During World War II, Americans at home played a huge role in the conflict. They didn't dodge any bullets, but they supported troops and restructured their lives to ensure an Allied victory. How much do you know about the home front during World War II?
How did Americans respond to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor?
they basically yawned
Following the attack, Americans went into a state of collective panic. They were terrified, thinking that America was perhaps too vulnerable to her enemies.
V-mail was short for "Victory Mail." To save space and weight, correspondence to and from war zones was censored, photographed to microfilm, and then reprinted when it reached its destination. The microfilm was much lighter than regular paper letters, and it consumed far less cargo space, too.
On average, how many Americans watched newsreels each week?
Every week, at 14,000 movie theaters, about 50 million Americans saw the newsreels that breathlessly unveiled the war as it was happening. The total population of the country at that time? Only around 130 million, meaning that more than one-third of the nation saw the newsreels each week.
Why were American families encouraged to save cooking fats during the war?
to make landing craft
to make waterproof troop clothing
to make explosives
The government collected waste fats from cooking. The fats were used to create explosives critical to combat efforts. Americans saved scrap metal, rags and hundreds of other used items to help the war effort.
The government encouraged citizens to plant so-called "victory gardens" during the war. These helped to increase America's overall food supply and eased pressure on the public food distribution system.
How long did it take for V-mail to reach its destination during the war?
around 2 weeks
In decent conditions (in terms of both weather and battle), V-mail was actually pretty fast. Letters might be delivered in around two weeks. For lonely soldiers, those two weeks probably felt like a lifetime.
Ernie Pyle was an acclaimed journalist during the war. Unlike most reporters, he offered stories that had an intimate touch, giving citizens back home an idea of what the war was really like. He was killed during a battle in the Pacific theater.
How did the war affect leisure time on the home front?
leisure time increased due to improved efficiency
leisure time dropped dramatically
Leisure time for average Americans plummeted during the war, as factory employees worked long, long hours. Many factories operated 24 hours a day in an attempt to keep up with demands from the military.
During the war, many women stepped into jobs normally reserved for men.
Before the war, there were clear lines between jobs worked by women and men. But as men were called to military service, more than 6 million women stepped into "men's" jobs, often dirty, physically demanding jobs that were critical to the war effort.
President Roosevelt tried to suspend professional baseball during the war.
Pro baseball's commissioner asked President Roosevelt if the sport should suspend games until the war was over. Roosevelt was adamant that the games should continue because they were a boost to public morale.
Many women divorced their husbands because they were gone so long during the war.
Government rules made it hard (or impossible) for women to divorce soldiers who were in active service. But once those men returned, divorces skyrocketed. They peaked in 1946, the year after the war ended.