World War II was about to wind up but that wasn’t known even by year’s end. Sadly it was the year Anne Frank was found hiding in an attic by the Nazis. Leningrad was liberated from the Nazis after 600,000 die. Nazis also left Rome. Hitler assassination plan failed. The Japanese pulled out of India. FDR was re-elected for the fourth and final time. The International Monetary Fund and The World Bank were established. The first general purpose digital computer was created. DNA was discovered. Keeping it local, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Browns in the World Series. Batman and Robin made the comics section of U.S. newspapers. 1944 was also a banner year for film noir — Double Indemnity, Murder My Sweet, Woman in the Window, The Lodger, The Mask of Dimitrios, Phantom Lady and Laura, Gaslight, The Suspect, The Scarlet Claw, and Betrayed. The Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll “ was at the top of the Billboard charts as was Besame Mucho, by Jimmy Dorsey, I’ll be Seeing you by Bing Crosby and I’ll Get By, performed by Harry James. How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn, Kitty Foyle by Morely Christopher, Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther topped book sales. Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls was the major novel of the year. Jean Anouilh’s daring play, Antigone, opened in occupied Paris. Michael Douglas and Diana Ross came into this world in 1944 as did Smokey the Bear. Leaving it were Glenn Miller, Antoine de Saint Exupery, Wassily Kandinsky and the promising Lodger star Laird Cregar. If you were around, what were you doing during the year of the wood monkey?