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Looking Back to 1940: Education week observed, Soviet navy nears Ukraine 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from Wednesday, April 17, 1940 The Paso Robles Journal

National Education Week to be observed

Students to give special programs

Paso Robles will cooperate to the fullest extent in observing National Education Week beginning Sunday and lasting throughout the coming week. A program to include churches, service clubs, and business houses as well as the school, has been announced by Superintendent of Schools Frank Otto.

Education Week was originated in the Masonic Lodge. William Ogden, Grand Master of California Masons, in his proclamation said “never at any time in the history of our country has the need of trained intelligence in the conduct of affairs appeared to be more imperative than at the present time.”

Youths of the community will be invited to cooperate in musical programs, special dinners, regular meetings and church services.

Looking Back Paso Robles

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High school students will join with junior high school boys and girls in presenting a program at the high school auditorium Thursday evening, April 25. The public is cordially invited to attend the program and observe the training of the students in various subjects which will be demonstrated. Social science classes will sponsor panel discussions, dramatics students will give a play and the F.F.A. boys are expected to share in the program also. Both vocal and instrumental departments will contribute to the program in the form of orchestra, bands, glee clubs and choruses.

The elementary school will give a program of its own on Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock. There is no admission charge for either program and parents of the students and all others interested in the youth of our community are cordially invited to attend.

The Plymouth Congregational, St. James Episcopal, Methodist and Christian churches will devote time in their services Sunday to pay tribute to the youths of the nation and their educators.

Education week will be the featured topic at the Business and Professional Women’s meeting on Monday at the Paso Robles hotel. They plan to have Lucille Fox give a talk on education, and have scheduled several numbers by a saxophone quartet from school, and piano selections by Betty and Jane Newfeldt.

Other organizations who will feature Education Week in their programs are Lions, Exchange, 20-30 and Woman’s Club, and Masonic and O.E.S lodges.

Displays of handcraft and other school exhibits will be placed in the windows of downtown stores at an early date.


Britain mobilizes troops as international situation becomes tense

Rumania hurries war preparations

Developments in foreign relations the past week have only served to increase tensions in the second World War and a general “blow-up” would not surprising.

British troops have been pouring into the Norwegian Coast installing powerful anti-aircraft batteries, awaiting raids from the German air force. Unexpected mobilization orders this week increased the British army to a total of 850,000. Meanwhile German troops marched ruthlessly into Norway from their Denmark stronghold.

Rumania moved into the spotlight of world events when her Black Sea and Danube ports were put under strict navy rule in preparation for war. Soviet navy units were reported at Odessa and Nazi gunboats reported prepared to swoop down the Danube, which prompted the swift action of King Carol.

Orders were given to immediately prepare a 15-day emergency supply of gasoline and fuel oil, to be used only in case of general mobilization. All defense factories were instructed to begin manufacturing underground storage tanks. Another government measure banned exporting wheat, temporarily embargoed oil shipments out of the country to deliver great stocks of gasoline to the state as royalties, in lieu of cash.


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Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.