9 December 1940

9 December 1940

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9 December 1940

December 1940


North Africa

Start of Operation Compass, British offensive in the Western Desert. Graziani's army cut off at Sidi Barrani

Of Special Interest to Women

From Labor Action, Vol.ل No.㺣, 9 December 1940, p.ك.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Rising Cost of Living:– So I order two containers of milk and a half-pint container of sweet cream. I put fifty cents on the counter. Two quarts of milk 23¢ – 16¢ for cream – total 39¢. Must get 11¢ change. But I get only 8¢.

“What’s this?” I ask, looking at the 8¢ and at the grocer.

“PRICES UP AGAIN,” he says. "Milk two for 25¢ – cream 17¢."

“For the love of mike!” I say, because I don’t swear in public, and at the same time I remember that I need eggs too. "Let me have a dozen white eggs, grade B,” I say.

I count out 27¢ that was the price last time I bought white eggs, grade B. “Four cents more, please,” says the grocer.

“I want the grade B,” I say, thinking he made a mistake.

“They are grade B. Today they’re 31¢ a dozen. PRICES UP AGAIN,” he says.

A general idea of why the storekeeper keeps telling you and me: “PRICES UP AGAIN”, is given in a report to the Department of Justice which points oat that the “food industry functions badly for both consumers and farmers”. Not being a poor farmer nor a poor housewife, the Department of Justice needed a long, report to learn about that.

This report on the food industry contains some very damning information. It shows how rich corporations keep food from starving people – so that the rich can become richer. Here are some of the facts.

Big associations of bakers have destroyed small independent bakers by price cutting. Having a monopoly in the field, they then fixed bread prices to suit themselves.

By cornering the market and preventing competition. certain meat slaughterers have increased prices an average of five cents a pound.

Poultry prices are fixed at make-believe auctions where the stooges of the poultry dealers make abnormally high bids which become the standard for “normal” prices.

Boss associations of fishing boat owners and fish canners control certain varieties of fish throughout the United States and fix their prices. The entire catch of one variety of fish is handled throughout the country by one group of brokers, and they fix the price at their own sweet will.

By the practises of dairymen’s associations they can maneuver increases as high as 3¢ in the retail price of milk, without the farmer getting anything out of the increase – while the poor have to consume less milk because they can’t pay the increased price.

One company already controls 80% of the national market in processed cheese and is making an effort to control the rest of the market.

Such is the greedy use of their power practised by the bosses of the nation’s food – without a “national defense emergency”. Imagine what they will do now when they can pile up their profits under the folds of the flag.

So now, on the basis of this report, an investigation is going to be made which will cover “all the major items in the family food budget”. Particular attention will be given to bread, milk, meat, fish, cheese, canned fruits and vegetables, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Nobody but a chicken just hatched out of an egg will believe that an investigation by the Department of Justice will put the food industry on a basis so that it will function for the benefit of the consumer and the farmer. We’ve heard that one many times before.

Government files are full of reports exposing just such flagrant frauds as the above. Millions of dollars have been appropriated in past years for investigations which showed up greedy corporations maneuvering the milk out of the mouths of babes. Thousands of hours have been consumed by legislators discussing and passing more and more laws, presumably to make such terrible practices impossible.

Such “crusading” reports, investigations, legislation have a habit of coming to the front pages of the press when housewives all over the country look a certain way at the grocer when he says, “PRICES UP AGAIN”.

But what has been the result of all these “crusades” against profiteers? Have the reports, investigations, legislation done any good? If so, this year 1940 ought to show it. Let a statement by the Department of Justice of the boss government itself give the answer:

“At one end of the food industries lies wholesale malnutrition among consumers due to their inability to afford an adequate diet. At the other end lies a population of producing farmers who must sell an abundance of food at distress prices so low as to threaten them with bankruptcy.”

This is another way of saying that the bosses and the banks, which have a stranglehold on the food industry, as they have on all other industry, reap a double harvest in 1940 as in 1930, in 1920, in 1910 – only more so. This is the result after decades and decades of “trust busting”, of “fighting monopolies”. All the reports, investigations, laws and “crusades” are like water on the backs on the profit-grabbers.

Do you want to know why you housewives who stare with malevolence at the innocent grocer when he says, “PRICES UP AGAIN”?

  1. Because their stranglehold on industry is not taken away from them – THEY REMAIN THE BOSSES
  2. Because the government that is supposed to curb their greed is their own government – A BOSS GOVERNMENT.

