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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 21, 1940, Image 1

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Weather Forecast
Scattered clouds; lowest tonight about
33; tomorrow scattered clouds: gentle
to moderate west winds. Temperatures
today—Highest, 51, at 1 p.m.; lowest,
35, at 7 a.m.
Prom the United States Weather Bureau report.
Closing N. Y. Markets—Sales, Page 11.
An Evening Newspaper
With the Full Day's News
Associated Press and lA'i Wirephotos, North
American Newspaper Alliance. Chicago
Daily News Foreign Service and Tile Star *
Staff Writers. Reporters and Photographers.
0P) Mean* Associated Press.
89th YEAR. No. 35,298.
U. S.-German Peace Is at Stake
In English Plan to Take Over
Ships, Nazi Spokesman Asserts
--- A _
Berlin Is Watching
Reaction Here to
Cross Proposal
Associated Press War Correspondent
BERLIN. Dec. 21.—The question
of continued peaceable relations be
tween Germany and the United
States hangs in the balance as the
German government awaits reaction
to the Cross shipping proposal, an
official Foreign Office spokesman
Intimated today , in a solemn press
i Secretary Hull declined to com
ment on the statement. Tire
Secretary was asked at his press
conference if he would give the
views of the American Govern
ment on the question and replied
in the negative.*
Ronald H. Cross. British Minister
of Shipping, said yesterday in Lon
don that the assignment of "a cer
tain number of enemy ships in the
United States" and addition of
United States ships to the British
service “are the only ways I can
see for replenishments of any conse
“The entire attention of the Ger
man government is centered upon
the American reaction to the Cross
proposal.” the spokesman asserted.
“Interest Extraordinary.”
‘That proposal is nothing other
than inciting America ta commit a
warlike act." he said. "I speak with
tremendous earnestness in my ca
pacity as your official informant and
"Our interest is extraordinary." he
continued, "because in an increasing
manner one nation 'meaning Ger
many) has shown restraint to the
point of self-effacement, while on
the other side there has been a sys
tematic policy of pin-pricks, chal
lenges, humiliations and even moral
“The Reichs government is, there- 1
fore, centering its entire attention
upon this problem .”
The conference was one of the
most, serious ever held by the spokes
Mr. Cross was speaking, he said,
at the moment when "Great Britain
Is in a death struggle."
Cross Appeal to U. S.
Desperate, Italians Say
ROME, Dec. 21 I/Pk—Italian news- ;
papers today headlined the state
ments of British Minister of Ship
ping Ronald H. Cross on British
shipping needs as "a desperate ap
peal to the United States” for ships
and one which showed the British
were worried.
IS Additional Articles
Placed on Export Ban
President Roosevelt today placed
15 additional articles and materials
important in wartime production
under restrictions of the export
licensing system.
Explaining that the action was in
the interest of the national defense,
the President listed the items in an
executive order and proclamation
announced by the White House and
released in full at the State Depart
ment. Included in the list are sev
eral chemicals, abrasives, measuring
machines for precision instruments,
gauges, testing machines, balancing
machines, hydraulic pumps, tools
containing industrial diamonds and
equipment or plans for machinery
to make aviation lubricants.
Along with approximately 60'other
classifications of materials, those !
announced today may henceforth be
shipped out of the country only on
license issued by the administrator
of export control.
Recent policy in this regard has !
been to permit shipments of vital j
materials to the British Empire and
to other countries in the Western
Hemisphere. Actually, the restric
tions have been operative principally
against Japan or shipments for some
other destination by way of the
U. S. Citizen Is Removed
From Ship by British
Bj the Associated Press.
at Bennuda. Dec. 21.—British au
thorities today removed an Amer
ican citizen, Oscar Stabler, barber
on the Excambion, when the ship,
en route to New York, called at Ber
muda. The charges were not dis
closed. Stabler was born at Stutt
gart, Germany.
Stalin's Birthday Quiet
MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (/P).—Joseph
Stalin’s 61st birthday anniversary
passed today without formal ob
servance. A year ago it was cele
brated. There was no mention of
the birthday in today s press.
British Plant Keeps
'Too Fast' Worker;
Union Strikes
B» the Associated Press.
LONDON, Dec. 21.—Workers
in a factory turning out uni
forms for the British Tommies
struck today because of con
tinued employment of a cutter
whom their union expelled on
a charge of working too fast.
