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Today in World War II History—August 18, 1941

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 Sept. 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 Sept. 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 18, 1941: President Roosevelt signs extension of Selective Service Act, extending draftees’ service from 12 to 30 months.

Radio Belgrade plays an obscure recording of “Lili Marleen” sung by Lale Andersen, which becomes an instant hit with German troops in North Africa.

John Gillespie Magee Jr., an American serving in the RCAF (age 19) writes his famous poem “High Flight.”

Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings is published.

Book cover for Make Way for Ducklings, 1942, showing Caldecott Award for illustrations

Book cover for Make Way for Ducklings, 1942, showing Caldecott Award for illustrations