• EveryCubEver

    This Week in 1945 (February 22–February 28)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    In This Week in 1945
    Feb 22nd, 2024

    This week during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series…

    World War II Rages On…

    Iwo Jima 2-23-45*In the Battle of Iwo Jima: A group of United States Marines reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (taken by Joe Rosenthal), later wins a Pulitzer Prize.

    *This week’s Time Magazine cover features “Nimitz of the Pacific,” with the subhead “Naval arithmetic has brought him to Japan’s front yard.”

    *Meanwhile, President Roosevelt meets Middle Eastern leaders in Washington.

    In Chicago…

    Chicago Theatre 1944*The Chicago Theater (photo: 1944) is a hot spot for entertainment and first run movies. It was built in the 1920s.

    *Dennis Farina celebrates his first birthday. He was born on Leap Day in 1944.

    *PRICE CHECK: A cantaloupe costs 23 cents, and cauliflower is 15 cents per head.

    In Pop Culture…

    *“The Picture of Dorian Gray” (based on the Oscar Wilde novel) is released. It stars George Sanders and features a young Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury and Peter Lawford.


    Virgil Trucks*Virgil Trucks turns 28. The Detroit Tigers starting pitcher will return from the service just in time for the World Series…don’t ask what happens when he returns. In 1952, Trucks will go 5-19 for the Tigers but will also throw 2 no-hitters.

    Some future celebrities are serving in the Armed Forces and celebrating birthdays this week…

    *Tony Randall is 25, and serving in the Army Signal Corps after refusing an entertainment assignment.

    *Charles Durning is a genuine war hero. He was injured during the Battle of the Bulge, and is recovering in an Army hospital.

    Meanwhile, back on the homefront…

    *Three future celebrities are born: A little boy named Barry Bostwick in San Mateo, California, a much bigger boy named Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith in Texas, and a third boy named William Oliver Swofford in North Carolina. He will later go by the stage name “Oliver” and record a song called “Good Morning Starshine.”

    And in England…

    *George Harrison turns 2 in Liverpool.

    *Brian Jones celebrates his 3rd birthday in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

    Cub of the week

    Andy PafkoAndy Pafko is the young 24-year-old centerfielder for the Chicago Cubs. He started there as a rookie in 1944, and the Cubs have high hopes for him this coming season. He won’t disappoint them. Before the year is over Handy Andy Pafko will be named to his first all-star team (although the game isn’t played), will finish third in the league with 110 RBI, and fourth in the MVP voting. Andy will go on to become one of the most popular Cubs in history.

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