Diary of Lois Elaine Jelin: Entry One Hundred Ten

Entry One Hundred Ten

Tuesday, May 20                 Weather marked as Clear.

Dear Diary,

Went to the Hollywood Bowl with Mr. & Mrs. Mendleson, Lynn, Ricky, Bob & me. We saw “I am an American” day. The show was good. But I had an awful time as Bob wasn’t in a very gay mood. His dad bought him a car. I cryed my eyes out when I got home because of him.

Baby sat for Frances.

Editorial Note:

According to Richard M. Fried’s The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Pageantry and Patriotism in Cold-War America, I Am An American Day was conceptualized in 1938 by either Benjamin Edwards Neal, creator of the I Am An American Foundation, or The Helios Foundation, and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. The day was celebrated annually across the United States on the third Sunday of May, and commemorated the citizenship of newly naturalized immigrants and youngsters who had just come of age to vote (then the age of 21).

Following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the popular event acquired a patriotic immediacy and was used to reinforce and publicly display one’s devotion to the American cause, as a citizen. The end of the war augmented the event’s rhetoric as Cold War tensions focused the narrative on a need to find and report subversive activities; understandably, the popularity of I Am An American Day suffered and it fell out of favor. In 1952, Congress changed the name of I Am An American Day to Citizenship Day, and the date was moved from May to September 17th. It was again reformatted as “Constitution and Citizenship Day” at the request of late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia in 2004, and now celebrates the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.

Seen below, courtesy of the Los Angeles Examiner Negative Collection, 1950-1961 maintained by the University of Southern California, is the Hollywood Bowl decked out for I Am An American Day in 1951–the very same one attended by our Lois. Perhaps if you scrutinize the crowd long enough you can see her, seated between the Mendlesons and gazing forlornly at Bob.

I Am American Day at the Hollywood Bowl, 1951

Diary of Lois Elaine Jelin: Entry One Hundred Seven

Entry One Hundred Seven

Saturday Thurs. May 17                  Weather marked as Clear.

Dear Diary,

Harvey is a wonderful as ever. Audrey & I bowled 3 games. Birch sat & talked to us all the time. He treated me to a coke & gave me a dime to go home on. Birch walked me to 5th again. He took my shoe & I had to walk to 5th with one shoe off. I bowled 90, 83 & 79. Hal called. Mrs. Mendleson invited me to the Hollywood Bowl this Sunday for “I am an American Day.” Lynn, Ricky, Mr. & Mrs. Mendleson are going. I called Bob & he’s going too. Maybe Mom & Dad too. Talked to Audrey over an hour on the phone.

We saw a real keen movie today in Science about how babys are formed in the mommies tummy. It hold all about how the sperm fertals the egg etc. I learned why you shouldn’t marry into the family.

Saw Mr. Platmers book eat a gopher. WOW! It was beautiful in a scientific way. Mr. Frisius is so wonderful. I don’t see how he can dot it. He’s so considerate & helpful & connsious of everyone. He goes out of his way soooo much, and for what? The kids treat him like dirt when they should be kissing his feet. Gads!! but I admire him.

Diary of Lois Elaine Jelin: Entry Ninety-Six

Entry Ninety-Six

Tuesday, May 6                   Weather marked as Clear

Dear Diary,

Came home from Lynns about 2:00. Bob called & then came over. He’s nice. The Greenbergs came over. Uncle Ruby & I had a talk about Frank & he things I wasn’t (too) wrong in being picked up by him or giving him my address. God damn!!! I can’t get Frank off of my mind. Its driving me crazy!!!!!!!! Gosh but Uncle ruby is wonderfully understanding. He’s my favorite.

Uncle Ruby explained to me why he thought I was right in doing what I did & why I was wrong in ding what I did. He says if he asks me out I could go (if Mom lets me.) Uncle explained how a sailor feels when in & out of uniform. Gosh but Uncle Ruby’s wonderful!

Diary of Lois Elaine Jelin: Entry Ninety-Five

Entry Ninety-Five

Monday Sat., May 5                           Weather marked as Clear

Dear Diary,

Went to Hollywood with Lynn. Coming home we met 2 sailors—Frank Hunter and Chuck Burke. We gave them our addresses, & they gave us their pictures & addresses.

Went on double date—Lynn, Ricky & Bob & me. Saw “The Thing” went to drive in had parfay malts. Parked. Necked. Bob asked me out for next Friday. Slept over at Lynns, got in a 2:30 a.m.

I was all wrong about Bob. I thought he was a drip but he turn out real nice. When we were parked, Ricky & Lynn kept making remarks about us. So Bob says to me “How about going out next weekend with me, without Ricky or Lynn.” Gads was I suprized! I said yes!!!!

Editorial Note:

The movie Lois saw on her double date was the 1951 Howard Hawks feature “The Thing From Another World.” Below is the original movie trailer that, perhaps, enticed Lois and her friends to purchase tickets.