19 March 1941

19 March 1941

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19 March 1941

March 1941



Germany issues an ultimatum to Yugoslavia

War in the Air

Heavy German raids on London

In the alternative world, it is November 1941, nine months after a successful German invasion of Britain. Winston Churchill has been executed, and King George VI is a prisoner who has not been seen in public for some time. His queen, Elizabeth, and their daughters Elizabeth and Margaret escaped. A British government in exile, led by Rear-Admiral Conolly, exists but is not recognised by the United States. Germany has also maintained friendly relations with the Soviet Union, and Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov has just flown in to oversee the removal of the body of Karl Marx to the Soviet Union.

Douglas Archer, a Scotland Yard murder squad Detective Superintendent with a stellar reputation, is working under a German superior from the Schutzstaffel (SS), the security force of the Nazi Party. Though his wife was killed by a German bombing raid in the Blitz, Archer avoids involvement in political crimes and views resistance to the Nazis as futile. A routine murder investigation becomes political when it appears to have been perpetrated by agents of the British Resistance. An aggressive SS officer arrives and takes control of the investigation, which is of interest to the SS because the victim may have possessed data from the German Army's programme to produce an atomic bomb. Archer also learns that his secretary and lover, Sylvia Manning, is a member of the British Resistance, and he is reluctantly drawn into a conspiracy against the Germans.

In November 2014, it was announced that the BBC had commissioned writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to adapt Len Deighton's novel SS-GB. [2]

In August 2015, it was announced that Sam Riley was in talks to star in the lead role of Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer of Scotland Yard. [3] Riley's casting was confirmed in late September 2015. [4]

Production began in October 2015 and ended in January 2016. The series was produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd. It was broadcast on BBC One in five one-hour episodes from 19 February 2017 and 19 March 2017.

The series filmed various scenes for episodes 1 to 4 at the Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent. The location was used as a double for London streets and the mortuary that featured in episode 1. [5]

    as Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer, [6] a Scotland Yard detective in German-occupied London as Barbara Barga, [6] an American reporter as Gruppenführer Fritz Kellermann, [6] the SS officer supervising the police force as Police Constable Jimmy Dunn, [6] a junior policeman working with Archer as Joyce Sheenan, [7] Archer's neighbour who cares for his son and whose own husband is a prisoner-of-war as Sylvia Manning, [6] Archer's secretary and lover as Standartenführer Oskar Huth, [6] an SS officer newly arrived in London as Detective Sergeant Harry Woods, [6] Archer's friend and co-worker as Colonel George Mayhew, [6] a British aristocrat as Dr John Spode, [8] an atomic physicist working with the British Resistance as Captain Hans Hesse as Heinrich Himmler
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [9]
11"Episode 1"Philipp KadelbachNeal Purvis and Robert Wade19 February 2017 ( 2017-02-19 ) 8.68
Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer is looking into a routine murder in German-occupied London when SS officer Oskar Huth arrives and assumes control of the investigation. Archer learns that his secretary and lover, Sylvia Manning, is involved with the British Resistance against the Nazis.
22"Episode 2"Philipp KadelbachNeal Purvis and Robert Wade26 February 2017 ( 2017-02-26 ) 5.54
Archer and Huth foil a plot by the Resistance to abduct Archer's son for leverage. Archer later lets Sylvia escape again. He is approached by a cabal of British gentlemen who appear to be conspiring against the Germans, and he goes home with American reporter Barbara Barga. She warns Archer that if he refuses to co-operate with the Resistance, it may kill him. Archer deduces that his murder victim, William Spode, was an atomic physicist working for a German faction outside the SS and was presumably killed by the Resistance. Police Constable Jimmy Dunn is murdered by Resistance vigilantes, who believe that he collaborated with the Nazis.
33"Episode 3"Philipp KadelbachNeal Purvis and Robert Wade5 March 2017 ( 2017-03-05 ) 4.30
A Resistance operative tries to kill Archer, who later interrogates Spode's brother, John, when the man dies by cyanide capsule. George Mayhew and General von Ruff are plotting to rescue King George from Nazi captivity as a means for the German Army to discredit the SS. Archer finds a film canister left behind by William and has its contents developed in secret. The Resistance detonates a bomb at a German-Soviet ceremony to remove Karl Marx's body to the Soviet Union.
44"Episode 4"Philipp KadelbachNeal Purvis and Robert Wade12 March 2017 ( 2017-03-12 ) 3.79
Archer sends his son out of the city to the unoccupied zone. Harry Woods and Sylvia are picked up as the Nazis impose martial law on London. Archer agrees to help Mayhew free the king and entrusts Barbara with Spode's negatives, which contain images of atomic calculations. Fritz Kellermann arranges for Harry's release, and Archer shelters Sylvia at his flat. One of Mayhew's conspirators is murdered, but the rescue plan proceeds. Barbara is taken by the SS.
55"Episode 5"Philipp KadelbachNeal Purvis and Robert Wade19 March 2017 ( 2017-03-19 ) 3.54
Archer and Harry transport King George, who is gravely ill, but they have engine trouble and call Sylvia for aid. The US embassy secures Barbara's release before Kellermann can interrogate her. Archer, Harry and Sylvia flee with the King as Kellermann learns of the escape and sends men in pursuit. They are ambushed by Huth at the rendezvous point, and Sylvia and the King are killed. Working with the Resistance, the Americans attack the German atomic research centre at Bringle Sands, the King's escape being a diversion to lure the security forces. Having placed all blame on Huth, Kellermann executes him by firing squad. Archer escapes with the negatives into the countryside, with Kellermann believing him dead.

