Archive for '- World War II'
Continuing our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, today’s post comes from Idaliz Marie Ortiz Morales, intern in the Office of Strategy and Communications at the National Archives. To find out more about our Bilingual Social Media Project.
On December 7, 1941, the date that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy,” the Imperial Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on the U.S. military base at Pear Harbor, Hawaii.
Rudy (Rudolph M.) Martinez was a young sailor who had just left his family in San Diego to begin his duties as a sailor in the U.S. Navy in Pearl Harbor. On the morning of the attack, the 21-year-old Navy electrician mate 3rd class was aboard the USS Utah when the battleship was hit by two Japanese torpedoes.
A Mexican American, Martinez officially became the first Hispanic to be killed in World War II. His final letter written home asked for a photo of his mother. Martinez’s death marked the beginning of the surge of Latino military service in World War II.
About half a million Latinos served during World War II. Gen. Douglas MacArthur called the Arizona National Guard’s 158th Infantry Regiment, known as “Bushmasters,” “one of the greatest fighting combat teams … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Marisa Hawley, intern in the National Archives Strategy and Communications office.
As part of the “six weeks of style” celebration to recognize the Foundation for the National Archives’ partnership with DC Fashion Week, we are showcasing fashion-related records from our holdings. This week’s fashion theme is Women and the War: 1940s Fashion.
During World War II, the United States experienced a drastic—albeit temporary— transformation in gender roles. Nearly one in every three American men left home to serve in the military between 1941 and 1945, so women increasingly began to take up civilian jobs to carry on the work of their male counterparts.
These women not only continued to manage the households, but they also worked in factories, laboratories, power plants, government organizations, and military auxiliaries. The war completely changed the responsibility of women in the workforce during these years—and subsequently transformed how they dressed.
The general style adopted by women in the 1940s greatly resembled U.S. military uniforms. The cut and color of clothes worn on the home front often mirrored what was worn by soldiers fighting in the European and Pacific theaters. Blouses and jackets became increasingly militarized and masculine with shoulder pads, and hats were also styled similarly to the U.S. Army berets.
… [ Read all ]
Fun fact: the
By Jim Worsham
Harry S. Truman had been Vice President of the United States for only a few weeks when he showed up on February 10, 1945, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
He had agreed to take part in a show for some 800 servicemen. For his part of the show, Truman sat down at an upright piano to demonstrate his talent at the keyboard.
Soon, he was joined by the popular 20-year-old actress Lauren Bacall, who was there as part of a Hollywood contingent taking part in the show. She perched herself atop the piano, Hollywood-style. (Today, we call these photo-ops or publicity stunts.)
The crowd cheered. Cameras clicked away. The photos (there were a number of different poses) appeared everywhere.
“I was just a kid. My press agent made me do it,” Bacall, who died this week at age 89, said later of her Hollywood publicists.
Truman, however, appeared to be enjoying it, “which he was,” writes David McCullough in his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the nation’s 33rd President.
But Truman might have thought differently about it later.
Why? Mrs. Truman, often referred to by Truman as “the Boss,” was not amused. McCullough writes: “Bess was furious. She told him he should … [ Read all ]
The GI Bill is on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building from June 6 through July 14. Today’s post comes from education and exhibit specialist Michael Hussey.
“With the signing of this bill a well-rounded program of special veterans’ benefits is nearly completed. It gives emphatic notice to the men and women in our armed forces that the American people do not intend to let them down.” President Franklin Roosevelt’s Statement on Signing the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, June 22, 1944
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act into law on June 22, 1944, just days after the D-day invasion of Normandy.
Also known as the GI Bill of Rights, it offered World War II veterans grants and loans for college and vocational education, unemployment insurance, and low interest loans for housing. The bill had unanimously passed both chambers of Congress in the spring of 1944.
The act put higher education, job training, and home ownership within the reach of millions of World War II veterans. By 1951, nearly 8 million veterans had received educational and training benefits, and 2.4 million had received $13 billion in Federal loans for homes, farms, and businesses.
Today’s blog post comes from James Worsham, Editor of Publications at the National Archives, and Tim Rives, deputy director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.
The Supreme Allied Commander listened to his weather officer’s forecast, then observed as his commanders struggled to make sense of the report.
Finally, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, having ordered the biggest invasion force in history to a state of readiness, spoke: “The question is just how long can you keep this operation on the end of a limb and let it hang there.”
The next morning, Eisenhower arose at 3:30 and met with his staff again. He asked each one what he thought about launching the invasion of Western Europe the next day, June 6, 1944. They all said yes.
Then Eisenhower got up, paced around the room, pondering what was riding on this decision — the fate of millions.
Then he stopped pacing, looked at his commanders, and gave the go-ahead for the D-day invasion of Western Europe by the allies to bring down Hitler’s Third … [ Read all ]