Holy Crap Accomplishment: War Rationing
WWI: Rationing began in England. Government reluctant. Started with cereals, hesitated with imports of meat, sugar & grains. 1916: illegal to consume more than 2 courses in public, 3 for dinner, illegal to feed pigeons. 1917: German submarine attacks to force GB into submission. Dec. compulsory rationing of wheat. 1918: rationing of butter, margarine, lard, meat, and sugar.[
Rationing in U.S. during WWII. Food to supply the troops with food and weapons, Over 16 million U.S. troops were deployed – 9% of the population
1943, bacon was rationed. Cost 30 cents plus 7 ration points.
"Plan your victory garden now. Get your garden plot lined up. Get the advice of a garden expert if you need it. And be prepared to grow your own for victory."
Jan: Tires. (Priority given to doctors, nurses, fire, police, bus owners, certain delivery trucks, farmers for tractors. Good, functional tires became so valuable that the boards often advised auto owners to keep track of the serial numbers on their tires in case they were stolen.
Feb. Cars were rationed.
May Gasoline, foods, starting with sugar.
Summer: bicycles .
1943: March meats, fats, canned fish, cheese, and canned milk
Newspapers, home economics classes, and government organizations offered all sorts of tips to help families stretch their ration points and have as much variety in their meals as possible. Propaganda posters urged Americans to plant “victory gardens” and can their own vegetables to help free up more factory-processed foods for use by the military. Restaurants instituted meatless menus on certain days to help conserve the nation’s meat supply, and advertisers offered up recipes for meatless dinners like walnut cheese patties and creamed eggs over pancakes. Macaroni and cheese became a nationwide sensation because it was cheap, filling, and required very few ration points. Kraft sold some 50 million boxes of its macaroni and cheese product during the war.
Hoarding. citizens bombarded stores to buy up as many of the restricted items as possible,
Black market trading in everything from tires to meat to school buses plagued the nation, resulting in a steady stream of hearings and even arrests for merchants and consumers who skirted the law.
Store clerks did what they could to prevent hoarding by limiting what they would sell to a person or by requiring them to bring in an empty container of a product before purchasing a full one. State legislatures passed laws calling for stiff punishments for black market operators, and the OPA encouraged citizens to sign pledges promising not to buy restricted goods without turning over ration points.
As World War II came to a close in 1945, so did the government’s rationing program. By the end of that year, sugar was the only commodity still being rationed. That restriction finally ended in June 1947. Plenty of other goods remained in short supply for months after the war, thanks to years of pent-up demand. Before long, however, manufacturers had caught up, and Americans could buy all the butter, cars, and nylon hosiery they wanted.
Holy Crap Quote:
“I was born during the war and grew up in a time of rationing. We didn't have anything. It's influenced the way I look at the world.” Vivienne Westwood
“Even during the rationing period, during World War II, we didn't have the anxiety that we'd starve, because we grew our own potatoes, you know? And our own hogs, and our own cows and stuff, you know.” James Earl Jones
Holy Crap Challenge:
Think Bigger: Sacrifice for the bigger need. Think beyond scarcity. Just because we cannot acquire what we want through the usual methods, learn to adjust.
Reach Higher: Create your own.
Do the Impossible: Rationing didn’t kill people. They adjusted to what some never thought they could do without.
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125 Depression Era Scarcity
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