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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe: Amish Cinnamon Bread

Hello All!

I hope everyone is staying warm during this Arctic Blast! Here is a wonderful treat you could make while cooped up inside!

As we know, desserts during wartime were almost a luxury item, since many of the ingredients used were heavily rationed. But occasionally people were able to enjoy sweet treats and feel some sense of normalcy in their lives. Amish Cinnamon Bread, also known as Amish Friendship Bread, is a delicious baked good that can be enjoyed during any season but is particularly desirable during the fall and winter months. It is relatively easy to make because it does not require many ingredients and there is no kneading needed! Also, if your ingredients are in short supply, the recipe is easily cut in half to make one loaf instead of two. While it is not known whether or not this particular dish was popular in the 1940s, it is known that the recipe has been around for decades.

Amish Cinnamon Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/Sugar mix:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

This time I decided to make only one loaf and used apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar to make the buttermilk. I felt it would give the bread more flavor and I have to say I believe it gave it the right touch!

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have a greased loaf pan ready to go. Next, cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs one at a time. Then add the buttermilk, flour and baking soda to the mix.  In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan and then sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mix on top. Using the rest of the batter, add to pan and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar to the top. Using a butter knife, swirl the cinnamon sugar mix throughout. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes and check with a toothpick. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes and then remove.

I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lunchbox Lecture: Cartoons for Victory - Walt Disney in World War II

Hello everyone!  It may be freezing cold outside, but here at the Memorial we are gearing up for all the wonderful events we have planned for the public this year.  It gives me great pleasure to announce the first of our lunchbox lecture series—Cartoons for Victory: Walt Disney in World War II.  During the course of the hour, we will look at the link between Hollywood and the government in the 1930s and 1940s, the growth of the Walt Disney Company, and, most importantly, explore the five different veins Walt Disney used to create animated shorts during World War II. 

Out of the Frying Pan; Into the Firing Line
Walt Disney once stated “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.  This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.”  Using the medium of animation in conjunction with other forms of propaganda coming from the government during World War II, reinforced the same ideas of national unity and victory.  For my study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I analyzed 35 animated shorts and 1 full length film produced by Walt Disney Studios from 1941-1946.  Based on the message of the film and the intended audience, I divided them into five distinct categories: military, psychological, home front, instructional, and educational. 

The Spirit of '43
Through the use of personality development—which is type casting for animators—Walt Disney was able to quickly create these animated shorts (by quickly, I mean the studio was going through the entire production process in a month in certain cases).  For instance, Mickey Mouse was created as the hero.  You won’t see him causing any trouble, and in all 36 of the animated films I analyzed, he is only seen once in a photograph in his military uniform.  One the other hand, Donald Duck was created as the comic foil to Mickey.  He is the character and the star of many of these shorts.  Walt Disney once stated that using Donald in a cartoon was akin to using stars like Humphrey Bogart or Clarke Gable.  By the time the United States was involved in World War II, Donald was also well-known in American society.  

To hold you over until next week, I present to you the 1943 animated short Education for Death. This animation was based on the work of Gregor Ziemer Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi.  Throughout this psychological film, we follow the life of Hans, a young German boy, as he grows up and is indoctrinated with Nazi ideas.  We see the psychological undertones of nature versus nurture in this dominating state which young children were being raised. 

I hope to see you all at the Bedford Welcome Center on January 28, 2014 at Noon for the exciting beginning to our lecture series.  Be sure to bring your lunch and any questions you may have on the topic! 

Until next time,

*To learn more about this topic, visit our previous post Disney Goes to War

Walt (center) showing drawing of Mickey Mouse gas mask to Colonel Baker and Colonel Fisher; January 1942

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

D-Day Through the Decades: 1954 Commemoration

As we prepare for the 70th Anniversary, I wanted to start a new segment to look at the past anniversaries of Normandy landings.  We will begin with the 10th Anniversary of D-Day—6 June 1954.  World War II was over, the Cold War was in full swing, and the United States had just fought in the Korean War.  The 83rd Congress of the United States had worked at the urging of veterans service organizations to rededicate “Armistice Day” to “Veterans D  This act was approved on June 1, 1954—just a few days shy of the 10th Anniversary of the landings.
ay” in order to acknowledge and show support to all our nation’s veterans.

On June 6, Eisenhower, as President of the United States, released the following statement:

THIS DAY is the tenth anniversary of the landing of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Normandy. That combined land-sea-air operation was made possible by the joint labors of cooperating nations. It depended for its success upon the skill, determination and self-sacrifice of men from several lands. It set in motion a chain of events which affected the history of the entire world.

Despite the losses and suffering involved in that human effort, and in the epic conflict of which it was a part, we today find in those experiences reasons for hope and inspiration. They remind us particularly of the accomplishments attainable through close cooperation and friendship among free peoples striving toward a common goal. Some of my most cherished memories of that campaign are those of friendly cooperation with such distinguished military leaders of foreign nations as Field Marshal Montgomery, Admiral Ramsay, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Tedder, Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny, Marshal Juin and Marshal; Leclerc. I recall my pleasant association with the outstanding Soviet soldier, Marshal Zhukov, and the victorious meeting at the Elbe of the Armies of the West and of the East.

