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A series of monthly articles highlighting the history of the area.
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While the hardships and challenges of the last three years of COVID-affected winter were unique to most of us, previous generations experienced hardships and turmoil that could give us a different perspective on today’s issues. Did.
An 80-year-old copy of The Kelliher Independent and The Bemidji Pioneer explores what was (or was) happening in our region and nation one year after the United States was attacked by Japanese forces and plunged into World War II. or not). II.
Several holiday-time articles and advertisements published in the Kellihar Independent in 1942 included themes you might see today. For example, a November 26th front-page article urged readers to mail his Christmas cards and packages as early as December 1st.
Wartime meant more mail was sent to more places for soldiers and families to stay in touch, and thousands of new postal workers replaced the men who went to war, The demands placed on the system were unprecedented.
Northern Pacific Railway urges travelers to think twice about riding during the holiday season in anticipation of thousands of vacationing soldiers taking the train home to visit family Did. …avoid the period from December 12th to he January 12th (and)…book sleepers and parlor cars well in advance. ”
Gas rationing began in December 1942, restricting motor vehicle travel. People had to sign up for gasoline rate coupons by his mid-December, and when he calculated an average mileage of 15 miles per gallon, each driver could get an ‘A’ coupon his book. This equates to 240 miles per month (90 for him for family use and 150 for him for family use). business miles.
Protesters in the Capitol instead pleaded for voluntary driving restrictions, arguing that the shortage had nothing to do with the availability of gasoline in most places, but rather with tire rubber shortages. Gas Ration Coupon applicants were limited to owning no more than five tires.
Many newspapers were spent explaining how to apply for ration coupons, how ration points worked, how to use (or not use) gas coupons, and how to support the war effort in various ways.
Instead of articles about holiday preparations and Christmas shopping ads, The Kelliher Independent’s front page touted its 36th annual Christmas sticker sale, “The country faces the threat of wartime tuberculosis.” I advertised.
Christmas stickers were available for purchase until December 25, and sales at Kelliher “well exceeded the quota set in 1942.”
The same edition of that newspaper featured a public service cartoon about a paycheck savings campaign, urging everyone to buy more war bonds. At least 10% is war bonds,” the ad urged.
On December 10th, The Kelliher Independent and Citizens State Bank sponsored a full-page ad. This did not encourage readers to shop locally, take advantage of pre-Christmas sales, or purchase his 2.5% 26-Year War Bonds. .
Reminding readers of the millions of Americans who have lost their homes, their jobs, and the thousands who have already lost their lives, the ad encourages people to say, “Give something to this $9 billion drive.” We are not asking that (but) … lend (to the government). All the money you could invest in the world’s safest investment, at a high interest rate. ”
The maturity of the bond was December 1968. Investors could buy as many bonds as they wanted. Interest is paid annually on June 15th and he on December 15th. Shorter-term, lower-yielding bonds were also available.
On December 14, 1942, the Bemidji Pioneers announced that they would hold a concert of the Bemidji High School Christmas War Bonds and the Stump Band “in support of the Bemidji Public Schools War Savings Campaign.”
Entry to the concert was the purchase of war bonds or postage stamps of any denomination that could be purchased at the school at the time of the concert.
Local newspapers often carried the names of men in the area who had recently been drafted into the army. On December 11, 1942, just one year and four days after Pearl Harbor, a Bemidji Pioneer headline stated that one million Americans were now involved in the war. In December 1942, a law was passed that reduced the conscription age from 20 to 18.
High school students aged 18 or 19 may defer until graduation. Before this law, many young people worked for the National Youth Service, which provides training and jobs to married and unmarried men and women between the ages of 17 and 24.
Those not in the war prepared for its consequences at home — filling the men’s jobs now unfolded, changing roles, making ends meet, sacrificing, preserving, preparing for the worst. increase.
People in nine states in northern Minnesota and the Midwest will go into a complete 20-minute blackout at 10:00 p.m. “Did.
Air raid signals rang out, local telephones rang the alarm, and “well-trained air raid monitors set into action.” Lights were everywhere, turned off or blackened the windows. Motor traffic stopped and headlights turned off. The train ran “slower… with darkened windows and blue headlights”.
The village of Kellihar was divided into air raid areas with designated residents working with air raid monitors. Army and civil defense officials, fearing an actual attack, hoped the rehearsal “eclipse” could save lives and property.
Regular curfews were abolished so that residents would not confuse them with air raids.
Bemidji held its own pre-blackout practice eclipse on December 1st. The newspaper published a list of suggestions for people against blackouts.
- All traffic must stop unless the vehicle has an identifying white flag and lights.
- Even official vehicles must not exceed 15 mph.
- Do not use your phone during a power outage.
- In the event of an emergency requiring movement, please contact Brock Air Defense Director.
- Stay off the road. But if you’re driving, pull over to the curb and turn off all the lights. If you walk, look for a doorway or approach the nearest building.
- At the 10:00 p.m. prompt, turn off the lights and stop moving, even if you don’t hear the signal.
Power outages were successful in most cases. Although not at home, the scars of the war were felt across the country, and everyone was affected whether they agreed with the measures taken or not.