The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 posts, one for each letter of the English alphabet, in April. Most of us choose to make these posts on a particular theme. My theme for 2023 is 1943 Washington D.C., the setting of the novel that I’m writing. Visit daily in April for a new post on my topic.
D is for Defense Parade
Washington D.C. needed civilian defense volunteers. The Civilian Defense parade was held on the evening of Friday, July 30, 1943, with 13,000 marchers and an estimated 150,000 spectators. It took nearly three hours from start to finish.
The purpose of the parade was to kick off a drive to recruit 22,000 volunteers in Washington D.C. for civilian defense. The Washington Post recorded that this was the first parade that included uniformed women from the armed services.
Some people were already well into their volunteer service in Civilian Defense. Volunteers with more than 3000 hours of service were awarded ribbons during a ceremony at the end of the parade. Most were men, but there were quite a few women listed in the Washington Post article. They served in the Warden Service, Auxiliary Rescue Squad, Emergency Food and Housing, Volunteer Office, and Emergency Transportation.
Esther Bubley. who would one day become a well-known photographer for Life and Ladies’ Home Journal, worked for the Office of War Information during World War II. In 1943, she worked in the dark room, but took photographs during her off hours in an attempt to impress her boss, Roy Stryker. It worked. Bubley became a staff photographer for OWI. Some of her most famous photographs, today, are the ones that she took during a six-week bus tour of the US, documenting the home front.
Bubley used the Civilian Defense Parade as an opportunity to photograph the parade and spectators, the ordinary people of Washington D.C. outside on a hot summer Friday night. The Library of Congress holds that collection of photographs.
13,000 win applause in capital area OCD parade: 150,000 line avenue as units pass in review; landis tells aim 150,000 watch parade of 13,000 civilian defense volunteers here. (1943, Jul 31). The Washington Post (1923-1954) Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/13-000-win-applause-capital-area-ocd-parade/docview/151647190/se-2