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World War II: Home Front Quotes

They Said It

"There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action, and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives, and in our daily tasks."

- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 28 April 194242
"I think a lot of women said, Screw that noise. 'Cause they had a taste of freedom, they had a taste of making their own money, a taste of spending their own money, making their own decisions. I think the beginning of the women's movement had its seeds right there in World War Two."

- Dellie Hahne, an educator who worked as a nurse's aid for the Red Cross during the war43
"The war gave a lot of people jobs. It led them to expect more than they had before. People's expectations, financially, spiritually, were raised. There was such a beautiful dream. We were gonna reach the end of the rainbow... I remember a woman saying on the bus that she hoped the war didn't end until she got her refrigerator paid for. An old man hit her over the head with an umbrella. He said, 'How dare you!' (Laughs.)"

- Peggy Terry, a woman who worked in a munitions factory during the war44
"[African-Americans] could see the vestiges of discrimination here, that California was going to be exactly like Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia and every place else if we didn't do something."

- Tarea Hall Pittman, a community organizer who helped newly arrived southern blacks adjust to their new life in California45
"Servicemen would go into theaters in downtown L.A. They'd go up and make the projectionist shut off the movie, right? Turn the lights on. They'd go down both aisles. Any zoot-suiters they saw (laughs), they'd drag him right out by his seat and (clap hands) beat him, tear his clothes up, what have you. They were mostly sailors and marines. They came from San Diego."

- Don McFadden, retired deputy sheriff, Los Angeles County46
"Evacuees must carry with them on departure for the Assembly Center, the following property: (a) Bedding and linens (no mattress) for each member of the family; (b) Toilet articles for each member of the family; (c) Extra clothing for each member of the family; (d) Essential personal effects for each member of the family.All items carried will be securely packaged, tied and plainly marked with the name of the owner and numbered in accordance with instructions obtained at the Civil Control Station. The size and number of packages is limited to that which can be carried by the individual or family group."

- Wartime Civil Control Administration, evacuation procedures for Japanese-American residents of Military Area No. 1 in California, 17 May 194247
"We came back to Los Angeles at the end of the war, believing that there was no other way but to be American. We were discouraged with our Japanese culture. My feeling at the time was, I had to prove myself. I don't know why I had to prove myself. Here I am, an ex-GI, born and raised here. Why do I have to prove myself? We all had this feeling. We had to prove that we were Americans."

- Peter Ota, a Japanese-American veteran whose family was interned during the war48
"This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that 'The War of the Worlds' has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was meant to be. The Mercury Theatre's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying Boo!"

- Orson Welles, speaking at the end of a broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," 30 October 193840
"Radio Fake Scares Nation"

- Front-page headline, Chicago Herald & Examiner, 31 October 193841

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