We’re All in this Together! How Students Like You Helped Win WWII Electronic Field Trip

-The electronic field trip,
“We’re All In This Together: How Students Like
You Helped Win WWII,” is a production
partnership of WYES New Orleans Public Television and the National
World War II Museum, made possible in part
by the Selley Foundation. -December 7, 1941, a date
which will live in infamy. -President Franklin Roosevelt
tells the nation that they are at war
after the Japanese bomb American warships
at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, bringing the United States
into World War II, fighting both Japan
in the Pacific and Germany
and its allies in Europe. 16 million Americans
fought in the war, but more than 100 million, over 80% of America’s
population at the time, helped in the war effort
at home as civilians, and that includes
the children of America. In this electronic field trip, we’ll learn how kids
just like you helped the United States
win the war ’cause they realize that
we’re all in this together. Welcome to our
electronic field trip from the National
World War II Museum in downtown
New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m Tom Gregory. During this field trip,
we’re going to learn what kids your age did to help
America win World War II, and we want to hear from you. You can e-mail questions
to [email protected], and we also invite you
to answer some questions by taking part
in our live polls. First, you have to sign up. Text wyesfieldtri069
to 22333 to join or you can play right
along on your computer. Just scroll down, and you’ll
see the poll questions. Just follow the instructions
during the poll questions to participate. You know, young people your age did have a role
in the war effort even though they were
at home and in school. During World War II,
we were all in this together, working hard to preserve
our freedom. School yearbooks are not
only a place for friends’ signatures
and well-wishes. They’re a place for history. Yearbooks from the war years,
1941 through 1945, give us an idea of how students
took part in the war effort. They helped by saving materials that were needed by soldiers
on the war front, like metal for weapons
and ammunition, or by eating less of the things
they really enjoyed, like candy, because sugar
was in short supply. The stories of how Americans
all came together during World War II
are told in exhibits at the National
World War II Museum. Helping us learn more
about these stories are our student reporters, Caroline, Chris,
Eliana, and Miguel. They’re going to take us
on an adventure through time with the help of
museum historians and also some very special folks who know firsthand
what it was like to be a kid during World War II. Let’s join Eliana,
Chris, and Miguel as they start
their museum adventure. -Hey, guys.
My name is Chrissy Gregg, and I’m the virtual
classroom coordinator here at the National
World War II Museum. What I do here is I actually
connect with students like you but from all across the globe. I use different kinds
of technology to really share with them
the lessons of World War II, but you guys are lucky enough
to here today in person. -It’s really neat that we have
the museum in our backyard. Why is the World War II Museum
in New Orleans? -That’s a great question. It’s actually because of this
boat here, the Higgins boat. -Higgins boat?
What’s that? -The Higgins boat was
an important vessel during World War II
that took our soldiers and our Marines
to enemy beaches. They were built here
by Higgins Industries. Over 12,500 of these boats
were built. If you guys take a look
at this boat right now, what do you think
makes it different than, let’s say, I don’t know, a speedboat or a fishing boat,
something like that? -Well, it’s got a ramp
on the front of it. -You are exactly right. It does have a ramp. Why would you want
a ramp on a boat? -Well, it would be easier
to get on and off of the boat than having to hop
off the side of it. -Exactly. That is really critical
to its design. So when soldiers would land
on those beaches, they could unload
the boat within seconds. It was a design
by Andrew Higgins right here
at Higgins Industries in New Orleans. -Were they important?
-My gosh, yes. General Dwight Eisenhower,
who later became President
of the United States, said, “Boats like these won
the war for us.” But you know what? That’s a story for another time. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go into the vault where most of the museum’s
collection is held and learn a little bit
more about history and the study of World War II. All right, guys. Right now we are
in the museum’s vault, where we house
some of the museum’s 160,000 artifacts
we have in our collection. Just a little bit of those
are actually on view here at the museum. Now, being in a museum that’s
totally dedicated to history, and you all study history
for years and years in school, we all know that history
is important, right? But why is it important? -So we learn from our mistakes
and we don’t repeat them. -But also to learn
from the good things that happened in the past
so we can repeat them. -History also shows how much
has happened over the years. -Yeah, and I think you guys
are all correct on that, but I’m going to add
one more point. History is full of the best
stories ever told, and on whatever topic
that you really enjoy, whether it’s art,
music, war, sports, movies, science — you name it, there is a history
of that certain topic, and if you research it and study
it and learn all about it, it’ll enhance your
enjoyment of that topic. Another question for you all. So, we know history
is important, but what is history, exactly? -Oh, history is what
had happened in the past. -So what you ate for breakfast,
is that history? -Well…
-No. -Yeah, I know.
