A particularly grim day in 1940. Starting with news reports that France had appointed delegates to receive the German surrender terms. From the relocated French government in Bordeaux, Marshall Petain appealed to the French people, and the remaining French troops, to give up the War, that France had been defeated.
And while the appeals were going out and the envoys were readying to receive terms, the German Army were quickly advancing on all fronts, taking the important French Port city of Brest and the rumored capture of numerous French warships. What was left of the French Army had been separated into four areas and cut off from communication with each other. The German Army was also poised to take Paris.
All this had an uneasy affect on London, as it was reported that emergency cabinet meetings had taken place and plans for the defense of Britain were underway. Among those plans was the initial evacuation of some 20,000 children to Canada and the Dominions for the duration. The first ships were scheduled to convoy out in 2 weeks and offices handing the evacuation requests were flooded with applicants. It was widely believed that, now with the fall of France, Britain was facing Germany's Final Objective. German Bomber raids overnight hit the industrial cities of Billingham and Hull. The fires from Billingham could be seen for 30 miles. Reports from Berlin claimed they were reprisal bombings for British raids on German cities.
News from Washington initially came in the form of a bulletin that stated FDR made a surprising motion to form a Coalition Cabinet and the unprecedented move of appointing two high-ranking Republicans, Col. Frank Knox and Henry L. Stimson to the posts of Secretary of The Navy and Secretary of War, respectively. Knox was vice-Presidential Candidate for the Republicans in 1936 and Stimson was Secretary of State in the Hoover Administration and Secretary of War in the Taft Administration. The dismay came from the Republicans who felt it created damage to their 1940 Platform and it was purely a political move on FDR's part.
Another nail-biting day in history, this June 20, 1940, as reported on the NBC News Of The World.