"WWII: Housewives Report for Duty"
World War II (WWII) changed America in many ways. It changed the nation's consciousness, thoughts and ideas. These changes were the result of soldiers going over seas to fight, as well as women working outside of the home as a service to their country. WWII gave birth to a new nation, forever changing the roles of women in the United States. It changed the nation and the identities of its people. These changes would live in men and women's hearts long after the victorious end of the war.
Mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts obligingly did their duty by writing letters to loved ones fighting for freedom overseas. They attended dances and talked to lonely soldiers, but many wanted to help the war effort in a more productive way. For countless women, the war was a time to gain strength, independence and mobility, a time to earn money, which most had never done before.
As more husbands, fathers and brothers left to fight the enemy, problems arose due to the reduction of people in the workforce.
"One day the world was at peace, mired in depression, and split over the question of foreign intervention. The next, the United States was at war. Economic growth accelerated, and the public united behind the war effort." (Bard, 172) The military needed vast amounts of equipment, artillery and weapons to fight the war. Factories were ordered to stop the production of peacetime products to produce wartime products. Bard reports that President Roosevelt (FDR) ordered the country to manufacture 300,000 aircraft, 86,000 tanks, 76,000 ships, 2.6 million machine guns and 40 billion bullets. (173) The production of wartime resources caused the national debt to rise from "$49 million in 1941 to $259 billion in 1945." (Bard, 172)
The demand for...