That’s a tough one, right? So, history actually
is not just the past. It’s the study of the past. If no one writes about it
or researches or studies it, then it’s just the past. It’s not history, technically. One more kind of tough
question for you all. So, you know, we use
different kinds of materials to discover the past. What kind of materials
could those be to learn
all about the past? -Well, like all the stuff
you have here in the vault. -Yeah, exactly.
Okay. So all this stuff, whether it’s
letters or manuscripts, diaries, uniforms, we’ve got
leather saddles above us — all of these kinds
of things, yes. What do we call
those things in school? -Primary sources.
-Yeah! You got it, primary sources. What are primary sources? What do they do? -Well, they’re certain things
that were created in the past that we use to study. -Exactly. Primary sources help
enhance our understanding of that certain time period
of an event in the past. Now, here’s kind
of a cool thing. Sometimes the best primary
sources are living people. -People can be primary sources? -Yeah.
People can be primary sources. If they witnessed or experienced
an event in history and tell about it, yeah, that’s definitely
a primary source. And since World War II, in the grand scheme of things,
wasn’t that long ago in history, you know, 70, 75 years ago, sometimes, as I said, the best primary sources
are the people who lived them, and they’re still alive today. And, actually, I have a mission
for you all related to that. What you’re going to be
doing today is going throughout the museum, learning about the lives
of students during World War II, how students were
affected by the war and how they helped out
on the home front. But the thing is,
you won’t be going at it alone. You’ll be going with
a museum volunteer who was actually a kid
during World War II, and they’ll be
leading you through, giving you guys insights
on what life was like for them, and so they’re your
first primary source, and you’re going to encounter
many more as you go through. So you guys ready to go?
-Yeah! -All right, Let’s go! -I’m now joined here
with Kenneth Hoffman. He’s the Director of Education at the National
World War II Museum. Kenneth, history books
are filled with stories of presidents, generals,
and adults. Did kids have a part in history? -Kids absolutely have
a part in history, which is why I’m really glad
that all you kids out there and your teachers
are watching today. Now, at the National
World War II Museum, we tell one of the biggest
stories in history, the biggest war
in history, World War II, and it was a story that affected
everybody, old and young alike. So kids definitely played
a part in World War II. -Kids helped the outcome? -Kids helped the outcome, and
that’s what we’re going to see. We’re sending our four student
reporters through the museum with people who were kids
during the war to hear those stories firsthand. -Kids are part of history. They’re a part of this
broadcast, too. Before our student
reporters head off to different parts of the museum to meet up with
their special tour guides, we have a question for you. How often do you learn
about children your age in social studies class? A, never, B, not very often,
C, often, D, all the time. Text your answer — A for
“never,” B for “not very often,” C for “often,” and
D for “all the time,” to 22333. You can also answer
on your computer. We’ll check to see
how you responded in just a little while. But now it’s time
to catch up with Chris, who is in the home front gallery
with a very special guest. -One exhibit at the
National World War II Museum is all about the home front. It explains how the people
who were home in America during the war,
including kids, kept informed about the war and about how
they could do things to help in the war effort. Museum volunteer Joyce Dunn
was in elementary school when the war started. -When the Japanese attacked the
United States at Pearl Harbor, America was suddenly at war. What do you remember
about that day? -Oh, I remember it so much. My mother had the radio on,
and I’ll never forget that day when she looked and said, “We’re at war.
Pearl Harbor has been bombed.” She told us, that that was part
of America that was bombed. -During World War II, 42 million kids
were on home front. What was it like
for kids back then? -Well, one thing we did was
we could write our relatives who were in the war, and I can remember
vividly writing these V-mails to my uncle and also to my cousin, and that meant a lot to them, that they would
receive mail from us. -When the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor, I understand that
everything changed. What type of things changed? -Quite a bit changed. First of all,
the food we could eat, everything was rationed. My mother would have to have — go get a ration book,
and that was the main concern, about the food and the ration. -Everything changed, including
pennies, as I see here. Instead of copper pennies, back
then, you used steel pennies. -That’s right, because
copper was really needed, a commodity for the war,
because it was used for wiring. It conducts electricity,
and it was very important. So copper was no longer
used in 1943. The government found a way
to use steel pennies. You see right here? I have a steel penny, and if you
notice, it’s magnetic, and if we had a copper penny, I could show you that
it wouldn’t be magnetic. -I have a copper penny
right here. -Yes.