SS-GB received highly-positive reviews, [10] with The Telegraph giving the series 4 out of 5 and saying that the "alt-history thriller deserves a follow-up series". [11] The main criticisms were against the sound quality and the reportedly-inaudible dialogue for some viewers in the first episode, which the BBC offered to "look at" for future episodes. [12] [13]

The first episode achieved good overnight ratings, with over 8.5 million viewers tuning in. However, as the series went on, ratings gradually fell, with only 3.5 million watching the final episode. [9]

The review by The Guardian awarded three of five stars based on a viewing of the first two episodes. It commented that the series "holds up handsomely on the big screen, favouring film noir style over pulp content" but added that "it would be helpful to see more of the minutiae of London life under the Nazis, to get some fresh air after being confined to the corridors of power". [14]

The series was released on DVD and BD on 10 July 2018 approximately a year later, the Rotten Tomatoes site showed a Critic's Consensus of 89% favourable and commented, "SS-GB is a convincingly wrought slice of hypothetical history, drenched in noir style and dense with moral quandaries". [15]


Hull was the most severely damaged British city or town during the Second World War, with 95 percent of houses damaged. [1] It was under air raid alert for 1,000 hours. [2] Hull was the target of the first daylight raid of the war and the last piloted air raid on Britain. [1]

Of a population of approximately 320,000 at the beginning of the war, approximately 152,000 were made homeless as a result of bomb destruction or damage. [3] Overall almost 1,200 people were killed and 3,000 injured by air raids. [4]

More than 5,000 houses were destroyed and half of the city centre destroyed. The cost of bomb damage was estimated at £20 million (1952, £579,708,259 as a consumer price equivalent), with 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m 2 ) of factory space, several oil and flour mills, the Riverside Quay and 27 churches, 14 schools or hospitals, 42 pubs and 8 cinemas ruined only 6,000 out of 91,000 houses were undamaged at the end of the war. [5] [6] The extent of the damage was similar to that of the Plymouth Blitz. [5]

Despite the damage the port continued to function throughout the war. [7]

We lived in the middle of an industrial area that was a regular target for German bombers .. One night as we were all filing into the air raid shelter Mam dashed back into the house. "Where are you going, Mary," said Dad. "Back for my false teeth," she replied. "Come back here, the Germans are dropping bombs not meat pies," shouted Dad.

Background Edit

During the First World War Hull was bombed several times by Zeppelin airships. An intended raid on London by Zeppelin L9 was diverted to Hull owing to bad weather and on 6/7 June 1915 dropped 13 explosive and 50 incendiary bombs, destroying 40 houses and killing 24, and led to mobs attacking shops belonging to people believed to be of German origin. In this June bombing, a device dropped through the roof of the original Edwin Davis department store on South Churchside, destroying it Holy Trinity, Hull's central church sited opposite, was miraculously spared. [9] An attempted raid on Hull on 8/9 August 1915 bombed Goole by mistake owing to a navigation error. On 5 March 1916 two Zeppelins L11 and L14 were diverted to Hull from an attack on the fleet at Rosyth. Bombs were dropped on Earles shipyard (Docks) and on Paragon station (city centre) resulting in deaths. The raids showed that Hull was completely unprotected from aerial attack and public anger led to service personnel being mobbed. Further attacks came on 25 September 1917 and 10 March 1918. [10]

A programme of building air raid shelters was instigated in 1938 and more than £1.5 million was spent building 40,000 shelters. [11] [12]

At the beginning of the Second World War, in 1939, ten primary targets had been identified in Hull: three near Stoneferry, the water works, gas works, Sculcoates power station, the oil refinery (Saltend) and the six docks. [3] [13] Additional targets included large grain mills on the River Hull. [13]

Chronology Edit

1940 Edit

Hull's first air-raid warning was at 02:45 on Monday 4 September 1939: as an 'air-raid yellow' all operational crews were called to their posts. The public siren sounded at 03:20 and the all-clear at 04:08. No raid occurred. [14] The attacks on Hull during 1940 were at a relatively low level and scale, carried out by single or small numbers of planes. [15] The first recorded bombing raid on Hull was during the night of 19/20 June 1940, with minor damage to Chamberlain Street. [16] By the end of the year around 20 raids had taken place and 12 people had been killed by the bombing. [15]

An air raid on the oil depot east of Hull at Saltend caused a serious fire owing to ruptured fuel-storage tanks and five men were honoured with the George Medal for their bravery in containing the fire: two firemen: Jack Owen, and Clifford Turner and three Saltend workers: George Archibald Howe, George Samuel Sewell, and William Sigsworth. [17]

1941 Edit

Bombing intensity increased in the early part of 1941. In February several attacks resulted in multiple casualties, with around 20 people killed. [18] [19] In March major raids took place on the nights of the 13/14, 14/15, and 18/19. The first large attack targeted the River Hull corridor with damage to paint businesses in Stoneferry the second on St Andrew's Dock, a public shelter in Bean Street nearby was hit by a parachute mine (also known as "naval mines") causing multiple deaths the third major raid lasted six hours, and resulted in nearly 100 deaths, bombs dropped over a wide area of Hull, concentrated on the River Hull corridor, with many bombs also causing damage west of the river. [19] [18] On 31 March/1 April the city centre was targeted, with predominant use of parachute mines. [20] From the beginning of March to April bombing resulted in 200 deaths. [19]

Attacks continued in April, with a major attack taking place on the 15/16th focused on Alexandra Dock, additionally a parachute mine hit a public shelter resulting in over 4 deaths, further mine attacks took place on the two nights between 25 and 27 April – six people were killed by a mine hitting the Gipsyville estate. [21]

From 3 to 9 May the docks and city centre became the target- these attacks came in the context of Luftwaffe attack on other ports and shipping centres including Merseyside, Belfast, Clydeside and on London before the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June, (see Operation Barbarossa). Two major attacks took place on the nights between 7 and 9 May, each lasting around 5–6 hours, the bombing included high explosives, parachute mines, and extensive use of incendiary bombs. [22] During the attacks many well known buildings were damaged or destroyed including the department stores of Hammonds, Edwin Davis, and Thornton-Varley and other buildings in the commercial centre. On the docks the Riverside Quay was destroyed by fire, and major fires created at timber storage around the Hedon Road area. The Rank Flour Mill was directly damaged, as was the Corporation bus depot, and the buildings of the Hull Corporation telephone system. In addition to the areas of concentration bombs fell on area across the whole town. Over 400 people were killed during the attack, with many casualties due to bombs hitting communal bomb shelters. [23] [19] [24]

The anti-aircraft guns and searchlights of the Humber Gun Zone under 39th Anti-Aircraft Brigade struggled to defend the city against the onslaught, though they and the night fighters from RAF Kirton in Lindsey scored some successes. In one notable engagement on 8/9 May, Gunner Maycock in a searchlight detachment from 40th (Sherwood Foresters) Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery, aboard a river barge named Clem, brought down a low-flying Heinkel He 111 bomber with a light machine gun. [25]

