Monthly News Editorials: Far Sighted? by Bert Adams
The Monthly News (TMN) was published from 1942 to 1946. The News
Editor, W. W. Adams, and Art Editor, Nell Walton, were adults, but the rest of
the staff ranged in age from 10 to 15. Besides humor and sports news, editorial
comments were a major part of TMN.
In September, 1941, W. W. Adams, the news editor of TMN, wrote that
Stalingrad was the turning point of World War II. Talking about the
bombardment the Germans gave that Russian city on the Volga River, Dad
said that Stalingrad will ever remain ”a symbol of strength, courage, and victory.”
Though no one knew that this would in fact be the beginning of the final German
retreat, that was what it was. It is, says Adams, the revelation of the Russian soul.
Other news items, such as the November, 1942, piece on the “Second
Front,” include further insights into WW II. “Africa,” says TMN, “becomes the
point of attack upon the continent of Europe.” This, of course, was before the
retreat of Rommel and the German army across North Africa and back into
An insightful question appears in the same issue of TMN. Having
commented on the war giving young Americans something to fight for, Adams
asks, in closing, “will we challenge their best for peace, as we now challenge it
in war?” Several times over the four-year existence of The Monthly News, news
editor Adams raises the issue of what the world will face in peacetime, when (if)
the war is won.
One TMN feature, in December, 1943, was called “Definitions Not Found in
Dictionaries.” Some of them are both funny and interesting. For example, The
“Supreme Court” is defined as “A court which corrects the errors of lower courts
and perpetuates its own.” “Taxation” is defined as “The art of picking the goose
to secure the greatest amount of feathers with the least amount of squawking.”
Likewise, “Worry” is “interest paid on trouble before it occurs.”
In June, 1945, Art Editor Nell Walton wrote an editorial on China. More
than a half century ahead of its time, she began with the following paragraph:
“China has long been referred to as ‘the sleeping giant.’ Now this giant is waking.
With its population of one fourth of the human race, it is entering the industrial
And so this little “newspaper that could,” enjoyed more than four years of
Insights and humor, straddling the Second World War, while much of its editorial
staff was moving through the early years of puberty. . . .