You see? Okay. And then if you see, if you try
and use it, it doesn’t stick because it is not magnetic
like the steel, and that is the reason
why, in 1943, the government changed
to the steel penny in order to save the copper. -During World War II, I understand that
there was no TV, no Internet, no video games. So what did you use
to get all your information? -Well, first of all, we used the newsreel
at the movie theater, but also they had
war posters all around. They called them
propaganda posters, and these posters
were made to unite us. -Because so much equipment
had to be made and so many men who worked in the factories
were now fighting in the war, the government called on women
to take their place. They were given
a special nickname. What about the famous propaganda
poster about Rosie the Riveter? -Well, you see, during the war,
the men went off, and so they needed
someone to service and make the tanks
and make everything, and so what happened,
the women went to war at home, and it was known
as Rosie the Riveter. -This little girl looks like
she would be the same age as you during World
War II, Ms. Joyce. Why does she have a teapot,
a bicycle tire, and shoes? -The reason why, we were
scrapping during the war. You’ll notice rubber
from the shoes, and all these things
were sent to help the war. There was also fat. When you fry bacon
or other things, the fat would go in here. Your mom or your dad would
take this to the butcher, and then they would send it
to a certain place, and they would use it
for glycerin or nitroglycerin later on. So this was very important,
the fats during the war, because they were used
very much for ammunition. -Bacon fat was used
to make bombs? -Absolutely. Isn’t that strange? But it was a very important
part of the home front. These are the things
we did to help the war. -Another way to help out
was buying war stamps? -Oh, yes. This was very important
during the war. -How do these stamps work? -Well, Chris,
this is how it did. This is a war bond book. For 10 cents, you would
fill in every blank, and when the pages were filled, it was $18.70,
and then you would turn it in, and you would get
a $25 war bond. The savings bond
was so essential because just think
of all the tanks, the airplanes, everything that
was needed during the war, and so how was it —
how did we get the money? War bonds. All the money that was collected
from these bonds were used so that we could fight
the war and win. -Thanks, Mrs. Joyce. You’ve helped us all understand how even folks
on the home front, including kids like me, helped win the war and how
we were all in this together. -Well, Chris,
it’s been my pleasure, and I think it’s very important
that children of your age remember how it was
in those early days, because that was the war that
really changed the 20th century, and here we are, free, and a lot of men and women
died for our freedom, so we should always
remember that. -I’m back here
with Kenneth Hoffman, Director of Education at the
National World War II Museum. Kenneth, breakfast to bombs? They took bacon grease and
turned it into nitroglycerin? How does that happen? -This was something that kids
definitely participated in. In the kitchen
of most Americans, maybe almost all Americans, they would have something
like this, a little grease can, and you would pour the grease from your frying pan into the grease can, and this filter would get all
the little bits of meat out, and the grease would go in here. After a while,
when it was all filled, you would bring this to school
on fat-collecting day. -Fat-collecting day.
-Absolutely. And then they would
put it all in a big barrel, send it off to a factory, melt it down
and take out the chemicals. Glycerin was the main chemical
they would take out, and then they could turn
that into nitroglycerin. -And that’s turns into…
-That’s an explosive, and so you could
use that for bombs. -Another thing that Ms. Joyce
talked about was V-mail. We know what
electronic mail is, e-mail. What does V-mail stand for? -Well, V-mail —
you saw the letter V all over the place
during World War II. What do you guys
think V stood for? Victory because we wanted
to win the war, and so we didn’t have
cellphones back then. We didn’t have the Internet. So people wrote letters
and sent them in the mail. -Handwritten letters. -Handwritten letters, and if
you wanted to send a letter to someone overseas or they wanted to send
a letter to you, first, you would write it
on a regular piece of paper. Then they would take
a picture of it, and they would take
a picture of all the letters so that on one
small roll of film, they could have
thousands of letters. They would send that
across the ocean, and then they would
develop the film into a little picture
of the letter, and this is V-mail. -So they actually
shrunk the letter. -They shrunk it down. You would need a magnifying
glass to read this, but it was a way to communicate
across the whole world much better than regular mail. They were very creative in how they wrote
letters to each other. -Because they didn’t have
texts like we do. So let’s take a look
at how you are texting us. Let’s take a look at your
answers to the poll questions. How often do you learn
about children your age in social studies class? 71% of you said,
“Not very often.” 14% said, “Never.” Well, that has all
changed today, hasn’t it? Since we’re talking about
what kids did to help win the war
during World War II. We have a question right now
from one of our viewers. “Was Rosie the Riveter
an actual person?” This is from
the Micro School students in New Orleans, Louisiana. -Awesome. Well, it is wonderful to get
a question like that, and the answer is, Rosie the Riveter
was not an actual woman. She was all women
who went to work in factories during World War II to help build the tanks
and the planes and some of the things
you see around the museum, but you’re going
to hear more about that a little later
in the program. -We’ll find out
more about Rosie. We’ll also have another question
for you in a few minutes. And remember to e-mail us your questions
at [email protected] But now we’re going
to the victory garden here at the museum
to meet up with Eliana and museum volunteer
Ronnie Abboud. -Growing our own vegetables and
herbs is a healthy thing to do, but it also tastes fresher,
and it’s fun. But during the war,
people grew their own gardens, which they called
victory gardens, not only for fresh food but also to make up
for food shortages. Americans planted more than
20 million victory gardens across the country. These gardens produced 40%
of the vegetables grown in the U.S.
