Endgame for Japan: From the Potsdam Declaration, the Atomic Bombs, and Surrender, the Defeat of Japan in Diaries from 75 Years Ago

(Above: February 27, 1945: Douglas MacArhur and Sergio Osmeña at the ceremony in Malacañan Palace in which the civilian authority of Commonwealth was restored in the capital) This year marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II in the Pacific. The Philippine Diary Project contains three unique perspectives on the final month …

Railways in Mindanao: Then and Now

  News is that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has approved a Feasibility Study to proceed for the proposed Mindanao Railway Project. The map above gives an indication of the scope of the proposed railway system.It’s been a long time coming. An overview of railways in the past can be found in The Colonial Iron Horse: Railroads and Regional Development …

The sinking of the S.S. Corregidor, December 16-17, 1941

On December 16-17, 1941 (around midnight, hence the event straddling two dates), the S.S. Corregidor, an inter-island steamship of the Compañia Maritima, hit a mine off Corregidor Island and sank, resulting in a tremendous loss of life. Here is a map of the area (click on this link for the original scan). There is a very interesting discussion on the …

Hugh Gibson’s Food Mission Diary: Herbert Hoover in Manila, 1946

(above) British Pathé newsreel of a portion of former President Herbert Hoover’s mission to assess food requirements for devastated parts of the world, 1946. While this diary is part of the Herbert Hoover papers, the diary of Hugh Gibson gives a useful glimpse into an interesting mission –Hoover’s task to survey the globe to see food requirements for devastated countries– …

Diary entries on the Leyte Landing: October, 1944

The Philippine Diary Project contains diary entries from a leading figure in the Leyte Landing: Major General Basilio J. Valdes. His diary, as encoded, edited, and provided to researchers by the Valdes family, provides an invaluable, first-person account of the entire Pacific War, from the outbreak of hostilities in 1941 to the restoration of the Commonwealth Government in Manila in …

October 15, 1972

12:50 PM Oct. 15, 1972 Sunday Malacañan Palace Manila Spent the whole day from noon to midnight in the boat. Had a two hour nap after lunch and finished four books on Nehru, Nasser, Indo China and some histories. Quite a relief from the routine of the palace. And the moldy decaying air replaced by the fresh ocean breeze. This …

July 20th, 1946

Woke up around 4 in the morning, but after moving was able to pick up some more sleep until the guard knocked shortly after six. Still sultry but not so warm, yet uncomfortably sticky specially after sweeping & mopping when begins to ooze out with perspiration all over —— Matches are getting scarce had to take an old one I …

April 25th, 1946

Early today rec’d April 8th number of “Time.” While going down to breakfast heard that Stahmer had been put in solitary confinement. Seen him later at his usual seat at table, however, but by morning exercise time he was gone supposedly taken out to be sent to Germany either to testify in the Nuremberg trials or to be tried himself. First …

September 14, 1945, Friday

Visit of family. I saw Victor, my new grandson, son of Paddy and Lily, for the first time. Since my arrival, I had been conferring with the detainees of Muntinglupa and getting impressions. All seem to be very disappointed. They do not understand how we could be traitors. Even old Don Miguel Unson was bitter. All agreed that we should …