Presentation on theme: "Women and Minorities in WWII Following the United States' entry into World War II in 1941, millions of American women answered the government's call."— Presentation transcript:
Women and Minorities in WWII Following the United States' entry into World War II in 1941, millions of American women answered the government's call to enter the work force and fill traditionally male jobs left vacant by those who had gone off to fight. Above all, women's labor was urgently needed to help fill shortages created by the expanded wartime economy, especially in the production of military hardware. These women who wore hard-hats and overalls and operated heavy machinery represented a radical departure from the traditional American feminine ideal of housewife and mother.
Norman Rockwell portrayed Rosie as a monumental figure clad in overalls and a work-shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal her powerful, muscular arms "Do the Job He Left Behind" was a campaign slogan that emphasized women’s patriotism for the war effort.
The entire country pulled together to support the war effort and build the "Arsenal of Democracy."
Rose Will Monroe, riveter at the Ford Willow Run airplane factory, became a "Rosie the Riveter" icon by starring in a film campaign to increase the sale of war bonds.
Millions of women nationwide joined the work force both as a matter of patriotic duty and to support their families.
Rosies worked on all phases of manufacturing, from electrical wiring to putting the finishing touches on a bomber. The government attempted to alleviate some of the stress between two demands--country and home--by creating federally funded daycare centers. There were about 130,000 children in over 3,000 daycare centers at the height of the War
Rosie the Riveter All the day long, Whether rain or shine, She's a part of the assembly line. She's making history, Working for victory, Rosie the Riveter. Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage, Sitting up there on the fuselage. That little girl will do more than a male will do. Rosie's got a boyfriend, Charlie. Charlie, he's a Marine. Rosie is protecting Charlie, Working overtime on the riveting machine When they gave her a production "E", She was as proud as she could be, There's something true about, Red, white, and blue about, Rosie the Riveter.
Soldiers began returning home and they wanted their jobs back. By late 1944, magazines were advertising "after-victory" homes, hoping to promote women’s return to their previous role as homemaker. Some women, who needed to work in order to survive, were forced back into lower-paying jobs consisting mostly of the stereotypical female occupations. The labor division between men and women was never totally eliminated, and attitudes returned to their original position that women’s first priority should be as homemakers. Did women stay in the workforce??
The reversed strategy was to push the women back into the home with promise of new and wonderful consumer goods to make their housewife role easier and to ensure that their real happiness was in caring for their men and children
Propaganda to move women back into the home The message that women should quit their jobs "for the sake of their homes as well as the labor situation" overwhelmed women. The company newspaper at Kaiser shipyards in the Pacific Northwest proclaimed in May 1945, "The Kitchen-Women's Big Post-War Goal." Putting words into the mouths of Kaiser's female employees, the article asserted, "Brothers, the tin hat and welder's torch will be yours!... The thing we want to do is take off these unfeminine garments and button ourselves into something starched and pretty." A General Electric ad predicted that women would welcome a return to "their old housekeeping routine" because GE intended to transform housework with new appliances.
Critical thinking question Women gained a position of great importance during WWII; Did another minority gain prestige?
What about Native Americans; How were they affected by WWII?
Native Americans In WWII Native Americans were regarded as fierce warriors. Though most minorities were only allowed in non- combat positions such as kitchen workers, Native Americans were allowed to fight. 1/3 of Native Americans ages 18-50 served.
The Code used by the Navajo Code Talkers created messages by first translating Navajo words into English, then using the first letter of each English word to decipher the meaning. Because different Navajo words might be translated into different English words for the same letter, the code was especially difficult to decipher Navajo Code Talkers Navajo Code Talkers were used in Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa and were a major reason for the success of the U.S. Marines. According to Major Connor, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."
Because of their oaths of secrecy, it was not until 1971 that the actual mission of the Navajo Code Talkers became known. In 2001, the Code Talkers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their part in winning WWII.