June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Allied forces, led by the United States, landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, and began the long battle to Berlin to free Europe from the clutches of Nazi Germany.
U.S involvement in the war began on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. So the previous 2 1/2 years saw plenty of front pages dominated by headlines about the war. But by June 1944, with U.S and Russian troops squeezing the German army from the south and east the war in Europe was moving in the Allies' direction. The last piece was going to be the invasion. When and where it happened was the only question.
Readers of The Forum found out the morning of June 6, 1944, that the Allies landed at Normandy. Headlines the next couple of weeks were dominated by news from the invasion.
Here is The Forum front page from the morning edition (the newspaper printed morning and afternoon editions back then) on June 6, 1944:
The afternoon edition on June 6 told of early Allied advances:
The June 7 morning edition told of more good early news:
"ALL BEACHES NOW CLEARED OF NAZIS," trumpeted the June 7 evening edition:
The June 8 morning edition told of the Allies taking of Caen:
By June 8's evening edition, the news become more sobering as the difficulty of slogging through France toward Berlin was becoming reality:
By June 10, the Allies were closing in the key port city of Cherbourg that was one of their first goals so they could more easily transport troops and supplies from England:
News of another Allied victory came in the June 12 evening edition:
"THREE HUGE BATTLES RAGING IN NORMANDY," said the June 14 evening edition:
After a couple of weeks, the news became more "normal" again (as normal as it can be during a world war) and stories about Allied gains in Europe mixed with news from the war against Japan. Locally, political news was big because 1944 was an election year.
By early 1945, it became clear the end of the war in Europe was not far off because the Russians were getting close to Berlin from the east and the U.S. was getting closer from the west.
In April 1945, 10 months after the D-Day invasion, things started to happen fast. This is the April 11 morning edition of The Forum:
The April 12 morning edition told of a key moment in the war, when the U.S. was ready to cross the Elbe River just west of Berlin:
The president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died. The news was reported in the April 13, 1945 morning edition:
A special edition on April 13, 1945 about the death of president Franklin D. Roosevelt:
With the U.S. and Russian getting closer to Berlin and end of the European war in sight, the headlines soon turned back to war news. The April 19, 1945 morning edition of The Forum:
The Russians reached Berlin, as reported in the April 22, 1945 morning edition:
News of Hitler's death came in early May, as shown by this May 3, 1945 morning edition of The Forum:
The culmination of the D-Day invasion came with the news of Germany's surrender. People in Fargo-Moorhead got the news in an extra edition on May 7, 1945:
Victory in Europe day, 11 months after the D-Day invasion. What began on June 6, 1944, was over. The May 8, 1945 morning edition of The Forum: