THE GREATEST NEUTRAL
SATURDAY, September 2, 1939, was the last day of Europe's peace and the beginning of America's Labor Day week end. Britain and France, cabled Frederick T. Birchall from London, "are on the threshold of war." But they had been there before, drawing back at the last moment; would this time be different? While the hours dragged listlessly by in newspaper offices awaiting word that war was official, the wires transcribed the pattern of a normal holiday Saturday in the United States. Mingled with bulletins from abroad was the news that Frank Fuller, sportsman pilot, had broken his own record in the Bendix trophy race; President Roosevelt had issued a Labor Day message, citing the "blessings of peace, a cohesive unity and a substantial measure of prosperity"; at Newport, reported the New York Times, "a festive holiday week end replete with a round of parties and special sport events is under way," while Saratoga watched "the gay closing of the racing season"; on Broadway stagehands and actors were locked in a struggle that threatened to darken Broadway's theaters, but 40,031 fans jammed the Polo Grounds to see the Giants and Dodgers divide a doubleheader. Although the afternoon papers reported the death of twenty-one Poles in a Nazi raid on Warsaw, the war in Poland was still a "local" one, reminiscent of so many others in the intermission since Versailles; it was like reading that forty Americans had lost their lives in traffic accidents on crowded highways. On the news-ticker the day in America seemed indistinct from its predecessors. But it was different. Emotionally, Sep
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Publication information: Book title: War Propaganda and the United States. Contributors: Harold Lavine - Author, James Wechsler - Author. Publisher: Yale University Press. Place of publication: New Haven, CT. Publication year: 1940. Page number: 39.
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