Changes on the Home Front
Tuesday May 3, 2005
By Marjorie O'Harra
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Recent events show us how the ways in which families and communities respond to wartime have changed. And, how in some instances, have remained the same.
In World War One, when word was received in Southern Oregon that Oregon soldiers being sent to France needed sweaters and wool sox, boys and girls learned to knit. They knitted at home and at school during lunch and recess time. School children also conducted essay and slogan contests and there were campaigns to teach everyone the words to the "Star Spangled Banner."
Women packed boxes for needy children in Belgium. They made surgical dressings and prepared meals for the soldiers when the troop trains came through. To help meet labor needs, they joined the Women's Land Army of America. Older people went to work and boys too young for the military enlisted in the Farm Campaign.
The Home Guard met weekly for drill and people subscribed to Liberty Loan campaigns. Names of those who gave $50 or more were published in the newspaper - as were the names of those who did not subscribe or gave what was considered a "grossly inadequate sum."
Every citizen was charged with the responsibility of carrying a fair share of the burden of war-and most did so gladly.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Marjorie O'Harra, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
"Ashland: First 130 Years" by Marjorie O'Harra