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The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth

This left women to take up sole responsibility of the household and provide economically for the family. Nursing became a highly prestigious occupation for young women. These women automatically became officers. To cope with the growing shortage on the homefront, thousands of retired nurses volunteered to help out in local hospitals. Women staffed millions of jobs in community service roles, such as nursing, the USO , [34] and the Red Cross.

Women collected fats rendered during cooking, children formed balls of aluminum foil they peeled from chewing gum wrappers and also created rubber band balls, which they contributed to the war effort. Hundreds of thousands of men joined civil defense units to prepare for disasters, such as enemy bombing. This was historically significant because flying a warplane had always been a male role.

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No American women flew warplanes in combat. Marriage and motherhood came back as prosperity empowered couples who had postponed marriage. The birth rate started shooting up in , paused in —45 as 12 million men were in uniform, then continued to soar until reaching a peak in the late s. This was the " Baby Boom.

In a New Deal -like move, the federal government set up the "EMIC" program that provided free prenatal and natal care for the wives of servicemen below the rank of sergeant. Housing shortages, especially in the munitions centers, forced millions of couples to live with parents or in makeshift facilities. Little housing had been built in the Depression years, so the shortages grew steadily worse until about , when a massive housing boom finally caught up with demand. After much of the new housing was supported by the G. Federal law made it difficult to divorce absent servicemen, so the number of divorces peaked when they returned in In long-range terms, divorce rates changed little.

Juggling their roles as mothers due to the Baby Boom and the jobs they filled while the men were at war, women strained to complete all tasks set before them. The war caused cutbacks in automobile and bus service, and migration from farms and towns to munitions centers. Those housewives who worked found the dual role difficult to handle. Millions of wives tried to relocate near their husbands' training camps. During World War II the trend in immigration policies were both more and less restrictive.

The United States immigration policies focused more on national security and were driven by foreign policy imperatives. This Act was the first law in the United States that excluded a specific group- the Chinese from migrating to the United States. There was also the Nationality Act of , which clarified how to become and remain a citizen. In contrast, the Japanese and Japanese-Americans were subject to internment in the U.

There was also legislation like the Smith Act , also known as the Alien Registration Act of , which required indicted communists, anarchists and fascists. Another program was the Bracero Program , which allowed over two decades, nearly 5 million Mexican workers to come and work in the United States. After World War II, there was also the Truman Directive of , which did not allow more people to migrate, but did use the immigration quotas to let in more displaced people after the war.

In contrast, the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act , turned away migrants based not on their country of origin but rather whether they are moral or diseased. In the War Department demanded that all enemy nationals be removed from war zones on the West Coast.

The question became how to evacuate the estimated , people of Japanese ancestry living in California. Roosevelt looked at the secret evidence available to him: There was evidence of espionage compiled by code-breakers that decrypted messages to Japan from agents in North America and Hawaii before and after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On February 19, , Roosevelt signed Executive Order which set up designated military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded. Germans and Italians were not interned, as shown from the Korematsu v.

In February , when activating the nd Regimental Combat Team —a unit composed mostly of American-born American citizens of Japanese descent living in Hawaii—Roosevelt said, "No loyal citizen of the United States should be denied the democratic right to exercise the responsibilities of his citizenship, regardless of his ancestry. The principle on which this country was founded and by which it has always been governed is that Americanism is a matter of the mind and heart; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry.

Supreme Court upheld the legality of the executive order in the Korematsu v. The executive order remained in force until December when Roosevelt released the Japanese internees, except for those who announced their intention to return to Japan. Fascist Italy was an official enemy, and citizens of Italy were also forced away from "strategic" coastal areas in California.

Altogether, 58, Italians were forced to relocate. They relocated on their own and were not put in camps. Known spokesmen for Benito Mussolini were arrested and held in prison. The restrictions were dropped in October , and Italy switched sides in and became an American ally. In the east, however, the large Italian populations of the northeast, especially in munitions-producing centers such as Bridgeport and New Haven , faced no restrictions and contributed just as much to the war effort as other Americans.

The Fair Employment Practices Commission FEPC was a federal executive order requiring companies with government contracts not to discriminate on the basis of race or religion. It assisted African Americans in obtaining jobs in industry. Under pressure from A. It said "there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin". It required that all government contracts have a non-discrimination clause. During the war the federal government operated airfields, shipyards, supply centers, ammunition plants, and other facilities that employed millions.

