Asheville blacked out (mostly) for air raid drill

“In the wake of Pearl Harbor and America’s subsequent entry into World War II, Asheville prepared for the threat of additional foreign strikes on American soil….

“At 10 p.m. Aug. 10, 1942, the mountains went dark for 30 minutes. ‘The blackout test was almost 100 per cent effective,’ The Asheville Citizen wrote.  ‘Excessive cigarette lighting by persons in the downtown area was reported from one town. Carelessness by autoists was reported from another.’

“A lighted window on the top floor of the building on the corner of North Market and East Walnut streets ‘offered a perfect target, until an air raid warden got busy,’ the paper explained.

“The newspaper concluded its account of the blackout with a gruesome anecdote:  ‘A group of boys and girls tied a dead mouse to the doorknob of the Battery Park avenue store which did not observe the black-out. One of the boys borrowed a lipstick from a girl and scribbled this on the glass door. “You had better black out next time.”'”

— From “Air raid warnings sound in WNC, 1942” by Thomas Calder in Mountain Xpress (Nov. 29, 2020)

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