It was a time of G. I. Joe and Rosie the Riveter, and the era of the big band sound. World War II changed the American way of life as the war economy ended the Great Depression and millions mobilized joining the armed forces, working in factories, and conserving in every aspect of life. Families grew victory gardens. Children collected scrap metal. Women flew war planes to air bases. For African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Japanese-Americans though, the war did not bring the same opportunities but rather discrimination and continued hardship.
A special exhibit, World War II Home Front, exploring all aspects of the American home front, from the contributions and legacies to the challenges and struggles, will open at Women’s Rights National Historical Park on Saturday, November 15, 2014, and run through January 31, 2015.
Opening just in time for the annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” Festival in Seneca Falls, this exhibit will illustrate the context of the movie. “While Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey, worked in the fictional town of Bedford Falls and his wife Mary was a housewife, his brother Harry joined the armed forces,” said Ami Ghazala, park superintendent. “In real life, Jimmy Stewart was a decorated officer having flown 20 combat missions, Donna Reed, who played his wife, served in the USO and corresponded with soldiers oversees, and Todd Karns, George’s brother Harry, really did serve in the war in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The park’s new exhibit will highlight the “real” home front story right here in the “real” Bedford Falls.”
For more information, visit their website at www.nps.gov/wori or call (315) 568-0024. All sites within Women’s Rights National Historical Park, located at 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY are free and open to the public. Follow the park’s social media sites for Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/
Photo: “Washington Public Schools Go To War” (1943, Roger Smith: Office of War Information/The New York Public Library).