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Today in World War II History—December 27, 1940 & 1945

Koreans protest Allied trusteeship, December 1945 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Koreans protest Allied trusteeship, December 1945 (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 27, 1940: Movie premiere of drama Kitty Foyle, starring Ginger Rogers.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 27, 1945: US, UK, China, and USSR agree to govern Korea jointly for five years before granting independence.

Today in World War II History—December 26, 1940 & 1945

Shoulder patch of the British Combined Operations in WWII (albatross for the RAF, submachine gun for the Army, anchor for the Navy)

Shoulder patch of the British Combined Operations in WWII (albatross for the RAF, submachine gun for the Army, anchor for the Navy)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 26, 1940: Movie premiere of Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 26, 1945: British Admiral of the Fleet Roger Keyes, Chief of Combined Operations 1940-41 (commando raids coordinated between British Army, Royal Navy, and RAF, dies in Tingewick, Buckinghamshire.

Adm. Chen Shaokuan is relieved of command of the Chinese Navy for refusing Kai-shek’s order to attack communist forces.

Today in World War II History—December 25, 1940

Lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree, Washington, DC, December 24, 1940 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library)

Lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree, Washington, DC, December 24, 1940 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 25, 1940: Pope Pius XII celebrates Christmas Midnight Mass in afternoon due to blackout.

Today in World War II History—December 24, 1940 & 1945

President Harry S. Truman lights the National Community Christmas Tree, Washington, DC, 12/24/1945 (US National Archives: 199275)

President Harry S. Truman lights the National Community Christmas Tree, Washington, DC, 12/24/1945 (US National Archives: 199275)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 24, 1940: US refuses to admit Jewish refugees, believing it will lead to expulsion of all Jews from Europe.

Bonus Christmas ration is distributed in Germany—26 ounces of rice & vegetables, 1 pound of sugar, coffee, and jam.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 24, 1945: President Truman lights the National Community Christmas Tree in Washington, DC, lit for the first time since 1941.

Today in World War II History—December 23, 1940

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, US Secretary of State James Byrnes, and British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden at Potsdam, Germany, Jul-Aug 1945 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-14059-0016)

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, US Secretary of State James Byrnes, and British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden at Potsdam, Germany, Aug 1945 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-14059-0016)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 23, 1940: First Parisian civilian is executed by the Nazis—23 year-old engineer Jacques Bonsergent, accused of punching a German soldier in a brawl.

Churchill appoints Anthony Eden as British Foreign Secretary.

Today in World War II History—December 22, 1940 & 1945

Pres. Harry Truman, 27 June 1945 (Library of Congress)

Pres. Harry Truman, 27 June 1945 (Library of Congress)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 22, 1940: David Margesson is appointed to replace Anthony Eden as British Secretary of State for War.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 22, 1945: President Truman issues “Truman Directive,” authorizing immigration of increased numbers of displaced persons.

Today in World War II History—December 21, 1940 & 1945

Lt. Gen. George Patton, France, 7 Jul 1944 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

Lt. Gen. George Patton, France, 7 Jul 1944 (US Army Signal Corps photo)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 21, 1940: Author F. Scott Fitzgerald dies in Hollywood, age 44.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 21, 1945: US Gen. George S. Patton dies of infection in Heidelberg, Germany after a car accident on December 9.

USMC Sgt. Lena Basilone, widow of Medal of Honor recipient USMC Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, christens Gearing-class destroyer USS Basilone in Orange, TX.

Today in World War II History—December 20, 1940 & 1945

RAF Spitfire Mark VB, No. 222 Squadron, North Weald, Essex, 1942 (Imperial War Museum: COL 188)

RAF Spitfire Mark VB, No. 222 Squadron, North Weald, Essex, 1942 (Imperial War Museum: COL 188)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 20, 1940: Two RAF Spitfires strafe Breck and Le Touquet, France, in first RAF “Rhubarb” daytime offensive fighter operation.

Captain America comic book premieres, cover dated March 1941.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 20, 1945: As a result of Austria’s elections, acting Chancellor Karl Renner becomes president and Leopold Figl becomes chancellor.

Today in World War II History—December 19, 1940 & 1945

President Kyösti Kallio of Finland (resigned) and Field Marshal C.G.E. Mannerheim at Helsinki railway station, Finland, 19 Dec 1940; Pres. Risto Ryti, Lt Gen Heindrichs, and Col Paasonen in background, moments before Kallio’s death (public domain via Museovirasto via Wikipedia)

President Kyösti Kallio of Finland (resigned) and Field Marshal C.G.E. Mannerheim at Helsinki railway station, Finland, 19 Dec 1940; Pres. Risto Ryti, Lt Gen Heindrichs, and Col Paasonen in background, moments before Kallio’s death (public domain via Museovirasto via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 19, 1940: Kyösti Kallio, President of Finland, dies at his own resignation ceremony; replaced by Risto Ryti.

Ten thousand civilians evacuated from Malta arrive in Britain.

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking at the UN, July 1947 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum ID #65732)

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking at the UN, July 1947 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum ID #65732)

75 Years Ago—Dec. 19, 1945: Eleanor Roosevelt is appointed a delegate to the UN General Assembly.

Movie premiere of They Were Expendable, starring John Wayne, Robert Montgomery, and Donna Reed, about PT boats in the fall of the Philippines.

Today in World War II History—December 18, 1940

Prototype Curtiss XSB2C-1 Helldiver on its maiden flight, 18 December 1940 (US government photo)

Prototype Curtiss XSB2C-1 Helldiver on its maiden flight, 18 December 1940 (US government photo)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 18, 1940: Maiden flight of Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (US Navy scout-bomber).