The National Union of Tailors
and Garment Workers said the
man violated union rules by
cutting too many pairs of khaki
pants per hour. The union took
the view this endangered its
standards of "output and
Three in U. S. Embassy at Paris
Removed at Berlin's Request
No Concessions Being Made Concerning
Charges, Secretary Hull Says
Secretary of State Hull said today
that two secretaries and a woman
clerk of the American Embassy in
Paris would be withdrawn at the
request of German authorities who
had accused them of helping an
unidentified British officer to escape.
Mr. Hull said that while this Gov
ernment had had no opportunity to
investigate the allegations against
the persons involved, any Govern
ment had a right to demand th*'
withdrawal of another government s
representatives from its territory
without setting forth any grounds
The State Department will investi
gate the matter, but Mr. Hull said
he was under the impression that
nothing would be developed to indi
cate any material culpability of the
three Americans.
He emphasized that no conces
sions were being made in respect to
the German charges.
Those being withdrawn from the
Paris Embassy are Cecil M. P. Cross
and Leigh W. Hunt, secretaries in
the diplomatic service, and Mrs.
Elizabeth Deegan, reception clerk in
the Paris Embassy, who was de
tained by the Germans for several
days recently.
Mrs. Hunt, wife of the Second Sec
retary and Consul of the American
(See EMBASSY, Page A-3.)
Japan Shifts Cabinet
As Uneasiness Over
Axis Pact Grows
New Justice and Home
Affairs Ministers Are
Named by Konoye
B* the Associated Press.
SHANGHAI, Dec. 21.—Japanese
Premier Prince Konoye's appoint
ment today of new Japanese Min
isters of Justice and Home Affairs is
believed by Shanghai observers to
have been motivated largely by the
Japanese people's increasing un
easiness over their government's mil
itary alliance with Italy and Ger
Dissatisfaction with Japan's com
mitments has been gaining momen
tum since early this month, and re
ports were current two weeks ago
that the Konoye government might
fall as a result.
However, it was understood po
litical leaders were loath to permit a
complete change in government be
cause of a fear this would accentu
ate the public s misgivings. There- ;
fore, it was decided to •'strengthen”
the present cabinet through the ad
dition of Baron Kiichirb Hiranuma
as home minister and Lt. Gen. Hei
suke Yanagawa as minister of
The further addition of Gen.
Baron Sadao Araki as minister with- ]
out portfolio appeared probable since j
he. like Hiranuma. commands con
siderable political influence. Araki
is a former war minister. The fiery
general recently conferred at length
with Prince Konoye.
Stricter enforcement of economic
restrictions was seen by observers as
a further factor in the cabinet
Baron Hiranuma. Premier for
several months in 1939 and recently
a minister without portfolio in the
Konoye cabinet, succeeds Eija Yasui
as head of the vital department con
trolling the nation-wide police sys
tem and prefectural, municipal and
village authorities.
Adds Military Strength.
Gen. Yanagawa, a former Vice
Minister of War and one-time com
mander of the Japanese garrison at
Formosa, replaces Akira Kazami as
Minister of Justice, and adds mili
tary strength to the cabinet, al
though he is a retired officer. His
new7 post demands close co-operation
with the army and also with the
Home Ministry in the prosecution
of law violators. *
Reports of widespread complaints
and numerous violations of the gov
ernment's low-price policy have ap
peared recently in the Japanese
Economic police recently an
nounced that rice hoarders and food
stuff profiteers would be “vigorously
prosecuted.” but the press com
plained that no concerted action had
been taken yet.
The army was said to be pushing
vigorously a low-price, anti-luxury
policy in an attempt to “induce the
people to share the hardships of the
battle front and stabilize the domes
tic economy.”
Observers expressed belief that the
cabinet change presaged increased
efforts to accelerate the totalitarian
movement in Japan. Baron Hira
numa is a favorite among rightists.
Ship Firm Denies Stolen
Data Had Military Value
B} the Associated Press.
CAMDEN. N. J., Dec. 21. —The
New York Shipbuilding Corp. an
nounced today that a brief case con
taining “production schedules" was
stolen Thursday from one of its
employes, Walter Keefer, at a res
taurant near Schenectady, N. Y.