This system of boss-owned industry and boss government has proved itself a complete failure. All it can say for itself in this year 1940 is the following:

“More than FORTY-FIVE MILLION PEOPLE are limited to diets so poor that they lack essential food elements. These families are below the safety line. Not all of them feel hunger and not all have clinical symptoms of deficiency diseases such as pelagra, beri beri or scurvy. But those who must live on such a diet for prolonged periods suffer from chronic fatigue, lethargy, various digestive disorders and divers, aches and pains, and have a lowered resistance to disease.”

What can be a greater insult to the intelligence of these POOR people than to offer them another futile investigation!

What can be a greater insult to their spirit than to think they will continue to put up with the system of boss-owned industry and boss government!

Wheels West Day in Susanville History – December 9, 1940

Unidentified men in a grain field just east of Susan Hills in 1937.

Courtesy of UC Davis, Special Collections

Lassen Seed Passes Tests
December 9 th , 1940

For the first time in the history of Lassen county, Calif., locally grown seed will be “Calapproved” by the state seed committee of California, according to an announcement this week by T. S. Brown, county agent.

Two wheats, know as Pacific Bluestem and White Federation, were tested for three years in the local test plots and found to be equal, if not superior, yielders to other commonly know varieties, In addition, Brown states they carry disease-resistant varieties.

White Federation, which was produced by Tro Emerson, Lassen county farmers, is resistant to both rust and smut, and is in high demand throughout the state of California, since it is adaptable to a variety of conditions. Fred Hall, Ralph King and George Elledge, all farmers of the Lassen area, may have smut resistant Pacific Bluestem wheat for sale, according to Brown. These supplies of wheat are now being cleaned, and if the measure up to their standards of purity and germination, they may be Calapproved by the state seed committee and each sack given a metal seal for identification.

Today in History: Born on December 9

John Milton, British writer and poet (Paradise Lost).

William Barret Travis, commander of the Texas troops at the battle of the Alamo.

Joel Chandler Harris, writer, creator of the Uncle Remus tales.

Jean de Brunhoff, illustrator and author, creator of the Babar series of books.

Grace Hopper, mathematician and computer pioneer.

Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, speaker of the House of Representatives.

Kirk Douglas, American actor (Spartacus).

William Lipscomb, chemist awarded Nobel Prize in 1976.

Redd Foxx (John Sanford), comedian, actor best known for his starring role in the TV series Sanford and Son.

Henry Kendall, particle physicist shared Nobel Prize in 1990.

Dick Van Patten, actor best known for his role on the TV series Eight is Enough.

John Cassavetes, actor (The Dirty Dozen), film director, screenwriter (Faces).

Billy Edd Wheeler, singer, songwriter ("Jackson," "Coward of the County").

Judi Dench (Dame Judith Dench), actress known to James Bond fans for her role as M in Bond films beginning with Golden Eye (1997), her many awards include an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Chocolat, 2000).

Dick Butkus, pro football player inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1979.

John Malkovich, actor (Places in the Heart), producer (Juno), director, fashion designer.

Masako, Crown Princes of Japan, wife of Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Phil Ochs

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Phil Ochs, (born December 19, 1940, El Paso, Texas, U.S.—died April 9, 1976, Far Rockaway, New York), American folksinger and songwriter best remembered for the protest songs he wrote in the 1960s on topics ranging from the Vietnam War to civil rights.

While studying journalism at the Ohio State University, Ochs became interested in the folk music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. In 1961 he moved to New York City to pursue songwriting and performing in the hothouse environment of Greenwich Village’s folk scene. His first album, All the News That’s Fit to Sing (1964), reflected his aspirations as a “singing journalist.” A wavery tenor, Ochs employed melodic lyricism, strident leftist views, and dry wit to engage listeners. For a time he was seen as the most serious challenger to Bob Dylan as the era’s preeminent folksinger. After releasing the successful Phil Ochs in Concert album in 1966, he ventured into electric rock and nonpolitical subjects. Despite his highly regarded love song “Changes,” Ochs never gained the wide popularity he sought. Acutely depressed and creatively spent, he took his own life.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

KTA History

The first Kindertransport arrived at Harwich, England on December 2, 1938, bringing 196 children from a Berlin Jewish orphanage burned by the Nazis during the night of November 9. Most of the transports left by train from Vienna, Berlin, Prague and other major cities (children from small towns traveled to meet the transports), crossed the Dutch and Belgian borders, and went on by ship to England. Hundreds of children remained in Belgium and Holland. The transports ended with the outbreak of war in September 1939.