FEPC rules applied and guaranteed equality of employment rights. These facilities shut down when the war ended. In the private sector the FEPC was generally successful in enforcing non-discrimination in the North, it did not attempt to challenge segregation in the South, and in the border region its intervention led to hate strikes by angry white workers. During the second phase of the Great Migration , five million African-Americans relocated from rural and poor Southern farms to urban and munitions centers in Northern and Western states in search of racial, economic, social, and political opportunities.

Racial tensions remained high in these cities, particularly in overcrowding in housing as well as competition for jobs. As a result, cities such as Detroit , New York , and Los Angeles experienced race riots in , leading to dozens of deaths. Most black women had been farm laborers or domestics before the war. Their efforts redefined citizenship, equating their patriotism with war work, and seeking equal employment opportunities, government entitlements, and better working conditions as conditions appropriate for full citizens. However, wildcat strikes erupted in Detroit, Baltimore, and Evansville, Indiana where white migrants from the South refused to work alongside black women.

As propaganda has a tendency to do, media with a pro-American twist during the war tended to portray the Axis powers in an incredibly negative light. Germans tended to be shown as being either weak or barbaric, but also stupid, and obsessed with Nazism and Nazi imagery. This could be seen in comic books such as Captain America No. This existed in cartoons as well. Perhaps nowhere is this unattractive portrayal of Germans better known than in the somewhat controversial Donald Duck cartoon, Der Fuehrer's Face aired on January 1, Donald Duck, living in a house with a striking resemblance to Hitler, is shown to a swastika fence surrounding it, and swastika wallpaper, an alarm clock that gives the Nazi salute and with each number replaced by a swastika, a cuckoo clock with the same number pattern, and a Hitler cuckoo, and numerous pictures of Hitler and the other Axis leaders decorating the walls.

While screwing in shells on a conveyor belt, pictures of Hitler occasionally pass him which he must salute, all while a loudspeaker extols the glory of Hitler: Even worse is the portrayal of the Japanese in American Propaganda. On the other hand, the Japanese are targeted on a much broader level. These range from showing the Japanese as being vicious and feral, as on the cover of Marvel Comic's Mystery Comics no.

This is the case in the Loony Tune's cartoon Tokio Jokio aired May 13, , in which the Japanese people are all shown to be incredibly stupid such as one man using an incendiary bomb to roast a hot dog over , obsessed with being polite, cowardly, and physically short with buckteeth, big lips, squinty eyes, and glasses. The entire cartoon is also narrated in broken English, with the letter "R" often replacing "L" in pronunciation of words, a common stereotype.

Roosevelt easily won the bitterly contested election , but the Conservative coalition maintained a tight grip on Congress regarding taxes and domestic issues. After Vice President Henry A. Wallace became emeshed in a series of squabbles with other high officials, Roosevelt stripped him of his administrative responsibilities and dropped him from the ticket. Roosevelt in cooperation with big city party leaders, replaced Wallace with Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman was best known for investigating waste, fraud and inefficiency in wartime programs.

In very light turnout in the Republicans made major gains. In the election , Roosevelt defeated Tom Dewey in a race that attracted little attention. Patriotism became the central theme of advertising throughout the war, as large scale campaigns were launched to sell war bonds, promote efficiency in factories, reduce ugly rumors, and maintain civilian morale. The war consolidated the advertising industry's role in American society, deflecting earlier criticism.

All movie scripts had to be pre-approved. Posters helped to mobilize the nation. Inexpensive, accessible, and ever-present, the poster was an ideal agent for making war aims the personal mission of every citizen. Government agencies, businesses, and private organizations issued an array of poster images linking the military front with the home front—calling upon every American to boost production at work and at home.

Some resorted to extreme racial and ethnic caricatures of the enemy, sometimes as hopelessly bumbling cartoon characters, sometimes as evil, half-human creatures. A strong aspect of American culture then as now was a fascination with celebrities, and the government used them in its eight war bond campaigns that called on people to save now and redeem the bonds after the war, when houses, cars and appliances would again be available. Hollywood studios also went all-out for the war effort, as studios encouraged their stars such as Clark Gable and James Stewart to enlist.

The Forgotten Generation

Hollywood had military units that made training films — Ronald Reagan narrated many of them. Most of all Hollywood made hundreds of war movies that, in coordination with the Office of War Information OWI , taught Americans what was happening and who the heroes and the villains were. Ninety million people went to the movies every week. Even before active American involvement in the war, the popular Three Stooges comic trio were lampooning the Nazi German leadership, and Nazis in general, with a number of short subject films, starting with You Nazty Spy!

