Milestones, Mar. 27, 1944

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Engaged. George Vernon Denny Jr., 44, president of Manhattan's Town Hall; and Jeanne Sarasy, 24, his production assistant.

Sued for Divorce. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, 33, husky, hard-eyed second son of President Roosevelt, now with the Army Air Forces in the European Theater; Fort Worth's black-haired, vivacious Mrs. Ruth Googins Roosevelt, 35, in Texas. The Colonel met the then Miss Googins at a livestock show in Fort Worth, married her in 1933, five days after he was divorced by his first wife, Elizabeth, mother of William Donner Roosevelt, 12. Elliott was later dropped from the Social Register. Mrs. Ruth Googins Roosevelt charged "unkind, harsh and tyrannical conduct," asked for the custody of their three children: Ruth Chandler, 9; Elliott Jr. ("Tony"), 7; David Boynton, 2. Colonel Roosevelt was rumored to be currently interested in Winston Churchill's daughter, Mary, and a WAC captain abroad.

Reported Dead. Virginia Gayda, 58, longtime (1926-43) Mussolini mouthpiece; for the nth time since Il Duce was ousted last July; in an Allied bombing of Rome.

Died. Samuel Emory Thomason, 61, publisher of Chicago's lusty New Dealish tabloid Daily Times and the Tampa Tribune; of a heart attack; in Tampa, Fla. An old college friend of Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick, Thomason worked under him for nine years on the Chicago Tribune. Their political differences did not disrupt their friendship until 1941, when in answer to a devastating Times attack on Tribune editorial policy, McCormick printed an editorial "These Jackals Grow Too Bold," referring to "old fat men who sit in comfortable offices fanning hysteria." Thomason spent a whole day devising a response which could be passed through the mails. Excerpts: "The ownership of rich properties does things to some people—to some newspapers. . . . Sometimes such owners mistake wealth and its power for greatness."

Died. William Hale ("Big Bill") Thompson, 74, flamboyant three-time mayor of Chicago; after a heart attack; in Chicago. The breezy giant entered Chicago politics in 1900 on a bet; in 1915 he was elected mayor by the largest plurality ever counted in any U.S. city up to that time. "Big Bill" was frequently accused of pro-Germanism during World War I. By 1919 he and Fred ("Terrible Swede") Lundin had built a political machine second to none; Thompson coasted to a second term on the slogan "Freedom for Ireland." His last term (1927-31) was his most colorful. Elected on a promise to "punch King George's snoot" if that worthy ever visited Chicago, he found the city's school books filled with British propaganda, discerned a plot afoot to return the U.S. to the British Empire.

Died. James Hudson ("Jim") Maurer, 79, Socialist Party wheelhorse for 40 years; in Reading, Pa. In Russia in 1927, toothy, mustached, Pennsylvania Dutch Maurer told Stalin and Trotsky that the Third International was being swindled if it thought its investments in the American Communist Party would yield a revolution.

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