Seventy years ago the second World War was well underway, Bing Crosby was in the charts and the boxer Muhammad Ali was born.
And, for one couple it marked the start of a lifetime of romance.
Today John and Roma Emmerton are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.
The pair met at Blackpool pier in the 1940s, when John, then 19, asked Roma, then 17, to dance.
“I was a young airman wandering around Blackpool, footloose and fancy-free,” he said. “The pier had a dance floor and full orchestra in those days.
“I was a bit of a poser, smoking a pipe.
“I walked towards where Roma was sitting, to light my pipe, and realised I’d left my matches at home. I had to ask her for one. ”
Roma handed over her last match from the box, and the rest, they say, was history.
However it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the couple. Two weeks after they were wed, John was shipped abroad with the air force, and they were separated for four years.
John, now 90, added: “We started courting, and a year later, in July 1942, we were married.
“We didn’t get chance to have a honeymoon, because I was shipped to South East Asia a couple of weeks later, and we were forced to be apart for nearly four years. I wrote to Roma every night, more than 1,000 letters, and when I came home, we started courting again.”
While they were separated, Roma worked in the mills.
The pair went on to have two sons, along with five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
They moved to Leyland in 1961 to settle down.
John was a police inspector in Leyland, while Roma did various jobs in the food industry, such as waitressing and cooking.
She still enjoys preparing meals, and makes bread for family and neighbours three times a week, and John is president of the RAF Leyland branch.
Roma, 88, said: “I don’t know what the secret to a long and happy marriage is.
“I’d say it’s a mixture of luck and tolerance! I do feel lucky.”
John and Roma Emmerton, from Mardale Crescent, Leyland, were invited to attend a special tea party with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble yesterday.