After the start of the German campaign in Russia attacks on England diminished as much of the Luftwaffe moved east. [26] Attacks continued sporadically through late May, June and July, with a major attack on east Hull and the Victoria Dock on the night of 18/19 July. Reckitt's (Dansom Lane) and the East Hull gas works were also badly damaged. Around 140 people were killed by the bombing, many from the areas around the works. [27] [19]

The practice of 'trekking', or travelling to the countryside to sleep in the fields when bombing was expected, had begun in the First World War and by 1941 an estimated third of the population were leaving the city at night. [28] In August 1941 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Hull to see the damage. [29]

Minor attacks continued approximately monthly until the end of the year, with serious bombing in the early morning of 18 August and the night of 31 August/1 September. [30] [19]

1942–1945 Edit

Attacks were reduced in 1942 compared to 1941, [19] [31] a major bombing raid on 19/20 May targeted Alexandra and Victoria docks and the surrounding area. Also in the Marlborough Avenue and Blenheim Street and Warneford Gardens where 4 people were killed. It is thought the attacks on the docks served the objective of diminishing supplies shipped to Russia. [32] By this stage bomb weight had increased, with 500 kg bombs in common use. On 1 August another raid centred on the eastern docks killed 24 people at Grindell Street when a 1,800 kg bomb was dropped on it. There were attacks in October and December, with comparatively limited damage, each killing two people. [33]

Minor attacks took place on 3 and 15 January 1943, with phosphorus bombs being identified as used as incendiaries in the second attack. [34]

On 24 June a larger-scale attack took place, with the city centre targeted again. During this attack the well-known Hull Municipal Museum was destroyed by fire. The government allowed Hull to be named specifically as the target of the attack and the Hull Daily Mail ran a front-page headline the next day. [34] [35] Another attack took place on 13/14 July, which appears have been intended to damage the railway system and caused more than 20 deaths. Two further attacks later in the year failed to penetrate the city's defences. [36] [37]

No bomb fell on the city in 1944. [38]

In March 1945 the city came under ground attack with cannon shells being fired. [ dubious – discuss ] There was an attack on 17/18 March, with fragmentation grenades being dropped. [38] [39]

East Yorkshire Edit

The bombing campaign in Britain resulted in 121 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire being killed – 82 civilians and 39 military deaths. The Luftwaffe targeted coastal towns such as Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea, killing a total of 44 people, as well as RAF airfields such as RAF Driffield, RAF Catfoss and RAF Leconfield. An attack on RAF Driffield on 15 August 1940 killed 15 people. [40]

Other attacks on East Yorkshire were on the outskirts of Hull and included the first daylight raid on British soil at the Saltend oil terminal and the attack on the Blackburn Aircraft factory at Brough. Bombs were also dropped in error owing to poor navigation or the Hull Docks decoy. These attacks killed 22 people in Hedon, Bilton and Preston. Other bombing activity was caused by the Luftwaffe dumping bombs after abandoning raids not just on Hull but also on Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and other northern targets. Death and destruction inflicted by the enemy also included sea mines exploding as they hit the coast and enemy aircraft shooting down allied aircraft over East Yorkshire. [40]

On 24 December 1944 a massed aerial V-1 flying bomb attack was launched on Manchester, one of the bombs impacting prematurely at Willerby, just outside Hull, damaging housing and the Springhead Pumping Station. [41] [42]

Evacuees Edit

Around 38,000 children were evacuated from Hull. In addition to rural East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire children were evacuated to Lancashire, Norfolk, Northumberland, Leicester and elsewhere. Entire secondary schools were relocated: for example Hymers College had pupils in Pocklington and Market Weighton whilst Newland High School moved to Bridlington and later Malton. However many pupils remained in the city and most evacuees returned from the end of 1942 onwards. [43]

Reporting Edit

As with many towns and cities, contemporary radio and newspaper reports did not usually identify Hull by name but referred to it as a "north-east coast town," "north-east town," or "northern town" to avoid providing the enemy with tactical information of damage. [44] [45] After the major raids of 18/19 March 1941, 18 July 1941, 18 August 1941 and 24 June 1943 the city was named but in the reporting of the attacks of 7–9 May 1941, the target was referred to by the Air Ministry as being in the Humber area. [46] The Hull Daily Mail referred to victims by name but locations and industrial damage were not. Damage to schools and churches was freely reported and German press releases were quoted verbatim in the British press, including the name of the town. [46]

OUR OBJECTIVE: THE SUPPLY PORT OF HULL The British Port of Hull, with its multi-purpose dockyards, its wharves and its strategically important industrial sites – this was our target yet again today. Along with the other aircrews of our unit, we took off last night, having taken aboard the bomb load which we intended to deposit to good effect in the middle of the great dockyards .. [. ]

Maryland and the 19th Amendment

State of Maryland shaded gray, indicating it was not one of the 36 states that ratified the 19th Amendment. CC0

Women first organized and collectively fought for suffrage at the national level in July of 1848. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened a meeting of over 300 people in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would recognize their suffrage rights. This amendment was sometimes known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment and became the 19th Amendment.

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

The First Suffragist?

Maryland can trace its activism for woman suffrage all the way back to its very earliest days as a British colony. In 1648, Margaret Brent, a lawyer and executor of Governor Leonard Calvert’s estate, petitioned the Maryland General Assembly for a vote in the governing body. She argued that as a landowner, she was due the same rights that male Marylanders enjoyed. The Assembly rejected her demand.

As in many southern states, there was no significant organizing for woman suffrage in Maryland before the Civil War. (Although Maryland is now considered part of the Mid-Atlantic region, it was a slaveholding state until 1864.) Lavinia Dundore organized the Maryland Equal Rights Society in Baltimore in 1867 to work for suffrage. The Society held a well-attended convention in 1872 with several national suffrage activists delivering speeches or sending letters of support, but by 1874 it had disbanded.