These lessons of unity and cooperation have by no means been lost in the trying period of reconstruction since the fighting stopped. Rather, we see peoples, once bitter enemies, burying their antagonisms and joining together to meet the problems of the postwar world. If all those nations which were members of the Grand Alliance have not maintained in time of peace the spirit of that wartime union, if some of the peoples who were our comrades-in-arms have been kept apart from us that is cause for profound regret, but not for despair. The courage, devotion and faith which brought us through the perils of war will inevitably bring us success in our unremitting search for peace, security and freedom.

Accounts from 1954 note that the ceremonies were discreet in Normandy.  You can view a short video of the commemoration ceremonies here:

Below is an account from a Canadian media outlet on the tenth ceremony:

Hundreds of Victoria and Island war veterans this weekend will relive their experiences of a decade ago on the beaches of Normandy.  Sunday is the 10th anniversary of D-Day, when the massive power of the Western Allies' three service arms joined to deal the first blow in a series that led to the smashing of Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Face to face with the enemy for the first time under most fearsome conditions, the boys rose to great heights as they fought through to their first objective," said Lieut.-Col. Desmond G. Crofton, 49, of Salt Spring Island.  Then a major, he commanded "C" Company, the first unit of Victoria's "Fighting First" Battalion of the Canadian Scottish Regiment to storm the beachheads.

It was a costly action.

"Three hours later and three miles in, we had about 30 per cent killed and wounded," said Col. Crofton.

When Gordon H. Hobson, 33, of Elk Lake, a flight lieutenant with RAF fighter squadrons, looked down and saw the great mass of shipping heading for France, he recalled "the wonderful feeling I got all over me."

"It was a feeling of being unified with them, an uplift that pep talk could never inspire.

"I felt suddenly very big and very strong. For the first time in the war, I got the feeling that we were invincible," said the Englishman who has been resident in Canada and Victoria for the last six years.”

Locally, Ray Nance, one of the Bedford Boys to return home, organized a memorial service in town on the 10th Anniversary to honor the memory of the 19 men lost by the community in the action on 6 June 1944.  He also helped secure the memorial stone given to the Bedford Boys in 1954 by the grateful people of France for the 10th Anniversary of D-Day.  Dedication of the stone occurred with a crowd of over 4,000 people.  Taylor Feller's mother unveiled the memorial carved from the very care near Vierville sur Mer that served as the first command post for Major General Charles H. Gerhardt.

Homage to be unveiled on 6 June 2014
D-Day veteran Captain Edward Gearing, of Maryland,was in the crowd and stated "Company A was different from other organizations.  It was made up of 'home town' folks--fathers, cousins, etc.  Under these circumstances it is more difficult to see these men die and as difficult to return to the same community and resume the same way of life."  Bedford survivors were present as were family members of the men who did not come home.

Just as in 1954, we will be honoring the memory of all the soldiers who fought on D-Day.  As part of the 70th Anniversary Ceremony, we will be unveiling a new statue on site to remember the sacrifice that our community, the town of Bedford, made on 6 June 1944.  We hope you join us for this monumental event as we honor the heroes of our past.

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all our activities with the 70th Anniversary at our website 

Until next time,



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

70th Anniversary: Deadline Extension for Operation Thank You

Help the National D-Day Memorial make the 70th Anniversary of D-Day special to the service men and women who were involved in the invasion by saying “THANK YOU” in a creative way!  The Operation THANK YOU contest offers students in grades K-12 a way to get involved in the anniversary of the Normandy landings during World War II.  The entries have to be visual in nature – collages, photos, and similar media – and the winning entry will be featured in the 70th D-Day Anniversary commemoration program this June 6th. 

Numerous entries have been received, mostly from schools in North Carolina.  The National D-Day Memorial wants to see what the rest of the country can do, so they are extending the deadline to April 1, 2014.  “The entries we have so far this year have been very creative, and we can’t wait to see what else we get before the deadline.  This is a wonderful, unique way to say our thanks to the men and women of the greatest generation” says Memorial Education Coordinator Felicia Lowrance.  So far, students have spelled THANK YOU out with their bodies and have drawn original pieces of art showing what freedom and liberty means to them. 

Operation “THANK YOU” was launched by the National D-Day Memorial in October 2013 in preparation for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2014.  Get creative and say THANK YOU to veterans who will travel to the National D-Day Memorial from across the country to be part of the 70th Anniversary Commemoration.  Entries must be received by April 1st to be eligible. 

Full details about Operation THANK YOU, including contest rules, are available at the National D-Day Memorial’s website under “70th Anniversary” at or by calling (800) 351-DDAY.

Until next time,