during the war years. In 1944 alone, the vegetables
grown in victory gardens weighed more than
8 million tons. Growing food at home meant
there was more food available to send to our troops overseas. It’s estimated that an army
of 1 million men consumed than a million pounds
of food every day. I’m here
at the museum victory garden with Ronnie Abboud, who was
a kid during World War II. Now, I know so many
servicemen and women were sent food
during the war, and so I guess there was less
on the grocery shelves, so how did everyone get
their fair share of food? -Well, there was rationing. There was a thing
called a rationing book. In addition to that,
we had a victory garden, where you grew your own
fruits and vegetables in the backyard
or on the side of the house. That was pretty common
in the neighborhood, but with the ration book,
when you went to the store to buy an item that
was limited or rationed, you had to have a coupon, and you’d pay the regular item
for the price at the grocer, but then you had to give
the grocer a stamp out of the coupon book itself,
and you had to be very careful because if you used up
all your coupons, if you weren’t careful over
the month how you used them, you’d run out of them, and then you couldn’t
get any more items until the next month. -So did everyone get — every
American get one, even kids? -Even kids? Absolutely even kids. -So was every
single food rationed? -Not every food,
but a lot of foods were. For example, sugar was
very valuable, a sugar coupon, but even if you didn’t
have a coupon book, there were limitations on what you could get
in the neighborhood. -Like you said, you also
had your victory garden. -Yes. -So you even had your
own food at home, so I guess that made
things a little easier. -Well, it did help,
because my mom, in particular,
nurtured over the garden, making sure that everything
was cared for and taken, and then when it came time
to pick the fruits and the vegetables, we did eat,
brought them inside. And in addition to that,
we had a couple of chickens, and so we had a couple
of eggs on occasion, and we also had a pet duck. I had a pet duck. His name was Herbie,
and at one point, my dad said the duck ran away, and I never could
figure that out, but I think my dad maybe
wasn’t being 100% truthful. -[ Laughs ]
Maybe not. -Why do you think
there were some limitations on some things? For example, tomatoes,
some of them were canned, some of them were not. Fresh tomatoes were okay,
but canned goods were limited. Why do you think that was? -Well, I know that canned
goods last longer so you could actually
send those overseas to all the people
that were fighting. -And it was a heck
of a lot of people. 16 million men put on the
uniform of the United States, hundreds of thousands of women
also went into military service, so there was a lot of people
that had to be fed and clothed and taken care of. -So did you start your garden
before the war or during the war? -To my memory, we did not
start it before the war. After the morning
of December the 7th, after Pearl Harbor, I can remember my mother cutting
up the grass in the backyard and digging a trench, and my dad also helping, and at the same time,
she started planting seeds, and I would go out there
and help her weed the garden. -Now, in my own garden,
I focus more on herbs and spices,
things to flavor my food, but in your garden,
your goal was to feed a family. -Oh, positively. Well, it was an important part
of the contribution to the war effort. You had to make sure that
the more we could do at home, the better we could do to serve
our men and women overseas. -Well, that sounds delicious.
-It was a taste of victory. -I bet it was. Well, thank you so much,
Mr. Ronnie, for sharing your memories
of your victory garden. -Thank you. -Kenneth, what foods
were rationed, and why were they rationed? -Well, foods were rationed
during the war because there wasn’t
enough to go around. That’s why you needed to ration. Some of the foods
that were rationed — meats were rationed,
canned vegetables. You heard Ronnie talking
about how hard it is to send a fresh tomato
7,000 miles across the ocean. Sugar was rationed.
-No, not sugar. -Sugar was rationed,
absolutely. A lot of the sugar
came from South America. It had to come up by boat, and there were German submarines
in the Gulf of Mexico that were sinking those ships. -Wow.
-So, yeah, sugar was rationed. But they found ways to sweeten
their food without sugar. How do you think they did it? -Honey.
I’m going to guess honey. -Honey is a way. Also, molasses is another way. -Molasses?
