From the DJN Davidson Digital Archive

The Jewish News
Mike Smith

Mike Smith

There was plenty of news about the war in Europe in the July 31, 1942, issue of the JN, but I liked some of the community news and the poetry. Poetry, you ask? Yes, poetry.

First, there is the poem on page 14 from our esteemed columnist Danny Raskin. Danny has been writing for the JN since the first day it was published and, every now and then, he added some poetry to his “Listening Post” column, which was geared toward Jewish youth.

In his poem in this issue, Danny relates the sad story of a gunner on the aircraft carrier Lexington, who fought off a Japanese attack to the bitter end. The original Lexington was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. While this battle was a tactical draw, it was the first strategic victory for the U.S. in WWII. It was also the first sea battle in history where the ships engaged never sighted one another. It was a battle fought by gunners and airplanes. Danny’s poem depicts the grim, personal nature of modern naval warfare.

But there was also a lighter — but meaningful — poem, a “Liberty Limerick” on page 10. This was an anti-Hitler limerick from the U.S. Treasury Department that was a promotion for the sale of War Bonds. This advertisement encouraged everyone to buy bonds and defeat Hitler.

Along with a story on another page about Air Warden training in Detroit, the “Liberty Limerick” reminded me of the nationwide participation in this global conflict.

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

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