On this day in Ridgefield history: The Press prints “Victory Edition”
On this day 74 years ago, The Ridgefield Press did what its done every Thursday since 1875 — print the news.
Except this newspaper was unlike anything that had came before — or after — it. The August 23, 1945 Ridgefield Press was dubbed as a celebratory “Victory Edition” following Japan’s intention to surrender, which had been announced eight days earlier on August 15. The declaration cemented total victory in Asia for the Allied forces.
Back home in Ridgefield, the Press reported that more than $6 million in war bonds were purchased by Ridgefielders during the war.
“Seven campaigns held; victory loan to be conducted soon,” the subhead in that week’s top story read.
Also on the front page that week: A Legion of Merit Medal was awarded to Naval Commander Everett Roberts — Ridgefield native.
“A review of Ridgefield at war is presented within the pages of this Victory Edition of the Press,” a front page editorial read. “It has been prepared within the space of a few days, for unlike the big city papers we did not have the facilities and the personnel to make ready a special issue in advance and hold it until the big news broke...
“The war ends and an era of unbounded possibilities begins,” the editorial continued. “Our town has done its part in the war, like every other community throughout the land. Our record is one to be proud of.”
Throughout the August 23, 1945 Ridgefield Press were articles reflecting on different forms of service and commitment on display in town throughout the war.
“Airplane Spotters at Their Post Continuously for Twenty Months,” read a headline on page 3. A continuous watch was maintained day and night from Dec. 7, 1941 to May 29, 1944. The spotter post was located at a tower on the school property on East Ridge Road.
“It still stands,” the paper wrote.
The airplane spotters weren’t the only ones receiving praise.
“22 Auxiliary Police Were Active Through War,” reads another headline inside.
Other stories highlighted efforts of The Red Cross and local blood banks.
The paper’s second section highlighted the Ridgefielders whose lives were lost in battle: Meinhard Scherf, Robert Blume, Charles Cogswell, William P. Bell, Paul Ullman, Harvey Webster, Howard Sears, James Birarelli, Thomas Ward, and William H. Hall Jr.
“...that these honored dead shall not have died in vain,” the top headline of that section read.