Cartoons and short subjects were a major sign of the times, as Warner Brothers Studios and Disney Studios gave unprecedented aid to the war effort by creating cartoons that were both patriotic and humorous, and also contributed to remind movie-goers of wartime activities such as rationing and scrap drives, war bond purchases, and the creation of victory gardens. Their cartoons of Private Snafu , produced for the military as "training films", served to remind many military men of the importance of following proper procedure during wartime, for their own safety.

To heighten the suspense, Hollywood needed to feature attacks on American soil, and obtained inspirations for dramatic stories from the Philippines.

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Indeed, the Philippines became a "homefront" that showed the American way of life threatened by the Japanese enemy. The OWI had to approve every film before they could be exported. To facilitate the process the OWI's Bureau of Motion Pictures BMP worked with producers, directors and writers before the shooting started to make sure that the themes reflected patriotic values.

While Hollywood had been generally nonpolitical before the war, the liberals who controlled OWI encouraged the expression of New Deal liberalism, bearing in mind the huge domestic audience, as well as an international audience that was equally large. The Office of Censorship published a code of conduct for newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters. The office did not use government censors to preapprove all articles and radio programs.

Find in a library : The forgotten generation : American children and World War II

It relied on voluntary cooperation to avoid subjects, such as troop movements, weather forecasts, and the travels of the President, that might aid the enemy. Journalists did not have to publish positive propaganda, unlike during World War I. One way to enlist everyone in the war effort was scrap collection called "recycling" decades later. Many everyday commodities were vital to the war effort, and drives were organized to recycle such products as rubber, tin, waste kitchen fats a raw material for explosives , newspaper, lumber, steel, and many others.

Popular phrases promoted by the government at the time were "Get into the scrap! Such commodities as rubber and tin remained highly important as recycled materials until the end of the war, while others, such as steel, were critically needed at first. War propaganda played a prominent role in many of these drives. Nebraska had perhaps the most extensive and well-organized drives; it was mobilized by the Omaha World Herald newspaper. Although the Axis powers never launched a full-scale invasion on the U.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. An excerpt from the review on StrategyPage. She discusses how the war affected infants and toddlers, elementary school kids, and teenagers. The book touches upon such matters as how the war affected parenting guidance how to explain war, and the absence of a father , education the drop-out rate rose sharply, as teens left school to work, or enlist, even if underage , health and nutrition war industries often had very generous health care or baby sitting arrangement , and the mobilization of children to support scrap drives, bond sales, and other war-related civilian activities, not to mention toys, which became more warlike.

Ossian draws not only upon wartime documents and studies, but also the writings of those who experienced a wartime childhood, including poems and essays written during the conflict, as well as memoirs done in later years. This book holds little for scholarly interest.

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There is virtually no primary research and little in the way of analysis. It lacks a thesis or argument of any kind. For casual readers who want anecdotal evidence about children during wartime it may provide a short primer. See all 4 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway.

There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Not Enabled Word Wise: Not Enabled Screen Reader: Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Harvard University Press, In scholarly accounts of war, children are all too often seen but not heard. Displaced, orphaned, or maimed children serve as timeless symbols of war's cruelty and destructiveness. Yet youngsters generally remain peripheral to histories of international conflict and diplomacy.

There Were Children

Two new books on children and the Second World War are an exception to this trend. Children do not completely shed their symbolic weight in Lisa L. Ossian's The Forgotten Generation and Tara Zahra's The Lost Children , but Zahra and Ossian successfully demonstrate that young people—along with adults intent on determining their "best interests"—were active participants in shaping both the American home front and the global postwar order.

Taken together, Zahra and Ossian's works provide a nuanced picture of children's experiences in the United States and Europe during the Second World War and in its aftermath. They demonstrate how children, and more broadly, conceptions of the family, played a central role in the political and social upheavals of the mid-twentieth century. The Forgotten Generation opens in , as the sound of Japanese bombers roused children in Hawaii from their sleep.

Drawing on memoirs and other remembered accounts, Ossian chronicles the aftermath of the day that would forever alter many American childhoods.

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After the United States entered the war, leaders worked to mobilize the entire population—including children. Guided by the motto "Save, Serve, Conserve," children purchased war bonds, planted victory gardens, and collected huge amounts of scrap metal and other salvaged materials. Teenagers flocked to agricultural and defense work, reversing previous declines in child labor.