United States declared war against Japan and thus entered World War II in 1941. The declaration of war was a reaction to the December 7th bombing of Pearl Harbor. Approximately 16 million people fought in the war or served as support for the military. Over 400,000 people died in action. Almost everyone who remained in America supported the war effort through rationing, buying war bonds, sending packages overseas, and collecting metals that could be used for military purposes. World War II ended in 1945. Children could understand more about the war by reading World War II Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes by David C. King and Cheryl Kirk Noll.
Cheese, butter, and meat were rationed in 1943 as part of the effort to win World War II. Shoppers received ration books with stamps. When the shopper no longer had stamps for a certain product, that product could not be bought until next month. Sugar, tires, and gasoline were also rationed. Rationing was lifted in 1946. Children could learn many more facts at the excellent website: Food Rations.
Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. Her book of poetry, Annie Allen, described the life of an African American girl growing up during World War II.
V-E Day was celebrated in 1945. Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces, ending World War II in Europe. A surrender document was signed at Reims and became effective one minute past midnight on May 9, 1945. President Harry Truman, whose birthday is today, signed the agreement. He stated that the agreement was a wonderful birthday present.
V-Mail (Victory Mail) began in 1942 as World War II brought many soldiers overseas. To conserve space on transport planes, letters were opened and photographed. A roll of film held 1,600 letters. The film was mailed overseas, and the letters were printed. The process ceased November 1, 1945, when the war ended. Older children could learn more at: Victory Mail.
World War II informally ended in 1945. When President Truman proclaimed that the Japanese had surrendered, people rejoiced around the world. The official surrender took place on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri. Idea: Children could make a timeline of World War II.
Japan formally surrendered in 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II. The ceremony, broadcast around the world via radio, lasted about 23 minutes. The Allied copy of the surrender is located in the National Archives: World War II.