Guest Post – Introduction to American Family Life – GPCox

Here is another post I wrote 5 years ago – what a terrific project those Guest Posts were – I am thrilled Judy is reblogging them.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

I’ve invited gpcox to share another post with us. This one concerns the life of an American Family during the 1940’s. I learned a few things myself.

Gpcox of

Judy’s collection of letters from her grandfather is an excellent example of what the American family endured during the Second World War.

With the onset of war, patriotism certainly skyrocketed as well as marriages, job opportunities and salaries.  But here, fresh out of the depression, poverty, divorce and taxes soared.  Twenty million people bordered on starvation.  There was a shortage of shelters, hospitals and child care facilities.  Many youngsters quit their education to help support the family.

Ration Coupons Ration Coupons

Food rationing began.  The Office of Price Administration (OPA) was constructed to handle the rationing regulations.  Since most

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everything went to the military, Americans at home had to tighten their belts once again.  If the readers have seen my…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 8, 2018, in Home Front, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Thank you for an excellent re post into the personal insight into the effects the war had on the home front.
    Excellent reading.
    Another great choice for re post gp.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing, GP. I left a comment on Judy’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. >This is a pretty clear picture of what your parents and grandparents were living with on a day-to-day basis. Because the war was world-wide, families all over the world had to ..

    I thought everyone struggling.
    Nice post!!:D

    By the way,this author “Judy” is Who?? you??
    I am confused because I can not read other language well.(T^T)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy has a blog called ‘Greatest Generation Lessons’ where she shows us the letters her family wrote to each other during this era. She asked me years ago to write these posts – I did and then reblogged them on my blog. I hope this translation will be helpful…

      Judyには、この世代の間に家族が書いた手紙を示す「Greatest Generation Lessons」というブログがあります。 彼女は何年も前にこれらの投稿を書くように私に頼んだ。 この翻訳が参考になることを願っています…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Powdered egg! My mother still shudders when she thinks of it! I must tell her what she missed with the margarine with a yellow capsule though!
    She still remembers , when posted out in the wilds, being offered a lift in a gamekeeper’s van which proved to be full of dead rooks hanging from the roof. He was taking them to the pub for their famed off ration pies…mother never touched another one of them…
    Interesting to learn what American families underwent…a corrective to thinking that they had it easy in comparison with British families.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I left a comment on her blog, but had to say how much I enjoyed this. I still have some of our family’s ration coupons, and yes — I spent time kneading that yellow “egg” into the white margarine!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I just asked my husband about rationing. Besides food ration coupons, there were gas ration coupons: A, B, C and X. Most people got A, 3 gallons. His mother got B, 6 gallons because she was a volunteer for the Red Cross. Grumman employees got X. They got more because they were building those warplanes. Even if you got A, you were not guaranteed gas. Only when the gas station had gas and when they opened, there would be a long line.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interessante post.Ik ben geboren bij de bevrijding maar waarvan de miserie uit de oorlogsjaren van mijn moeder die er heel veel oververteld heeft en heel wat jonge mensen zijn toen gestopt met studeren op te helpen dat het huisgezin overleefde.


    • Dat is hier ook veel gebeurd. Vooral omdat de depressie zo slecht was vóór de oorlog en er geen geld was en tijdens de oorlog waren de mannen verdwenen.


  8. My mother was born in 1930 so she was a child and teenager during the war era. This gives me a better picture of her life. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Of course I realize that the Americans had a hard time during the war but I didn’t know that they suffered this much. Interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The fear and uncertainty must have been unbearable, and you’re so right about how easily entertainment can be had today, with so little effort. Really good post, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think this was before I became addicted to your blog. I’m going over to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. i’m so glad that these posts have come back, i always learn so much from you –

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It was good to reread, GP, to be reminded of how things used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi GP. Great post. It’s amazing to think about all the rationing. I can’t help wondering if our nation could cope with it today. Well done. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. my mother and grandmother use to talk about rationing…..and use it as a shaming tactic….LOL chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Really interesting to see what your Rationing Coupons looked like:) Had a discussion only last week how shortages during the war scarred our parents. The young things at work could not believe my stories of not being able to leave the dinner table until every scrap of food was eaten. If pumpkin was on that plate I would sit there for hours.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Even when I was born (1952) there was still food rationing in Britain, a legacy of WW2. It didn’t end until 1954, when meat finally came off the rationing list. The needs of being in a country at war were similar to those in America of course. Growing vegetables anywhere, making use of old clothes and other goods by sewing and re-modelling them, and living on a greatly-reduced diet. Of course, Britain also had to endure this whilst being bombed or attacked by rockets for most of the war years.
    That wartime diet is now highly praise by nutritionists. Once things came off ration, many families used things like sugar to excess, probably making up for all those years of abstention.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The UK had far more to deal with back then. The US was lucky to be so far from the maniacal rulers we were all fighting. We weren’t bombed but we lost quite a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • A story well told that many Americans don’t understand. We Americans haven’t had a war on our soil since the Civil War. I doubt most people can grasp life after war. Thank you, Pete

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Jennie. I am not discounting that US involvement ultimately won that war, and the loss of so many men was just awful. But civilians in Europe endured unimaginable hardships, as well as austerity.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Exactly! I was trying to say the same thing, I but did not do that very well. The ravages of war fought on your own soil, meaning the hardships on all people and families who live there, is unimaginable. And Americans can’t imagine what that is like, because we haven’t had a war on American soil since our own Civil War. Cities bombed and burned, scarcity of food… Americans can’t grasp the magnitude of hardship. Thank you, Pete. Best to you.

          Liked by 2 people

  18. As you know, I can recognise much of this, GP

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you very much.


  1. Pingback: Forgotten Things: American Life in the 1940s – Fly 'n Things

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