Travelling long haul in 1939: Melbourne to New YorkSometimes we can only guess at why a question is asked:I am looking at Australia in 1939 and I am trying to find any possible details on overseas travel FROM Australia. I would like to know what sort of overseas travel was available in 1939 for somebody travelling from Melbourne to New York. I would also like to know what would it cost, how long, the stops anything to give me a general idea on how it was possible.Was this question about how a family member would have travelled in the past, or is it an investigation for a story or novel? In any case, I found it an interesting little research puzzle.I speculated that we should look at travel before September 1939, as the start of the Second World War would bring other considerations when travelling. Regarding the cost, when prices were available I used the Reserve Bank of Australia's inflation calculator which gives an idea of the cost of fares at today's prices.By airI felt that flying to the US from Australia in 1939 would be unlikely for the average person, but thought I should consider this possibility. A look at 1920–1950 : Q.E.A. milestones shows that flights to the US were not made by Qantas.1920–1950 : Q.E.A. milestones, Qantas Empire Airways 1950, centre pages, nla.cat-vn2051507Qantas through the years shows that Qantas began flights to San Francisco and Vancouver in 1954.Sydney to London within eight days! : Intercontinental Airways K.N.I.L.M (c 1938) advertises the flights our traveller might have taken to Europe, from Sydney, and includes photographs of stops along the way. The plane flew low in the sky compared to today’s flights, and passengers could enjoy views from the air from the low-flying aircraft. The well-to-do passengers may not have opted to fly to New York via London, assuming the service was available, but they would have been able to sail across the Atlantic.In July 1939 several newspapers carried a report about transatlantic flight trials. Meanwhile, PanAm announced passenger services across the Atlantic from June 1939, at a cost of £93/15 ($7,713.38 in 2014). In June 1939, 30 people flew across the Atlantic with PanAm. Given this information, an Atlantic crossing by passenger liner would be the most realistic option for our traveller.Pamphlets and ephemera are particularly fascinating, with their essential information for passengers, for example, staff are not permitted to accept gratuities, cigarette smoking is permitted but cigars and pipes may cause discomfort to other passengers, and the ‘aircraft notes’ about the noises you might hear when taking off and landing. Airlines also distributed illustrated notepaper for the traveller to jot down the places they could see from the air and other information about the flight. Unfortunately our collection only contains blank sheets of this notepaper.By seaIf our traveller was well-heeled and wanted to enjoy the comforts of luxury sea travel, he might have considered Cook-Wagon-Lits World Travel Service.Overseas travel 1937 : Cook's and Wagon-Lits World Travel Service was a special publication in 1937, as this was the Coronation year. It gives itineraries for Australians going to London for the Coronation celebrations as part of overseas or round-the-world tours. It includes the itinerary for visiting America on the way, then departing from New York to England in time for the Coronation.Cruise liner S.S. Mariposa, New South Wales ca. 1930s (detail), nla.gov.au/nla.obj-160104281The basic route is given on page 57:27 March, Depart Melbourne by SS MariposaStopping at Sydney, Auckland, then via Suva, Pago Pago, Honolulu, Los Angeles and arrive in San Francisco on 19 April. 19 April to 4 May: escorted tour across America by bus and train from San Francisco to Niagara Falls and New York, then on the Queen Mary to Southampton. The all-inclusive fare (Sydney back to Sydney) was £260/13/9 ($22,548.24 in 2014).As our traveller wanted to go to New York, he may have taken up the option to travel across the US by air; passengers could sail to Los Angeles and fly to New York via Chicago. The fare to New York was $160 single and $288 return (US$ in 1937).While Cook’s and Wagon-Lits World Travel Service conducted this tour, the Mariposa was owned by the Oceanic Steamship Company, the Matson Line. The route across the Pacific is shown in The S.S. Mariposa, S.S. Monterey : new ships in a new service, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, California.Route of the Mariposa and Monterey through the bewitching South Seas to the California portals of America, in The S.S. Mariposa, S.S. Monterey : new ships in a new service, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, California, nla.cat-vn2375765 Unfortunately this advertising brochure does not give the cost of the cruise (if you need to ask, you can’t afford it).Promenade Deck, in The S.S. Mariposa, S.S. Monterey : new ships in a new service, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, California, nla.cat-vn2375765 