This Week in 1945 (April 5–April 11)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    In This Week in 1945
    Apr 5th, 2019
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    This week during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series (before 2016)…

    World War II Rages On…

    *The Allied Forces liberate the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald.

    *Kuniaki Koiso resigns as the Prime Minister of Japan, and is replaced by Kantaro Suzuki.

    *The Allies launch a dramatic air attack (1500 planes and gliders). Patton’s Army makes great strides…

    In Chicago…

    Chicago Subway*The subway does exist, but there is still only one. The State Street subway was completed in 1943. Work has been suspended on the Dearborn subway for the time being. They won’t start working on it again until after the war. (It will open officially in 1951.) The public is excited about it because it bypasses some of tight curves and bizarre routings of the original elevated lines. The subways have been constructed with a secondary purpose of serving as bomb shelters, which is the reason for the closely spaced support columns.

    *PRICE CHECK: Ground beef cost 55 cents per pound, while Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup is 23 cents for 2 cans.

    In Baseball…

    Bobby Doerr*The Boston Red Sox face another season without their starting second baseman, Bobby Doerr (Photo). This week he turns 27 in the service. After his career he is voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

    *The Sporting News announces their pick to win the National League in 1945: The St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs are picked to finish fourth.

    *Meanwhile, the Cubs finally get in an actual scrimmage or two this week in French Lick and Louisville (where the Reds are training). First the Cubs played the AA Louisville Colonels and beat them, before getting spanked by the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs beat the Reds the following day by a score of 19-5. Ray Primm gets his first spring training action; pitching the Cubs to victory. After that, the team packs up, breaks camp, and heads to Chicago for their big exhibition series against the White Sox. Opening day will be April 17th.

    In Pop Culture…

    *E.B. White’s first children’s book: “Stuart Little” is published. He ended it abruptly because he thought he was dying and wanted to finish it before he died. He lived another 40 years.

    *“My dreams are getting better all the time” by Les Brown (vocals by Doris Day) is one of the top five biggest hits of 1945, and is #1 this week…

    *A new radio show debuts on Mutual; “Queen for a Day” is an instant hit with the female audience

    *The NFL makes a new rule requiring players to wear long stockings.

    Birthdays

    *A little boy named Peter Gammons is born in Groten, Massachusetts. He will grow up to become a Hall of Fame baseball writer and broadcaster.

    Cub of the week

    claude passeauClaude Passeau is the ace of the Cubs staff, and he turns 36 this week. He is in Chicago getting his arm examined. The doctors discover that he has a chipped humerous–which they think is an old high school football injury. They tell Claude that he’ll be fine after four days of X-ray therapy.

    The Cubs are understandably nervous about the health of Passeau, but they needn’t be. He’ll recover nicely and have another very good year. He’ll toss five shutouts, win 17 games, and pitch the second greatest game in World Series history.

    Claude is definitely at the tail end of his career though. He’ll tough out one more 9 win season in 1946, but it will all be over for him before the end of the 1947 season.

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