-That’s right. So people were creative
in finding substitutes. -Were families
going without food? Were people hungry
because of rationing? -It was very important that
everyone stayed very healthy. The more you eat,
the healthier you will be, so you had to be
healthy to win the war, either to be a soldier or to go
into the factories to work or to be a kid to help win the war effort
in the way that kids did, and we’re going to hear more
about that in just a minute. -How did they use
this ration book? -Well, here’s a ration book. It was given to Joseph Parone,
here in New Orleans. He was 8 years old,
and they probably gave this to his mom or dad, and inside are little stamps
that you can tear out, and when you would go to the
grocery store, up on the shelf, if there was a food
that was rationed, it would have a sign
telling you how much it cost. Let’s say a can of tomatoes — 18 cents for a can
of tomatoes back then — but also 10 ration points. So when you went to buy it, you would give the grocer
the money, and you would have to tear out
stamps out of your book. -And you’d have to plan ahead.
-That’s right. If you ran out of stamps
by the end of the month, you couldn’t buy any more
of those rationed foods until you got
your new ration book. -Okay.
Here’s another question for you. Lots of food were rationed
or were unavailable during World War II. What food would you find
the hardest to give up? What food would be the hardest
for you to give up? A, chocolate, B, hamburgers,
C, pizza, D, fruit. Text A for chocolate,
B for hamburgers, C for pizza,
or D for fruit, to 22333. We’ll check back in a little
while to see what would be the hardest
for most of you to give up. We’re looking for your answers. We have an answer
for your question. “Who is in charge of getting
ration coupons to the people?” That’s from
Country Day students. -That’s a great question. Every town, every city
would have ration boards, people elected or chosen
from the community, to organize this great effort. We had, you know,
over 100 million people who had to get one of these
books every few months, and so you would have to line up
at a certain date downtown
in your town or city, and you would sign
for your book, and they would hand it
over to you, and it says on the back,
“Make sure not to lose it.” -Don’t lose it. All part of what was going on
in the home front. Here in the
U.S. Freedom Pavilion, the Boeing Center,
where we are standing right now, you can see the types
of machines and equipment used in the war —
tanks and trucks and planes — and, of course,
there were ships, too. During the war, more than
300,000 planes were built. More than 100,000 ships. Tanks and armored vehicles
numbered 100,000. Vehicles of all kinds
totaled 2 1/2 million. and guess how many rounds
of ammo were made? 41 billion. That’s “billion” with a “B.” Our reporter Miguel met up
with museum Chair Jim Bryant here in the pavilion to learn
how all of this equipment was built from materials
that kids helped collect. ♪♪ -In the National WWII Museum’s
US Freedom Pavilion, you can get a close-up look
at the types of equipment used in the war,
like tanks and planes. It took a lot of materials,
like metal and rubber, to make war vehicles, aircrafts,
ships, and ammunition, too. And kids during the war
helped to collect the materials that were needed to make
ammunition and equipment. Here with me is Mr. Jim Bryant,
who has a kid spent most of his time
collecting materials that could be used in the war. -Well, there was a lot going on
in the home front, and it was all in support
of our effort to win the war, both in Europe and the Pacific. One of the things
that the entire country did, was to gather scrap —
metal, tin — and bring it and give it
to the government, and they would then take that
and build wings of some of these airplanes
you see here, or some of the tanks —
a lot of metal there. So, to understand — it was an effort not only
from the men that were in the uniform, both in Europe
and in the Pacific, but every family back home. -So, I’ve heard you say
“scrapping” a few times. What exactly does that mean? -Scrapping means gathering
all kinds of different things and turning them into things that could be used
in the war effort. -So scrapping is a lot like
what we call “recycling.” -A little bit. But it’s using all the things
that you find and redoing things to make
something like this gas mask. One tire — 12 gas masks. -What about this big tank? How much metal
would be used for that? -18 tons of steel
to put that thing together. -18 tons.
That is a lot of metal. So, you scrapped other things besides metal
and rubber, correct? -Yes. As a matter of fact,
I can remember Mother, when she’d finish cooking
the bacon in the morning, pouring the grease
into a tin can. And you can take grease —
that’s what that was, cooking grease — and turning it
into nitroglycerine. -So, what did you exactly
do with nitroglycerine? -We made bombs out of it. Big, strong, heavy bombs that did awful lot
of destruction. -So, did everybody
across the country scrap, or what it just
your neighborhood? -No, everybody across
the country scrapped. I have a scrapbook here
all about children scrapping. It’s about a boy named
Billy Michal from Zimmerman, Louisiana. He went to school
in a one-room schoolhouse with only 11 other classmates. Well, Billy was actually chosen
to attend the launch of a Liberty Ship here
in New Orleans to represent
his tiny school that won a statewide scrap contest. So Billy traveled to New Orleans
for the first time and was treated to
an inspection tour of the city in a Jeep and see
the SS Leonidas Polk launch. -So Billy got into a Jeep
just like this one? -Yes.