Travel at home and abroad outlines conducted tours and suggested itineraries for Britain, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, with some advertisements for America. It also gives details of the route as well as the prices, but the itinerary is for 1930–31. The following options are given:Matson Line: Sydney (Nov 1)–Suva (Nov 6)–Pago Pago (Nov 7)–Honolulu (Nov 14)–San Francisco (Nov 20). Other sailings departed regularly (usually fortnightly) throughout the year, so basically for 20 days at sea, Sydney to San Francisco. The prices were: Single ticket: First Class - £73 Second Class - £50/10/- Third Class - £31/10/-New York from Sydney (times and stops are not given); Canadian-Australasian Line: Single ticket: First Class - £95/9/6 Second Class - £72/19/6 Third Class - £53/19/6New York from Sydney; Union R.M. Line/Matson Line:Single ticket: First Class - £95/14/- Second Class - £73/4/- Third Class - £54/4/-Via the Panama CanalThe Panama Canal opened in 1914, and there was a route to the Eastern United States through the canal. This was apparently used mainly for cargo, although there was provision for passengers. The article, Shipping notes (1940) gives some information, and more details may be found by searching the advertising pages.The Traveller’s companion On a related note, I also found a little booklet, The Traveller's companion : including guide to deck sports and entertainment at sea. This mainly looks at trips to Europe and the UK, and gives an idea of what life was like on board ship in the 1930s. The booklet is subtitled A Guide to Deck Sports and What to do aboard ship and ashore.The Traveller's companion : including guide to deck sports and entertainment at sea, pp 20–21, nla.cat-vn17967 Not sure where to start your research? Stuck somewhere along the way? Ask a Librarian.
4
RANKIN, Jeannette | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesJeannette Rankin’s life was filled with extraordinary achievements: she was the first woman elected to Congress, one of the few suffragists elected to Congress, and the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both World War I and World War II. “I may be the first woman member of Congress,” she observed upon her election in 1916. “But I won’t be the last.”1Jeannette Rankin, the eldest daughter of a rancher and a schoolteacher, was born near Missoula, Montana, on June 11, 1880. She graduated from Montana State University (now the University of Montana) in 1902 and attended the New York School of Philanthropy (later the Columbia University School of Social Work). After a brief period as a social worker in Spokane, Washington, Rankin entered the University of Washington in Seattle. It was there that she joined the woman suffrage movement, a campaign that achieved its goal in Washington State in 1910. Rankin became a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Her speaking and organizing efforts helped Montana women gain the vote in 1914.When Rankin decided in 1916 to run for a House seat from Montana, she had two key advantages: her reputation as a suffragist and her politically well-connected brother, Wellington, who financed her campaign. Some national woman suffrage leaders feared she would lose and hurt the cause. The novelty of a woman running for Congress, however, helped Rankin secure a GOP nomination for one of Montana’s two At-Large House seats on August 29, 1916.2 Rankin ran as a progressive, pledging to work for a constitutional woman suffrage amendment and emphasizing social welfare issues. Long a committed pacifist, she did not shy away from letting voters know how she felt about possible U.S. participation in the European war that had been raging for two years: “If they are going to have war, they ought to take the old men and leave the young to propagate the race.”3 Rankin came in second, winning one of Montana’s seats. She trailed the frontrunner, Democratic Representative John M. Evans, by 7,600 votes, but she topped the next candidate— another Democrat–by 6,000 votes. Rankin ran a nonpartisan campaign in a Democratic state during a period of national hostility toward parties in general. And this was the first opportunity for Montana women to vote in a federal election. “I am deeply conscious of the responsibility resting upon me,” read her public victory statement.4Rankin’s service began dramatically when Congress was called into an extraordinary April session after Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare on all Atlantic shipping. On April 2, 1917, she arrived at the Capitol to be sworn in along with the other Members of the 65th Congress (1917–1919).5 Escorted by her Montana colleague, Rankin looked like “a mature bride rather than a strong-minded female,” an observer wrote. “When her name was called the House cheered and rose, so that she had to rise and bow twice, which she did with entire self-possession.”6That evening, Congress met in Joint Session to hear President Woodrow