Suffrage hikers led by "General" Rosalie Jones

Bain News Service, Library of Congress

New Organizations in the 20th Century

In the twentieth century, there were at least three major woman suffrage organizations that were active in Maryland. The Maryland State Suffrage Association, the Just Government League of Maryland, and the Equal Suffrage League all organized events and held meetings throughout the state to fight for the right to vote. Members of the state organizations also joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and sent delegates to conventions around the country. In 1906, NAWSA held its annual convention in Baltimore at the Lyric Theatre. Susan B. Anthony delivered her final speech there months before she died.

Maryland suffragists made sure to be visible throughout the state, especially at important community events. They set up booths at county fairs, drove cars decorated with banners and flowers in local parades, even entered a suffrage boat in a town regatta near Annapolis. Maryland welcomed “General” Rosalie Jones and her suffrage pilgrims during their hike through the state on the way from New York to Washington, D.C. for the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession. Maryland suffragists sent a delegation to the procession also, riding a special train from Baltimore to Washington called the “Suffrage Special.” Two years later, they organized their own suffrage hikers on several trips throughout the state, led by “General” Edna Latimer. Latimer also campaigned around the state with Lola Trax on a pilgrimage in a horse-drawn covered wagon called a Prairie Schooner adorned with “Votes For Women” flags.

Edith Houghton Hooker, president of the Just Government League, published a weekly newspaper called Maryland Suffrage News which chronicled all the happenings in the state and around the country for woman suffrage. The Just Government League also opened a coffee room and restaurant in Washington, D.C. near the headquarters of Alice Paul’s Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. They proclaimed that the delicious meals served there “demonstrated conclusively that suffragists can cook.”

Although the early Equal Rights Society was integrated, by the twentieth century, white suffragists in Maryland usually excluded African American women from participation. As in many parts of the country, Black women in Maryland formed organizations that worked for civil and social uplift for the community, including women’s right to vote. Augusta Chissell formed the Progressive Women’s Suffrage Club in Baltimore in 1915 to work for the enfranchisement of all women in the state. After the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, she wrote a column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper called “A Primer for Women Voters” to help guide and educate women in their new civic role.

Despite all their work, Maryland suffragists were unsuccessful in winning the vote statewide. Several measures over the years to enfranchise women were voted down in the Maryland legislature. A few Maryland towns offered extremely limited suffrage to women. In Annapolis, women voted in bond elections beginning in 1900 but could not vote for any elected officials. The town of Still Pond in Kent County allowed women taxpayers to vote in municipal elections in 1908. Although the town charter adopted in Loch Lynn Heights in Garrett County should have granted women to vote in local elections, it doesn’t appear that women were ever permitted to participate.

Maryland Day picketing the White House for suffrage

National Woman's Party records, Library of Congress

Maryland Women Cause Trouble

Maryland women also joined the national movement for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution enfranchising women. Many Marylanders participated in demonstrations such as the National Woman’s Party’s pickets of the White House and several went to jail. Lucy Branham of Baltimore was an especially active protester. She was arrested several times and served sentences in the Occoquan Workhouse and the District jail. She participated in the “Prison Special,” a 1919 nationwide tour by rail of women who had been imprisoned for their demonstrations. They wore replicas of their prison dresses to highlight the oppression of women’s disfranchisement.

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919. After Congress approved the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law. This process is called ratification.

On February 20, 1920, Maryland voted against the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. By August of 1920, 36 states ratified the amendment, ensuring that in every state, the right to vote could not be denied based on sex.

Lucy Branham in Occoquan Prison dress during the Prison Special tour

National Woman's Party records, Library of Congress

Maryland Fights Back

Shortly after the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, Judge Oscar Leser sued the state of Maryland to remove the names of two Baltimore women from the list of registered voters. His position was that the Maryland constitution granted voting rights only to men, and that Maryland had not ratified the 19th Amendment.

In January 1922, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the case. Leser's arguments to the Court were threefold: 1) that the character of the proposed amendment excluded it from being added to the Constitution 2) that since many of the states that ratified the 19th Amendment had state constitutions prohibiting women from voting, they were unable to decide otherwise as a matter of established law and 3) that the state legislatures in Tennessee and West Virginia had not followed proper procedure in ratifying the 19th Amendment.

In a unanimous certiorari decision issued on February 27, 1922, Leser v. Garnett, 258 U.S. 130 (1922), the Supreme Court ruled against Leser, confirming the constitutionality of the 19th Amendment. In their decision, they responded to each of his arguments as follows: 1) Since the similar 15th Amendment, which determined that voting rights could not be denied on account of race, had been accepted as valid law for over fifty years, the 19th Amendment could not be considered invalid 2) When states ratified the 19th Amendment, they were acting in the federal sphere, which "transcends any limitations sought to be imposed by the people of a state" and 3) Since both Connecticut and Vermont had also ratified the 19th Amendment before the case was heard (making 36 states, even if Tennessee and West Virginia were invalid), the validity of the Tennessee and West Virginia processes was moot. The court also said that, since the Secretaries of State of Tennessee and West Virginia had accepted the ratifications, that they were necessarily valid.

On March 29, 1941 Maryland voted to ratify the 19th Amendment. The vote was not certified until February 25, 1958.

Mary Gertrude Fendall of Maryland (left) and Mary Dubrow of New Jersey (right).

Library of Congress,

Maryland Places of Women’s Suffrage: Still Pond Historic District

The Still Pond Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes the former site of the town hall. It was here that the women of Maryland cast their first ballots - 12 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Residents such as Anna Baker Maxwell, Jane Clark Howard, and Lillie Deringer Kelley voted in the local election. That year, the town recognized the suffrage rights of women over the age of 21. Fourteen women were registered, including two African Americans. The town later repealed this rule and women were once again left without the vote until 1920.

Discover More Places of Ratification

The Still Pond Historic District is an important place in the story of ratification. It listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Most view Marylander Margaret Brent as the first suffragist in the United States. An unmarried landholder in colonial Maryland, she appeared before the legislature in 1648 and she asked the Governor and assembly to admit her with two votes, one as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore's attorney. She was denied both.

Calls for women’s suffrage remained quiet in Maryland until after the Civil War, when the Maryland Equal Rights Society was formed. Interest peaked on and off for the next twenty years. Additional organizations, such as the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association, the Baltimore Woman’s Suffrage Association, and their affiliated national groups, began to take root in the state and were active by the early part of the twentieth century. Most sprung up from active women’s clubs. One early leader, Elizabeth King Ellicott, advocated for suffrage, but also fought for women’s education, and other social and political reforms.