Fred Cornell, the corporation's
public relations representative, said
the briefcase contained “no blue
prints. ship construction plans" or
other matter of “military value.”
Previously New York State police
had reported that they understood
the stolen papers were plans for
“construction of naval vessels.” The
corporation holds more than $500,
000,000 worth of Navy contracts.
tiUiristman Hu0ir
Two full pages of Christmas
music programs in Washington
churches are in The Star’s
church section today on Pages
A-12 and A-13.
R. A. F. Planes Based
On Greek Soil Make
Attack on Brindisi
Athens Forces Reported
In Fierce Clash With
Italians Around Tepelini
B* the Associated Press.
ATHENS, Dec. 21.—British Royal
Air Force combers based on Greek
soil were reported today to have
carried out "successful attacks" on
oil tanks and railways at Brindisi,
across the Adriatic Strait of Otranto,
on the heel of the Italian boot.
"Poor visibility and intense anti
aircraft fire made observation diffi
cult.” the R. A F. communique said,
"but all bombs exploded in the target
area. Large .fires were started and
subsequently there were several ex
While the R. A. F. reported this
and other assaults to support the
Greek offensive into Italian-held
Albania, dispatches from the fight
ing front said Greek forces had cap
tured an Italian colonel and two
battalions in fierce fighting around
Greek infantrymen, battling cold
and a stubborn Fascist force, were
said to have occupied two villages I
and two strategically important
heights in the Tepeleni area.
Heights taken in the Tepeleni area
were described as strongly guarded
with barbed wire. After mentioning
the gains in that sector, one report
our artillery successiuiiv shelled
the retreating Italians. Guns and
much material have fallen into our
•'While the enemy was being
chased, Italian planes attempted to
halt our advance but our fighters
took off and shot down four enemy
A naval communique indiqated to
day that a XJreek destroyer force
actuallly preceded British warships
in their sweep of the lower Adriatic,
as reported by the London Admiralty
yesterday. The British sent a battle
ship-cruiser-destroyer force into the
lower Adriatic December 18 and the
battleships, it was reported, poured
nearly 100 tons of high explosive
shells into Italy's port of entry into
Southern Albania, Valona.
Now the Greek Navy reports that
on the night of December 15-16 its
reconnaissance destroyers penetrated
the lower Adriatic as far as the Is
land of Saseno, at the entrance of
Valona Harbor, ‘‘without encounter
ing any signs of the enemy.”
The Greek foray was commanded
by Admiral Cavadias.
The communique said simply:
‘During the night of December
15-16 Gr4ek destroyers made a
reconnaissance of the Adriatic, go
ing to the Island of Saseno without
encountering any signs of the en
Besides the Brindisi attack the
night of December 19-20, the R. A. F.
reported an attack yesterday on
Berati, at a vital road junction in
the middle sector of the Albanian
front, and site of an airfield, as well
as a battle between Gladiator fight
ers and Italian bombers over the
Tepeleni area in which one Italian
plane was believed to have been
shot down and a British pilot bailed
(See GREEK~Page A-4.)
British Blast
Bardia From
All Sides
Planes and Warships
Join Artillery in
Massed Attack
B> thr Associated Press.
CAIRO. Egypt. Dec. 21.—Wh.le
British bombers, artillery and war
ships were reported battering be
leaguered Bardia today in an effort
to smash a path through the Italian
defenses, a general headquarters
communique announced British
troops had captured an additional
900 prisoners and were “clearing'
the areas to the northwest and west
of the Eastern Libyan base.
The British forces in the western
desert, “which continue to be rein
forced.” also have taken four guns
in their mopping-up operations, the
communique reported. In addition,
patrols along the Sudan frontier
were said to be carrying on “their
aggressive activity.”
As the British closed in on Bardia
large units of the trapped Fascist
forces were said to be trying des
perately to slip through the ring of
steel around their Eastern Libyan
base under cover of darkness and
the pall of smoke and dust hanging
over the town after five days of
It was believed in some British
circles that such units—if any got
through—would try to join Marshal
Rodolfo Graziani at Tobruk for a
new stand 75 miles west of the
Libyan-Egyptian frontier.
The coastal road to Tobruk and
Derna has been reported, like Bardia.
under almost, constant R. A. F. and
naval bombardment.
