Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on June 6, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne

Seventy years ago today, Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy in the D-Day invasion. But how did our ancestors learn about it? What was going on at home?

On June 5th, the day before the troops landed at Normandy, the liberation of Rome was the news that greeted those who picked up the paper on their doorstep:
June 5th headline from Kingsport, TN


false reportBut did you know that there was some definite foreshadowing of the events to come on June 6th?

A young woman who was “practicing on the teletype machine” sent an “erroneous” report about an invasion of France. Baseball games were stopped, prayers were said, all major radio networks reported it. The lady who sent it was confined to her home for nervous exhaustion. Within five minutes, the report had been killed and everyone went about their business.

But as we all know, the next morning, the deed had been done, the invasion was on, and the newspapers were rolling out the news and you can see from the Berkshire Evening Eagle.

D-Day front page in Pittsfield, MA (Jun 6, 1944)

Back on the homefront, CA ramps up to fight black market


And life at home continued on. Food and other goods were still being rationed.

In California they were fighting against the black market on these items.





So what was going on in your home town? In your ancestors home town? What was the news and how was it presented to them? When you are digging into the past ( and your ancestors’ military tales (Fold3), don’t forget the folks at home. And the  newspapers on is the perfect place to experience the news of the day as it happened.


Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at She is an active blogger on and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.


  1. Judith Kozee

    Anne, thank you for a great article. I do have some Quaker ancestors, I think. Some of my ancestors marriage records show up in the Meeting Notes. Do you know if Quaker preachers performed marriages for anyone other than Quakers?

  2. Judith Kozee

    Oops sorry. I thought I was still on the article about Quaker burials. That is the issue when posting from my phone; I cannot see what is above.

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