It is Friday July 20th, and before the gathering of years can further tarnish our public recollection, the Easley Progress will shake off the red rust of time and open up the archives to the July 20th 1944 edition.
By the summer of 1944, the United States of America, and Easley, SC in particular, had lived with the cruel realities of World War for nearly three years.
The front page of that July edition reported that a former Easley High School student, Harold Duncan, had been killed in action in England.
Harold Duncan was a gunner’s mate in the United States Navy.
Also on the front page, and of no relation to Harold Duncan, Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Duncan of Easley had been notified that their son, Pvt. Fred Duncan, was seriously wounded in France on June 11.
Pvt. Fred Duncan was a paratrooper.
Mr. and Mrs. L.C. Rice of Easley were notified by the War Department that their son, Pvt. Preston E. Rice, was killed in action in France after participating in the Normandy Invasion.
Pvt. Preston Rice was with the amphibious forces.
Later that week, the Lyric Theatre would feature “Navy Way” starring Robert Lowery and Jean Parker.
The movie’s review read: “Anchors aweigh…for action… romance and thrills.”
In social news, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Milton Jameson, Sr., announced the engagement of their daughter, Sybil, to J.W. Johnson, Captain, U.S. Army, of Easley.
A political advertisement on page four read as follows:
“Show your men in the service that you are behind them and vote for a soldier that advocates a proper rehabilitation program for all service men!”
Cpl. Mina L. Lesley
(Candidate for House of Representatives)
On page five an advertisement by the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company asked that citizens make only urgent long distance calls to help the war effort.
“It takes thousands of telephone calls to build a bomber…And this country is building more bombers than ever before.”
“You can help keep the lines clear for war calls by making only really urgent calls.”
The businesses of Easley also got in on the war effort.
Day Hardware announced the arrival of continental tin cans and glass fruit jars so local residents could can the produce from their Victory Gardens.
As part of the war effort, the U.S. government rationed certain foods and citizens were encouraged to grow their own fruits and vegetables in what was called “Victory Gardens.”
A subscription to the Easley Progress cost $1.50 per year, and a single copy was priced at .5 cents.