(Photo Courtesy of the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University)

            This photograph of a Navy Relief Ball at Cleveland Arena in 1942 is an obvious example of America’s fight for social justice and the fundraising efforts that were organized during World War II.[1] In Cleveland alone, 160,000 young men and women were called to service during the war.[2] In addition to this, Cleveland was extremely involved in the war effort on the manufacturing and defense contract front. In Northern Ohio alone, there were contracts made with 800 defense plants.[3] In addition, “Cleveland was credited with originating the Block Plan to promote and organize various bond, blood, and scrap drives on the neighborhood level.”[4] Other important Northeast Ohio factories that contributed to the war effort include the Thompson Aircraft plant and a plant built just outside of the Cleveland Municipal Airport to aide in the construction of plane parts and, in postwar times, tanks.[5]

Music played a large role in this, as is demonstrated by the included picture. There were also various musicians who served in the military to entertain the troops abroad, the most notable of which is Glenn Miller. He had joined the army in 1942 in order to, “boost troop morale.”[6] Unfortunately, Miller was on his way to entertain troops in Paris, France in 1944, and his plane went missing.[7] This became one of the greatest mysteries of World War II, and is still discussed on various television programs.[8]

[1]Cleveland Memory Project, “Navy Relief Ball at the Cleveland Arena”, Cleveland State University, http://images.ulib.csuohio.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/press/id/10145/rec/1.

[2]Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, “World War II”, Case Western Reserve University, https://case.edu/ech/articles/w/world-war-ii/.

[3]Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, “World War II”.

[4]Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, “World War II”.

[5]Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, “World War II”.

[6]Bart Jansen, “Glenn Miller’s Plane Mystery Revived After 70 Years”, USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/07/07/glenn-miller-plane-mystery-history-detectives-norseman/12268729/.

[7]Bart Jansen, “Glenn Miller’s Plane Mystery Revived After 70 Years”.

[8]Bart Jansen, “Glenn Miller’s Plane Mystery Revived After 70 Years”.

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