June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy during World War II. The D-Day invasion opened a long-awaited second front in Europe and was the largest amphibious assault in military history. Approximately 160,000 Allied troops landed that day. They were supported by a fleet of 5,000 ships and 13,000 planes. Over 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.
News of the invasion reached Springfield early on the morning of June 6. By 5 a.m., the Daily News had published an extra edition, its first since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Residents were encouraged to go about their normal routine, but people gathered around radios to hear the latest updates every chance they got. Classes were in session at State Teachers College (now Missouri State University). Some of the students were Air Corps cadets who would join the fighting once their training was completed. Among those who had already seen combat, patients at O’Reilly General Army Hospital followed the news reports and wondered about their friends who were surely a part of the invasion force. The ladies making uniforms at the Oberman Manufacturing Company on Boonville heard the bulletins and worried about their loved ones in harm’s way. Many local churches opened their doors and hundreds of residents attended an evening prayer service in the Shrine Mosque.
The Library has a large number of materials related to D-Day. Browse the Library's online catalog for a complete list.
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