One very last transport left on the freighter Bodegraven from Ymuiden on May 14, 1940 – the day Rotterdam was bombed, one day before Holland surrendered – raked by gunfire from German warplanes. The eighty children on deck had been brought by earlier transports to imagined safety in Holland. Altogether, though exact figures are unknown, the Kindertransports saved around 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. None were accompanied by their parents a few were babies carried by children.

John Lennon Oct 9, 1940 – Dec 8, 1980

I’ve always been interested in World War II, but really only the war in Europe. The war in the Pacific, though equally as important to world history, just never grabbed me. Maybe it’s because of the movies “Patton” and “Saving Private Ryan” and the lack of an equivalent movie in the other theater? I don’t really know why, it just is. The whole thing happened a lifetime before I was born, but something about it captured my imagination, which is how imagination works – you don’t have to have been a part of something for that something to be a part of you. Such is the case with John Lennon, who was murdered on this date in 1980.

The Beatles weren’t together in my lifetime, I’d just started forming lifelong memories when John was killed (though I have no memory of it because I was too young to know who he was). My parents were Elvis fans, anyway. But Beatles music, and John’s, has become as much a part of my life as it is to anyone screamed at the TV set watching The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.

The Beatles were the very definition of a group without any one of them there would not have been any of them. There was just something about them together, and that something carried each of them long after they broke up. Whether John was the “leader” or not is something some people still argue about to this day, but it is irrelevant. If Ringo Starr weren’t playing the drums, or George Harrison on guitar, or Paul McCartney on bass, John Lennon would be a retired factory worker somewhere.

Why did those four people together change music and, in many ways, the world? Books have been written about it, seminars held, someone is probably arguing on social media somewhere about it right now.

The question of “why them?” is something I can’t explain beyond the obvious, and I think correct, answer: they were damn good.

Not only were the songs some of the best ever written, you have to view them in context to understand just how different they were form everything else. At the end of the 1950s/beginning of the 1960s, Elvis had been drafted, leaving music for a while and returning as a crooner/movie star. His rock and roll days were over, at least until 1968’s comeback special. Buddy Holly, a true pioneer who, unlike most contemporaries, wrote and produced his own music, had died in a plane crash. Eddie Cochran died in a car crash, Little Richard had left music for religion, Chuck Berry was in prison for bringing a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes,” and Jerry Lee Lewis was a pariah for marrying his 13-year-old cousin.

Rock and roll was dead in every way except as a label. Crooners packaged by record labels were called rock and roll, but they weren’t anything close to it. Think what you will of groups like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, their music is very catchy (and I enjoy it), but it’s not what comes to mind when you think of rock and roll.

Yet, that’s what dominated the U.S. charts and radio in the early 60s. The month before the Sullivan show the Billboard charts featured acts like Bobby Vinton, The Murmaids, Bobby Rydell, and the Singing Nun. Picture any song by any of those artists, then hear “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” in your head. That’s what changed – The Beatles brought rock back to rock music.

By April of that year, The Beatles has 14 songs in the top 100, including the top 5 slots, and the top 2 albums in the country. No one has come close to that kind of chart domination.

There really isn’t a moment of any of their lives that hasn’t been documented by someone at this point, most presidents haven’t had as many biographies written about them.

At the time of his murder 40 years ago tonight, John was back on top after a 5-year break from recording. He’d become a father again, more mature and unencumbered by Beatlemania, he threw himself into it this time. But all loaves of bread he baked didn’t quiet the songs in his head. And the country loved those song, the “Double Fantasy” record.

Through the mania, the insanity, the drugs, the everything that happens to a person when, in their early 20s they’d had the whole world want a piece of them, he’d finally gotten his life together. Then he was murdered.

