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On the Home Front WW II: Women and Minorities.

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Presentation on theme: "On the Home Front WW II: Women and Minorities."— Presentation transcript:

1 On the Home Front WW II: Women and Minorities

2 Women on the Home Front In 1940 (prior to U.S. involvement in WWII) there were approx. 9 million women in the workforce By 1944 there were more than 20 million FDR encouraged women to join the workforce, claiming that working in a war production factory was as important as being a soldier

3 The term “Rosie the Riveter” became a popular description of women working in wartime factories. Throughout the war, women proved that they could do the same work as their male counterparts.

4 Women didn’t always receive equal pay
Women didn’t always receive equal pay. The average weekly pay for a man in a wartime factory was $54.65 while for a woman it was $31.50.

5 Emma Belle Petcher: Working on airplanes
Video Emma Belle Petcher: Working on airplanes Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

6 African Americans on the Home Front
African Americans had been dealing with segregation and racism since the end of the Civil War. Jim Crow laws in the south had kept life much the same as before the war. Almost a million African Americans entered the industrial labor force during the war Race-related riots occurred in 47 cities during the war

7 Black workers were often shut out of defense plants, and when they could find work, it was often in the most menial, dangerous, and low-paying jobs One aviation executive stated, “While we are in complete sympathy with the Negro, it is against company policy to employ them as aircraft workers or mechanics… regardless of their training.” The Standard Steel Company declared, “We have not had a Negro worker in twenty-five years, and we do not plan to start now.”

8 Many African Americans had mixed feelings about supporting the war effort when their own country did not offer them the freedom America was fighting for overseas The “Double V” campaign pushed for a double victory – against the Axis as well as a victory for equal rights for African Americans at home.

9 African Americans in World War II
Video African Americans in World War II John Hope Franklin: Only color mattered Vanport Documentary Part I Vanport Documentary Part II

10 Mexican Americans on the Home Front
Mexican Americans had dealt with decades of de facto segregation The government spent $100 million on recruiting workers by the thousands from Mexico. Workers were recruited in Mexico and brought to the U.S. where they were provided housing, food and wages in exchange for their work in American agriculture This was known as the Bracero Program OPB Video: Bracero Program

11 Tension had gradually risen between Navy sailors on leave in Los Angeles and “zoot-suiters” – hip, young teens dressed in baggy pants and long-tailed coats In June of 1943, violence broke out between the two groups

12 Sailors cruised Mexican-American neighborhoods and ruthlessly attacked anyone wearing a zoot suit, tearing the clothes off their bodies and viciously beating them

13 Some Latino youth fought back, and when the violence ended, many Mexican Americans and Anglo servicemen were in hospital beds The police force turned a blind-eye and refused to stop the violence, and in some cases helped the white sailors in the beatings. Hundreds of zoot-suiters were arrested, in most cases for no reason at all Video: Zoot Suit Riots

14 Japanese Americans on the Home Front
In February of 1942, just two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 forced 110,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps located throughout the western United States.

15 Pearl Harbor had given whites the opportunity to renew their discrimination against the Japanese Americans living on the west coast. Very few non-Japanese protested the government action, but some questioned why their friends were being taken away.

16 Many Japanese Americans were forced to leave most of their possessions in their homes – after the war, many returned to homes that were looted or destroyed.

17 There were 10 internment camps located throughout the western United States.
Camps were usually located in remote desert areas

18 Internees lived in poorly built rickety barracks
Guards in gun towers watched the camp and shot those who tried to escape Most internees learned to live in the camps. Many camps started: Fire departments Baseball leagues Newspapers Schools Community gardens

19 Japanese American Internment Video #1

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