Editorial Opinion of the La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press Prior to U.S. Entry into World War Two
Gilkey, George R.
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Adolph Hitler, Chancellor of Germany, spent the years 1933-1939 preparing his nation for war, He spent the years 1939-1945 in war; in the process he caused millions of deaths and destroyed much of European society. In addition, in defeat he gave the Russians an unparalleled opportunity to dominate Europe and Asia. The purpose of this study is to determine editorial opinion on the coming of World War II as expressed in the area newspaper. The paper examined was the La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press, edited by R. L. Bangsberg, with Sunday editorials by M. R. Byers, from October, 1933 to December, 1941. A reading of this newspaper reveals several tendencies clearly. The editorials leaned toward a policy of strict isolation from the beginning of Germany's rearmament, through the Anschluss, the Munich Conference, the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the attack on Poland, the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland, and the conquest of Denmark and Norway. On the occasion of Hitler's invasion and conquest of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg, the editorials softened the voice of isolation as rumblings for preparedness for war began to appear in them. The battles of France and Britain brought an awareness of the possibility that the United States might enter the war. The editorial voice urged and approved the war preparations the selection of a war cabinet, the destroyer-base exchange, the passage of the first peace time draft law, President Roosevelt's Four Freedom's speech and the Lend-Lease Act. As Hitler won more victories America moved closer to the brink of war in 1941. After Germany's conquest of Greece and Yugoslavia, the signing of the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Treaty, the freeze on Axis funds, the attack on Russia, and the Atlantic meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, the editorials fully recognized that the United States was on the verge of complete participation in the war and gave approval.
La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press (La Crosse, Wis.)
Editorials -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
World War, 1939-1945 -- Public opinion -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
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