1940s

World War II

U.S. Presidents and World Leaders

Important Laws and Decisions

Servicemen's Readjustment Act:This bill, also known as the G.I. Bill provided benefits to soldiers returning from World War II. The bill provided scholarships for college education for soldiers.

Jim Crow Laws: These laws dealt with segregation, and were primarily used in the south. It was during the late 1940s that these laws started to be dismantled. Two of the reasons for the Jim Crow laws for being dismantled was supreme court decision and a book published in 1944, "An American Dilemma."

Hirabayashi vs. United States: A presidential executive and congressional statutes gave the military authority to exclude citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas deemed critical to national defense and who are vulnerable to spying.

Korematsu v.s United States: This allowed the United States to hold Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. the WAr Relocation Authority ended this.

World War II

Timeline of World War II

Sept. 1, 1939- Germany invades Poland, WWII starts, Battle of Atlantic begins
Sept. 3, 1939- Britain and France declare war on Germany
Sept. 29, 1939- Nazi’s and Soviets divide Poland
Apr. 9, 1940- Nazi’s invade Denmark and Norway
May 15, 1940- Holland surrenders to Germany
May 28, 1940- Belgium surrenders to Germany
June 22, 1940- France signs armistice with Germany
Aug. 17, 1940- Hitler declares blockade of British Isles
Nov. 20, 1940- Hungary joins Axis Powers
Mar. 11, 1941- Roosevelt signs Lend-Lease Act
Sept. 1, 1941- Nazi’s order Jews to wear Star of David
Dec. 7, 1941- Attack on Pearl Harbor
Dec. 8, 1941- US and Britain declare war on Japan
Dec. 11, 1941- Hitler declares war on US
Jan. 27, 1943- First American bombing raid

June 6, 1944- D-Day, Battle of Atlantic ends, Battle of Normandy begins
Aug. 25, 1944- Liberation of Paris
Apr. 30, 1945- Hitler commits suicide
May 8, 1945- Germany surrenders
Aug. 14 1945- Japan surrenders. WWII ends


Battles of World War II

Battle of France- France remained under attack while they were defended by their allies. Germany was remained to rule over the north and west part of France. While Italy was ruling the southeast of France.

Battle of Pearl Harbor- December 7, 1940 the Japanese launched a surprise bomb on the navy.The Pearl Harbor was so outrageous that the Americans were jumping out of the ship. Which brought us in to world war 1.

Battle of Midway- On July 7, 1942 One of the most decisive war with Japan came to an end. In the four day battle and air battle and U.S. destroying the Japanese air craft.

Battle of Berlin- On April of 1945 one of the most important battle of world war 2.

D-Day- On June 6, 1944 the greatest military invasion in history. The British and the U.S. had breached Hitler's atlantic wall on the coast of Normandy.


Holocaust

The term holocaust comes from the greek work holokauston referring to the animal sacrifices offered to a god, which means to burn the animal completely. This began in 1933, with a plan to slaughter the Jews to clense their country. It continued to flourish after Hitler came to power, and did not end until World War II ended in 1945. People who were oppressed beside Jews was disabled, ill, mentally unstable, homosexuals, gypsies, and children. These people were forced to live in squalor in the ghettos of Germany countries. Many of these people died of starvation, disease, and exposure.


Technological Changes

The first computer was utilized in World War II and is known as ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer). They used it to solve problems such as atomic energy and ballistic trajectories. The space program started, and they sent many rockets into the atmosphere, but none hit a high enough altitude before exploding. All they sent up were fruit flies and monkeys inside the space rockets, no humans were harmed.


Standard of Living

In the beginning of the 1940s, the Great Depression was still going on and unemployment was high; living standards were low. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. became involved in WWII, the economy was boosted. The unemployment rate reached as low as 1.2% in 1944.Being that the economy was boosted, the standard of living was beginning to get better. Baby boom and more luxuries. Since the war took so many resources, people back home had to ration food, which led to the inability to make nutritious meals often.


Lifestyle

During this decade, women took over the role of men, when the men went to war. After the war, clothes became more colorful and vibrant looking. The new look was feminine dresses with long, full skirts, and tight waists. Comfortable low heeled shoes were forsaken for high heels. Hair was curled high on the head in front, and worn to the shoulders in the back, and wore little make-up. Men wore suits for special occasions, and wore shirts tucked in for everyday activities. Their suit coats were a little big, they liked it that way.


Entertainment

Movies

Movies in the 1940s were influenced on World War II, and showed experiences or plots that took place in wars.


Music

Music in the 1940s consisted of Jazz, Swing, Big Band, and Crooners. Music was not at its best during this decade musicians were on strike because of the war. Some also had to put down to fight in World War II.

  • This is Your Land- Woody Guthrie
  • Round Midnight- Thelonious Monk
  • Blue Moon of Kentucky- Bill Moore
  • God Bless the Child- Billie Holiday

TV

Broadcasting and TV Shows were stopped for a while. There was only around one million TVs around in 1948. When TV started back up comedy, music, news and commercials were on. Television was in black and white.


Sports

The most sports during the 1940s was basketball, football, boxing, and baseball. In 1947 the color barrier was broken, Jackie Robinson had signed a major league contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers and from there would change the ways of sports forever. Bill Willis was the first African American man to play professional football, he played for the Cleveland Browns and led them to 5 consecutive championships.


Famous People