This was an important article for its time. It seems hard to believe, but it took the Federal Government the full six months after Pearl Harbor to figure out how the home front would be governed and what would be rationed. This article heralds that new day and clarified how the war would affect their salaries, savings, education, shopping, clothing, taxes, leisure time, transportation and their general manner of living:
In 1944, a class of sixth graders wrote General Eisenhower and asked him how they can help in the war effort; click here to read his response...
After suffering eleven years of the squalor brought on by the Great Depression, many Americans were in shock to find their pockets fully lined with cash and their days spent in gainful employment when W.W. II came along (in 1943, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 1.9%). The bars and restaurants that were situated around defense plants found that for the first time in years they were fully booked with paying customers. This article points out that this new economic boom on the home front was not without complications: absenteeism. As more factory workers discovered the joy of compensated labor, the more frequent they would skip work - which was seen as a nuisance for an industrial nation at war.
"Many workers, not just youngsters, are making more money than they ever made before in their lives."
There were many varieties of posters to be found on the American home front of W.W. II - most depicting sweaty barrel-chested young men. Yet in the factories another type was prevalent, these were the ones that showed the non-heroic faces of the average American worker. Below these images would be found simple quotes declaring their unique patriotic reasons for laboring on the production lines. This article recalls who dreamed them up and how popular they were.
A 1945 Yank Magazine article concerning American teen culture on the W.W. II home front in which the journalist/anthropologist paid particular attention to the teen-age slang of the day.
"Some of today's teenagers ---pleasantly not many --- talk the strange new language of "sling swing." In this bright lexicon of the good citizens of tomorrow, a girl with sex appeal is an "able Grable" or a "ready Hedy." A pretty girl is "whistle bait." A boy whose mug and muscles appeal to the girls is a "mellow man," a "hunk of heart break" or a "glad lad."
To read about one of the fashion legacies of W.W. II, click here...
Click here to learn how the Beatniks spoke.
Click here if you would like to read a glossary of WAC slang terms.
•Suggested Reading• Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang
*Watch this 1947 Film Featuring the Wholesome Teenagers of the Forties*
"'A new problem of the war is the fact that children are born to married women whose husbands have been long overseas... Department of Labor figures show that more than twice as many illegitimate children were born this year than in 1942."
Click here to read more on this topic.