlantic.
February 10: Singapore radio off air suddenly. Expect Singapore to fall any day. All war news today is depressing and not to our good anywhere. Russia only bright spot.
February 13: Beautiful day. Mopped kitchen and mended late. Listened to radio until midnight. Keep thinking of George. (note: Elsie’s son George was in the Navy)
February 15: Singapore falls. Long and bitter struggle in the offing now. Listened to Mr. Churchill speak. Sad and depressing.
February 23: Rain – cold. I went to doctor – blood pressure down. Cathlamet’s first black out by official order. No light bulbs. Santa Barbara shelled from Japanese U. Boat.
February 24: Storms, subs etc. take toll of shipping. Radio humming with accounts of the attack on So. California. Defense meeting on Puget (Island).
February 28: Nasty day. Letter from Mabell. Good war news. Defenders of Java repulse Japanese. Big Naval battle British attack coast of France, German held posession – damaged. Kimmell and Short to be court marshalled. Black out restrictions now stringent. Decidedly war concious by news today. Uncovered plot of coast invasion – Panama Canal in danger.
April 3: Mother Everest had stroke in Brainerd Minnesota.
April 9: Beautiful day. Bataan falls. England looses two war ships – Mandalay in smoking ruins. Ralph’s birth certificate came. Cooked first rhubarb. Baked spice cake. Mother Everest died 10:30 P.M. just one week almost to the hour from the time she suffered stroke.
April 27: Nasty day. Early shift – busy at office. President’s message says lower standard of living. Sugarless week starts.
April 28: Carol said Elmer E., had written from Virgin Islands saying his boat had been torpedoed and he had drifted 8 days in life boat. Listened to the President talk.
May 4: Misty day – warm and showery P.M. Sugar rationing started.
May 5: Beautiful day. Ralph registered for sugar.
May 6: Corregidor falls. All war news bad. Ship “Marbelhead” came into port badly damaged – had been thought lost.
May 7: Greatest Naval battle of all times raging in South Pacific.
May 8: Nice day. Letter from Jean. United Nations victors in Naval battle – greatest in history.
May 10: Mother’s Day. Baked cookies and made rhubarb sauce. Last of extra sugar can use for long time. Ironed.
May 13: Beautiful morning. Busiest day in office that we’ve had in ages. War news bad. Gas rationing began in east.
June 3: Beautiful day. Japs bombed Dutch Harbor in Alaska twice.
June 5: Japanese attack Midway – repulsed.
June 10: Early news tells of torpedoeing off Wasington coast.
June 19: Carol & I went to “Gone With the Wind” – 4 hours a long time to sit. Good show though.
June 21: “Vancouver Island” torpedoed. Tobruck in Lybia falls. War picture bad. Churchill in U.S. again conferring with President Roosevelt.
July 1: Heat terrific. Went up home with Leon for an hour. My first day as telephone Manager.
Note: The remainder of this diary contains only a few references to the war. Elsie was very busy with her new position as Manager of the telephone office, and life’s more mundane events were recorded during this time. Birthday parties, weddings, funerals, births, visits from family took center stage.
December 7: News Article:
CITY TO MARK START OF WAR
At exactly 11:25 A.M. Monday, Portland will pause for one minute in solemn observance of the first anniversary of Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
While the saluting citizenry face westward in respectrul silence, pealing church bells and the plaintive notes of buglers’ “Taps” will echo through the downtown canyons in tribute to the men who have given their lives for democracy and to those now serving in the armed forces.
Street cars and busses will halt at the designated time and students will pause in their classrooms to pay a silent homage to the nation’s heroes of world war 2.
December 30: Over 20,000 sailors lost already in the war.
December 31: Married 29 years today. Took out tree. Fireman’s Dance, lots of noisy people in town. Last of a sad year in many ways.