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 American Civilians: a person who is not on

active duty with a military, naval, police, or
fire fighting organization.
 During WWII many things occurred bad and
good. People were selling bonds, rationing,
making gardens to survive on. The men
were drafted after the Pearl Harbor attack.
So women were left behind with their
children. They needed to take the men’s
jobs so they could support war. It was hard
on the women because they had to be a
wife, mother, and worker.
 All types of food were rationed, which meant you
were only allowed to buy a small amount (even if
you could afford more).
 The government introduced rationing because
certain things were in short supply during the war,
and rationing was the only way to make sure
everyone got their fair share.
 War ration books and tokens were issued to each
American family, dictating how much gasoline,
tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and other
items any one person could buy.
• The familiar blue box of Kraft
Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
gained great popularity as a
substitute for meat and dairy
products. Two boxes required only
one rationing coupon, which
resulted in 80 million boxes sold in
1943. After three years of
rationing, World War II came to a
welcome end. Rationing, however,
did not end until 1946.
 Victory Gardens were prevalent
during WW2 as a means for
individuals to contribute to the war
effort by growing their own food and in
doing so allow a major portion of
commercially grown produce to feed
our troops. It was a grand idea. And
citizens in the US embraced it. They
called these gardens "Victory
Gardens" because they potentially
helped win the war. Eleanor
Roosevelt thought it was a good idea
to plant a victory garden on the lawn
of the White House.
 War bonds and stamps were sold to
provide war funds, and the American
people also united through
volunteerism. Communities joined
together to hold scrap iron drives,
schoolchildren pasted saving stamps in
bond books.
Women in Action
•World War II opened up tremendous
opportunities for women because so many
men joined the armed services and went
abroad, leaving open many jobs that had
been previously closed to women. It had
been long assumed women couldn't do
those jobs -- engineering, other professions
in the sciences, manufacturing jobs that
had been considered men's work, things
women were believed to be too weak to do.
As women's opportunities in the paid labor
force outside the home contracted, women
began to infuse the work of being a
homemaker with professional virtues. The
ideal was not only to be someone who
cleaned the house and took care of the
kids, but to be someone who became a
professional, nurturing and educating her
children, managing her household.
• The Women's Land Army:
• As in World War One, women were called on to
help on the land and the Women’s Land Army
(WLA) was re-formed in July 1939. Their work
was vital as so many men were being called
up into the military.
• The Women's Voluntary Service (WVS):
• During the Blitz on London women in
voluntary organizations did a very
important job. The Women’s Voluntary
Service provided fire fighters with tea and
refreshments when the clear-up took
place after a bombing raid.
• The Women's Auxiliary Air
• Women who joined the Royal Air Force
were in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
(WAAF). They did the same as the ATS
(cooking, clerical work etc) but the
opportunities were there for slightly more
exciting work.
Industrial Group Number of Number of Women Number of Women
Women Employed in 1940 Employed in 1944-45

626,600 1,266,200
All industries
Manufacturing 141,900 565,200
Government 21,600 138,100
Trade, Service and Other 463,100 562,900
(includes transportation,
communication, public
utilities, finance, insurance,
real estate, and other
 The war was finally over and millions of men would finally
be able to return to their homes.
 No longer was there a need for women to leave their
husband and children to work eight hours in a factory.
 Some women were glad when the war ended because
that meant that they could go back to the home where
they felt they belonged.
 Other women returned home not because they wanted
to, but because their husband and much of the American
society believed they should. Still other women led their
jobs, because the return of their soldiers meant the ability
to resume pre-war plans (i.e. marriage or pregnancy.)
 Yet there were some women who elected to stay at
work. They enjoyed their new found independence.
 A lot of women got married and had children
BABY after the war, and they generally stopped
BOOMERS working after that.
 The marriage age dropped dramatically --
young people were rushing into marriage, and a
larger percentage of people married than ever
 It wasn't that people started having large
families... it was that everybody was having a
few children, at all levels of society.
 Another factor was that prosperity was available
after the war.
 There had been rationing, a lack of consumer
products to purchase. With the conversion of
the economy and the high savings rate, there
was a lot of money available to get married --
without fear of falling into poverty -- and to have

resident Net
populati change Percent
on (thousan change
(thousan ds)
1941 133,121 1,161 0.88
1942 133,920 799 0.60
1943 134,245 325 0.24
America was not the only 1944 132,885 −1,360 −1.01
country with the Baby Boomers 1945 132,481 −404 −0.30
it was also Canada, Australia, 1946 140,054 7,573 5.72
and New Zealand.
1947 143,446 3,392 2.42
1948 146,093 2,647 1.85
1949 148,665 2,572 1.76
1950 151,868 3,203 2.15
10 year
- 1,991 1.43

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