Why don’t you give it a shot? Hop in. -Thank you so much
for taking me to the museum. It has been wonderful
experiencing what a kid my age would go through during the war. -Thanks to you. You’re very welcome. Come back to see us.
It’s a great, great museum. -I’m now joined by —
with Kim Guise. She is a curator here
at the National WWII Museum. Kim, first of all, you’re
wearing white gloves. Why? -I am wearing white gloves,
because here at the museum, we collect and display
historic artifacts, and many times those are fragile
and need special care, so we wear white gloves
to protect them. -As you saw with Jim and Miguel, a lot of scrapping going on
that turned into a lot of factory work. Who was working
in those factories since a lot of men
were out on the battlefronts? -Well, the labor force really
changed during World War II. So, quite a few women
went into new jobs, new opportunities that opened up in the factories.
-Really? So moms that possibly
were stay-at-home — that was the majority
of the population back then. Moms who were staying at home, they ended up
going to factories, leaving their kids at home? -Yes. Even some moms. So, daycare programs
were started during World War II,
and women worked in different jobs
and factories, as well. -And they wore that…
-And they often wore these. So, this is a scarf right here
that women wore, not just as a fashion statement
but to protect their hair. So, long hair was a risk when you were working
with heavy machinery. You didn’t want your hair
to get caught in the machinery, so you would tie it up
with this scarf, like Rosie the Riveter. -Like Rosie the Riveter. Let’s check
on our poll question. What would be the hardest food
for you to give up? Well, actually right now
the tie has been broken. 31% said chocolate. Pizza and fruit at 30%. Hamburgers at 9%. So it seems — Now it’s back
to a three-way tie. Chocolate, pizza, and fruit
all would be very hard for people to give up. One more question for you. Students like you scrapped
for victory during World War II. Does your school have
a student recycling program. Text “A” for “yes,”
“B” for “no.” That’s “A” for “yes,”
“B” for “no.” Send us your answers
and we’ll get an answer for you. We have a viewer question
coming up right here. Did schools
have scrapping drives? That’s from Tessa in New York. -Schools did have
scrapping drives. So, schools were a big source
of engaging children to work
in these kinds of efforts. So they had paper drives,
they had a program called Paper Troopers,
and kids would form “paper platoons.”
-Paper Troopers? -Yes. So, they were actual units
that would form together and collect paper
and scrap metal and even large pieces. I know a volunteer here
at the museum whose friend had a bulldozer that was broken,
and they even included the bulldozer
in the scrap drive. -Wait. They recycled
a bulldozer… -An old broken bulldozer. And that of course
won the scrap drive. You know, the other schools
could not compete against the school
that had the bulldozer, -Looks like everybody
was doing the effort right there, in fact,
scrapping a bulldozer to make a tank. Okay, let’s go to the poll
results right now. Let’s take a quick look at
your answers to our latest poll. Does your school have
a student recycling program? 70% say “yes.” To the 30% that say “no,”
that’s about to change. That coming up
in a little while. Well, let’s take
a question right now from one of our viewers. Since women started working
during World War II, did daycare and preschools
become very popular? -They did. Daycare started during
World War II and really took off. So, some factories
even opened up factory daycares
so you could leave your child at the daycare at the factory,
or in the factory community, while you went off to work.
So… -The war changed life
for moms and for kids. -Indeed.
