A Nation at War? The

A Nation at War?

The New York Times – March 17, 1942

M’Arthur in Australia as Allied Commander; Move Hailed as Foreshadowing Turn of Tide
Washington, March 17 — General Douglas MacArthur today became Supreme Commander of the United Nations forces in the Southwestern Pacific. This dramatic shift of command and promotion for the dashing officer who has held the Japanese at bay on the Island of Luzon for three months and ten days was announced by the War Department simultaneously with his arrival in Australia. Traveling by plane, he arrived with his staff and his wife and child.

Third National Army Draft Begins in Capital:
3,485 First Number: All Night is Required for Drawing That Affects 9,000,000 Men: Use in Navy is Urged: Hershey Also Suggests Assigning Some Labor for War Projects

President Warns Against Rushing Anti-Strikes Law:
No Problem Exists at Present and Things Are Going Along Pretty Well, He Cautions: He Explains 40-Hour Act: But Bill to Ban is Is Pushed to Hearings in House- Senate Also Swept by Debate

Gen. Homma Suicide Confirmed by Chilean

50% Airplane Rise Reported by Nelson:
He Warns Three-Month Gain Is Not Enough- K. T. Keller Asked to Head Output

Nazis Close Ports of North Norway:
Reported Adding to Forces- British Say Tirpitz Eluded Torpedo-Plane Attack

Uruguayan Vessel, Two Others Sunk:
Nation Seizes German Ship in Retaliation- Fourth Craft Feared Lost in Bahamas

Bill for Women’s Auxiliary Corps of 150,000 Passed by the House

The New York Times – May 22, 2002

Daschle is seeking a Special Inquiry on Sept. 11 Attack
Headed for a confrontation with the White House, the Senate majority leader called for an independent panel to investigate government action before Sept. 11.

Leaving for Europe, Bush Draws on Hard Lessons of Diplomacy
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said early missteps provided the president with lessons that made possible the arms pact with Russia

Bono on the Road: Old Tune, New Duo

Security Tightened in New York After Vague Threats of Terrorism
Federal and local law-enforcement officials issued a warning of vague and uncorroborated threats against the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

$100 Million Fine for Meryl Lynch
Merrill Lynch reached a settlement with New York over charges that its analysts issued misleading research on companies with which it did banking business.

Lots of Seats, but Sorry, This Car’s Taken
It sounds like the dream of an Amtrak rider the night after a really bad trip home…

In New Focus on Quality of Life, City Goes After Petty Criminals

In Guatemala, a Rhode Island-Size Jade Lode
For half a century, scholars have searched in vain for the source of the jade that the early civilizations of the Americas prized above all else and fashioned into precious objects of worship, trade and adornment…

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Notes on Methodology

Headlines from 1942 come from the “On This Day” section of the York Times Learning Network. Headlines from 2002 come from the New York Times website. Where possible, I have included the sub-heads or the first sentence or so of each story.

I had hoped to be able to compare today with the same date in 1942, in order to perform a more random comparison, but was only able to locate select archives on the New York Times’ historic site. I picked March 17th, 1942 as the least-momentous date I could find in the available options during WWII which the Times had available (a subjective call, of course).


I post these without comment — for now — as for some reason, I am struck by an urge to let them speak for themselves… and to let everyone assess their import (or lack thereof) personally. I welcome your comments and thoughts, so please send them my way if you’d like to chime in. And as always, please specify clearly for me if your e-mail is for publication on the site, and if you wish to be attributed by name or quoted anonymously. (I of course reserve the right not to publish anything I don’t see as appropriate…)