The 1940s

Brandon Gabrielson

Introduction to the 40s.

The 1940s was a decade that was all over the place, coming into the 40s the Great Depression was still taking a hard toll on citizens. In 1941, Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, which brought the U.S. into World War II. Once we began sending troops over to Europe, women took the jobs back in America and the economy set on fire. The Great Depression was down and when we left World War II we eased back into a comfortable economic situation.

World Leaders

Franklin D Roosevelt was the president of the U.S. and is accountable for saving our economy. He accomplished more in his 12 years as presidency than any other president has been close to. After Roosevelt died, Harry S. Truman became the new president. Adolf Hitler was the chancellor of Germany and led the Nazi's . His views of hate against Jewish descent is what began World War II.

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Important Laws

In 1944, legislature passed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill. This affected the entire families of military men because it offered those served scholarships and grants for college. Now that these soldiers could get a better education, they could attain better jobs to support their families. Also in this time period, segregation Jim Crow laws began to be dismantled. Many more African Americans were getting jobs and didn't face as much segregation.


During this decade, the space program kicked off. We had only been sending small rockets into space, and they didn't necessarily make it. The interest of space technology is what kicked off the cold war. During this time was also the invention of the first computer. The computer still affects us so much today. For example, if the computer wasn't developed in the 40s, I wouldn't be writing this on here right now. Although the first computer was very simple, it led into experimentation.

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Standard of Living

The 1940s is a unique decade because it experienced three levels of standards of living: Poor, decent, and well. In the beginning of the 1940s, we were still in the Great Depression and the living condition was poor. Once we became involved in the war, the economy increased but since resources were shy, we had a limited amount of materials to use each week and many meals weren't as nutritious as they should be. After the war, the living conditions were very high because the economy was well and resources weren't limited anymore. With living conditions so high, many families decided to add to their families and the baby boom occured.


Entertainment in the 1940s consisted of drive in movies, most were about the war. Many more home TVs were being introduced as well in the later half of the decade. Music wise there was a lot of Jazz, Swing, Big Band, and Crooners. During this decade music wasn't the best because many composers were concentrating on war related efforts for half the decade.

What it Was Like to Live in.

Of course I did not actually live in this decade, but personally I am just fine with that. Compared to the time we live in now, this would be unbearable. Even according to the time, it wasn't that great. When the 40s just started, the Great Depression was still impacting America. Once we became involved in World War II the economy began to rise. Men were being sent off to the war, and women took the jobs the men left behind. For 4 years life was everything but ordinary.