I remember some of the events leading to the breakup of our family and I wonder how much world conditions contributed to it? In America, President Roosevelt’s New Deal had put millions back to work from 1933 to 1939 and living conditions had changed for the better. New homes were built, older homes were updated and rural life in many areas was greatly improved. By the end of President Roosevelt’s second term, manufacturing and other industries were putting more and more Americans to work making war materials for export to countries fighting Hitler’s Axis armies in Europe.
Britain and Canada had declared war on Germany in 1939. America had not entered the war but America was busy, furnishing war materials to countries that were fighting.
Roosevelt was elected to a third term in 1940. Here’s an excerpt reporting on his radio broadcast of December 9, 1940:
America had tried to keep out of the war. But strained relations between Japan versus Britain and America prompted Japan to join the Axis in September of 1940, escalating the war. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, America issued a Declaration of War on Japan. Three days later Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Old ways of life were about to fade into history.
Mobilization for World War II reached all America. Every occupation, every gender, every age would soon be caught up in the war effort. As America’s men went off to war, America’s women went to work doing jobs that men only had done before. As women toiled, they earned money and independence they had never known before.
Meanwhile, out there in rural Indiana, my mom, a young lady of twenty-seven lived under the old rules of servitude trying to raise four kids while living unnecessarily in deplorable early-Depression conditions when so many people had to live in tents and shacks. Knowing the world was changing and a new way of life for women lay beyond the thorn-tree thicket and the crude house-tent, I think the day arrived when Mother said, "Enough is enough."
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