This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Christmastime during World War II in Phoenix, Arizona - 1944


Let's time-travel back to Phoenix, Arizona during Christmastime in 1944, during World War II. We're downtown, doing some Christmas shopping.

There's a slight chill in the air, but of course no snow. Christmas decorations are up, and we can hear the sound of Christmas music, and the soft ringing of the Salvation Army bell.

Take a look at the photo at the top of this post - take a good look. The streets are filled with women, and a few old men. All of the other men are away, serving in the military. The United States had never seen anything like that before, and it hasn't seen it since. Hopefully it never will.

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Sons, fathers, brothers, and husbands were away. And there were many who would never return. And while the songs played "Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men", the war raged in places far away.

We came downtown to shop for some new shoes, but maybe what we've got on will be fine for another season. I just put a dime in the Salvation Army donation barrel, and I see a place where we can buy some more war bonds. Some day this will all be ancient history, the war will be over and families won't be apart at Christmastime.


Image at the top of this post: Looking standing on the southwest corner of 1st Avenue and Washington in 1944, Phoenix, Arizona.