Home Front

The Sacrifices were made not only by the people fighting in the war, but also by those who volunteered at home. Every United States citizen was affected by the shortage of consumers goods. A feeling of heightened patriotism swept over the country and people everywhere began to work together to help the war effort.President Franklin D. Roosevelt was convinced that victory was possible only if the energies of all of the United States citizens were unleashed. The response of Americans was amazing. The factories that had been used to make bicycles were retooled to make bombs and rifles. People saved wastes fats, newspapers, and scrap metal to make war equipment.

Citizens planted gardens in order to supplement their own supplies when meat, butter, and preserved fruits were being sent to troops overseas. These "victory" gardens were planted to raise food for families, friends, and neighbors.

Sixteen million people left home for military service or to take on a new job. Activities such a rationing, recycling, carpooling, and queuing became part of daily life for most Americans. No new cars were sold, and tires were rationed. Medical care was limited because so many doctors were involved in the war.

The women began to join the work force in record numbers and the children collected scrap materials for their use by industry. Women were offered the opportunity to recognize that women were needed to work in defense plants, government officals, social worker, employers, and ordinary people had to weigh the value of women's labor against the value of motherhood.

Ration books were given to everyone with instructions to keep them in safe places. Bonds, stamps, and certifies were purchased to help pay for the wat. The total cost for the war was about $300 billion. The monetary cost was nothing compared to the number of lives lost. The war couldn't have been won without the help of everyone at home and overseas.