Halloween 2020

Halloween this year has many comparisons to that which went on during WWII, but there were no episodes of mass destruction in the cities as I have seen in Philadelphia.

WWII put quite the damper on any activity as chaotic as Halloween was back in those days, people weren’t making heroes out of criminals … according to history, war shortages made everyone edgy, and towns clamped down on Halloween pranking with both curfews and notices sent home from principals and police. There was a national plea for conservation: any piece of property damaged during Halloween pranking was a direct affront to the war effort.

In 1942 the Chicago City Council voted to abolish Halloween and institute instead “Conservation Day” on October 31st. (This wasn’t the only attempt to reshape Halloween: President Truman tried to declare it “Youth Honor Day” in 1950 but the House of Representatives, sidetracked by the Korean War, neglected to act on the motion. In 1941 the last week of October was declared “National Donut Week,” and then years later, “National Popcorn Week.”)

A day for dressing up.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when it was believed the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead become blurred. It has since evolved into a holiday when spooky legends, myths and folklore take center stage—each with their own dark history.

The first Halloween during WWII was in 1942, when the nation was in full-tilt war production mode and millions of men were in uniform.  Children and teenagers were suddenly set free from adult supervision, as mothers and fathers spent more time working or away from home altogether.  There were widespread fears of juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior.  Fear was a dominant emotion during the war years and the vandalism one might expect on Halloween now seemed to portend greater crimes.  Many communities did, in fact, cancel Halloween that year.

Some folks saw the opportunity to co-opt, rather than ban, the holiday by hosting costume  parties, dances, etc. to lure the would-be delinquents off the streets and into safer environments. (Still not much candy available though, due to the rationing of sugar.)  It worked.  Halloween vandalism feel off in 1942 and after the war, neighborhoods began hosting a kind of roving festival for kids – trick-or-treating.

For templates to create your own military pumpkins ___ CLICK HERE!!

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Military HALLOWEEN Humor ~

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Farewell Salutes – 

James Blaney – Milwaukee, WI; US National Guard, Major General (Ret.)

Eric Bunger – Sioux Falls, SD; US Army, Afghanistan & Iraq, Sgt., 82nd Airborne Division

Christopher Crossett – Philadelphia, PA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Silver Star, Purple Heart

Alpha Farrow – Lindsay, OK; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pvt., 10th Mt. Division / Vietnam & Korea, Chaplain, Col. (Ret.)

Morgan Garrett – Weddington, NC; US Coast Guard, Ensign

William Hinchey – Middletown, RI; USMC, WWII, CBI

Duane T. Kyser – Muskogee, OK; US Navy, WWII, Seaman 2nd Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)Rhiannon Ross – Waxom, MI; US Navy, Lt.

David Mansfield (100) – Thorold, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Carlisle Trost – Valmeyer, IL; US Navy, Naval Academy grad ’53, 23rd Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral (Ret. 37 y.)

Walter S. Wojtczak (105) – Newbury, NH; US Army, WWII, Major, Corps of Engineers

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 October 29, 2020, in Current News, Home Front, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 128 Comments.

  1. INteresting history. MY grandfather always used to talk fondly of Mischief Night when he was a boy in the 1920s in the north of England. I see from Wiki that it hasn’t quite died out.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischief_Night

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I now celebrate Reformation Day (31st October), lol. 🍀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea trick or treating began at the time of WWII. This could be worked into a good story for Halloween next year. Hmmm!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you once again for the history lesson, GP! I can still remember when apples and oranges were given out at Halloween.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you very much for the fascinating history of Halloween in the US.

    I have bookmarked this post to quote from next year on my site.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was really interesting! Halloween was about pranks until after the war, and then became trick-or-treating. No wonder parents were wary during the war. And I see how it seemed an affront to the war effort. Thanks, GP. I always learn something from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, Halloween was a prank day during WWII. That was a break for the monotony off killing the enemies. haha….Great info. I haven’t saw movies with scenes of Halloween pranks. I got it from you, GP. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That was so fascinating GP! I didn’t know any of that and those cartoons!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t know the history of trick or treating! I learn so much from your posts, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some comparisons to 2020?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the peek into Halloween during the war years. I had no idea that trick or treating started as a way to keep the delinquents busy. Lol. We could use some of that in Washington!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Very interesting! I love to learn and I didn’t know these facts about Halloween.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great Halloween history lesson, GP! 🎃 Happy Halloween 2020!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. You always catch my interest in unexpected ways, GP. I forget how full of vandalism and bad pranks Halloween used to be back then. Now they just do that kind of extreme any day of the week… Thanks for this mindful post. Oh, I got a big kick out of the GIF images. Happy Halloween. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful reminder of how adaptable Americans are. Good post, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Learned something new again. Well, we are at the war of some sorts right now too.
    This morning I found a post on my FB page. Orthodox Church says NO to Halloween 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Over here, there was a good deal of juvenile delinquency in the big cities, but not really at Halloween which was not celebrated in England until about ten years ago.
    The big English cities had been bombed, creating a wonderful playground with lots to smash and things to steal, and, of course, lots of kids didn’t even remember their fathers who were away in the forces and mother was working ten hour shifts and sometimes, operating a searchlight at night as well.
    The delinquents of the 1940s, of course, became the parents of the 1960s !

