1942 Fifty Years Ago

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When the last wartime Miss America was crowned in September, Miss Chicago took the loss particularly hard and wept without restraint on the Atlantic City stage. No one knew, of course, how long the war might last, and the winner, Miss Texas, or JoCarroll Dennison, began an indefinite reign. Her clinching song in the musical portion of the competition, “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” brought mighty cheers from servicemen in the audience. In addition to noting Dennison’s anatomical statistics, Life magazine reported that she could rope, ride, take dictation, and had vowed not to marry until the fighting was over.

Japan released the first pictures of American prisoners of war in several government-propaganda magazines. One publication, Freedom , showed captured Americans enjoying camp meals of “juicy meat” and others gathered in a drab circle around a radio. “Music and merriment reigns in Shanghai concentration camps,” the magazine explained.