Executive Order

Executive Order No. 3: (1st Series) Air raid and blackout regulations

Date: 01/08/1942
Issuer: Leverett Saltonstall
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 52
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 86

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, I, Leverett Saltonstall, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, issued on the 29th day of December, 1941, with the advice and consent of the Council, a proclamation setting forth a state of emergency pursuant to the provisions of Acts of 1941, chapter 719, Part II, section 6 (a); and

WHEREAS, on the thirty-first day of December, 1941, by executive order No. 1, I confirmed the creation of the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety made by me on August 23, 1940, and the appointment of its members heretofore made by me, and by virtue of said executive order No. 1, I conferred certain powers and duties on said committee; and

WHEREAS, while it is not now deemed necessary permanently to black out all light, but whereas the safety of life and property may from time to time depend upon a temporary, but complete, blackout:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Leverett Saltonstall, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of said Acts of 1941, chapter 719, by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the said act and of all other authority vested in me, do hereby issue this order for the purpose of making and promulgating orders, rules and regulations concerning blackouts and air raid alarms, to take effect forthwith:

1. The signal for a blackout shall be the air raid alarm or the extinguishment of the street lights, whichever occurs first. The "all clear" signal shall be the signal for the end of the blackout.

2. Upon the signal for a blackout or at sunset, if that occurs during an air raid alarm, the occupants of all premises or parts of premises, public and private, shall extinguish all lights or darken the premises so that no light is visible from the outside.

3. The managers, superintendents or persons in control of hotels, apartments, office buildings and all other places of multiple occupancy and use shall extinguish all the lights, whether in public places or in tenants' rooms, on the signal for a blackout.

4. Lights may be left on in rooms which have previously been equipped for use during a blackout in such manner that no light whatsoever shall be visible from the outside. The windows and entrances to such equipped rooms or places shall be covered with heavy draperies, curtains, heavy paper, board or black obscuration paint, so that no light may be visible from the outside. Skylights shall be specially obscured on the outside to prevent reflection of light and shall be specially protected from the inside to prevent injury from falling glass.

5. Provisions shall be made by occupants for the extinguishment, immediately on the giving of a blackout signal, of any lights left burning in premises not occupied at night.

6. All outside lights, including lights for work being done in the open, shall be extinguished immediately on the giving of the signal for a blackout.

7. All outside activity which involves fire, or in any way creates or displays a source of light, shall cease between sunset and sunrise and such fire or lights shall be extinguished unless arrangements are made by the person in control thereof satisfactory to the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety, so that such fire or lights shall be extinguished immediately upon the giving of the signal for a blackout.

8. Hospitals, first aid stations and emergency posts shall be immediately equipped for blackout pursuant to instructions now or hereafter issued by the medical division of the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety.

9. Smoking or lighting matches outdoors during a blackout is forbidden.

10. Flashlights of very low intensity and directed downward may be used. Recent tests and experience have shown that for any outside light white lights are preferable to blue lights of the same intensity.

11. Until further order, rule or regulation all illuminated signs, flood lighting, store window lighting or any other display lighting visible from the outside shall be extinguished from sunset to sunrise, unless the owner or person in control thereof has made arrangements satisfactory to the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety, whereby such lights shall be turned off immediately when the signal for a blackout is given.

12. No vehicle shall be operated on any street or way, public or private, in the Commonwealth during a blackout or after the giving of an air raid alarm, except an emergency vehicle for which a special license shall have been granted by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles after the said vehicle has been inspected and approved for blackout operation by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. Such inspection and approval shall be evidenced by a sticker placed in a prominent position on the vehicle at the time of inspection and bearing the following inscription: "Approved for Blackout Operation, Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety". Such vehicles so approved and so identified shall also display such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety for identification and authenticity. Arrangements to issue such special licenses, stickers, and other identification shall be made as soon as practicable by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and by the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety. Until such arrangements shall have been made, the police and military authorities shall have discretion to permit only such vehicles as they deem necessary for the services essential to civilian defense, or for the preservation of life and property, to operate with dimmed lights during a blackout or to operate after the giving of an air raid alarm.

The foregoing shall not apply to vehicles of the armed forces of the United States, State Guard, police vehicles, fire department vehicles, ambulances, or vehicles operated by the United States Post Office department, but such vehicles shall be equipped for blackout operation.

13. When the blackout signal is given, the operators of vehicles, other than emergency vehicles and those specified in paragraph 12 above, shall immediately reduce speed to not more than fifteen miles per hour, drive to the side of the road or curb at the first opportunity, and stop. The operators of vehicles shall extinguish the lights thereon and seek shelter if available. The operators of such vehicles shall not park at intersections, hydrants, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, emergency stations or other places specified by the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety. If practical, the operators of such vehicles shall drive the same entirely off the traveled portions of the road or highway. Vehicles already parked at the curb, in parking places or garages shall be left where they are unless ordered or permitted to be moved by the police or military authorities.

14. The operating management of railroads shall arrange for movement of railroad traffic during a blackout, complying in so far as practical with the orders and regulations herein set forth, or in such other manner as may be approved by the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety. Railroad stations, buildings and other railroad structures shall be governed by the orders, rules and regulations covering buildings as herein set forth, subject to such modifications as are deemed necessary, and as may be approved by the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety.

15. When a signal for a blackout is given, all street lighting shall be extinguished as rapidly as possible without interrupting the electric, gas, water, fire, power and other similar services supplied to the locality.

16. When the signal for a blackout is given, all traffic signals which have not been shielded in conformity with the blackout standards, fixed and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, shall be extinguished.

17. The intensity of all fire and police signal lights shall be reduced as far as practicable and such lights shall be shielded in such manner that no light is visible above the horizontal.

18. The authority under which work is being done on any street or highway or other outside place shall protect any excavation or obstruction made in connection therewith, with an adequate white marker, properly shielded lights or a watchman.

19. The Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety shall, subject to my approval, make such additional rules and regulations for blackouts and air raid warnings as may be necessary to effect the proper and immediate compliance with the orders, rules and regulations herein set forth.

20. The Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety may authorize a reasonable variation from the orders, rules and regulations herein set forth whenever in its opinion the public welfare, safety or convenience may be promoted thereby.

GIVEN at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this eighth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and sixty-sixth.

By His Excellency the Governor,
LEVERETT SALTONSTALL

FREDERIC W. COOK,
Secretary of the Commonwealth

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION

IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR, OR BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS, OR BOTH. (Chapter 719, Acts of 1941)

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