Second World War: Pearl Harbor Day Heralded Food Rationing and Long Days

Kansas woman recalls Pearl Harbor Day and the United States' entry into the Second World War, bringing food rationing and long hours at work.


| Good Old Days


Many who farmed during the Depression Era started looking for better-paying jobs before the Second World War. My husband and I were among them. My husband got a job with an aircraft company in Wichita, Kansas, and commuted to work from our hometown of Winfield. It seemed like half the town did the same, men and women alike. 

Then came Pearl Harbor Day, and the entry of the United States into the Second World War. We had gone for a pleasure drive through the countryside, coming home to learn of the terrible disaster. We couldn't believe it. It quickly became a reality, bringing food rationing to combat shortages.

I learned to make soap from all the grease I could save up – supplies were rationed as well, and soap was almost nonexistent in stores. Many used coffee grounds twice, or added a little fresh grounds to yesterday's in the percolator. Honey and molasses were used instead of sugar.

Linoleum was practically non-existent, too. When the day came I could buy a new linoleum rug, I was so happy! We had a battery radio, and when the news came on, we were glued to it. The daily newspaper put out "extras" to keep people informed.

After the Second World War had gone on long enough for German prisoners to be sent to the United States, I was driving by a friend's house in the country and saw a strange man in prison garb walking along the road. I notified the sheriff, but the man had vanished. I later learned he had stopped at my friend's house and got a drink from the well. Their dog barked. The man was very frightened and spoke to the dog in a foreign language, then left in a hurry. My friend didn't go out, but watched him. He was probably starved, having run away from the prison camp. War is terrible for everyone.

I am now 80 years old, but I still remember those terrible years. I have felt since that perhaps the aircraft factories had a premonition of things to come, as my husband started working 12 hours a day a long time before Pearl Harbor. For peace time I thought that was strange.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $14.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265