Reports from the battle front said
the British, bringing up infantry to
reinforce their advance tank col
umns, completed a semi-circle of
men and guns around the landward
side of Bardia last night while a line
of warships off the coast finished
the encirclement. Immediately, it
was said, the battle of Bardia became
a siege.
From all sides British guns were
thundering at the 17-mile Italian
defense front of tank traps, gun
emplacements and pill boxes manned
by an estimated 20.000 troops—
many of them survivors of the Fas
cist flight from Egypt.
The British counterdrive into
Libya in the desert lands to the
south also was reported advancing.
Fight to Oust Italians.
There the British, spearheaded by
a unit of Australian cavalry, were
fighting to oust an Italian ga’rison
from the oasis of Giarabub, about 20
miles west of the Egyptian frontier
Some prisoners were taken in
three days of fighting around the
oasis and last night the rest of tne
Italian force was reported still hold
ing out against heavy pressure.
The British said they refrained
from the usual bombing prelude to
the attack because buildings and
monuments sacred to the Senussi
sect are around the oasis.
The Italians were said to be at
tempting to move up reinforcements
from other outlying posts.
Reuters (British news agency! dis
patches from Cairo said the Royal
Air Forces’ repeated attacks on
Italy's Libyan air bases, intended to
keep the Fascist flying force
grounded, had been so intense the
Italians were forced to abandon all
their fields in Eastern L^ibya.
Heavy Artillery Action
Reported by Italians
ROME, Dec. 21 (A>).—Heavy artil
lery action was reported today by the
Italian high command in the North
African desert battle zone across
which Britain’s forces from Egypt
are striking at Libya.
Special credit was given by the
high command to Fascist flyers—
especially the 5th Air Squardon—for
“having tirelessly and with the most
sublime forces of sacrifice’’ co-op
erated with Italian land units in hit
ting hard at the armored columns
which spearheaded the British at
At the same time, the Italians said
their aircraft engaged in fierce air
battles with British planes.
An Italian air formation was re
ported to have made a low-flying
night attack on the British pro
tectorate of Aden, heavily bombing
an airport.*
Italian officials said a British
cruiser reported sunk off the port of
Bardia early in the fighting along
the Egyptian-Libyan frontier still
could be seen lying on the bottom of
the sea. An official statement said
the ship was a cruiser or about 6,000
tons—presumably of the Arethusa or
Lenter type.
Summary of Today's Star
Church News.
Comics B-10-11
Editorials ...A-8
Lost, Found-B-7
Radio _B-iO
Real Estate,
Serial Story. A-17
Sports _B-4-5
Woman’s Page,
British warships and bombers smash
at Bardia. Page A-l
Berlin plane factory fired in R. A. F.
attack, British report. Page A-l
Halifax is expected to be named
British envoy to U. S. Page A-2
Chinese found unable to use credit
allowed by U. S. Page A-3
U. S. to withdraw 3 in Paris Embassy
protested by Berlin. Page A-l
Knudsen heads 4-man board for
total defense. Page A-l
Navy orders totaling - $265,765,500,
Knox reports. Page A-l
Washington and Vicinity.
Electric power breakdown cripples
Washington, vicinity Page A-l
O'Conor would apply tax cuts to 1940
Maryland Income. Page A-7
G. W„ victor over Clemson, plays
Duke, conqueror of C. U. Page B-4
Zivic’s showing in draw rated worse
than Jenkins'. Page B-4
Central, Tech display title basket
caliber in victories. Page B-5
Hockey Eagles prove crowd pleasers
with victorious brawls. Page B-5
Editorial and Comment.
Letters to The Star. Page A-8
Answers to Questions. Page A-8
This and That. Page A-8
David Lawrence. Page A-9
Constantine Brown. Page A-9
Jay Franklin. Page A-9
Jay G. Hayden. Page A-9
Frederic William Wile. Page A-9
Nature's Children. Page A-9
Bedtime Story. Page B-10
Winning Contract. Page B-ll
Cross-Word Puzzle. Page B-ll
Uncle Ray’s Corner. Page B-ll
Christmas Story. Page A-5
Vital Statistics. Page A-1C
City News in Brief. Page A-If
Service Orders. Page A-10
/''ihc Country is n
( Perfectly safe. Congress
\ You can See for >
It's Late, but Not Too Late,
To Brighten Y ule for Needy
Generous Persons Form Also Steady
Parade to Christmas House With Funds
With little time left. The Star’s campaign to put Christmas
cheer into the homes of families in extreme need rose yesterday
to flood tide. A kaleidoscope of generous people came down to
Christmas House.
