Population in the rural areas saw a sharp decline after WWII. Nearly 28,000 families left farming between 1945 and 1950. Although the number of farms decreased the average size of Georgia farms increased. Improvements in farming technology and techniques made farming more efficient. Farmers were encouraged to diversify their crops, prevent soil erosion, and experiment with new methods and products. Mules and plows were replaced by tractors and other motorized equipment.
“Know Georgia’s Products: Key to a New Economy.” Public Service Announcement sponsored by Rich’s Atlanta. 1946. From the Georgia Historical Society Vertical Files, Agriculture – Pamphlets Collection.
The Union Bag & Paper Company, like many companies, began hiring women during the World Wars. Based on what you learned during your time learning about World War I, what do you think happened to these women after the war? Even during the wars, who do you think might have been excluded from these formerly male-dominated jobs? How were these companies progressive in their hiring and how were they regressive during and after World War II?
Created to promote the sale of war savings bonds, this booklet was originally intended for a school-age audience and shows what students their age were doing in 1944. What is a war bond? Why target this age group for the sale of war bonds? What kind of tools does this booklet use to target the group?
One of the most significant contributions of Georgians to the war effort was the building of “Liberty Ships” in Savannah and Brunswick. Liberty Ships were made quickly, cheaply, and in large quantities to fill the critical need for ships to transport cargo and troops from the United States to the two war fronts. This image shows ships being built at the McEvoy Shipyard in Savannah.
The United Service Organization was created in 1941 to bring together organizations like the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association, and the National Jewish Welfare Board. This image is from a dance at St. Mary’s Catholic School put on by a USO club in Savannah, Georgia. What is the importance of a group like USO or a dance during wartime?
The Georgia State Archives has digitized Lamar Q. Ball’s collection of photographs collected for his multivolume history of World War II in Georgia. The photographs depict Georgia’s contribution to World War II from manufacturing to military training. The images date from 1934 to 1945.
Franklin D. Roosevelt has a special connection to Georgia. The home he built in Warm Springs is known as “the little white house.” Roosevelt relished his time in Warm Springs, and it became a refuge from the rigors of the presidency. The letters included in this primary source set are written by FDR while at Warm Springs. The letters chronical the correspondence between President Roosevelt and Ambassador William Dodd. The first letter is a response to the Ambassador to Germany William Dodd’s letter describing the political situation in Germany in 1935. Both letters are available through the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.
Letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to William Dodd, Ambassador to Germany.December 2, 1935. Folder: Germany: William E. Dodd: 1933-35. Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
When America entered World War II in 1941, Georgia entered a new period of history. The Second World War funneled federal money into southern defense, and Georgia hosted more military installations than any other state besides Texas. Approximately 320,000 Georgians fought in the war and those on the home front built ships and airplanes, manufactured ammunition, grew victory gardens, bought and sold war bonds, wrote letters to soldiers, and more. In mobilizing for the war effort, Georgia’s economy shifted more towards industry and manufacturing than ever before, bringing Georgia more fully into the modern era and pulling it out of economic Depression. The following sources give students a look into the wartime effort, including the progression and regression on the homefront during these years.