We can all wonder what he would have done had he lived, whether they would’ve gotten the band back together or whatever. None of that really matters because it’s impossible now. What we do know is a wife lost a husband, two boys lost a father, and the world lost someone who’d provided at least a song or two to the soundtrack of every life that came, or will come, after it. No deranged assassin can take that away.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter


Great conjunctions in right ascension
Date Time
Angular distance
from Jupiter to Saturn
from Saturn to the Sun
Zodiac sign
21 July 1802 03:22:00 42' South 37.9° East Virgo
25 June 1821 00:05:09 1°15' North 67.5° West Aries
22 November 1821 23:49:55 1°20' North 140.2° East Aries
23 December 1821 09:28:49 1°22' North 108.5° East Aries
25 January 1842 22:22:31 32' South 26.8° West Capricorn
25 October 1861 15:11:20 52' South 43.1° West Virgo
22 April 1881 11:58:20 1°18' North 1.0° East Taurus
28 November 1901 06:10:38 27' South 38.6° East Capricorn
14 September 1921 16:22:08 1°02' South 6.2° East Virgo
15 August 1940 13:18:42 1°15' North 97.5° West Taurus
11 October 1940 23:17:26 1°17' North 155.0° West Taurus
20 February 1941 19:14:02 1°21' North 67.7° East Taurus
18 February 1961 14:42:37 14' South 34.6° West Capricorn
14 January 1981 07:58:37 1°09' South 103.9° West Libra
19 February 1981 07:12:10 1°09' South 141.2° West Libra
30 July 1981 21:32:22 1°12' South 57.9° East Libra
31 May 2000 10:13:27 1°11' North 16.9° West Taurus
21 December 2020 13:22 6' South 30.3° East Aquarius
5 November 2040 13:19:46 1°14' South 24.8° West Libra
10 April 2060 09:01:25 1°09' North 39.8° East Gemini
15 March 2080 08:29:24 6' North 43.8° West Aquarius
24 September 2100 01:40:38 1°18' South 25.1° East Libra
Great conjunctions in ecliptic longitude
Date Time
Angular distance
from Jupiter to Saturn
from Saturn to the Sun
Zodiac sign
17 July 1802 22:57:00 39' South 40.6° East Virgo
19 June 1821 16:56:57 1°10' North 63.3° West Aries
26 January 1842 06:16:53 32' South 27.1° West Capricorn
21 October 1861 12:27:02 48' South 39.7° West Virgo
18 April 1881 13:35:59 1°13' North 3.1° East Taurus
28 November 1901 16:37:33 26' South 38.2° East Capricorn
10 September 1921 04:13:03 57' South 9.7° East Virgo
8 August 1940 01:13:20 1°11' North 90.9° West Taurus
20 October 1940 04:42:14 1°14' North 164.0° West Taurus
15 February 1941 06:36:25 1°17' North 72.9° East Taurus
19 February 1961 00:07:18 14' South 34.9° West Capricorn
31 December 1980 21:17:24 1°03' South 90.9° West Libra
4 March 1981 19:14:36 1°03' South 155.9° West Libra
24 July 1981 04:13:35 1°06' South 63.8° East Libra
28 May 2000 15:56:27 1°09' North 14.9° West Taurus
21 December 2020 18:37:31 6' South 30.1° East Aquarius
31 October 2040 12:02:47 1°08' South 20.8° West Libra
7 April 2060 22:36:24 1°07' North 41.9° East Gemini
15 March 2080 01:49:55 6' North 43.5° West Capricorn
18 September 2100 22:50:40 1°13' South 29.4° East Libra

9 December 1940 - History

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The original hero called Captain Marvel, who currently goes by the name Shazam, was one of the most popular superheroes of the Golden Age of the 1940s. Introduced as young Billy Batson, a boy reporter for WHIZ Radio, he became the superheroic Captain Marvel once he uttered the magic word “Shazam,” the name of the wizard who granted him his powers. From 1940 to 1950, Captain Marvel was the comic book industry’s biggest hit, with spin-off titles galore. He was a certifiable cash cow for publisher Fawcett Comics.

But National Publications, known today as DC Comics, saw Captain Marvel as a knockoff of its own Superman and sued Fawcett. Eventually DC won, and Fawcett was forced to retire publishing Captain Marvel, leaving the name completely unused. In 1966, once the name Captain Marvel fell into public domain, a minor publisher named MF Enterprises created their own Captain Marvel—one that almost no one remembers today.

This Captain Marvel wasn’t only a knockoff of the 󈧬s Cap he ripped off Superman too! This Captain was an alien android powered by an M-emblem medallion on his chest, who had been sent to Earth by his creators to escape the atomic destruction of their planet. Apparently Superman didn’t even have dibs on his own origin story.

In another instance of ripping off Superman, he took on the secret identity of a journalist named Roger Winkle. Borrowing from Batman, he had a young ward named Billy Baxton. (The original Captain Marvel’s real name, let us remind you, was Billy Batson. We know, it was pretty shameless.) This Captain Marvel even managed to rip off Archie Comics, as he lived in the small idyllic town of Riverdale… uh, we mean Riverview, USA.