Dr. H. E. Claus of 4320 Lee highway, Arlington. Va., made his
wav there guided bv a white cane
and a "seeing eye” dog, for he is
blind. His gift, he said, came from
himself and four small blind chil
dren of Fairfax and Arlington
A friendly group of men who call
themselves the "Old Fogey Plate;
Printers” of the Bureau of Engrav
ing and Printing brought $146 for
The Star-N. B. C.-Warner Bros. Yule
fund. They refused to give their'
names, but promised to bring "still
more next year.”
The Accounting Division Club in
the Treasury Department phoned to;
offer $100, the profit of parties dur- ;
ing 1940.
A girl at the Slioreham Hotel sent
a check with this explanation:
"Something very nice just hap
pened to me and I would like to
share my happiness with some one
less fortunate."
You, also, can share happiness by
mailing or bringing a gift to The
Star's Christmas House at Eleventh
street and Pennsylvania avenue. Do
it now’ so your gift can be passed on
to children who are hoping for a
'See CHRISTMAS. Page A-4.) I
Let's Hurry
Before It's Too Late
Checks and cash sent to
Christmas House today and to
morrow can be placed in the
hands of need> mothers in time
for a bit of Christmas shopping.
Children may be denied their
share of the season's cheer if
your donation comes later.
Mall your gift at once to
Tire Star's Christmas House, at
Eleventh street and Pennsyl
vania avenue N.W. Or stop
by at. any of the following
VVMAL broadcast periods:
5 to 5:15P.M .
6:15 to 6:30 P.M.
No broadcasts. Christmas
House closed till 8:30 am.
German Warplanes
Blast Liverpool in
Heavy Attack
Many Fires Started by
Wave After Wave
Of Nazi Bombers
fiy the Associated Press.
LIVERPOOL. Dec. 21—German
reconnaissance planes fl/w over Liv
erpool and the Merseyside district
after daybreak today to survey the
damage caused by wave after wave
of bombers which battered this cen
ter of British overseas commerce last
The night raid was reported to
have been the heaviest of the war
for the Liverpool area.
Rescue workers digging through
wreckage and rubble for victims of
the attack hardly spared the scout
ing planes overhead a glance.
The raid started so early last night
that crowds of Christmas shoppers
were caught in the streets. They
filled shelters and basements in the
business district and were forced to
remain there throughout the night.
Many Fires Started.
A greater use of incendiary bombs
than in any previous raid on Liver
pool caused many fires, lighted tar
gets and guided wave after wave of
bombers over the industrial areas.
There were relatively few casual
ties, however, and transport facili
ties were operating almost normally
this morning.
During the height of the raid a
fire truck ran into a bomb crater in
a downtown street, injuring two fire
A large hotel was damaged and a
famous church hit. One large shel
(See LIVERPOOL^ Page~A-27)
$10.00 Reward
To protect The Star
Carrier Service from
newspaper thievery, The
Evening Star offers a re
ward of $10.00 for the ar
rest and conviction of any
person or persons stealing
The Star Newspaper from
carrier packs at the point
of delivery, or from door
ways or apartments after
delivery. Any one detect
ing newspaper thieves
should notify the police
liimtUuj &tar
Navy Lets Contracts
For 31 Vessels to
Cost $265,765,500
Private Yards Get Orders,
With $6,600,000 More
To Expand Facilities
B> the Associated Press.
Secretary Knox announced today
the awarding of contracts to private
shipyards for 31 additional mine
layers. tenders and other naval
j vessels estimated to cost $265,765,
Additional contracts totalling $6.
600,000 were awarded at the same
time to expand facilities at the
widely-scattered shipyards receiv
ing the orders.
The vessels will be built on a
cost-plus-fixed fee basis. Detailed
breakdowns and delivery dates were
not disclosed. The shipyards, num
ber of vessels and limit of cost on
expansion of facilities included:
The Willamette Iron & Steel
Corp., Portland. Oreg., two mine
layers: $1,000,000 for expansion of
Lake Washington Shipyards. Se
attle. Wash., six small seaplane
tenders: no expansion of facilities
Associated Shipbuilders, Seattle,
four small seaplane tenders; $700,
000 for expansion.
Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., Pasca
goula. Miss., four net layers; $2,
000,000 for expansion.
Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland.
Calif., two submarine tenders and
five submarine rescue vessels; no
Sun Shipbuilding Co., Chester,
Pa., three destroyer tenders and
three seaplane tenders; $2,500,000
for expansion.
New 4-Man Board
Is Given Full Power
Over Defense Work
Knudsen Heads Group
With Hillman, Stimson
And Knox as Members
Responsibility for America’s re
arming was compressed into the
hands of four men today, their pow
ers only slightly short of absolute.
Headed by William S. Knudsen.
production authority, the quartet
also includes Sidney Hillman, labor
representative; Secretary of War
Stimson and Secretary of Navy
Selection of this group was an
nounced late yesterday by President
Roosevelt in a hastily called special
press conference at which he ex
plained that the new superaaency
for driving the Nation toward its
goal of total defense would be known
as the Office for Production Man
To this agency he promised that
he would delegate all power and
responsibility which the Constitu
tion permits .Jiim to divest from his
own person.
More executive Orders.
Actual creation of the new office,
he said, would be accomplished by
one or more executive orders to be
issued within the next 10 days. Au
thority for its establishment, he
added, is contained in a clause of
the Government Reorganization Act
giving the President broad powers
to set up emergency management
Although Mr. Roosevelt declined
to say at his conference that the
purpose or effect of operation of
this agency is the speeding up of
the defense program, particularly
the production phase, his decision
follows weeks of complaint that
drive and authority has been lack
ing. Numerous official and unofficial
suggestions for a reorganization of
the administrative structure have
been submitted and considered.
The announced scheme was de
vised, the President said, in order
to embrace into a compact unity
the elements of skilled responsibility
regarding Army and Navy needs,
technicalities of production manage
ment and of labor. Since he con
siders that no single person in the
country possesses all of the qualifi
cations implied in these four factors,
the Chief Executive said he was se
lecting four men already proven
From now on, he continued, fullest
possible responsibility for defense
production, purchasing and priori
ties will be vested in these four
To implement their functioning,
he w'ent on, three principal divisions
will be set up under the new office.
First of these will be concerned
entirely and closely with the actual
production of more munitions. This
division may have several subdivi
(See DEFENSE, Page A-3.)
Thailand Issues Warning
Against Bangkok Attack
By the Associated Press.
BANGKOK. Thailand. Dec. 21 —
The Thailand (Siam) radio broadcast
a warning today that the Thai air
force would bomb Dalat, Pnompenh
and Saigon, all in French Indo
china. if French forces attempted
to attack Bangkok.
The warning was in reply, the
broadcast said, to a Saigon radio re
port that French planes had drop
ped bombs on Korat, in Thailand,
and approached Bangkok.
Crooning Race Tipster Accused
Of Unlicensed Radio Use
A modern gambler with a micro
phone instead of a flock of aces up
his sleeve was exposed today by the
Federal Communications Commis
He was the grandstand crooning
tipster for a clever gang which
broadcast race news so "hot off the
griddle” that confederates apparent
ly were able to get bets down be
tween the start and the finish at
Charles Town, W. Va.
The radio tipster and an ac
complice were arrested and two un
licensed transmitting sets were
seized by Federal radio inspectors,
West Virginia State police and the
United States commissioner at Mar
tinsburg, W. Va.
The tipster, it was said, was a
crooner as well. Such songs as “Oh,
Johnny, Oh, Johnny,” and the “Beer
Barrel Polka” were chanted Into the
microphone, and they had a very
special meaning for the boys in the
horse joints waiting to lay their
The tipster whistled as well—
“Maryland, My Maryland” was a
favorite. As the ponies got into
the stretch the mysterious broad
caster would come in with a series
of numbers, repeated until the race
was run. Immediately afterward a
stronger signal on another fre
quency could be heard repeating
the numbers several times.
This was explained by the words
(See GAMBLERS, Page A-2.)
