.. gardens. Similar to food rationing was the rationing of gasoline. We didn’t have a car, but there was a card similar to the ration book, which would ration gas to each car a week. People were constantly finding tires and metal to contribute to the war effort.
One of the greatest aspects of World War 2 was the unity of all the people of the United States. Everyone was united in helping to fight this war and having freedom reign over tyranny. Now a days people are spoiled, wasteful and all about themselves. During the war, another great aspect was the role of women in America. Before the war women were just seen as housewives, teachers, secretaries or any other stereotypical view of female employment. When the war began, women began to show that they could do the same kind of jobs that men do.
All the men were being drafted into the army so none of them were really around to do the jobs needed to keep the war going10. For instance, women worked in the factories to help melt down the scrap metal, work the assembly lines, and even be mechanics11. By the time we were fully into the war for a couple of years, most of the factory workers were women12. This was a considerable thing for that time, because most women were not ever seen as capable enough to do the jobs that men do. Women were now finding out that they were not only capable of doing “male oriented” jobs, but were also capable of making money, and lots of it too. Women were making the same amount as men and in some cases more money than men.
Every woman was involved in some way. I sold war stamps and war bonds. They still have them today except they are savings bonds. I would go from house to house and apartment to apartment, to try and convince people to buy war bonds. I would let them know that it was an investment in the war effort, and in the future you get a return of the money deposited with some interest13.
It was never a problem for me to sell the war bonds because people were eager to help out in anyway they could, but more likely they bought the war bonds because they were insured a return plus interest. Every week I would go to the theater to watch the newsreel and see exactly how America was doing in the war. Before each reel was a cartoon. These cartoons would show America beating up the Nazi’s and the Japanese. It’s hard to remember any specifics, but it was always clear that the Nazi’s and the Japanese were our enemies, and we were supposed to hate them. People were always making fun of the Japanese and the Italians, calling them funny names. How ever, I remember the Germans being hated and made fun of the most.
Everyone hated the Germans with a passion. They would constantly make fun of the way they talked, and of course make fun of that ridiculous mustache of Hitler’s. The hatred for these people ran deep. Throughout the war Hollywood did a great deal to help the war effort. Many stars, such as Bob Hope, went over to entertain the troops. They would actually put themselves in real danger, because they were where actual warfare was taking place.
They did a great deal to help boost the confidence of the troops, give them encouragement and remind them as to why this “war to end all wars” was being fought. Hollywood also did a great deal of charity work for the troops overseas. They would hold certain fundraisers to contribute more money and food to the war effort. Hollywood also played a part in making war movies, which were also confidence builders to the United States people. This aided in keeping the people totally in the war effort. As 1945 approached, there was more and more confidence as to the Allied forces winning the war. The American people were all beginning to have their great fears diminish.
Finally in the spring of 1945 (April 29,1945), the Germans finally surrendered and the war of the Atlantic was over14. The war of the pacific was still going on, and it would for a few more months, (August 14, 1945), yet just the thought of victory over the most powerful enemy, gave so much morale to the American people15. The day of the German’s surrender was the most memorable experience. Everyone was celebrating in the streets, hugging and kissing one another. It was just one big celebration party that made you feel good about being a free American. One of the main reasons for such great happiness at the end of this “war to end all wars” was the fact that, with the exception of Pearl Harbor, there was no massive damage done to any part of the United States.
On that day, I wrote President Truman, telling him that on V-day, I had a baby girl. My first daughter was born on that day. A few weeks later he returned it with a certificate acknowledging her birth as being on one of the most important days in American history. President Harry Truman signed the document and I still have the historic moment in my life framed. It took a few years for the country to get back to normal.
Rations were ending on food and gasoline. America began to progress again, but in the case of women, it regressed. Women were forced to give up there jobs and assume the pre-traditional female role again. This was so difficult for women, because many of us became accustomed to making our own money and spending our own money. Women also felt that if they could do the jobs just as well as men, then they should be allowed to remain employed. The good thing that came out of it was women’s awareness, and the fact that women are fully capable of doing what men do.
Another post-war issue that was upsetting was the countries unity. After the “war to end all wars”, came drew closed, Americans were getting back on there feet, yet that sense of national teamwork and accord became more a sense of personal gain and individual preoccupation. World War 2 was phenomenal, not only for the great battles and war stories, but also for a time when a whole country functioned for one purpose. Individualism didn’t exist, but more like patriotism to ones country in a struggle that was only made successful through national unity. A View of Life on the Home Front: The Account of a Young Jewish Lady in America During World War II By Raymond Veira Bibliography Bibliography Anderson, Karen, Wartime Women, Wesport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press 1981 Cole, S. Wayne, Charles A.
Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II, New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1974 Cole, S. Wayne, America First, Madison, Milwaukee: The University of Wisconsin Press 1953 Kaufman, I, American Jews in World War II: The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom vol.I, United States of America Dial Press 1947 O’Neill, L. William, A Democracy at War: America’s Fight at Home & Abroad in World War II, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press 1993 Lyons, J. Michael, World War II: A Short History, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Prentice Hall 1989 History Essays.