Victory and Peace (1945)


On this first day of the New Year, may the Lord, who is Father of all, bless His children with the fortitude to withstand the rigors of war, the knowledge to achieve victory, the wisdom to plan the peace. May He bring solace to the dear ones of those who died in the performance of their duty. May His cloak of protection envelop all those who bear arms for our Country and our Allies.
May He continue to inspire us with faith in our Nation and the goal of a world wherein, “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Amen”

The above clipping is the first item in Elsie Walker Everest’s diary for 1945….

January 1: Worked AM Not too busy, afternoon busy. 2 Russian Seamen drowned. Found by ……. in water a short time. Tragedy first this and also last year when McDonald died in fire.

January 6: Poured rain all day. Russians found in river were buried here by Russian Council.

January 9: Nice day. Note from Jean. East coast warned about “Buzz Bombs” McArthur on Luzon. Blimp flying about – low over river, close to ground on (Puget) Island.

January 11: Warm pouring rain. Smelt in all rivers..

January 13: Wind in night. Nice AM. Watched 3 ships go down river. Planes flying. Chicken dinner….

January 20: Clear cold day. Listened to inauguration of President Roosevelt – 4th term. 3 ships down river – looked pretty on clear smooth river.

January 29: Ralph to show: “Back Home in Indiana” I saw it in Seattle, good. Japanese claim to have sunk 3 transports and 1 destroyer off West Coast. Smelt in Cowlitz.

February 1: 513 Prisoners of the Japanese freed on Bataan.

February 4: U.S. takes Manila. Letter from George, also lovely valentine.

February 12: Rain & fog. To doctor in P.M. Sore throat. Big 3 powers sign an agreement – Peace – greatest attempt in history. Signed: W. Churchill, F.D. Roosevelt, Stalin.

February 17: Cold rain. Navy attacking Japan proper. McArthur on Bataan.

March 23: Nice part of day – hard rain also. Made ginger cake, cleaned office. Two ships ran together in river between here and Skamokawa. Coast Guard busy getting them off . Not too badly damaged.

March 24: …..Scott prisoner of war in Germany. False report of war’s end.

April 7: Miserable weather. Cleaned house, shopped, ate at coffee shop. Patton’s Army finds Germany’s treasures – gold, etc.

April 12: President Roosevelt died. Cerebral hemorrage.. I was working on the telephone switch board. at 2:50 PM when Mary M. called to tell me the news. Lillie and others were waiting for calls. All were silent just watched me work as it was then so terribly busy. The whole world mourns a great man. We feel he was almost an acquaintence. Saw him so often in the movies and heard his voice so knew it as well as our own family’s. Everyone is sad here tonight. Harry Truman took oath of office at 7:05 PM.

April 14: Misty part of day. Read and listened to radio. Quiet and sad. People are really in mourning for Mr. Roosevelt – seems like one of the family is gone.

April 15: Services at White House for Mr. Roosevelt Sat. 4/14. Mr. Roosevelt
buried at Hyde Park 10:00 AM.

April 16: President Harry Truman spoke on radio.

April 28: News article:

“This has been a tumultuous and eventful weekend. First there was the false alarm Saturday about the surrender of the Germans; it had a fishy aspect as soon
as it centered in San Francisco. The San Francisco conference has nothing to do with armistice matters. They are strictly a military business and any announcement bearing on the surrender of a country at war would proceed
normally from the war and navy departments or the president, who in this
instance would be acting in the capacity of commander in chief. Sen. Connally
of Texas, one of the United States delegates to the conference, took a part in the erroneous report which he probably wishes now he had not. It seems to be the truth, however, that Himmler did make the offer of surrender to the two western allies. Beyond that there is only one sure thing: the fighting is going on unabated and although a surrender is possible momentarily, its effectiveness will be questionable.”

Then this news article:

“And while those events were taking place, the earth itself shook in the Pacific
Northwest. Again the most violent shocks centered around Mt. Si near Seattle,
where a flaw exists in the crust of the earth. Here the most disturbing effect
the earthquake had was to cause innumerable queries of “did you feel the
earthquake?” To which most people answered in the negative.”

April 29: Mussolini – Italy executed and hung in city square. Aircraft carrier
Franklin Roosevelt launched.

May 1: Lovely weather. World shaking events taking place. War with Germany
near end.

May 8: Weather still lovely. Ate at coffee shop. V.E. Day….. Happy for the people
of the world who have suffered so long. 5 years and 8 months.

July 24: Am reading the account of W.A.C. Corp. Hastings experience of 47 days in the “Hidden Valley” or “Shangri La” in New Guinea after plane crash. Very interesting though almost unreal.

July 28: Lovely day. B-25 (Billy Mitchell) plane crashes into Empire State
Building in New York. 15 died, burn, etc.

August 6: Atomic bombs used on Japan..

August 7: News of the atom’s effects fill the papers. We are living in one of the
greatest and yet most terrible periods of world history.

August 8: Russia declares war on Japan

August 14: Nice weather – up late. To the aquarium, swimming pool, rink. 4:00 PM, War is over – Oh Happy Day! The already crowded street came alive with such noise and commotion as I never heard and kept up till mid morning. We drove for whle then stood in line an hour for excellent chicken dinner in a lovely place.

Article (part):

“Peace at Last. The war is over, the long, bitter, grisly war that has wracked the world for almost six years, the most deadly and devstating war in all history, and pray God, such a war will never again plague mankind…….”

August 17: Lovely day. Hair cut. Too much news of all kinds in paper – great days. Headline: “Victory Cost 260,000 lives, $350 billion.”

August 18: Canned peaches and cleaned house.

August 29: Great days – Radio on all the time. Japan to sign peace treaty. McArthur flying to Tokyo. History making events.

September 1: Hot day – busy on board. Plane stolen in Portland 1st in Oregon
history. Great radio news. Listened to signing of treaty with Japan. Ceremonies
thrilling. President Truman, Nimitz, McArthur etc., talking.

September 2: Japan signs surrender. Oh! Happy Day for civilization and free
men. Fine radio programs today.

November 23: Rationing off at midnight except sugar and tires.

December 31: Married 32 years……

And so ended the year 1945 for Elsie Walker Everest.

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