Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

June 6, 1944: Workers in an armament room of Douglas Aircraft Co. read about D-day in the Los Angeles Times. This photo was published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Douglas Aircraft Company Inc.

June 6, 1944: A prayer service for D-day invasion at Plaza de Justicia next to the Hall of Records draws a crowd. Panorama was made from scans of two negatives and published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 6, 1944: Policeman Raymond Woody reads war developments during a lull in traffic at Sixth and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times.

June 6, 1944: Soldier William Stettnisch and sailor John Ledet read about the D-day invasion at 5th and Broadway. This photo was published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 6, 1944: Children pray at St. Joseph's Church located at 12th and Los Angeles Streets. This photo was published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 6, 1944: Marine Pvt. Calvin H. Laxson points out the invasion map to his daughter Cathryn, 3. This photo was published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 6, 1944: Group reads about D-day invasion news at 5th and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

June 6, 1944: Douglas Aircraft Co. workers bow in silent prayer during lunch period. This photo was published in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Douglas Aircraft Company Inc.

June 6, 1944: Mrs. Blanche Choate, a Douglas worker, received happy news on D-day. Her son, Tech. Sgt. Ronald Choate, who had been reported as missing in action, was in a German prison camp. This photo was published in the June 8, 1944 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Douglas Aircraft Company Inc.

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D-day news arrives in Los Angeles

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D-day news arrives in Los Angeles

On June 6, 1944, D-day invasion news arrives in Los Angeles. Residents respond with prayer and intense interest in latest news.  A story in the June 7, 1944 Los Angeles Times reported:

Los Angeles, named for the Queen of the Angels, turned to its patroness and to the Prince of Peace yesterday for help in winning the greatest battle in history.

In the Plaza de Justicia, beside the Hall of Records, 2000 looked to the blazing sunlight of the heavens in prayer at noontime while a breeze ruffled the flags of the United Nations.

In cathedrals, in temples, in tiny churches and in homes of rich and poor, the city prayed so that its sons and daughters in the armed forces may safely and speedily crush the dictatorial foes of liberty.

Mayor Bowron, informed of the Allied confirmation of the invasion at his home, early suggested that everyone “go to churches or other appropriate places at 12:30 p.m.” to pray for success and that a minimum number of lives might be lost…

The Board of Supervisors, speaking for the county, made a similar plea. At the suggestion of Supervisor Gordon L. McDonough, who has three sons and a son-in-law in the armed forces and another to enter June 25, the board adjourned with the hope and prayer for an Allied victory…

A different Los Angeles Times story reported on reactions at defense plants:

There was no jubilation yesterday in the aircraft plants and the shipyards, but there was intense interest, a feeling of purposefulness.

“This is it” was the general felling on D-Day: “let’s get it over with.”

When the public address systems blared out the news to the factory graveyard shifts, the reaction in each case was the same – a half minute of complete silence, then a simultaneous turn to work with an extra energy that had not been there a moment earlier…

Douglas workers gathered at 11 a.m. in the Santa Monica plant’s “punchbowl” recreation area for a moment of prayer and listened to news announcements during rest periods throughout the day. Newsboys outside the plant gates were besieged and sold out as fast as they received papers….

The above photo gallery consists of images taken by Los Angeles Times staff photographers and images provided by Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica.

Of course, all the people in the photos of residents reading invasion news were looking at the Los Angeles Times. In 1944, there was also the Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Examiner.

For more see D-Day: Los Angeles Times front pages.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Follow Scott Harrison on Twitter and Google+

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