Wilson ask to “make the world safe for democracy” by declaring war on Germany. The House debated the war resolution on April 5th. Given Rankin’s strong pacifist views, she was inclined against war. Colleagues in the suffrage movement urged caution, fearing that a vote against war would tarnish the entire cause. Rankin sat out the debate over war, a decision she later regretted.7 She inadvertently violated House rules by making a brief speech when casting her vote. “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war,” she told the House. “I vote no.”8 The final vote was 373 for the war resolution and 50 against. The Helena Independent likened her to “a dagger in the hands of the German propagandists, a dupe of the Kaiser, a member of the Hun army in the United States, and a crying schoolgirl,” even though Montana mail to Rankin’s office ran against U.S. intervention.9 NAWSA distanced the suffrage movement from Rankin: “Miss Rankin was not voting for the suffragists of the nation—she represents Montana.”10 Others, such as Representative Fiorello LaGuardia of New York, were quick to defend her.11As the first woman Member, Rankin was on the front lines of the national suffrage fight. During the fall of 1917 she advocated the creation of a Committee on Woman Suffrage and, when it was created, she was appointed to it.12 When the special committee reported out a constitutional amendment on woman suffrage in January 1918, Rankin opened the very first House Floor debate on this subject.13 “How shall we answer their challenge, gentlemen,” she asked. “How shall we explain to them the meaning of democracy if the same Congress that voted for war to make the world safe for democracy refuses to give this small measure of democracy to the women of our country?”14 The resolution narrowly passed the House amid the cheers of women in the galleries, but it died in the Senate.15Rankin did not ignore her Montana constituency in the midst of this activity. She was assigned to the Committee on Public Lands, which was concerned with western issues. When a mine disaster in Butte resulted in a massive protest strike by miners over their working conditions, violence soon broke out. Responding to pleas from more-moderate miner unions, Rankin unsuccessfully sought help from the Wilson administration through legislation and through her personal intervention in the crisis. These efforts failed as the mining companies refused to meet with either her or the miners.16 Rankin expected the mining interests to extract a cost for her support of the striking miners. “They own the State,” she noted. “They own the Government. They own the press.”17Prior to the 1918 election, the Montana state legislature passed legislation replacing the state’s two At-Large seats with two separate districts, and Rankin found herself in the overwhelmingly Democratic western district.18 Faced with the possibility of running against an incumbent or running in a district controlled by the other party, she decided to run for the U.S. Senate. Rankin ran on the slogan “Win the War First,” promising to support the Wilson administration “to more efficiently prosecute the war.”19 In a three-way contest, Rankin came in second in the Republican senatorial primary, less than 2,000 votes behind the winner.20Charges that Republicans were bribing her to withdraw compelled her to undertake what she knew was an impossible task—running in the general election on a third-party ticket. “Bribes are not offered in such a way that you can prove them, and in order to prove that I didn’t accept a bribe I had to run,” she would later recall.21 The incumbent, Democratic Senator Thomas Walsh, did not underestimate Rankin: “If Miss R. had any party to back her she would be dangerous.”22 In the end, Rankin finished third, winning a fifth of the total votes cast, while Walsh won re-election with a plurality. Ironically, the Republican candidate for Rankin’s House district narrowly won.23Afterwards, Rankin divided her time between pacifism and social welfare. She attended the Women’s International Conference for Permanent Peace in Switzerland in 1919 and joined the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1928, she founded the Georgia Peace Society after purchasing a farm in that state. Rankin became the leading lobbyist and speaker for the National Council for the Prevention of War from 1929 to 1939. She also remained active in advocating social welfare programs. During the early 1920s she was a field secretary for the National Consumers League. Rankin’s activities largely consisted of lobbying Congress to pass social welfare legislation, such as the Sheppard–Towner bill and a constitutional amendment banning child labor.It was the looming war crisis in 1940 that brought Rankin back to Congress. She returned to Montana with her eye on the western House district held by first-term Republican Representative Jacob Thorkelson, an outspoken anti-Semite.24 Rankin drew on her status as the first woman