-During the war, people worked together
to save things like grease and metal
that could all help in the war effort,
but there was also time to enjoy music and movies
and dancing. Our reporter Caroline
joined museum volunteer Sylvia Murphy
at BB’s Stage Door Canteen for a performance
of World War II songs by The Victory Belles. Let’s go to the show. ♪♪ -The war changed movies, songs, and even cartoons
and comic books. -Here at BB’s Stage Door Canteen
at the National WWII Museum, you can hear some of the music
that was popular during World War II. Places like
the Stage Door Canteen were set up all over
the country for soldiers to relax and enjoy
entertainment. Famous singers
and movie stars of the day volunteered to perform
for the troops. Museum volunteer
Mrs. Sylvia Murphy remembers the songs and music
and dances of that time. What was some of the music like
during World War II? -It was fun. And it was also beautiful. And some of those songs
have become classics now, especially the loves songs,
the ballads. They were in the movies,
they were on the radio, and we all enjoy them so much. One of my favorite songs
back then was the songs about the people leaving. They were leaving
their families, they were leaving
their loved ones, and so the songs reflected that. -Why was dancing so important? -Well, you know, it brought
people together, and it was fun. The dance of the day
really was the jitterbug, and all the high-school kids
could do that. And of course, a lot of those
high-school kids became soldiers, sailors,
marines, airmen, and the radio
was our big entertainment, as were the movies. And not only did we see movies,
we saw the news of the day. [ Upbeat music plays ] Everybody would look
at those pictures of the boys fighting
and getting in the airplanes and things and wondered
if they would see familiar face. And then of course,
they had the cartoons, Superman and Popeye. I remember Popeye
was a big Nazi fighter. -Oh, look. The Victory Belles
are about to perform some of the songs
from World War II. -♪ He’s in the army now
blowing reveille ♪ ♪ He’s the boogie woogie
bugle boy of Company B ♪ ♪ They made him blow a bugle
for his Uncle Sam ♪ ♪ It really brought him down
because he couldn’t jam ♪ ♪ The captain seemed
to understand ♪ ♪ ‘Cause the next day the Cap’
went out and drafted a band ♪ ♪ And now the company jumps
when he plays reveille ♪ ♪ He’s the boogie woogie
bugle boy of Company B ♪ ♪ A root, a toot,
a toodlie-a-da-toot ♪ ♪ He blows it eight to the bar ♪ -Now we’re here
with The Victory Belles who just put on
a wonderful performance. What do you feel you’ve learned
from learning all the music and dances
from the World War II period? -You know,
it’s an incredible era. They’re known
as “The Greatest Generation,” and I think the music
reflects that, as well. -And for the most part,
to the audience it means… to the audience
that we’re delivering it to, it means memories,
like, good memories. -And their music brought
so much hope and joy to everyone on the home front as well as
the boys who fighting overseas. -Well, for me, it was wonderful, because the music and the movies
kept us all upbeat, and it kept us focused
on what we were doing, and it made us very proud
to be Americans. -It feels also like
it was a way of saying, we’re in this together, which really helps
in hard times. -You know, one of my other
favorite things about the music of the 1940’s was that it
brought everyone together, and it wasn’t just the music. Everyone gathered around
their radios at home, or, if they were our age,
they went out to the canteens
and to the dance halls, because they were all dancing. So I’m gonna show you
a few moves. Y’all want to dance with me? -Okay.
-[ Laughs ] -So, I’m gonna show you this,
the Truck. And if you just step
on one foot and then let your heel drop… and then bring up the other
one… and then step on your left, and then drop that heel. And you can keep goin’.
And now you’re Truckin’. Easy, easy.
-And you can wave your fingers. -[ Laughs ] And you can
wave your fingers, and even switch back and forth. And if you walk forward… So all it is
is you’re just going to lean into your right hip and point
that right finger down, and then lean into your left,
and then keep switching. And you can move
forward and back. [ Laughs ]
-It’s very cutesy. -And easy, easy stuff. And I’ll show you how
you can put it all to music. Hey, Joe, hit it! [ Chuckles ] [ ’40s dance music plays ] All right, you ready? Here we go.
We’re Truckin’. [ Music continues ] And… [ Laughs ] Y’all are doing great.
Yeah! [ Laughter ] [ Music continues ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -Good job.
-Well, now you’re ready to go learn some dances from 1940’s. e-That’d be great. -That music as popular today
as it was during World War II. And now one more
poll question for you. Do you think today’s music
will be listened to 70 years from now? Text “A” for “yes,”
or “B” for “no.” That’s text “A” for “yes,”
“B” for “no.” Will they be listening
to the music they listen to today
70 years from now? Because the music and
entertainment and the movies, it was all about war
at that time? -It was.
Even the entertainment. So, war permeated every aspect of life on the home front,
including… I brought an example
from our collection, from the museum’s archives. This a comic book —
Don Winslow of the Navy. -Don Winslow of the Navy?
-Don Winslow. So many not as famous
as Superman or Batman, but Superman, Batman,
and Wonder Woman also fought
during World War II through their comic stories. -And the songs
had titles and themes… -The songs related
to the war as well. So, boogie woogie bugle boy
of Company B… “Praise the Lord
and Pass the Ammunition”… -That was an actual song? -That was an actual song.
A hit song. -And movies too?
-Movies as well. -So, the movies all
related…cartoon, comics…everything
related back to the war. -Now let’s take
some more questions you’ve emailed us
at field [email protected] Were there any famous
World War II musicians from New Orleans? -There was in fact
a very famous musicians from New Orleans,
some of you may know, Louis Armstrong. So he was active also, you know,
already during World War II. -“Satchmo,”
as he might be known, and there’s actually
a Satchmo Fest right here every August in New Orleans. Let’s take a look
at the answers to our poll. Will today’s music
last for 70 years? 54% say they will not be
listening to this music. So while 70 years from now
people will still be doing the jitterbug, no one will be
doing the Whip and Nae Nae. Sorry to say.
Let’s go to another question. Did our troops overseas have
entertainment provided to them? That’s from Keith.
-They did. There was a group called
the USO Camp Shows, United Services Organization. And they had a division
form just to bring entertainment
overseas to troops. So some famous performers
participated in that effort, including the comedian Bob Hope. So they would bring whole stage
shows right overseas into the field
where soldiers were fighting and providing
that much needed break. -Let’s check in
with our reporters for a quick recap
of what they learned. ♪♪ -So, how was your museum
adventure? -There are so many great
exhibits here at the museum that tell the story
of how brave men and women served their country
during a time of great need. -Visitors can marvel
at big planes and vehicles in the U.S. Freedom pavilion,
the Boeing Center. -They could see
“Beyond All Boundaries,” the 4-D movie
that takes visitors on the journey
through World War II. -And even explore the museum’s
newest immersive exhibit The Road to Berlin,
all about the war in Europe. -There’s so much you see here. You can’t fit it in in one day. -You could even learn
how folks on the home front, including kids like us, helped soldiers
on the battlefield. -We really learned so much
about what it was like to be a young person
during the war, not just from the artifacts
from the museum but also from our friends
who were kids themselves during the war. -I think they were all really
our best primary source to teach us how things
like rationing and scrapping
and victory gardens. -And posters…and war bonds… -And movies…and song
and dance… all did make a difference. -Even though American students
were far away from the battlefronts,
their efforts supported our men and women in uniform. -They were all working together
towards a common goal. -To ensure victory and bring
their loved ones back home. -Because they knew… -We’re all in this together. ♪♪ -I think all the kids,
our student reporters, learned that kids did matter
on the home front. What they did at home helped
with victory on the battlefront. -Absolutely. Absolutely. You saw it from growing
the victory gardens to scrapping the metal
and rubber to help make the war materials,
to reading about the war in their comic books
and listening to the music about the war. Absolutely.
Kids had a big part in the war. -Did kids know that they were
having a big part in the war? Was that clear
to kids of school age? -Yes, I do believe so. That was… Like I said, it permeated
every aspect of American life. So that was always at the
forefront of kids’ minds. -There was a patriotism
that the kids were instilled through media, and probably
through their parents, that went in everything they did all day long.
-Absolutely. From the time you woke up
in the morning, “Can I have some more sugar
for my cereal?” “No, you can’t,” you know,
to what you’re gonna do after school,
after your homework. Let’s take that wagon
around the neighborhood and collect all the scrap metal
from the neighbors to turn in
at the big scrap drive. -We’ve learned what kids
like you did to help win World War II
more than 70 years ago. Now it’s your turn. The museum has a project that you can get involved in,
Get in the Scrap! Here’s Kenneth to tell you
a little bit more about it. Kenneth?
-Absolutely. Well, you heard
our museum volunteer telling our young reporter
about scrapping, collecting things
for the war effort. Today we call it recycling. Well, the National WWII Museum
is challenging you and your teacher
to get in the scrap. It’s a project all
about recycling and energy conservation
that is inspired by the efforts of kids scrapping
on the home front. It’s easy, fun, and you can win
a bunch of prizes. So sign up today
at getinthescrap.org. -And it’s more
than just the contest. It actually helps
the environment. -Absolutely. We want the young people today to realize that they can have
a positive effect on their world just like American kids
did during World War II. -So kids today,
just like the kids in World War II,
can make a difference. They can make history.
-Absolutely. And that’s why we’re so glad
that you all watched today. -Making history. We want to thank you
for joining us for this electronic field trip
“We’re All In This Together: How students like YOU
helped win WWII.” And teachers,
to get the latest updates about future field trips,
go to wyes.org and sign up
to receive our newsletter. Also, this field trip
will be archived on the WYES website at www.wyes.org/field trips. And you can also go
to the National WWII Museum at www.nationalww2museum.org to link to this field trip
and learn all about what the museum has to offer. And I know that many
of you had questions that we just couldn’t get to. Well, all you have to do
is go to that website. Many of those questions
may be answered. You’ll probably find exactly what you’re looking for
at that website. So remember, get in the scrap. And thanks for joining us here
at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -The electronic field trip
“We’re All In This Together: How students like YOU
helped win WWII” is a production partnership
of WYES New Orleans public television and… The National WWII Museum. Made possible in part
by The Selley Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *