World War II: The Home Front. Essential Questions. How did America initially respond to the events leading to WWII? How did the war change the American home front, both culturally and socially? How did the war transform the U.S. economy both immediately and in the long term?
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The Home Front
In this map of electoral results, FDR is indicated in green, Willkie in red
Charles Lindbergh speaking at anAmerica First rally
An excerpt from the speech
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”
FDR signs the Selective Service Act into law
The USS Arizona burns during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
Japanese aerial view of Pearl Harbor under attack
FDR signs thedeclaration of war with Japan
FDR’s annotated draft copy of his speech
Trial of captured German saboteurs, July 1942
A German U-boat
A balloon bomb
The WWII-era Civil Defense logo
Recruits arriving at the naval training center in San Diego
Army recruits practice calisthenics at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, in 1942
General George C. Marshall
A poster urging women to take manufacturing jobs to help the war effort
WAC Director Col. Oveta Culp Hobby (right) confers with WAC members at Mitchell Field, NY
A WAVES recruitment poster explaining the pay scale for members
Four WASPs receive final instructions as they chart a cross-country course
Factory workers polish Plexiglas nose cones for A-20 attack bombers
This poster for the Westinghouse Corporation is frequently associated with “Rosie the Riveter”
Patch worn by Office or War Information personnel
Government propagandists sometimes used fear and racial slurs in order to convey their message
Chorus to “Der Fuehrer’s Face”:
When der fuehrer says we is de master raceWe heil heil right in der fueher's faceNot to love der fuehrer is a great disgraceSo we heil heil right in der fuehrer's face
A scene depicting the Nazi propaganda machine, from one of Frank Capra’s Why We Fight films
Workers assembling an aircraft
The SS Carlos Carrillo, a Liberty ship later made into a troop carrier
Workers at the Willow Run facility assemble B-24 bombers, 1943
A “War Educational Bulletin” produced by the War Production Board
Results of a scrap rubber drive
The government used posters and publicity pictures of celebrities such as Rita Hayworth (right) to encourage citizens to recycle scrap items.
OWM head James F. Byrnes
Senator Harry S. Truman
WMC head Paul McNutt
An example of a $100 war bond
Posters such as these sought to convince Americans that they should help the war effort and stop the enemy by buying war bonds
Children learning to tally points and ration stamps
Each family received ration books (left) and stamps (above) for determining its monthly allotment.
A government poster promoting Victory Gardens
Guardsmen carry Sewell Avery, president of Montgomery Ward, from his office for failing to comply with NWLR rulings
An Army sentry guards new B-17 F (Flying Fortress) bombers at the airfield of Boeing's Seattle plant
A map of relocation centers in the western U.S.
This propaganda poster displays typical American-held stereotypes of the Japanese
Despite this Oakland, California, grocer’s sign, he was interned and his business sold
Manzanar in the winter
Members of the 442nd hiking through France, late 1944
German American and Italian American internees at Ellis Island, 1943
The campaign’s logo
A poster featuring Miller
Airmen Marcellus G. Smith and Roscoe C. Brown in Italy, 1945
A. Philip Randolph meets with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt
Code Talkers Henry Bake and George Kirk send messages in the Pacific Theater, 1943
A zoot suit
A Service Flag with three stars
This map of electoral votes indicates Dewey in red and FDR in green
FDR’s funeral procession moves down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.
Truman takes the oath of office shortly after FDR’s death
Tens of thousands crowd Times Square to celebrate the Japanese surrender, New York City
Stamp commemorating the GI Bill