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Nice tribute and historical share, GP. Have a fun weekend of treats!🎃☕️☕️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Interesting history of Halloween. I like the National Donut Day. My house is closed for Halloween this year. My son told me no treats this year. Lights off at home. Some folks here will just put the candy on the front porch. Not a good idea. Last year a couple of homeowners did that and saw one kid took everything out for himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Interessant om lezen deze Halloween geschiedenis. Het is slechts een aantal jaar bij ons bekend .Er zijn verkleedpartijen voor kinderen en de jeugd. Wandeltochten waar men de schrik van zijn leven krijgt. Huizen worden luguber versierd en er worden snoepjes als heksenbloed, spoken drakentanden enz uitgedeeld. Dit jaar zal het binnenhuis moeten gebeuren want vrees dat we doordat we covid niet onder controle krijgen morgen in volledige lockdown gaan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Het spijt me zo te horen, Mary. Velen van ons dachten dat deze griepvariant zo ongeveer als alle andere was, maar China heeft ons laten zien dat wereldwijde biologische wapens heel goed mogelijk zijn. Het is een enge wereld daarbuiten. Maakt me bijna blij dat ik niet jong meer ben.

      Like

  21. Never knew any of that history about Halloween. Interesting. I guess in many countries it’s not observed at all. Due to current pandemic situation I’ve been curious how people might practice Halloween this year? We didn’t sell as much Halloween stuff this year at Home Depot than we have in the past. Kids are always enthused however. Adults maybe not so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Back in the old days, back when the Celts were hanging out 2000 years ago, Halloween was a day when the ghosts of dead people were set free to wander. Not too different today, G. 🙂 When I was a child, one of my brother and my favorite pranks was to hide out in the overgrown graveyard next to our house and jump out when trick or treaters came by. Boy, little kids can run fast. We were bad. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Some great Halloween trivia.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Yes, toilet papering homes, egging homes, destroying outhouses, soaping car windows and other mischief was pretty much history by the time I came along in the early 1950s. I remember the most compelling objective in the search for treats was to learn who was giving out the really good treats like cinnamon apples or candy bars.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Great history ~ every time I read your posts I get not just a history lesson but also a feeling of pride to those who have made the USA a great place to live and build a life. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m with you on making heroes out of criminals. A different value set from mine. I enjoyed the Halloween WWII view, GP. Also, those GIFs were cute and that open-door policy very accurate,

    Liked by 1 person

  27. When my dad’s company transferred him to NY we moved to NJ. As if Halloween wasn’t enough they also had a thing called Mischief Night the night before!

    Liked by 3 people

  28. We didn’t celebrate Halloween here at all, until it started to ‘creep across’ in a big way in the 1980s. I doubt it would have had a consideration in wartime Britain. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Oh forgot to add …that is a creepy clown🤡😨

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Love your Halloween toons!!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. An interesting bit of history, And things do certainly change over time.

    Sometimes it is sad to me. From what I have seen, at least where I live, Halloween has really been co-opted by adults. Kids get relegated to a few minutes of “Trunk or Treating” in the church parking lot while adults wear costumes to work and have lavish masquerade parties.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. A parallel I hadn’t thought of

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for the very interesting view on the history of Halloween! Very nice to read about the different shapes they’d wanted to give it. “National Donut Day” would be lovely, but only Donuts as treats? I think we would be also treated. 😉 Enjoy your day, and lets hope rioting will come to and end. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  34. From the number of over-the-top yard decorations this year, it seems like the celebration’s going to go on in one way or another. Putting candy on the curb is an awful suggestion. The fun of Halloween always has been the interaction between trick-and-treaters and people at the homes they visit, and the local officials who are saying “Don’t celebrate” are not being celebrated.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Love this post GP and of course, the cartoons. Hope people will take note and behave appropriately. At least I can personally vouch that there is no candy shortage this Halloween although if we don’t have any trick or treaters I have a huge bag of chocolate to consume…..

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I wasn’t even sure when Halloween, trick or treating and pranks started. Interesting strategy. We haven’t canceled trick or treating, but the governor’s advice is to “remain six feet apart” and “put the candy in the child’s bag.” I’m not sure how that works.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. An interesting bit of social history! I’ve never considered how the war effort might have affected Halloween.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Interesting history !

    Liked by 1 person

  39. So thats how we got trick or treating!

    Liked by 2 people

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