Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1942

  • Menzies' book of broadcast essays The Forgotten PeopleMenzies publishes a book of 37 broadcast essays The Forgotten People which are delivered weekly during 1942. In his Foreword, Menzies states:

"Some of them deal with matters of permanent interest while others are dated by passing events. They have represented a serious attempt to clarify my own mind and assist listeners on questions which emerge in the changing currents of war. In a sense, within the acute limits of time and space, they represent a summarized political philosophy to which many thousands have been interested enough to listen and which hundreds of listeners-in have asked me to publish."

  • Read The Forgotten People essays including "Scrap Iron for Japan", "Our American Allies", "Women in War", "The Four Freedoms", "Compulsory Unionism" and "Schools and the War".

Australian Events

Posted in 1942

  • War comes to Australia: Japanese bomberFebruary 19: 128 Japanese aircraft bomb Darwin resulting in 243 deaths and devastation of the airfield, city area and harbour where eight ships were sunk.
  • February: Prime Minister John Curtin defies Churchill and recalls Australian troops home from the Middle East as fears grow that Japan is preparing to invade Australia. National defence becomes the main activity of the Commonwealth government.
  • March: American General Douglas MacArthur and American troops arrive in Australia. General Macarthur takes command of all allied land, air and naval forces in the Pacific west of Singapore.General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Allied Forces in the South West Pacific 1942-45
  • May 8: Prime Minister Curtin announces in parliament the Battle of the Coral Sea:

"I ask the people of Australia, having regard to the grave consequences implicit in this engagement, to make a sober and realistic estimate of their duty to the nation ... Men are fighting for Australia today; those who are not fighting have no excuse for not working."

  • Wreck of a Japanese mini submarine May 31: Three Japanese midget submarines enter Sydney Harbour - 19 lives are lost when a torpedo sinks a ferry.
  • Following petrol rationing, the rationing of tea, sugar, and clothing is introduced, with butter and meat also rationed in the following years. Civilians carry identity cards, train as air raid wardens and foremen, support war loans and salvage drives and otherwise work long hours for the war effort.
  • July 15: The Volunteer Defence Corps is formed - Australia's "Home Guard".
  • The power to levy personal income tax is passed to the Commonwealth Government through enactment of the Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Act.

World Events

Posted in 1942

  • Japanese soldiers invade a village in SingaporeJapan captures Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, Mandalay and the Philippines. The British ships Prince of Wales and Repulse are lost.
  • Battles of the Coral Sea in May and Midway in June bring USA naval victories over Japan.
  • The first electronic computer is built in the USA.
  • Battle of the Coral Sea: Japanese carrier burning - ArtToday © 2001-2002 www.arttoday.comEnrico Fermi contributes to atomic energy research with his work on artificial radioactive resources; helps split the atom in a controlled chain reaction which takes place on December 2 - on a volleyball field situated beneath Chicago's stadium.
  • Magnetic recording tape is invented.


Battle of the Coral Sea: Japanese cruiser after US bombing attack