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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

A Considerable Contract, the Lend-Lease Act, and The Searchers

-- On March 8, 1930: Baseball legend Babe Ruth signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees for $160,000. Ruth's $80,000-a-year salary made him the highest paid baseball player in the country -- by a lot. While the salary may not seem huge by today's standards, under the contract Ruth made more money than President Hoover. When asked if he deserved to be paid more than the president during an economic depression, Ruth was reported to have said, "Why not? I had a better year than he did."

-- On March 11, 1941: President Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act. Before officially entering World War II, the United States leased supplies to Great Britain under the act to aid in Great Britain's fight against Germany. At the time of its passage, the lend-lease policy was heavily opposed by many isolationists who believed the United States would be dragged into another World War. However, President Roosevelt believed the aid was absolutely necessary in order to ensure that Great Britain would not fall to Germany. Later, it was used to send supplies to France, China, the Soviet Union and many other countries. After the United States entered World War II, Great Britain and the Soviet Union also supplied valuable war supplies to the Americans under a reverse lend-lease policy.

-- On March 13, 1956: The film The Searchers, starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, premiered in New York. During the film, Ethan Edwards (Wayne) searches for his nieces Debbie (Wood) and Lucy (Pippa Scott) who were abducted by the Comanche when their family's ranch was attacked. During the raid on the ranch, the girls' parents and brother were killed. Brad Jorgensen (Harry Carey Jr.) and Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) join Edwards in his long search. The behind-the-scenes process for making the film was recorded and used to help market it. Directed by John Ford, The American Film Institute ranks The Searchers as the 12th greatest movie of all time.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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