Well, I learned a few things from my reading of the May 8, 1942, issue of the JN.  And, I had a few questions.

First, I saw an advertisement with the header: “Bombers and Beer.” Now, I must admit that my first thought was, hmmm, that seems like a bad combination — drinking beer and flying a bomber. Driving an automobile under the influence is dangerous enough, but piloting a loaded bomber after quaffing a few beers?

Well, after reading the ad, it seems that Schmidt’s Beer was just making the point that the taxes paid by the alcoholic beverage industry in 1941 amounted to $1.3 billion, and that this much money would buy a lot of bombers for the war effort. By the way, Schmidt’s Beer was brewed in Philadelphia from 1860-1986.

And, one of the questions I had after reading this 75-year-old issue of the JN — what the heck was Himelhoch’s Famous Buttermilk Soap? I have never heard of such a thing, but the ad says it was “Famous.” Now, I will not claim to possess any expertise in the field of beauty soaps, but, obviously, a serious gap in my historical knowledge was revealed to me.

The year 1942 was also a time of trouble: World War II was raging and news of Nazi atrocities was increasing. In this respect, another advertisement, the report from the Allied Jewish Campaign of 1942, the JN editorial and other reports on the campaign were particularly striking. Jews from around the world were suffering, and Detroit’s Jews did their best to help them.

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation


Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at  www.djnfoundation.org.

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