As Blackout
Hafts Streetcars
Vehicles Stalled Two
Hours; Pennsylvania
Plant Causes Failure
Washington had a blackout which
bpgan at 6:45 o'clock this morning,
stalling all the city’s streetcars for
two hours, sending radio stations off
the air for varying periods, causing
three explosions and creating con
fusion in some of the city's normal
morning routine.
Thousands of persons were forced
to walk to work as streetcars stood
idle on tracks all over town. Fire
engines raced through the streets
before dawn as alarm systems went
haywire and panicky citizens sent
in needless calls.
Traffic was badly snarled as the
power failure set traffic lights stut
tering. The telephone company,
along with hospitals and other cen
ters, were forced to switch to emer
gency power systems in order to
maintain service.
The power failure herp wa3
blamed on breakdown of a generator
at the Safe Harbor. Pa.. hydro
electric system, from which the local
Potomac Electric Power Co. obtains
auxiliary power.
Local Generators Go Out.
The troublp at the Safe Harbor
station spread over the line, knock
ing out equipment in the local gen
erating plants of Benning and Buz
zards Point.
Following the initial failure, powpr
was restored gradually. It was half
an hour before lights were back on
in the downtown section and 15 min
utes more before elevators were
The streetcars, which stalled
where they stood at 6:49. were not
running again until 8:47, the Capital
Transit Co. said. Thousands stood
at streetcar stops in all parts of
Educator Quits Work
To Direct Traffic
During Blackout
Dr. N. P. Neilson of the Na
tional Education Association, at
Sixteenth and M streets N.W .
left his offices during the power
failure this morning to direct
traffic in front of the building.
Dr. Neilson. who is executive
; secretary of the department of
health and physical education,
said that he spent about 45
minutes in the middle of the
street first straightening out the
congestion and then directing
the flow of motor vehicles and
On the whole, he found it a
"good experience" and said that
directing traffic is a good thing
to know.
town, waiting in vain for transporta
The Capital Transit Co put all
available buses into service. Police
cars went along streetcar lines, sug
| gesting that those waiting find some
other means of transportation Taxis
were at premium and many motor
ists. driving to work, stopped to load
their cars with those who waited by
the curb.
Many walked down the middle of
thoroughfares, trying to hail cabs
or hitch rides.
Traffic Crawls.
The waiting throngs, added to
the confusion created by slowed-up
traffic lights, stalled street cars and
the extra buses, held traffic to a
slow crawl in many places
Government offices reported many
! persons late for work, but a survey
i indicated that most departments
would not charge the tardy with
annual leave.
The three blasts which were
blamed on the power failure were
not of a serious nature. All were re
ported to have occurred in oil
One of them was in St. Martin's
Catholic Church, 1912 North Capitol
street, where 35 persons had gath
ered for early mass.
Father Louis F. Miltenberger.
pastor of the church, said the service
was ending just as the oil burner in
| the basement blew up. The force
of the explosion shattered a stained
| glass window in the church.
Firemen sped to the scene and took
steps to prevent fire. None in the
church was injured.
Companies servicing oil burners
reported that thousands of heating
plants had shut town. It was ex
plained that most burners have an
• See BLACKOUT, Page~A^3.)
Hal Kemp, Band Leader,
Dies After Aufo Crash
By the Associated Press.
MADERA, Calif.. Dec. 21.—Hal
Kemp, 36. orchestra leader, died
today of complications that devel
oped from injuries he suffered in an
automobile accident Wednesday.
Death was caused by pneumonia.
His physicians announced yesterday
his condition was grave and he was
placed in an oxygen tent.
The band leader lived in Beverly
Hills. His wife was at his bedside.
One of Mr. Kemp's lungs was
punctured and several ribs were
broken when his car and another
collided near here. Yesterday pneu
monia developed in the injured lung
and spread to the other.
The tall musician from the Uni
versity of North Carolina won
nationwide recognition with his
orchestra which broadcast regularly
over radio hookups and had ap
peared in moving pictures.
Mr. Kemp married Martha Steph
enson, then a 19-year-old New York
debutante at Pittsburgh, Pa., Janu
ary 13, 1939. The year previous,
he was divorced from the former
Bessie Slaughter of Dallas, Tex.
Mr. Kemp was the son of Mr. and
Mrs. Thomas D. Kpmp of Charlotte,
N. C. A daughter was bom to the
orchestra leader and his wife last

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