Edd Williams IV
70 years later: How World War II changed America
After World War II ended 70 years ago, Americans already knew that the war had made a transformation in their country. Unfortunately, Americans did not know how long or how much of a change it would be. Changes did occur with not only the postwar America, but the Baby Boom, Cold War, and then the Affluent Society, however in which we live today. The seeds of the new America had been sown.
One example of change involves two brothers who opened a drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California. They were pressured by the desire of working families who wanted cheap meals served fast. These families wanted the convenience for this type of food service to eliminate the chore of doing it at home. Their name was McDonald.
Building homes for federal war workers is another example of change. A family-owned Long Island Construction Company had learned how to lay a lot of concrete foundations in one day. They also learned how to preassemble uniform walls and roofs. The name was Levitt & Sons.
In 1944, Jackie Robinson is a young black Army lieutenant officer that was court-martialed because he refused to sit in back of the military bus at Camp Hood, Texas. This trial prevented him from serving overseas. Later, Jackie Robinson was acquitted. Also in 1944, an Army Air Force photographer saw a beautiful young woman working on an aircraft group line in Burbank, California. Her name was Norma Jean Baker. Her name was later changed to Marilyn Monroe.
In the next decade, the Levitts would build Levittown, New York that will be the most famous postwar suburb. The McDonalds who will be focusing on assembly line hamburgers, would begin its ascent to global fast-food dominance. Jackie Robinson would integrate Major League Baseball. Marilyn Monroe would become the first “Playmate of the Month” in a new magazine called Playboy.
All the war’s changes, apparent and embryonic, did bring about a change to America 70 years later in so many areas of society. Many Americans that were away in the military lived on the memories they had left behind. Toward the end of the war, the land they once knew was already disappearing and focusing on the birth of new changes already in place.
Hampson, R. (2015) 70 years later: How World War II changed America