The lost world of 1938
A reader sends a link to a 67-year old Time Magazine article of November, 1938 headlined "After Munich". The snippet reads:
Just before leaving London to visit Paris this week, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the House of Commons that he is once more appealing to Adolf Hitler to continue the Munich work of "appeasement" in general. In so doing he revealed what may yet prove to be the most important international event since Munich, the efforts which the British Government is making to find a home for Germany's Jews. Having queried all the colonies, he revealed that the Governor of Tanganyika has put at his disposal 50,000 acres on which to settle Jewish men, their families to follow if the...
The rest of the article behind the registration wall describes His Majesty's Government's efforts to settle "700,000" victims of "Nazi pogroms" in Tanganyika or in 10,000 square miles of British Guiana.
If the past seems a familiar story with one conceivable ending, those living in it had no presentiment of the future. In 1938 Neville Chamberlain could unashamedly continue the "Munich work of 'appeasement'" and Time Magazine could think that finding a Jewish homeland in Africa or South America was a viable proposition. The Nazi invasion of Poland was less than a year away and the ancient institutions which formed the fabric of the Time's world were not going to last another twenty. The European colonies would disappear; and America would become a world power and the saga of Israel would begin.
But not everything would be unfamiliar to the modern reader. A contemporaneous Time movie reviewer lamented the tendency of Hollywood to distort history.
Sixty Glorious Years (Imperator-RKO Radio) should be an enlightening experience for U. S. cinemaddicts whose notions about 19th-Century history may have been slightly confused by recent Hollywood versions. Suez, for example, portrayed Ferdinand de Lesseps, who actually had two wives and ten children, as a lovesick young bachelor, and explained England's participation in his canal-building as the result of a General Election which never occurred.
And there were miracle tans even then.
At an unnamed beach summer before last an unnamed hypogonadal (undersexed) man lay down in "an abbreviated bathing suit of peculiar cut." He lay there for seven broiling August afternoons and scarcely changed color. ... The scientists examined him, began to treat him with male hormone substance. To their astonishment, "within three weeks there appeared, along with the bronzing of the face, a tanning of the body...