The home front
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The Home Front. American Society during WWII. The Armed Forces. Young men were eager to volunteer. 5 million men volunteered Draft: mandatory recruitment for military service. 10 million men drafted. The Armed Forces cont’d.

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The Home Front

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The home front

The Home Front

American Society during WWII


The armed forces

The Armed Forces

  • Young men were eager to volunteer. 5 million men volunteered

  • Draft: mandatory recruitment for military service. 10 million men drafted


The armed forces cont d

The Armed Forces cont’d

  • The Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is established in May 1945 [just WAC in July 1943]

  • 350,000 women served in the auxiliaries

    “There are innumerable duties now being performed by soldiers that can be done better by women” -General George Marshall

Nurses, drivers, electricians, pilots…; non-combat


The armed forces cont d1

The Armed Forces cont’d

  • “Just carve on my tombstone, ‘Here lies a black man killed fighting a yellow man for the protection of a white man.’” –African-American draftee

  • “Why die for democracy in another country when we don’t even have it here?” –African-American newspaper editorial

  • Minorities treated unequally in the United States at this point: segregation, racism, discrimination

  • Japanese-American were put in concentration camps during WWII


The armed forces cont d2

The Armed Forces cont’d

Navajo Code Talkers

Tuskegee Airmen

American Latinos

Japanese-Americans


Production and rationing

Production and rationing

World War II ended the Great Depression

American factories were converted to produce the tools and supplies for war

~instead of making consumer goods, factories were making supplies for the armed forces

 rationing


What is rationing

What is rationing?


Rationing

Rationing

1930s

1940s


Zoot suit riots

Zoot Suit Riots

"Marching through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, a mob of several thousand soldiers, sailors, and civilians, proceeded to beat up every zootsuiter they could find […] Mexicans, and some Filipinos and Negroes, were jerked from their seats, pushed into the streets and beaten with a sadistic frenzy.“

-C. McWilliams

Los Angeles, 1943: For 5 days, Sailors and Marines attacked young men who wore the zoot suit

-more than 150 injured

-500 arrested for “rioting” or “vagrancy”


Zoot suit riots cont d

Zoot Suit Riots cont’d

  • "The question goes deeper than just suits. It is a racial protest. I have been worried for a long time about the Mexican racial situation. It is a problem with roots going a long way back, and we do not always face these problems as we should." – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

  • The L.A. Times responded by accusing Mrs. Roosevelt of having communist leanings and stirring "race discord".


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