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C.C. Johnson Spink Letter to Joseph E. Cronin About Sending the Sporting News to Servicemen

by Madelyn Augustine, Kennedy Lancaster, and Lana Tutterow

<u><b>Wartime in Business</b></u>

Documents found in the Sporting News Archives show some ways how World War 2 affected the country on the business level. Found in the folders on the Sporting News financial information were documents explaining how to sell War Loans Bonds to employees of the company. The selling of series E bonds began in 1941 as a way for the government to raise money for funding military operations during the war. Documents included in the archives include explanations of these bonds, and informational pamphlets with instructions on how to best sell these bonds to one's fellow workers. The process involved recruiting "captains" who would be assigned different people in the company to sell to. Instructions on choosing captains include tips such as: "choose them from among those who have relatives, or, better still, those who have lost relatives in the Service". They were also told to make sure to ask their coworkers up to three times, and many would choose to buy bonds if asked more than once. The archive includes a letter from the Missouri War Finance Committee that claims that 83% of people buy bonds when they are asked three or more times. There are also copies of the official application forms for the savings bonds.

<u><b>Wartime Tabloids</b></u>

During WWII, after America had joined the war, The Sporting News decided to do something special for the American Soldiers going to fight. The Sporting News put together a tabloid edition of their paper to send both to army camps and overseas to the soldiers who had already shipped out. The paper was extremely well received, and the tabloid format was incredibly popular. The Spinks received hundreds of letters thanking them for their tabloid, detailing how news of sports back home really boosted morale. Former WWI soldiers, sports writers, and current paper owners alike commended the tabloid for how wonderful it was for the Sporting News to come up with the Overseas Edition.

<u><b>Military Morale</b></u>

In the 1970s the spirit of the United States military and nation as a whole had certainly been ravished by decades of seemingly never-ending conflict; from the horrors of the second World War, which was nearly immediately followed by the conflict in Korea, to the Vietnam War which was nearing its end near the time of the creation documents which are referenced. The Sporting News was providing editions at a lower rate to servicemen and military camps through the American League. Spink himself was in constant communication with the president of the American League, Joseph Cronin in order to continue supplying this service to the men in the military. The documents reference that men in the armed services were directly contacting Sporting News with acknowledgements and thanks for the editions which they were receiving. It is clear in Spink’s correspondence that he is a firm believer that sports and baseball specifically have the ability to boost morale for those involved in the military and these conflicts.