elected to Congress to speak throughout the district to high school students on the issue of war and peace. When the Republican primary results were in, Rankin defeated three candidates, including the incumbent.25 In the general election, she faced Jerry J. O’Connell, who had been ousted by Thorkelson from Congress in the previous election. Rankin went into the race confident that the mining industry no longer carried the hefty political influence she faced earlier.26 Eminent Progressives endorsed her: Senator Robert M. LaFollette, Jr., of Wisconsin and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York City.27 On Election Day Rankin won re-election to the House with 54 percent of the votes cast for a second term, just less than a quarter of a century after she was elected to her first term.28 “No one will pay any attention to me this time,” the victor predicted. “There is nothing unusual about a woman being elected.”29As it had 24 years earlier, the threat of war dominated the start of Rankin’s new term. She gained appointments to the Committee on Public Lands and the Committee on Insular Affairs, two lower-tier committees that, nevertheless, proved useful to her western constituency. By the time of Rankin’s election, the war in Europe was in full force and a debate about U.S. involvement had broken out. In this raging debate, Rankin had taken an arm's-length attitude towards the leading isolationist group, the America First Committee. Largely made up of opponents to the New Deal policies of Franklin Roosevelt, Rankin found herself out of sympathy with much of their domestic agenda.30Nevertheless, Rankin made her pacifist views known early in the session. During deliberations over the Lend-Lease Bill to supply the Allied war effort, she offered an unsuccessful amendment in February 1941 requiring specific congressional approval for sending U.S. troops abroad. “If Britain needs our material today,” she asked, “will she later need our men?”31 In May she introduced a resolution condemning any effort “to send the armed forces of the United States to fight in any place outside the Western Hemisphere or insular possessions of the United States.”32 She repeated her request the following month to no avail. That Rankin’s stance was not an unusual one was demonstrated by the close margin granting President Franklin Roosevelt’s request to allow American merchant ships to be armed in the fall of 1941.33Rankin was en route to Detroit on a speaking engagement when she heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. She returned to Washington the next morning determined to oppose U.S. participation in the war. Immediately after President Roosevelt addressed a Joint Session of Congress, the House and Senate met to deliberate on a declaration of war.34 Rankin repeatedly tried to gain recognition once the first reading of the war resolution was completed in the House. In the brief debate on the resolution, Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas refused to recognize her and declared her out of order. Other Members called for her to sit down. Others approached her on the House Floor, trying to convince her to either vote for the war or abstain.35 When the roll call vote was taken, Rankin voted no amid what the Associated Press described as “a chorus of hisses and boos.”36 Rankin went on to announce, “As a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.”37 The war resolution passed the House 388 to 1.Condemnation of her stand was immediate and intense, forcing Rankin briefly to huddle in a phone booth before receiving a police escort to her office.38 “I voted my convictions and redeemed my campaign pledges,” she told her constituents.39 “Montana is 100 percent against you,” wired her brother Wellington.40 In private, she told friends, “I have nothing left but my integrity.”41 The vote essentially made the rest of Rankin’s term irrelevant. Having made her point, she only voted “present” when the House declared war on Germany and Italy.42 She found that her colleagues and the press simply ignored her. She chose not to run for re-election in 1942, and her district replaced the isolationist Republican with an internationalist Democrat who had served in three branches of the military, Mike Mansfield.Rankin continued to divide her time between Montana and Georgia in the years after she left Congress. India became one of her favorite excursions; she was drawn by the nonviolent protest tactics of Mohandas K. Gandhi. During the Vietnam War, she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, numbering 5,000, in a protest march on Washington in January 1968 that culminated in the presentation of a peace petition to House Speaker John McCormack of Massachusetts. Her 90th birthday in 1970 was celebrated in the Rayburn House Office Building with a reception and dinner. At the time of her death, on May 18, 1973, in Carmel, California, Rankin was considering another run for a House seat to protest the Vietnam War.