We remember, but oh how much we forget.
I was ten years old when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and we were actively in World War II overnight.
I can tell you lots about patriotic songs, names of generals and islands in the Pacific, war bonds, and gathering scrap aluminum. What happened when the war was over nearly four years later is rather hazy in my memory until something serves as a reminder.
Logan County Public Library has created a subject index of the local newspapers. I am currently reading the 1946 issues of the News-Democrat and adding that year’s news to the index that already covers 1947 to the present.
The war had officially ended September 2, 1945, so this was only the beginning of our lives’ working back to normalcy.
Businesses used the war’s end to figure in their advertisements. In February, Croslin Hat Shop’s ad read: “Easter beauties you’ll wear right through the peaceful spring.” Inman’s offered a special price reduction on in-stock wallpaper, as they were expecting to be able to get new and different patterns soon.
Government restrictions that had prevented extra steps necessary to produce “white” flour were lifted. Two local mills announced that white flour was again available in their brands — Auburn Leader from Auburn Mills and Eiderdown from McCarley-Richardson.
The wartime ban on including a spare tire with new cars was extended for a period of time. Car owners were encouraged to continue recapping their worn tires, as manufacturers were having difficulty supplying the demand for new tires.
Shortages of many things did not quickly disappear. Steel factories still needed scrap iron, and farmers were encouraged to change their tractor tires from steel to rubber, although the rubber supply was not yet back to normal either. The newspaper would often apologize for fewer pages in an issue because of the shortage of newsprint.
Community leaders chose 1946 to launch a safety program targeting reckless and drunk drivers. The population was afraid that the “new freedom” might lead to endangering the lives of children who had become used to playing in the streets and more travelers speeding on the highway would cause more wrecks. The slogan stated: “Let death, pain, and suffering end with the war.”
Different businesses, industries, and individuals paid for the slogan to be run in the paper for several weeks that summer. In return, they could submit a brief profile of their services and history. Among these supporters were Hancock’s, the Coca-Cola plant, Guion & Johnson locker, Davis Service Station, Southern Deposit Bank, and others.
The eleventh Logan County Fair was held, after a six-year lapse, and was a big success. Clem Dickason Carter and Frances Dean Herndon won first place respectively in the baby boys and girls contest.
Sugar was still rationed, merchandise of all kinds was scarce or inferior in quality, but a large bunch of celery cost only ten cents and socks ranged from fifteen cents to a quarter per pair.