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WWII on the Homefront

WWII on the Homefront

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WWII on the Homefront

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  1. WWII on the Homefront HUSH Unit 4

  2. The Shift to Wartime Production • FDR and his administration set out to win the war at home by converting heavy industry to wartime production • Office of Price Administration (OPA) • Controlled rent and prices from inflation • Enforced rationing of scarce goods • War Production Board (WPB) • Oversee transition of factories from consumer to war manufacturing • Office of War Mobilization headed by James Byrnes • nicknamed the “home front president” • Oversaw the distribution of raw materials to needed plants • Oversaw and scheduled transportation of needed materials • Henry Kaiser introduced faster and more efficient methods to build Liberty ships • took supplies to armed forces) • “Dollar a year men” – worked for $1 a year from government

  3. The Great Arsenal of Democracy • In 1940 FDR said the U.S. must become the “arsenal of democracy” for the Allies • Work force on Homefront • No unemployment • Wages rose • Union membership increased (Wildcat strikes were sudden workers’ stoppage, not approved by a union.) • Cost of living rose faster than wages

  4. So….Who’s Gonna Pay?? • The nation looked for financial support to fund the war • Taxpayers paid higher taxes • War bonds were sold • FDR and Congress approved Deficit spending – • Spending borrowed money • Economist John Maynard Keynes theory that this was ok and would not wreck the economy later • Thoughts on this??

  5. Daily Life on the Home Front • New jobs brought higher income • Birthrate increased • Healthier people • Books and Movies • Looking for escape • Pocket books were popular • 60% of people went to movies each week!!! • New reels brought war to life • Sports changed • NCAA stopped men’s teams • No pro teams for men (no World Series) • Women’s Pro Baseball • A League of their Own

  6. Saving for the Troops • Shortages and controls • Older citizens, and those with 4-F designation were in charge of iron and steel drives • Clothing was streamlined • No stockings, zippers… • Leg makeup • No vests for men • Rationing for food and gas became way of life • Recycling and reuse • Victory gardens • Growing food in backyard Play your part, use it up and wear it out, make it do or do without

  7. Harvesting bumper crop for Uncle Sam Movie star Rita Hayworth sacrificed her bumpers for the duration. Besides setting an example by turning in unessential metal car parts, Miss Hayworth has been active in selling war bonds." 1942.

  8. Women and the War • Women go to work on the Homefront • Took the place of soldiers • 15.5 % of married women went to work during WWII • Around 35% of all women worked • Factory jobs that had not hired women before • Rosie the riveter • Promotions and rising in the ranks • Many women did not go back home after the war • Changed pattern of life • Families changed • Changed the way Americans worked AND lived

  9. African Americans on the Homefront • The Struggle for Justice continued on the home front as well as in the military • In the South, segregation continued • Civil rights still a struggle • Unemployment was high for all segments of the black community • Black migration – over 2 million migrated to the northern industrial cities • Forced to live in crowded urban areas called ghettos • Concentrated neighborhoods of minorities

  10. Two Americas?? • Attitudes of Americans in 1942 • 60% of whites thought blacks satisfied with their condition • Most blacks disagreed • Detroit riots – 34 people killed (1943) • New York City riots (1943) • FDR did not push Civil Rights as a priority • “I doubt we can bring about perfection at this time.”

  11. The Double V Campaign V for Victory- V for equality at home • African Americans started the Double V campaign • They remained patriotic, yet pushed for civil rights for blacks. • It was very important that the campaign show loyalty towards the war effort, since the black press had been criticized for pushing their own agenda ahead of the national agenda.

  12. CORE The Congress of Racial Equality • CORE was founded in 1942 by James Farmer and others • Precursor to Dr. King and movement in 1950’s • Used non-violent means to force equality • Used sit-ins to force change • The group's inspiration the book War Without Violence which outlined Mahatma Gandhi's step-by-step procedures for organizing people and mounting a nonviolent campaign. • Gandhi had, in turn, been influenced by the writings of Henry David

  13. Hispanic Americans on the Homefront • Many Mexican Americans worked in defense plants • 1942 U.S./Mexico agreement • The U.S. would pay for transportation, food, shelter, and medical care for Mexicans to come to work as “braceros” (workers) on farms • Comes from “Barrios”- Spanish neighborhoods

  14. Hispanic Americans on the Homefront • Many Hispanics or Chicanos wore zoot suits • Long coats, baggy pants, “duck tail” hair styles • The Zoot suits were thought to be un-American, leading to riots in Los Angeles • Zoot Suit Riots ( 1943)

  15. Native Americans on the Homefront • Many Native Americans moved from reservations to cities for jobs • Many volunteered for military • Some used native language as code. • Never broken by Japanese or Germans

  16. Japanese Americans on the Homefront • It was generally believed that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was made possible with help of ethnic Japanese. • Citizens on the West Coast reacted with fear and distrust

  17. “How to Tell Chinese from a Jap,” from an Army Manual

  18. Prior to Internment • Parents (Issei)spoke Japanese • Children (Nissei) were translators • Children taught to study “real hard for the good of the family” • Japanese community was isolated from most others • Farming communities • Japanese schools • Japanese churches • Issei -- 1st generation • Nissei – 2nd generation • Sansei -- 3rd generation

  19. Presidential Power • Presidents in the past have used extraordinary powers during war time • Allowed by Constitution • Lincoln jailed the Maryland legislature to prevent it from voting on secession during the Civil War. • Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus

  20. Executive Order 9066 • Executive Order 9066 giving authority to military commanders to establish special zones in territory threatened by enemy attack. • The order invested the military commanders with the power to decide who could come, go or remain the special military areas. • On May 9 1942 ordered the exclusion of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the entire Pacific coastal region. Allowed military commanders to designate areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded."

  21. The Establishment of Zones • Secretary of War to establish military zones on the West Coast and to remove all or any aliens from the zones • War Relocation Authority moved around 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry to interment camps inland • Many lost their businesses, homes and possessions • Important Supreme Court case • Korematsu v. U.S.(1944) • The Court ruled that in an emergency citizens may be forcibly moved and detained in another location. • Internment camps were closed when war was over • In 1988 Congress awarded each detainee $20,000.

  22. Map of Japanese-American Internment Camps

  23. Formation of Camps

  24. Interview with Amy Uno Ishii “…First we had to dispose of all of our belongings and this is a thing that really, really hurt, because we stood by so helpless when people we thought were our friends and our neighbors would come in and say to my mother, “I’ll give you two dollars for your stove and a dollar and a half for your refrigerator and a dollar for your washing machine and 50 cents for each bed in the house, including the mattress and all the linens you know, and things like that really, really hurt because we knew. I was old enough to realize that they took my mother and father 25 years of hard work and piecing together a few little things, you know, and barely getting together the bare necessities of life, you know, and then to have this kind of a thing happen. So we finally were able to get rid of everything except our—we had a piano, an old-fashioned, upright piano that we were very, very fond of, and there was no way that my mother was gonna let that piano go for two dollars. She just refused. She said she’ll take that piano out in the backyard and take an ax to it.” “…You know, people were living in Sea Biscuit’s stable and all of the various horses’ stables, and the horses were not there, but the straw was still there, and the smell was still there. We were lucky. We lived in the parking lot area where they had constructed these new pre-fabricated barracks.”

  25. Manzanar Relocation Center, April 1942

  26. Inside the fence of an internment camp

  27. School Building

  28. Korematsu v. United States (1944) • Korematsu v. U.S.(1944) involved a Japanese American who was removed to an internment camp • His case was accepted by the Supreme Court • Did the President and Congress go beyond their war powers by implementing exclusion and restricting the rights of Americans of Japanese descent?

  29. Conclusion of Court • The Court said no… • The Court sided with the government and held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights. • Justice Black argued that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, is justified during circumstances of "emergency and peril." citizens may be forcibly moved and detained in another location.

  30. Meanwhile in 1988… • The US Government officially apologized for the internment in 1988, saying it was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership", and paid reparations to survivors. • In 1988 Congress awarded each detainee $20,000. • Some compensations for property losses were also paid in 1948, but most internees were unable to fully recover their losses.

  31. Fred Korematsu with a letter of apology from the White House in 1988

  32. Memorial Monument

  33. Was the United States Government Justified in Interning Japanese-Americans in 1942?

  34. Arguments for Internment • “It is fact the Japanese navy has been investigating reconnoitering the Pacific Coast…It is a fact that communication takes place between the enemy at sea and enemy agents on land. The Pacific Coast is officially a combat zone: some part of it may at any moment be a battlefield. Nobody's constitutional rights include the right to reside and do business on a battlefield.” • Walter Lippmann, American columnist February 1942

  35. More Arguments for Internment • The United States was suddenly attacked by Japan. • These people’s presence on the West Coast was a “Clear and Present Danger” to the nation’s security. • The President as Commander and Chief has the Constitutional power and responsibility to defend the nation. • Citizens may not have all their civil liberties in wartime.

  36. Arguments Against Internment • The evacuation of the Nisei was motivated by racial prejudice. • No evidence was ever uncovered that these citizens were involved in espionage as a group. • Executive order 9066 took away the citizenship of an entire group of people. • German and Italian Americans were not relocated. • These people were denied due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

  37. “Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life…All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the United States {and are} …entitled to all rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution” Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy 1944 More Arguments Against Internment

  38. WHAT DO YOU THINK?