10 February 2009

A Lullaby of Broadway

As the Queen Mary arrived in New York Harbor today in 1946, cutting through the chunks of ice that had collected around Pier 90, the 378th Army Service Forces band blasted Brahms' Lullaby, welcoming the British G.I. brides and babies to their new country. Rock-a-bye Baby was the encore - both songs done eight to the bar. The women showed their appreciation by dancing, waving, and applauding. 

According to WAC Captain Reida Longanecker, the women had been anxious about their arrival in the U.S., wondering if they would be resented for marrying American boys. Given their exuberant reception, they no doubt quickly realized that Americans were more hospitable than hostile toward their latest arrivals.  

New York Times

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