There were disagreements between the pro-women’s suffrage groups over the best way for Maryland women to obtain the vote. The Maryland constitution specified men as eligible voters in state elections and some felt they should support a state constitutional amendment rather than push for a federal one. Others favored a focus on granting taxpaying women voting rights in some municipalities.

These disagreements resulted in a split between some groups and leaders. Edith Houghton Hooker formed the Just Government League in 1907, which become the largest suffrage organization in the state. Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott worked closely with national suffrage leaders and following ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment helped found the League of Women Voters of Maryland.

Meanwhile, Maryland legislators continued to reject any women’s suffrage petitions and bills brought before the General Assembly. Lobbying efforts by suffragists did increase support from legislators in some political circles and areas of the state, however, never to the point for successful passage. Generally, Republicans supported the movement while Democrats did not, as Democrats feared new voters would favor their opponents. Legislators from Baltimore were largely anti-suffrage, likely due to concerns that female voters would favor prohibition. The closest suffragists came to success was in 1916, when the State Senate passed a statewide women’s suffrage bill by a vote of 17-7. The bill was defeated in the House of Delegates by nearly twenty votes.

Some Maryland women did not have to wait until passage of the 19th amendment to exercise their right to vote. On May 14, 1900, women voted in a special municipal bond election in Annapolis. As taxpaying property owners, they continued to vote in bond elections after this, however, were not allowed to participate in elections for the mayor and other city officers. In 1908, the town of Still Pond in Kent County received a charter which granted female taxpayers the right to vote.Three women voted in the town’s first election in May 1908. Despite an 1896 charter granting universal suffrage, there is no evidence that women in Loch Lynn Heights in Garrett County voted in municipal elections, despite their efforts to do so.

African American women faced discrimination from many of the leading women’s suffrage organizations and had to establish their own groups to promote the cause and educate women about the movement. This was made more difficult by efforts to legally limit African American suffrage generally.

The Maryland legislature rejected the 19th amendment in 1920 when presented to them for ratification because they felt that the amendment impeded states rights. Maryland did not formally ratify the 19th amendment until 1941.

Even after the 19th Amendment reached full ratification, Maryland women faced challenges in fully exercising their right to vote. On October 30, 1920, Oscar Leser, a prominent Baltimore attorney and anti-suffrage activist, and others, filed a petition in court challenging the right of women to be added to the registry of voters as well as the validity of the Nineteenth Amendment. This case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared in 1922 that the Nineteenth Amendment was valid and women were legally entitled to be registered voters.

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following United States History Content Standards

Era 2: Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763)

  • 7-12 - Analyze how the rise of individualism contributed to the idea of participatory government. [Assess the importance of the individual]
  • 9-12 - Analyze how gender, property ownership, religion, and legal status affected political rights. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]

Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

  • 5-12 - Evaluate Progressive reforms to expand democracy at the local and state levels.[Examine the influence of ideas]
  • 5-12 - Evaluate Progressive attempts at social and moral reform. [Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances]
  • 5-12 - Describe how the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th amendments reflected the ideals and goals of Progressivism and the continuing attempt to adapt the founding ideals to a modernized society. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision]
  • 9-12 - Specify the issues raised by various women and how mainstream Progressives responded to them. [Consider multiple perspectives]
  • 9-12 - Analyze how the emergence of the “New Woman” challenged Victorian values. [Examine the influence of ideas]
  • 5-12 - Assess the effects of woman suffrage on politics. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision]

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following Maryland Social Studies Standards for Grades 4 and for High School.

Grade 4 - Standard 1.0: Civics

    Topic B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System
      Indicator 1. Analyze how individuals and groups contributed to the political system in Maryland
      • Objective a. Describe the contributions of 17th century English settlers who influenced the early political structure
        Indicator 2. Defend the importance of civic participation as a citizen of Maryland
        • Objective b. Analyze ways people can participate in the political process including voting, petitioning elected officials, and volunteering

        High School - Standard 5.0: United States History

          Expectation 2 - Students will demonstrate understanding of the cultural, economic, political, social and technological developments from 1898 to 1929.
            Topic A Challenges of a New Century (1898-1929)
            • Indicator 1- Analyze the cultural, economic, political, and social impact of the Progressive Movement.
                Objective c - Describe the impact of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th amendments to the Constitution
              • Objective f - Describe the changing social and economic role of women and the impact of the women’s suffrage movement

              Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following Maryland Common Core Reading Standards for Grades 6-8:

              CCR Anchor Standard #1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
              RH.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources

              CCR Anchor Standard #2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
              RH.6-8.2 - Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge of opinions

              CCR Anchor Standard #3 - Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of text.
              RH.6-8.3 - Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

              CCR Anchor Standard #4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
              RH.6-8.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies

              CCR Anchor Standard #6 - Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
              RH.6-8.6 - Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts)

              CCR Anchor Standard #8 - Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
              RH.6-8.8 - Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text

              CCR Anchor Standard #9 - Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
              RH.6-8.9 - Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic

              1. TITLE:Conjectural painting, Margaret Brent arguing for the right to vote before the General Assembly.ARTIST: Louis Glanzman CREDIT: Image courtesy of the National Geographic Society SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Maryland Commission on Artistic Property Collection) MSA SC 1545-0789REPOSITORY: Maryland State Art Collection, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              2. TITLE:Conjectural drawing, "Margaret Brent"ARTIST: Edwin Tunis DATE CREATED: ca. 1934 SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Tunis Collection) MSA SC 1480-1-6REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              3. TITLE:Margaret Brent's request for vote and "voyce" in the Maryland AssemblySOURCE: GOVERNOR AND COUNCIL (Proceedings), 1647-1651, liber A, folio 130, MSA S1071-4 NOTES:Transcription of Margaret Brent's request for vote and "voyce" in the Maryland AssemblyREPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              4. TITLE:“Woman’s Rights: How They Were Denied at the Loch Lynn Heights Election.”DATE PUBLISHED: 9 May 1896 SOURCE: The (Baltimore) Sun , 9 May 1896, pg. 1. NOTES: Article detailing the refusal of election judges to let women vote in Loch Lynn Heights, Maryland. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Law Library, Annapolis, MD
              5. TITLE:“The Bond Election”DATE PUBLISHED: 14 May 1900 SOURCE: The (Annapolis) Evening Capital , 14 May 1900, pg. 1. MSA SC 2733NOTES: Article detailing the first election in Maryland women voted in. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              6. TITLE:Charter for Still PondDATE CREATED: 1908 SOURCE: GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Laws, Original) 1908 Chapter 160, S966-631 NOTES: Town charter for Still Pond, Maryland, which granted universal suffrage in municipal elections. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              7. TITLE:“Limited or Universal Suffrage”CREATOR: Edith Houghton Hooker DATE PUBLISHED: March 22, 1913 SOURCE: Maryland Suffrage News , 22 March 1913, pg. 203. MSA SC 3286NOTES: Article from the Maryland Suffrage News, which was published by the Just Government League from 1912-1920. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              8. TITLE:“Woman Suffrage By Federal Amendment” and “What Is The Federal Suffrage Amendment” broadsides from the National Woman Suffrage Association DATE PUBLISHED:February 1917 SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Handy Collection) MSA SC 4062-3-14NOTES: Educational flyers about the federal suffrage amendment. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              9. TITLE:Letter from Cornelia A. Gibbs to Maryland Attorney General Albert C. RitchieDATE CREATED: 8 July 1919 SOURCE:GOVERNOR (General File) MSA S1041-538 NOTES: Letter from the president of the Maryland Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              10. TITLE:Letter from Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott to Alice Leonard GauleDATE CREATED: 26 September 1919 SOURCE:SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott Collection) Letter from Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott to Alice Leonard Gaule, 26 September 1919, MSA SC 6110-1-21NOTES: Personal letter from suffragist Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott to a friend in which she mentions the Maryland legislature’s attitude toward the federal suffrage amendment. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              11. TITLE:Letter from Matilda B. Maloy to Rozelle P. HandyDATE CREATED: 2 January 1920 SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Handy Collection) MSA SC 4062-3-14NOTES: Letter detailing local suffrage activities. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              12. TITLE:Letter from Publicity Chairman of Woman Suffrage League of MarylandDATE CREATED: 5 February 1920 SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Handy Collection) MSA SC 4062-6-6NOTES: Letter showing some of the racial undertones of the suffrage movement REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              13. TITLE:Vote on resolution to ratify the proposed amendment to the federal constitutionDATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 17 February 1920 SOURCE: Journal of Proceedings of the Senate of Maryland, January Session 1920, pp. 202-203, MdHR 821260-1 NOTES: Tally showing that the Maryland State Senate defeated the proposed amendment by a vote of 18-9. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              14. TITLE:Vote on resolution to ratify the proposed amendment to the federal constitutionDATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 17 February 1920 SOURCE: Journal of Proceedings of the House of Delegates of Maryland, January Session 1920 , pp. 279-281, MdHR 821109-1 NOTES: Tally showing that the Maryland House of Delegates defeated the proposed amendment by a vote of 64-36. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              15. TITLE:Joint Resolution of the Maryland General Assembly rejecting and refusing to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. ConstitutionDATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1920 SOURCE: GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Joint Resolutions) 1920 JR 2, MSA S967-26 NOTES: Joint resolution in which the Maryland legislature explained why they would not ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              16. TITLE:Court opinion in Leser v. GarnettDATE CREATED: 28 June 1921 SOURCE:COURT OF APPEALS (Opinions) April term 1921, case no. 43, MSA S 393-188. NOTES: Opinion of Maryland’s highest court upholding the right of women to vote in Maryland elections under the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution despite that state constitution specifying only men could vote. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              17. TITLE:Joint Resolution of the Maryland General Assembly ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. ConstitutionDATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1941 SOURCE: GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Joint Resolutions) 1941 JR 12, S967-29 NOTES: Maryland’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
              18. TITLE:Panorama photograph of members of the Just Government League (this contingent known as Army of the Severn) standing before the steps of the main portico of the State House.DATE CREATED: 1914 SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Margaret Moss Dowsett Collection) MSA SC 4247-1-1REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD
              19. TITLE:Members of the Just Government League marching in suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.DATE CREATED: c. 1912 SOURCE:SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Baltimore: When She Was What She Used To Be Collection) MSA SC 2167-1-35REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, Annapolis, MD

              Anthony, Susan B., et. al, eds. History of Woman Suffrage. 6 vols. New York : Fowler & Wells, 1881-1922.

              Cohen, Jane Whitehouse. “Women’s Political Power in Maryland, 1920-1964.” Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 1993.

              Cooney, Robert P.J., Jr. Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement. American Graphic Press: Santa Cruz, CA, 2005.

              Cott, Nancy F. Grounding of Modern Feminism. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT, 1987.

              Flexner, Eleanor. Century of Struggle: The Women’s Rights Movement in the United States. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 1996.

              Kugler, Israel. From Ladies to Women: The Organized Struggle for Women’s Rights in the Reconstruction Era. In “Contributions in Women’s Studies, no. 77” Greenwood Press: New York, 1987.

              Steiner, Bernard C. Citizenship and Suffrage in Maryland. Cushing and Co. Baltimore, MD, 1895.

              Weaver, Diane E. “Maryland Women and the Transformation of Politics, 1890s-1930.” Ph.D. diss., The University of Maryland, 1992.

              Weiss, Elaine. Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote. Viking Press: New York, 2018.

              A series of podcasts highlighting the Maryland story of suffrage presented by the Preservation Maryland in collaboration with the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Women's Heritage Center.

              A series of speakers, panels and parade of sheroes in celebration on the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage presented by the Maryland Commission for Women

              An online exhibit collaboration between the Maryland Women's Heritage Center and the Commission on the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

              Access to materials linked within these document packets is intended for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing any necessary rights rests with persons desiring to use particular items in the context of the intended use.

              Documents for the Classroom is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Prince George's County Public Schools, Caroline County Public Schools and Howard County Public Schools.

              Other program partners include the Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress.