The android Captain Marvel’s powers were among the worst in comics history. He would yell out the world “Split!” and his limbs would come apart, and then project themselves at his enemies, leaving the good Captain just a torso with a head. It was as terrifying looking on paper as it sounds.

This version only lasted five issues, from 1966 to 󈨇, the likely reason being that Marvel Comics was in the middle of their most fertile creative period and wanted the name Captain Marvel badly. Legend has it they paid off MF, which was tiny publisher, for the rights to the name, after which they secured the trademark. Although unconfirmed, the timing certainly holds up, as in late 1967, they introduced Mar-Vell, A Kree warrior who protected the Earth. He would soon gain his own title, which lasted throughout the entire decade of the 1970s.

Meanwhile, DC Comics acquired the rights to produce new material featuring Fawcett’s original Captain Marvel, which was ironic seeing as how they once sued that character right off the printed page. But because Marvel had their own legally trademarked Captain Marvel, they could not print a comic with “Captain Marvel” as the title, nor would they likely want to. So all comics featuring their Captain Marvel were now called Shazam! and his heroic name could only be used inside the comics themselves. To sum up, at this time, there were two official heroes named Captain Marvel—one owned by Marvel and one by DC. This wacky scenario would last four whole decades.

While Billy Batson remained as DC’s Captain Marvel during all this time, Marvel’s Captain went through several iterations of heroes using the name. Mar-Vell lasted from 1967 through 1982 then there was Monica Rambeau, who was introduced as Captain Marvel in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 and would go by the handle until the mid 󈨞s (she would go on to use names including Photon, Pulsar, and Spectrum).

Immediately afterward was Mar-Vell’s son Genis-Vell—who, after being introduced as Legacy in 1993, became Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel Vol. 3 in 1995—followed by his sister Phyla-Vell, who came along in 2003’s Captain Marvel Vol. 5. Then there was another Kree named Noh-Varr, who became Captain Marvel in 2009’s Dark Avengers #1. There was even a Skrull named Khn’nr who was brainwashed into believing he was Mar-Vell, and he was Captain Marvel for a brief period of time between 2007’s Civil War: The Return and 2008’s Captain Marvel series.

Eventually, the former Ms. Marvel, Mar-Vell’s former love interest and protégé and longstanding member of the Avengers, finally became the Captain Marvel in 2012. Fans had been campaigning for this for years.

Also in 2012, DC was in the middle of the massive New 52 reboot. Their own Captain Marvel got a reboot as a part of that, thanks to creator Geoff Johns. The first thing he did was get rid of the name Captain Marvel and rename him Shazam officially. Because the comic had to be called Shazam! for legal reasons, most people referred to the character as such already, and had for decades. Getting rid of the Captain Marvel name in an official capacity just seemed like the smart thing to do.

In the final analysis, there have been nine Captain Marvels altogether over the years, with the great number of them coming from Marvel Comics. But even Stan Lee himself could have never envisioned a scenario where arguably the two most famous bearers of that title enjoyed their big screen debuts within a month of each other. Only in Hollywood.

Images: Marvel Comics / Marvel Studios / DC Comics / Warner Bros.


Sunk at 1030hrs on 20 August 1944 in the Black Sea at Constanza, in position 44.10N, 28.41E, by bombs during Soviet air raid (VVS VMF).

Wreck raised on 22 October 1944 by Soviets and towed to Nikolaev. On 19 April 1945 renamed TS-16 for a planned reconstruction, but declared a total loss on 12 December 1946 and broken up.

Attacks on this boat and other events

27 Dec 1942
16.20 hrs, off Sochi in the Black Sea: a Soviet minesweeper dropped eight depth charges on the boat, causing minor damage. (Sources: Ritschel)

31 Mar 1944
U-9 was lying in Feodosia to refuel when the harbor was attacked by 18 Il-2 ground attack aircraft. The boat was damaged by strafing and a bomb hit made a dent in the pressure hull on port side aft, also wounding the commander by splinters who operated the 20mm AA gun himself. The gunners claimed hits on two aircraft that were seen to crash.

11 May 1944
Black Sea, south of Yalta: depth charges from a Soviet escort caused minor damage.

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

20 Apr 1940. On 20 April 1940 the boat fired torpedoes at the Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica, which missed.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-9 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs
Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

There was another U-9 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 22 Feb 1910 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 18 Apr 1910. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 9 during WWI.