This report appeared in the evening edition of the St. Louis Star-Times on December 8, 1941 and it serves as an eyewitness account as to how the St. Louisans reacted both during and after listening to the President's declaration of war broadcast before Congress:
"In downtown restaurants and taverns, people paused to listen to the dramatic broadcast from Washington. Work was at a standstill for those minutes in many office buildings and stores. Pedestrians crowded around newsboys to obtain the latest 'extras' and along the streets groups could be seen collected about radio-equipped automobiles."
"Classified as 4-F, Edwin Taylor of Belleville, Illinois, was enraged when four GIs kidded him by singing a song about 4-Fs..." he sent two to the hospital and the other soldiers are still running today.
It would seem that a good many World War II servicemen believed that they were missing out on all that "home front glamour" that had kicked-in as a result of the full-employment and booming economic prosperity of wartime America; and so Yank correspondent Al Hine was quickly dispatched to Turtle Creek, Pa. to pen this small article about Frank Hanly, "an average guy in a average war plant. He works hard, rests and plays like we used to and he isn't getting rich."
The truth is this army reporter was instructed to report on the blander side of home front living - the facts were far brighter; there was money to be made and fun to be had and you can click here to read about it...
The Congressional Declaration of War was a mere five months old when this photo-essay appeared that documented the earliest days of the American Civil Defense efforts during the Second World War. At this point in the war, the Marines were still three months away from landing on Guadalcanal and the Army wouldn't be arriving in North Africa for another six months - but the neighborhood volunteers of the Civil Defense seemed to be prepared.
As a result of the rationing of beef some people along the W.W. II home front turned to whale meat as a substitute for beef:
"If you walk into a Seattle, Washington butcher shop and ask for a steak, you might be offered a whale steak. No ration points will be required, and the flavor will be somewhere between that of veal and beef. You can prepare your steak just as you would a sirloin, or you can have it ground into whaleburger."
When the U.S. was fighting the First World War, twenty years earlier, it was found that the oil extracted from whales proved useful in the production of explosives.
This 1944 article by the U.S. Commissioner of Education, John W. Studebaker (1887 – 1989), reported on the impact that W.W. II was having on the American educational system. Studebaker pointed out that during the course of the national emergency, as many as 115,000 teachers had left the nation's classrooms in order to help the war effort in one form or another.
Click here to read about child labor exploitation during the Second World War...