This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.
This article is taken from my Grandmother, Fannie Turner Graham’s scrap book. It was printed in the Detroit Tribune on November 24, 1945. Victoria’s parents, James and Margaret McCall, were the owners and operators of the Tribune. My grandmother wrote the date and my mother wrote the identifying information. James McCall and my grandmother, Fannie Turner Graham were first cousins. Their mother’s were Eliza’s daughters.
In Detroit, Saturday, November 17, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, widow of the late president, held a press conference in her suite at the Hotel Book-Cadillac, before she spoke to an audience of more than one thousand $5-a-plate guests who attended a luncheon sponsored at the hotel by the Michigan Citizens’ committee. Mrs. Roosevelt is shown conferring with Victoria McCall Thomas, of the Detroit Tribune staff, who asked the former First Lady several pertinent questions relating to the nation’s race problem, all of which Mrs. Roosevelt answered in her customary democratic manner. She declined, however, to comment upon Detroit’s recent mayoralty election, in which numerous race-baiting tactics were used, on the grounds that as an outsider she was not sufficiently informed on local situations to express an opinion; but Mrs. Roosevelt did state that she was very pleased with New York’s city election, since the man she had backed is now mayor. Mrs. Roosevelt had just come from the dedication of Roosevelt college in Chicago, named in honor of her husband, which she lauded for the liberal democratic principles upon which it was founded.
In 1940 James McCall and his family lived at 4880 Parker Ave. on the east side of Detroit. The house was worth $5,000. He was 58 years old and had completed 4 years of college. He had worked 52 weeks in 1939, earning $1,600 managing a Printing Establishment.
His wife Margaret was 52 years old. She had completed 4 years of high school and was not working outside of the home. She was the informant. Everybody in the house was born in Alabama, had lived in the same house in 1935 and was identified as “W(hite)”. I would guess that people are wrongfully identified as “white” because the enumerator would not ask race, they would assume they “knew” by looking.
Oldest daughter, Victoria, was 24 years old, single and had completed 4 years of college. She had worked 40 weeks in 1939 as a public school teacher, where she earned $1,600. The youngest daughter, Margaret was 21 years old. She had worked 24 weeks in 1939 and earned $240 as a secretary of a Printing company.
The McCall’s owned their own printing company and published a newspaper “The Detroit Tribune”. My aunt, Mary V. Graham, who was their cousin, worked at the same printing establishment in the 1940 census. In the 1990’s she shared her memories of her work there. Mary V’s job was to read newspaper articles to James McCall because he was blind. From what she read to him, he would formulate his editorial articles. He had a braille typewriter that he used to write the articles. Mary V said she learned so much, reading to him and talking to him about various topics. She remembered that he was a wealth of information and knew a lot about everything.