How World War Two Altered the Traditional Role of American Women

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Decker 1

Samuel Decker

RTF 101

K. Ksobiech


How World War Two Altered the Traditional Role of American Women

From iconic war-era posters, to the minting of steel pennies, and from sea to shining sea, World War Two had a dramatic effect upon every person living in the United States. Most assuredly the first major disaster of the war to happen to the U.S. occurred on December 7th, 1941, "a date which will forever live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked…by the forces of the Empire of Japan" (FDR). After such an astonishing attack on a naval base which was geographically and alarmingly much nearer to the continental U.S. and its citizens than the events in Europe, America was thrust into war with the Empire of Japan, voted by Congress unanimously, were it not for the nay of pacifist Representative Jeannette Rankin (Lippman Jr).

An uncontested vote to war on Germany and Italy followed on December 11th, in immediate response to Hitler's declaration of war on the United States and the affirmation of the Tripartite Axis Pact between the two countries (Glass).

Nearly half a million young U.S. servicemen were counted dead by the end of the war. Many more returned wounded and often shackled with PTSD and combat fatigue. During the war, while all of the young and capable men were being sent off to Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, the U.S. government launched a massive media campaign to incite much needed workers and nurses from the female citizens, many of whom were no more than housewives.

Posters, advertisements, and print that treasure hunters and pickers today would jump with glee to find were displayed all over American cities and throughout the media. The government painted the picture of fictional characters...