Archive for '- World War I'
Feeling the urge to plant a vegetable garden?
During World War I and World War II, citizens were encouraged to plant victory gardens as part of the war effort so that more food could be sent overseas to the troops. Even the White House had a Victory Garden at the urging of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Because many of these Victory Gardeners were city-dwellers, the government created posters, fliers, and handbooks to help these citizens make good use of their patches of soil.
Gardening clearly takes more than just common sense. In the Victory Garden Leader’s Handbook (below), a comic strip gives a dozen examples of problems that neophytes might encounter!
New gardeners were encouraged to plan ahead, but not start too soon, pick a good location, consider crop height, and not to waste soil or seed.
Despite these challenges, by 1945 about 40% of the nation’s vegetables came from these gardens.
In Boston, some of the 49 acres used as Victory Gardens across the city survived in the Fenway area as the Richard D. Parker Memorial Victory Gardens, which are still in use today.
The National Archives in Seattle found these tips in a Victory Garden Leader’s Handbook—and they are still (mostly!) valid. Check back in August, and we’ll have some suggestions for ways to preserve your bounty!… [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on June 29, 2011, under - World War I, - World War II, Unusual documents, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: 1945, common sense, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fenway, gardens, Vicory Gardens, White House
“Do you know that the money spent in the United States for candy in one year is double the amount required to feed Belgium for one year?” This statement is not from a modern anti-obesity polemic, but rather from the World War I pamphlet A Sugar Program: Household Conservation Policy to Meet the Sugar Situation for the Summer of 1918.
Why was there a sugar situation? When the United States entered World War I, ships were needed to transport soldiers and supplies across the ocean. Since much of the U.S. supply of sugar was imported, the war interrupted the supply chain of sugar.
Ships crossing over to the United Kingdom with supplies also faced the dreaded German U-boats, which sank large numbers of the Allied merchant fleet when Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. This danger threatened to worsen the Allied food situation in Europe, which was already severe. The woman in the poster above is literally draining away resources that the Allies need to win the war.
To inform U.S. citizens on why they were being asked to ration sugar (2 pounds per month or 6 teaspoons per day) and to provide them with information on how to manage without sugar, the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on June 22, 2011, under - World War I, Recipes, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Allied troops, Belgium, blockade, candy, conservation, herbert hoover, rations, submarines, sugar problem, U-boats, unrestriced submarine warfare, USFA, woodrow wilson, world war i
To celebrate our new exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” we are featuring a food-related blog post every Wednesday. Today’s post comes from Christopher Zarr at the National Archives in New York City.
The National Archives maintains the primary source documents of the U.S. Food Administration (USFA). Thousands of documents illustrate the local sacrifices and quality of life on the home front during World War I. The documents of the National Archives at New York City detail the actions taken by the USFA in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico.
The Federal Government tried to influence local neighborhoods. In the New York City market, particular attention was paid to the multicultural nature of the city.
Pamphlets were translated for Jewish and Italian immigrants to explain “Why Shouldn’t We Eat What We Want?” and to support the benefits of drinking milk in “Food for Children.” The New York food board also created an exhibit at Grand Central Terminal to show why limiting wheat, meat, fats, and sugar would not be a detriment to your health.
Some of the most fascinating documents to come from our records are recipe pamphlets. Thousands of these recipe brochures were distributed throughout the city. With titles such as “Without Wheat” and “Potato Possibilities,” the Federal Food Board of New York provided ingredient substitutions for well-known recipes to help … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on May 25, 2011, under - World War I, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Christopher Zarr, federal government, immigrants, pamphlets, potato, rations, recipes, USFA, wheat, world war i
“What’s Cooking Wednesday” continues with this post from our colleagues at the National Archives at Denver. These Wednesday features celebrate our new exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” which opens on June 10 in Washington, DC, and looks at the role that the Federal Government has taken in food production, safety, advertising, and nutrition.
It’s hard to image Rachel Ray or an Iron Chef looking so solemn during a cooking demonstration, but these ladies were showing an audience how to feed their family on the war front—and still have food for an unknown family on the war front.
On the home front during World War I, a forced food rationing program never took place, but a volunteer food conservation system became commonplace. Civilians were advised to give up food commodities that were greatly needed for the war effort.
Despite being the largest food producer in the world, the United States of America was ill equipped to shoulder such an overwhelming food and material distribution; vast amounts of food and supplies were required to feed the newly assembled overseas army, our allies, and demoralized European civilians. An abdundance of cooking fats, sugar, wheat, meat, and vegetables was necessary to meet the daily task of feeding so many.
In the United States, volunteerism became widespread; citizens saw food conservation as patriotic, referring to it as “Hooverizing” after Herbert Hoover, the United States Food Administrator … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on May 4, 2011, under - World War I, Uncle Sam, What's Cooking.
Tags: food, Food Administration, food conservation, Hoover, Hooverizing, Meatless Monday, National Archives at Denver, rationing, What's Cooking Uncle Sam?, Wheat-less Wednesday, world war i
Today’s an eggs-ellent day in Washington, DC, for young people! It’s the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, where hundreds of children gather to roll eggs and play games on the South Lawn of the President’s House.
But the tradition did not start at the White House. It began on the lawns and terraces of the Capitol after the Civil War. Children of all races and backgrounds rolled eggs and played games on the turf around the Capitol.
But in 1878, children who arrived at the Capitol on Easter Monday were turned away.
Congress had passed a law to prevent these young citizens from taking such liberties on the grounds, and it became the “duty of the Capitol police hereafter to prevent any portion of the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds or otherwise.”
It’s not clear how the party was rolled over to the White House, but a newspaper clipping in Rutherford B. Hayes’s personal scrapbook shows he was the first President to officially allow the Executive Mansion to be used for egg rolling. (There were informal egg rollings there as early as Lincoln’s administration.)
The good times and egg rolling continued through the following Presidential administrations with a few brief interruptions. In 1917, during World War I, the egg roll was canceled until 1920 because of concerns of the waste of … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on April 25, 2011, under - Civil War, - Cold War, - Great Depression, - Presidents, - World War I, - World War II, News and Events.
Tags: Capitol, Easter, Egg Roll, Presidents, Prologue magazine, White House