Christmas in 1945

| 12/9/2015 2:43:00 PM

Sam MooreWell, it’s almost Christmas time again, one of my favorite times of the year. Seventy years ago, a terrible war had just ended and folks were rejoicing, even though many troops had not yet returned, and hundreds of thousands would never see home again. The thing that makes me sad this year is that our armed forces are still fighting and dying far from home at this season, which is supposed to mean peace and goodwill on earth and, unfortunately, there’s going to be no victory in the foreseeable future.

Wheeler McMillen, editor of Farm Journal magazine wrote in the December 1945 issue: All of us feel better this Christmas. Even those whose sons will not come back have the sad comfort of knowing war is over for their friends’ sons, too.

He went on: If people were sensible, everyone would now forgive everybody else for the sins of the past. All people in all nations would treat others fairly. They would say, “Millions have been killed and hurt. Cities and roads and ships have been destroyed. The world has been made poor. People who once lived happily are dead, or weak, or starving. No one of us is better off. So now, let us live and let live. Let us not quarrel. Let us not fight. Instead we shall be kindly and be happy. We shall work and be well off.”

We all know that the fine words written by Mr. McMillen were nothing more than a forlorn hope, a hope that has never materialized in the intervening seven decades. Men still hate and kill each other with the same intensity as they did during the Second World War, which earned its name by coming barely twenty years after the Great War, or “The War to end all wars.”

O.K., enough doom and gloom. Here are some other tidbits from that long ago Farm Journal magazine.

New machinery in 1945 included one-man, automatic wire tie pick-up balers from John Deere and Minneapolis-Moline, as well as a new PTO-driven forage harvester from Allis-Chalmers, while J.I. Case offered a new low-sided manure spreader and asked “Why lift manure so high to get it into the spreader box?” IH announced the 10 hp Farmall Cub tractor for farms of 40 acres or less, and Ford-Ferguson showed their new jack that attached to the hydraulic arms and lifted the entire tractor off the ground so the wheels could be easily widened or narrowed.


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