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We interviewed a lady who lived during World War II. Even though she wasn't a pioneer, she gives you a personal view of what life was like in the past. That's her picture in the photograph above when she was a little girl. She had two uncles who were in the war, one in the Navy and one in the Army. We learned lots of interesting facts, and we will tell you some of them. Mrs. Curtis went to school in Spooner, Wisconsin. In the schools, they had no videos, only films. They did not have computers or calculators, but they did have lots of maps to help keep track of the war.
The schools were a lot like now. They had the same subjects: math, reading, spelling. The kids walked home for lunch if they could. Most moms were home. At recess they kids would play jump rope and one-two-three O'Leary with the ball. In spring they played with marbles and jacks, baseball, tag, football scrimmages, or just walked with their friends. They studied the war. They sold war stamps. You could buy them for 25 cents. When you got $18.00 you got a war bond and it would be worth more later. She was in sixth grade when the war started and in her freshman year when the war ended.
She helped with the war effort by having scrap drives for aluminum with her Girl Scout troop. They also saved their cooking grease. Lots of things were rationed, like sugar and gas. They used the cooking grease for making cookies and other sweets.
During the war rubber was in short supply. They used honey instead of sugar. You learned to take care of your shoes because you couldn't get new ones if they got a hole in them. Coffee was also in short supply. Since things were in such short supply they cost more money. Transportation was a problem because of the soldiers coming home. When they heard an airplane they got very excited and all went out to look to see if it was soldiers.
During that time period they had no television, only radios. They listened to the radio because everything was on the radio. They heard shows on the radio. Every week, at the movies, they watched a little more of a story called a serial. Farmers came to town on Saturday to go shopping because that was the day the stores stayed open late. On other days they would close at 6:00. To entertain themselves during the war they played games and had parties.
During the winter, kids would go sledding and ice skating and skiing. The ponds were so close that the kids could put their skates on at home and walk to the ice.
Mrs. Curtis had two sisters and a brother. They still cooked
on wood burning and oil stoves during the war. There was no heat
in the bedrooms. Sometimes they would take a warm brick, wrapped
in a towel, to bed with them.
Mars. Curtis had a squirrel that she thought was hers that would eat out of her hand. She also had a gold fish. During the war the popular toys were all kinds of dolls. They had the "Drink and Wet" baby, the Black baby, little girl dolls, and little dolls. Mars. Curtis used clay to make furniture, dishes, and food for her dolls. There were also story books dolls that were very popular, like Hansel and Gretel. She used pine cones and acorn tops to have picnics with her dolls. They played lots of paper dolls and went swimming. They had 4th of July parades and at Christmas they sent things in tin cans to the soldiers. They had to mail the packages in the fall in order for them to get to the soldiers by Christmas.
The candy that was popular in World War Two was licorice pipes, candy cigarettes, suckers, life savers, ribbon candy, Hershey's, Heath Bars, Nut Goodie Bars. On Sundays they has frozen fudge, fudge that was very thick and cold. They also drank phosphates, a soda in all flavors.
On the day they found out the war ended there was lots of excitement and they closed the schools. There were no victory parades. The families celebrated themselves.