There was a glimmer of hope in the relentless news of war this week. Japan publicly announced they would not get involved in the war between Russia and Germany. Even though Japan and Russia had fought a bitter war a quarter century earlier both sides were too deeply involved in conflicts closer to home to reopen an old wound.
Japan was in the midst of an expansionist war in China and East Asia and Russia was fighting for life. Russia and Japan had just signed a neutrality treaty so even though Japan and Germany had formed the Axis alliance they did not always shoot at same enemy. Japan also tried to ratchet down tension with the United States after an imperial conference of the Japanese government with Emperor Hirohito.
The war in Asia was clearly a secondary consideration, religated to page 8. The debacle unfolding in Russia and America's concern about the war in Europe was taking up most of the front page space.
Joe DiMaggio was getting mentioned on the front page now as the consecutive game hit streak reached 46 games. Modern slugging records in baseball are now subject to question in the steroid era but a consecutive game hitting streak is still pure.
The sports page also had a feature story on the Yankee star. A recent book by Kostya Kennedy traces the beginning of the streak to DiMaggio's wife Dorothy. While attending a game she noticed the slumping player's uniform was wrinkled in the wrong places when he was in the batter's box. Joe corrected his posture and a legendary streak began. The feature article shown here shows his unnamed wife lighting a healthy cigarette for the Yankee center fielder.