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Author Topic: Superman Day's Super-boy  (Read 8172 times)
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Great Rao
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2006, 07:09:29 PM »

Quote from: "dto"
I found the article -- The New York Times, July 4, 1940, page 13.  I'll transcribe the relevant passages over the weekend and e-mail it to Great Rao


Thanks to dto, here is the article.



S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2006, 07:38:16 PM »

Nicely done, troops.

Now an anxious world awaits THE S! PHOTO!
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2006, 04:57:06 AM »

dto tracked down the microfilm of the article and typed it in - then he photocopied the photo, from the microfilm, which was taken from the original 1940 newspaper; and scanned in the photcopy!  Here it all is:



http://superman.nu/sites/supermanday/nyt.php



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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2006, 05:00:53 AM »

It all looks really cool...and the quality of the photo comes out pretty well after all those conversions...
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 05:10:01 AM »

fantastic!
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2006, 09:28:50 AM »

Whew!  It came out better than I expected.  You must have done a lot of work adjusting the contrast and saturation, Great Rao -- good job!



They weren't Kryptonian, nor did they wear capes, but William Aronis and Maureen Reynolds were definitely official "Superchildren" -- they even had the trophies to prove it!  One wonders if DC ever sponsored another "Superboy" and "Supergirl" contest, or if they were the only ones.



By the way, I also did some historical research.  Notice the newspaper article mentioned the Rumanian Pavilion flags at half-staff?  On June 28, the Soviet Union had seized the Rumanian province of Bessarabia.  (The Soviet Union had one of the larger pavilions when the World's Fair opened in 1939, but after invading Finland, Moscow announced that the USSR would not participate in the 1940 season.  They were not missed, and the Pavilion was razed for an "American Common" greenspace area.)



And on "Superman Day", British warships opened fire on their former French allies at Mers-el-Kebir, sinking two battleships and killing nearly 1,300.



More information of this incident can be found here:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_the_French_Fleet_at_Mers-el-Kebir



Probably in reaction to Mers-el-Kebir, a bomb was placed at the British Pavilion the next day, July 4.  It exploded while New York police assigned to the World's Fair tried moving it to another location, killing two officers and wounding four more.  Reading the newspaper account, one gets the impression that the Fair promoters were desperately trying to reassure the public by downplaying the potential for further violence.  But it was increasingly more difficult to ignore the looming war clouds, even inside the utopian "World of Tomorrow".



A couple more links:



http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?ListID=8&ItemNo=40001

(Better get this image of the "Superman Day" sign before it's gone...)



http://www.supermanhomepage.com/other/other.php?topic=dyk-ray-middleton

(The color photo of Ray Middleton looks retouched, but it could be used as a guide for our proposed "Super-Family" cover.)



By the way, http://superman.nu/sites/supermanday/ says:



"Superman Day at the New York World's Fair was not 1939, but July 3, 1940.  This was the first day that the admission price was reduced to a dime.



The person being quoted made a slight error.  Children's admission was reduced to a dime only on Wednesdays during the summer of 1940.  Superman Day was the first of these special kid-oriented Wednesday special events.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2006, 10:15:41 AM »

It really was a different world back then, wasn't it? There is something wonderfully wholesome about the whole event, so typical of its era; I could hardly stop myself from humming Moonlight Serenade while I was reading it. Thanks for digging this up, dto, it's a real treasure trove.

Mers-El-Kebir is still (and debatably, understandably) a sore point for many French people. In the late eighties, when I was a student in Paris, there was an elderly gentleman who regularly frequented the cafe where I would sometimes have breakfast, and who, on learning I was English, sat down at my table and, ah, bluntly expressed his view on the subject.
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2006, 04:29:06 AM »

Found this while looking through the index of Gerard Jones' Men of Tommorrow, under Shuster, Joe:

"The highlight of Joe's New York visits, the moment he really knew he'd arrived, was Superman Day at the second summer of the World's Fair, in 1940.  Duke Ducovny had arranged for Macy's to sponsor a big show featuring a parafe and clebrity appearances --including one by Charles Atlas himself.  When Joe was a little boy, those bodybuilders in tights and trunks in the MacFadden magazines, Atlas chief among them, had given him his first glimpse of the superheroic.  In his teens Atlas's ads had first shown him a strongman as an enemy of bullies, and the very first published Superman story had included his visual joke on those ads.  Superman was a fantasy of Charles Atlas in more ways than one, and here was the World's Most Perfectly Developed Man himself, offering Joe his hand to shake. "
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