Monday, January 2, 2012

Florida History: A Nation at War - Broward’s defense efforts in 1941

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By Jane Feehan

The focus on Fort Lauderdale and Broward County war relief efforts for England shifted to defense activities after Pearl Harbor.  Three weeks after that attack, the Broward County defense council reported the following to the Fort Lauderdale Daily News (Dec. 19, 1941) about its efforts:

There is near completion of the air raid warden system with the issuance of more than 350 air raid warden identification cards to volunteers

Broward County defense council advised residents not to be alarmed by sudden power shut downs … Warning of practice blackouts will come with due notice through the press and radio.

State board of education said students in their last semester will be eligible for diplomas if they enter the armed service if their work is deemed up to set standards.

The Broward School Board passed a resolution to pay expenses for Clint Gamble to attend a course on building protection conducted by the University of Florida; Gamble will return to Broward and supervise air precaution work on school buildings.

The defense council appealed for all taxi and truck owners in the county to register their vehicles with the council. Also all private car owners who desire to volunteer use of their autos are urged to register with the council.

Sheriff Walter Clark conducted a meeting of ex-service men and former police officers to form an auxiliary unit under direction of his office. His office was crowded to capacity with patriots offering their time and resources to observe and track down illegal activities when paid officers were occupied with other duties.

Thus is Broward County reaching a state of preparedness not to be equaled in the entire state. 

For more about Fort Lauderdale during World War II, see:

Tags: Fort Lauderdale in the 1940s, WWII in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale during World War II, film research

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