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Here are the basics:  come by land or water to a party for Mary Whalen‘s 70th year next Saturday December 6 from 11 til 5.  You can RSVP here.  I’ll be there.  Two of these three fotos are recycled from earlier Whalen posts this year.  Whalen came off the ways in 1938 at the Mathis yard in Camden, New Jersey.   What do you know about 1938?  Here Whalen dances up the East River with Taurus.


In 1938, a 450-ton meteorite landed in Chicora, PA, and Butler, PA began manufacture of several models of the American Bantam, whose models promised 60 mph at 60 miles per gallon!  Roosevelt was still struggling to make the New Deal work; LaGuardia was mayor of the six boros of NYC.  King Ghazi reigned over Iraq and Chevron discovered commercially-viable oil deposits in King Abdul Aziz’s Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, petroleum Whalen might later transport.  Below, Whalen dances with June K.


Prohibition had ended only five years before.  US population was 130 million.  Pete Seeger dropped out of Harvard to begin his folk singing career.  Unemployment rate was a staggering 19%, and the Fair Labor Standards Act established a first minimum wage . . . a quarter an hour.  Orson Welles terrified folks in the area with the fictitious “War of the Worlds,” and really terrifying and portentious events called Kristallnacht happened in Germany.  Also, more than 10 years before hurricanes had names, the “great hurricane” of 1938 dragged its eye ashore on Long Island with wind speeds above 100 mph, killing 688 people.  Speeds  atop the Empire State Building registered 120 mph.


Inventions of 1938 included Biro’s ballpoint, Carlson’s xerox machine, Nescafe’s freeze-dried coffee (my favorite), DuPont’s Teflon, Sandoz’ LSD, and strobe lighting.  Sikorsky was a year away from his first helicopter.  Betty Davis won an Oscar for Jezebel, Pearl Buck won the Nobel for Literature.  Judy Garland was cast as Dorothy. Howard Hughes flew a Lockheed 14 “around” the world in three days and nineteen hours using Brooklyn’s Bennett Field as start/finish point and making three stops in the USSR, one in Fairbanks, and one in Minneapolis.  Babe Ruth worked his last season for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Yankees won their 10th World Series.  Queen Mary and Normandie exchanged the trans-Atlantic crossing speed record at approximately 30 knots average.  The foto of John B. Caddell below, taken earlier this week, shows a 67- year-old handsome vessel  still at work.


Jakobson’s Shipyard relocated to Oyster Bay in 1938, leaving Brooklyn.  So what was happening in Red Hook?  What other notable sixth boro events were happening?  I’d love to hear.

More Caddell tomorrow.

Photos, WVD.

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November 2008