              This document packet was researched, developed, and updated by Jennifer Hafner Abbott, 2018.

              19 March 1941 - History

              Rock 'n' Roll History for
              March 19

              March 19
              19 year old Ruby Murray has five records in the UK Top 20, including "Softly, Softly" at #2 and "Let Me Go, Lover" at #5.

              March 19
              The duo of Tom And Jerry released their first single, "Our Song". The record will fail to crack the Billboard chart, but the pair would eventually find success recording under their real names, Simon and Garfunkel.

              March 19
              The Beatles are presented with an award for Show Business Personalities of 1963 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson at a Variety Club of Great Britain luncheon.

              March 19
              Gary Leeds of The Walker Brothers is abducted by British students raising money for charity. He is later released unharmed.

              March 19
              Jefferson Airplane changes their name to Jefferson Starship. The new line-up includes Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, drummer Johnny Barbata, David Freiberg, Peter Kaukonen, Cragi Chaquico and 56 year old violinist, Papa John Creach.

              March 19
              Former Free guitarist, 26 year old Paul Kossoff died of heart failure while on a flight across the US. He had been troubled with heart disease most of his life. Free is most often remembered for their hit, "All Right Now". Lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to form Bad Company with Free drummer Simon Kirke, Boz Burrell (from King Crimson) and Mick Ralphs (of Mott the Hoople).

              March 19
              Elvis Presley's autopsy is subpoenaed in the "Dr. Nick" drug case. Dr. Nick is Dr. George Nichopoulous, Presley's personal physician, who will soon be found guilty of over-prescribing drugs to Presley and other clients, including Jerry Lee Lewis.

              March 19
              Ozzy Osbourne's rhythm guitarist, 25-year-old Randy Rhoads, was killed when the small plane he was riding in crashed into a house. The plane's pilot, Andrew Aycock and a female passenger, Rachel Youngblood, also died. It has often been written that the plane tried to buzz Osbourne's tour bus, but some of those closest to the band deny that story.

              March 19
              Luther Ingram suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 69. The Soul singer reached #3 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1972 with "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" and wrote the Staple Singers' 1971 hit "Respect Yourself".

              March 19
              Madonna's new album, "MDNA" was leaked online nearly a week before its official release date. Her 12th studio record was due to hit store shelves on March 26th, but emerged on an illegal file-sharing website.

              March 19
              Kenny Loggins appeared on the TV talent show American Idol where he performed his 1984, US #1 hit, "Footloose".

              March 19
              Michael Brown, keyboardist for The Left Banke, died of heart failure at the age of 65. Brown co-wrote the band's 1966, #14 hit "Walk Away Renee" and composed the follow-up, "Pretty Ballerina", which rose to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

              March 19
              Kim Campbell, wife of Country music icon Glen Campbell, told the on-line news source The Tennessean that Glen's Alzheimer's disease had advanced to the point where he could no longer play guitar. He would pass away on August 8th, 2017 at the age of 81.

              1941, March 19 – Council Votes to Buy New Fire Truck

              The city council in a meeting Tuesday afternoon voted to authorize Mayor Crisp to sign a contract with the Central Fire Equipment Company of St. Louis for a new fire truck. The price of the equipment, exclusive of the chassis which is to be purchased by the council was $3,272. The truck, to be built along lines designed by the Marion fire department at the time the new hospital addition was annexed to city, will carry a 350 tank of water to combat small fires and fires which occur out of the reach of present fire hydrants. The truck will be equipped with a 500 gallon pump. The Central Company built the present fire truck used by Marion, and built the trucks now in use at Murphysboro and Carbondale. The new truck will replace the 25 year old truck which the city now calls into service only for emergency use. The old truck was accepted by the Central Company as part payment on the new truck. The allowance on the old truck was $350. It was valued at $150 by the Howe Company. The present No. 1 truck will remain in service. It is five years old. Purchase of the new equipment is to be financed over a three years period. With a slight rearrangement of interior construction at the fire department, Fire Chief Ing said both trucks can be kept in the fire station. At present the older of the two fire trucks is stored in a commercial garage. The new truck is expected to be delivered about July 1.

              (Extracted from local newspapers and compiled by Harry Boyd, posted at )

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              19th Amendment By State

              Woman holding sign in favor of Women’s Suffrage, circa 1910-1920.Congress.

              Courtesy Library of Congress. Harris & Ewing Collection

              Beginning in mid-1800s, women and men came together to advocate for women’s rights. Some fought for the government to grant women rights. Some argued that they already had the same rights as men, but that they were being prevented from enjoying those rights by unjust laws. The fight for women’s rights unfolded at all levels of government.

              One of these issues was voting (or suffrage) rights. Some women wanted the federal government to recognize their right to vote by passing a constitutional amendment. After years of fighting and lobbying, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed in 1920. It declared that:

              “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

              Other women felt they should focus on getting their state or territory to recognize their right to vote. Several states and territories recognized women's suffrage rights before 1920, including Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Alaska, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Arkansas, New York, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

              Learn more about the US states and territories and their role in ratifying the 19th Amendment. Did your state vote to ratify the amendment? Find out!

              Bahá'í History

              March 31. On this date in 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word "Bahá'í." The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion. "

              Horace Holley, as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly and the New York Spiritual Assembly, had attempted to gain control of the "New History Society," which Ahmad Sohrab had founded in 1929 with Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler and his wife Julie, in order to propagate the Bahá'í Faith. Ahmad Sohrab had served as 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary and interpreter from 1912 to 1919. For example, aside from accompanying 'Abdu'l-Bahá during his tour of North America in 1912, on December 23, 1918, 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent Ahmad Sohrab to the United States to deliver the Tablets of the Divine Plan, a collection of 14 letters written between September 1916 and March 1917 by 'Abdu’l-Bahá to Bahá’ís in the United States and Canada. These collective letters, along with Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet of Carmel and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's Will and Testament were described by Shoghi Effendi as three of the "Charters" of the Bahá’í Faith.

              The conflict resulted in Ahmad Sohrab and the Chanlers' being declared Covenant-breakers around 1939.

              Despite the failed litigation, in 1951, Shoghi Effendi appointed Horace Holley a Hand of the Cause of God.

