Second World War: Pearl Harbor Changed Everything

Nebraskan talks about the changes that came after America's entry into the Second World War.

| Good Old Days

When the news of Pearl Harbor came over the radio that Sunday afternoon in December, my husband, Leonard Bird, was teaching vocational agriculture in Norton (Kansas) High School. 

In a couple of weeks, they took all the young faculty men off to service in the Second World War. The only men left were a music teacher who had only one hand, school principal Mr. Travis and my husband. My husband coached football and wrestling, plus his regular duties, and they filled in with all women teachers.

The faculty wives changed the card parties to sewing for the Red Cross, helping some of the wives whose husbands were gone.

I can remember meat rationing. I raised a big flock of chickens and sold them; three-pound chicken for $1.25, more if I dressed them. I couldn't fill all my orders that came in.

Sugar was also rationed, but that wasn't so hard. We made our good old homemade ice cream with white syrup and extra vanilla.

Emilie Bird
Beatrice, Nebraska

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