I’m not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination but digging through some boxes I’ve lugged around forever I found some interesting items that piqued my curiosity. I’m at the age that looking back many years ago, when I was born, it made me wonder about World War 2. So I’ve done a little research and wow, hey millennials, you’ve got it easy!
It makes me appreciate what life was like for America as I grew up. Of course we didn’t have T.V. for some time. Nope, no cells phones either. (Praise God.) Journalist were the real thing and would give facts over the radio – facts, not opinions or an agenda to promote. We didn’t have a legal right to murder our unborn babies. News flash – people actually raised their babies or if unable to gave them up for adoption so they would be loved and cared for, not ripped apart for profit or a crazy science experiment.
I do remember in high school there was a few “gay bars” but it was not flaunted with indecent parades or forced down peoples throats so as to feel more accepted in their sins. And oh yes, in the 1960’s there was race riots with curfews, street closures, and a lot of nasty name calling of both blacks and whites.
Most families that went to church were called hypocrites just like they are today, but families on the most part had deep Christian beliefs and family ties were important. Divorce was looked down on and many children were ostracized because Mommy and Daddy didn’t live together any more.
But let’s get back to WW2. Who started it? When did it start? How long did it last? And how did Americans cope, feed their families, work, and try to remain sane in a world that was turned upside down and inside out?
Well, it began September 1, 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later France and Britain got involved and declared war on Germany, which began World War 2. From Sept. 1940 to May of 1941 Germany was bombing the crap out of Britain. The Royal Air Force and Winston Churchill got their act together and eventually defeated Germany when Churchill got aid from the USA through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration in 1941. And soon Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were also involved. By the end of the war Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Great Britain, U.S.A., Soviet Union, and China were all involved. No wonder they called it WORLD War!
So what was Adolf Hitler’s main objective in getting all this started in the first place? He is the culprit that started this mess, him and Stalin. The Soviet Union had vast territory and would give the German master race the “Lebensraum” it needed. (The territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development, especially associated with Nazi Germany) So Hitler wanted to invade the Soviet Union for that territory.
But Hitler also had a second part to his strategy; exterminate the Jews from German-occupied Europe! And he succeeded in murdering more than 4 MILLION Jews in death camps and gas chambers in just three years!
There was great celebration when the war ended September 2, 1945 along with much heart ache and strife. Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away in April 1945 and 291,557 American soldiers were killed in battle. We were a country in mourning and life was tough!
When the war began in 1939 my Dad was 30 years old and wanted to enlist to serve his country, but was told that because of his expertise, he would be of more value as a civilian independent contractor and was assigned to a huge boiler plant as a boiler fireman in Hammond, Indiana. It was during his time checking gauges, making repairs, and whatever other duties he did for the government, that a boiler exploded near him. He was hospitalized for several months with 3rd degree burns covering his face, head, arms and upper body. He died twice during that hospital stay and credited an Army nurse for saving his life, as well as tending to his burns in a way that left him no hair but few horrible scars. Even civilian workers paid high prices to serve our country.
Times were tough! There was shortages of everything. Food, clothes, gas, you name it. People were forced to buy books of Ration stamps because everything was in such shortage that rations had to be enforced. Like the toilet paper rationing during Covid except this rationing was out of necessity to save a country and its people, not because of a greedy few!
The head of the family would have to purchase these books of stamps. These are not like the Green stamps that came on the scene years later. Green stamps were given by various merchants as a promotional idea to get people to buy their product or shop in their store. When so many books of Green stamps were collected then the person could use them to get some item from their catalogue.
No, no, no. Government issued Ration Stamps was an absolute necessity! You could not buy anything without them. Each member of the family was issued a book of stamps and the stamps were for specific items. The stamps in the certain books were specified for milk, eggs, coffee, gas, etc, etc.
The pictures below is the treasures I found in my childhood scrap book when digging through those boxes I’ve hauled around. I’m amazed at the number of people who never knew about ration stamps and even more have never seen any. That’s what spurred me to do this post.
The book assigned for me, baby Sue, was specifically for baby food, juice, and bottled fruit. My older brother had one specifically for his needs as well as one specified for my older sister. In total I found 4 books and another one with only 3 stamps left in it. These books were only good for 4 weeks and only the person whose name is on the front could use them. Use them or lose them! How many books my parents had to buy in those years of war I have no idea. These particular books, I’m guessing, must have been purchased just before the war ended because all but one had several stamps left in them.
This is only one of the hardships Americans went through during this war. Since the war ended about 19 months after I was born I can’t tell you from experience what that life was like. I just don’t remember! 🙂 But I know our country was in turmoil; loved ones were lost or maimed, and families torn apart. If we compare our lives today with all that was going on then; women working in factories 12 hours a day with little to no pay, men on the battle fields or in huge plants doing government jobs, children being raised during a major war, shortages of everything and so much more I think our young people need to be told, hear, and see the truth of what they are NOT having to deal with and hopefully be made aware of the history that so many of us lived. This “cancel culture” is B.S.! We learn from history -we cannot eradicate it!
I’m grateful for what we have now, even in the mess America is presently in, and for all those who have fought all wars to keep us free. Freedom is not free, by any stretch of the imagination. We all sacrifice and suffer if it is lost.
God bless my America.
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