              The Bahá'í Administrative Order has attempted, through the registration of trademarks and copyrights, to preserve for itself the exclusive right to utilize certain religious symbols and terminology. On August 28, 1934, the Most Great Name symbol was registered as a trademark (Trade-Mark 316,444). Similarly, the "Bahá'í" trademark (Trade-Mark 245,271) was registered with the Patent Office on August 7, 1928.

              MacArthur’s Defense of the Philippines, 1941-42

              The Japanese offensive that began World War II in the Pacific targeted the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, British and Dutch possessions in resource-rich Malaysia and Indonesia, and America’s most advanced Pacific base, the Philippines. Quickly seizing the Philippines was particularly vital to Japan’s plan of conquest, as it would eliminate the U.S. military threat to the country’s vital supply lines between the home islands and the conquered southern resources region and provide a forward staging area for current and future Japanese military operations.

              Standing in the way of Japan’s conquest of the Philippines was General Douglas MacArthur’s U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) – 135,000 troops, of which 85 percent were inadequately trained Filipino soldiers armed with World War I rifles – supported by Major General Lewis H. Brereton’s Far East Air Force (FEAF) and the U.S. Navy’s Asiatic Fleet under Admiral Thomas C. Hart.

              MISSION ADJUSTED

              Once the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor started the war, several events rapidly transpired that had a significant impact on MacArthur’s mission of defending the Philippines. Pre-war U.S. plans assumed that a successful Philippines defense would require MacArthur’s forces to be greatly augmented by reinforcements once war began, but the crippling of the U.S. Pacific Fleet essentially eliminated the means of getting additional troops and weapons to the defenders. Then, eight hours after the Pacific Fleet was struck, egregious decisions made by General Brereton resulted in Japanese airstrikes destroying most of FEAF’s offensive capability – its B-17 bombers – while it was still on the ground. (See Hard Choices, May 2011 ACG.) And when Admiral Hart withdrew the Asiatic Fleet from Philippine waters after Cavite Naval Base was bombed December 8 (he left some submarines, PT boats and a few support ships), MacArthur’s ground forces faced the imminent Japanese amphibious invasion with no reasonable hope of reinforcements and bereft of effective air and naval support.

              MACARTHUR’S DECISION: With defeating a Japanese invasion now unlikely, MacArthur adjusted USAFFE’s mission to that of delaying a Japanese victory as long as possible. Although his forces opposed the Japanese amphibious landings December 22 at Lingayen Gulf and two days later in southern Luzon, the efforts were ineffectual. On December 24, MacArthur decided to implement War Plan Orange 3, the withdrawal to and defense of the rugged Bataan Peninsula.

              RACE TO BATAAN

              By December 30, the Japanese realized MacArthur’s intention was to mount his main defense from the mountainous, forbidding terrain of Bataan Peninsula – if the main American-Filipino force could arrive there in time. Thus, with two powerful invasion forces converging on central Luzon (one from Lingayen Gulf, the other from south of Manila), the Japanese sought to cut off and destroy USAFFE before the bulk of MacArthur’s defenders reached the peninsula. If the Japanese could win the “race to Bataan” their rapid conquest of the Philippines was assured.

              MACARTHUR’S DECISION: Establishing five successive lines from which to delay the Japanese advance, MacArthur skillfully maneuvered his USAFFE units in a phased withdrawal that avoided enemy attempts to cut them off and which successfully brought most of his army to Bataan Peninsula ahead of Japanese spearheads. Meanwhile, he had ordered Brigadier General George M. Parker Jr. to begin preparing defensive positions on Bataan and to start stocking the peninsula with as much food and provisions as possible. By January 6, 1942, MacArthur had won the race to Bataan, getting about 80,000 of his troops into defensive positions on the peninsula.

              USAFFE’s January 7 to April 9 defense of Bataan was characterized by countless small unit actions as American and Filipino troops reacted to continuous Japanese attacks. MacArthur’s forces were organized as I Corps under Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright and II Corps commanded by Major General Edward P. King. Despite appalling conditions, rampant disease, heavy casualties and increasing shortages of food and ammunition, Wainwright and King’s beleaguered U.S. and Filipino troops managed to create a stubborn defense of Bataan that, for several crucial months, proved to be a roadblock to Japan’s opening war blitzkrieg. Inevitably, however, Japanese strength and firepower overcame the defenders. USAFFE forces on Bataan surrendered April 9, and the fortress island of Corregidor in Manila Bay was captured May 6.

              MACARTHUR’S DECISION: Given the nature of the fighting on Bataan – small unit tactical actions without the opportunity for large-scale maneuvers – MacArthur decided to delegate control of the fighting to his on-scene subordinate commanders. Although he remained in overall command from his headquarters on Corregidor (and later Australia), he wisely left the fighting on Bataan to Wainwright and King.

              MACARTHUR’S ESCAPE

              When the Philippines finally fell, however, MacArthur was in Australia. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a crafty politician always sensitive to public opinion, realized the devastating blow that the capture of the senior U.S. commander in the Philippines would inflict on homefront morale. Moreover, MacArthur was a national hero, revered by the American people as the most well-known and popular U.S. military figure of the day. FDR could not take the personal political risk of letting the Japanese capture the general. In February, he therefore directed U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall to order MacArthur to escape. MacArthur, following orders, departed Corregidor by U.S. Navy PT boat the night of March 12, 1942, and proceeded to Mindanao, where a B-17 flew him to Australia.

              GALLANT ARMY

              Although MacArthur was not in the Philippines during the March 12 to May 6 fighting, the five-month defense that he planned, executed and oversaw that began with the Japanese attack in December shattered the invaders’ Pacific War opening offensive timetable. More than any other Allied combat during the war’s opening months, MacArthur’s Philippines defense bought the Allies the vital time necessary to prepare and mount counteroffensives that began rolling back Japan’s conquests in mid-1942.

              Yet MacArthur realized the valor and sacrifice of his American and Filipino troops deserved the credit. In an April 1942 ceremony in which he was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the Philippines defense, MacArthur acknowledged: “This award was intended not so much for me personally as it is a recognition of the indomitable courage of the gallant army which it was my honor to command.”

              Jerry D. Morelock, PhD, “Armchair General” Editor in Chief.

              Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Armchair General.

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