Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today in Willow Creek History – 21 January 1944

Photo from National Archives

On 21 January 1944 Jessie Tucker Agard writes in her journal that her husband Arthur Agard and Willow Creek neighbor Paul Vann have gone to John Rice’s to the 4th War Loan drive. That drive was probably in Trumansburg. 

“During World War II, the U.S. Treasury conducted “War Loan Drives”, set periods of time during which an onslaught of entertainers, radio programs, posters, newspaper ads, articles, magazines, and short films urged Americans to purchase as many war bonds as possible to help fund the war effort. And the money was needed---on November 19, 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that the war was costing the United States $250,000,000 a day. There would ultimately wind up being eight numbered War Loan Drives during the duration of World War II, with the eighth and final one being dubbed the “Victory Loan Drive”. Similar War Loan Drives had been conducted during the first World War---but whereas the propaganda for those campaigns relied largely on posters and newspapers, during World War II a coalition of actors, comedians and singers would help lead the way.” [Jack Benny in the 1940s]

On the home front two days prior, Arthur and Jessie’s son-in-law, Louis Tamburino traveled to Utica, NY for his physical test. He passed and is now officially in the Navy.  Six days later he is in Sampson, NY for naval training.  

The Village of Trumansburg did its part for the war effort. According to A History of Trumansburg by Lydia Sears, the town of Ulysses surveyed available rooms to house evacuees of bombed metropolitan areas. The silk mill was used by the defense industry, emergency mass feeding plans were put in place, and collections of scrap metal, rubber, silk stockings, tin, copper, rags and paper were encouraged.  Food and gas rationing was in place.

Just north of Trumansburg the Seneca Naval Station, later called Sampson was constructed employing 17,583 people. The majority of those required housing. 

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