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In early 1942, US soldiers joined Allied forces fighting in Europe. The war in the Pacific was not going well. US forces lost Guam, Hong Kong, Wake, Singapore and the Philippines to Japanese forces. Early in the year, President Roosevelt ordered the internment of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and the seizure of their property by creating exclusion zones, these zones also effected German and Italian Americans living on the East Coast. The war was just beginning for Americans and it dominated newsreels, news broadcasts and the papers.

Now that we’ve set the scene, I’d like to share this opinion piece from the May 27th 1942 issue of the Minneapolis Star, reprinted with permission from the Star Tribune, no author’s name is provided. Photographs were taken in 2012, by Steffanie Musich.  A copy of the article was found in the Minneapolis Collection at the Central Library in Downtown Minneapolis.

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AWAY FROM IT ALL

War is helping many of us to discover places of beauty we never knew existed.

Now and again we are taking to our feet and leaving the car in the garage. We find, to our surprise, that we can stroll to spots where the car could not go.

There’s that little arm of Lake Nokomis that is spanned by the Cedar bridge. It had been that–and nothing more. Then the other day we walked around the paths. They led in between the trees: why, this was a jewel-box of a dell!

The gentle lace of the foliage covered us like a giant mantilla. A rustic foot bridge, invisible from the boulevards, snuggled over a channel–perhaps an outlet–that we had never seen before. We might have been miles from a city.

We were away from it all and alone–with nothing to remind us of war save the dive-bombing of millions of starved mosquitoes!

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Courtesy of the James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Collection

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