wwii journalism

Clare Hollingworth (b. 1911) is a British journalist, the first war correspondent who reported the outbreak of World War II.

She was working for the Daily Telegraph when she was sent, on 31 August 1939, to Poland, to report the worsening tensions in Europe. The next day, shewas the first to report the invasion of Warsaw by Nazi troops to the British embassy. In the following years and decades, she was a correspondent during various conflicts in Palestine, China, Vietnam, and others.

The last witch trial in Britain took place in 1944, at a time when the U.S. was hell-bent on developing some potentially world-ending magic of its own, and the Brits were preoccupied with planning a little thing called D-Day.

Helen Duncan was sort of the Long Island Medium of her day. She traveled the UK holding seances, offering her patrons closure, and probably only swiping the occasional pocket watch. During one such divination in April of 1944, she told a pair of worried parents that two British battleships – including their son’s, the HMS Barhamhad sunk. Military authorities, fearing a leak of state secrets in such close proximity to the Normandy landings and completely oblivious to the fact that Duncan could have garnered the information from a strikingly un-supernatural source known as “the newspaper,” picked her up and charged her with conspiracy, fraud, and, to top it all off, violation of the Witchcraft Act of 1735. Only the black magic charge stuck, and Duncan was sentenced to nine months in prison. For black magic. In 1944.

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