1940s Summary

Nicole Gaethke


WWII began on September 1, 1939 and ended on August 14, 1945. The War began with the Battle of the Atlantic. The United States didn't declare war on Japan until December 8, 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945 while Japan waited until August 14th to surrender.


The Holocaust was the German genocide of Jews. Jews were forced into concentration camps and were forced to wear the Star of David.

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Technological Change

During the 1940s, the first computer was developed. It sparked advancement and brought us to become heavily dependent upon technology today.

Cost of Living

House- $7,211

Car- $850

Stamps- 3 cents

Minimum Wage- 30 cents

Gas- 18 cents

Bread- 8 cents

Important Laws and Supreme Court Decisions

  • 1944- The Servicemen's Readjustment Act was passed. It provided benefits to soldiers coming back from WWII. It also provided them with college education. This Act is commonly referred to as the "GI Bill."
  • The Jim Crow laws became dismantled.
  • Hirabayashi vs. US- gave military permission to exclude Japanese citizens because they were seen as a threat to national defense
  • War Relocation Authority- remove, supervise, and maintain people not in military areas.