The Societal Differences Between the Male and Female Sex in the 1940s

By Brook Williams

The differences between the sexes in the 1940s is extremely prevalent when observing the media and literature around that time. While reading through The Utah Chronicle during the decade of the ’40s, it is evident throughout the ads and articles that women and men had distinct qualities that they were supposed to live up to in order to fit in with society. It was normal for ladies to be seen as objects that played very little roles in the development of the world. Typically, women held little control or power and were constantly being simplified to having no other purposes on this earth than being a beautiful caregiver to her husband and children.

Contrary, men were socially constructed to be a breadwinner, a worker, a gentleman, intelligent, and powerful. They were expected to provide for the women and family and uphold a high standard of manners. Both sexes came with the pressure to be a specific way. Rarely do you see any influence to be authentic to oneself in the 1940s. People had to fit the mold.

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Here, we can see the way that women and men were discussed in the ’40s. This is a picture of the “Helpful Hints to College Men” column, published in the Utah Chronicle on November 28, 1940.

Many articles published during the ’40s display these ideas through the language and conversation. One article that especially points this out was in the November 28, 1940, issue of The Utah Chronicle. The “Helpful Hints to College Men” column reported an etiquette book that the Mortar Woman’s Honor Society created called As We Do It. “I know some of us [women] do let things drop on purpose, but even then, you should be gentleman enough to pick them up.” (“Helpful Hints”) As We Do It was published in 1940 by the University of Utah, courtesy of the Mortar Board, which is a select group of female honorary students. It was a guide to help college students with their etiquette, including, style, telephone etiquette and dating etiquette.

An excerpt from the book discusses how women should be a “good sport” on dates and try out activities like skiing, even if they don’t have the desire to. “After your escort has unwrapped you several times from around the pine tree, he’ll probably only be too happy to let you play in the snow. But rest assured he will admire you all the more for your stamina, and will ask you again if you have enough fun to show him you’re a jolly sort.” (As We Do It, p. 21) This excerpt displays the general idea of women pleasing men and the assumption that the woman would fail and be weak during the activity.

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This is an image of the original AS WE DO IT booklet of etiquette, written and edited by Mortar Woman’s Honor Society. Photo by Brook Williams, communication student at The University of Utah.

A November 14, 1940, article in The Utah Chronicle includes several different examples of women being continuously referred to with an adjective describing their beauty. For example, “cute Beth,” “she said with a gleam in her lovely brown eyes,” “chimed in blonde Betty,” “petite Betty Lou,” or “attractive Nonie.” Words like dainty, fragile, tantalizing and petite are used to describe all women.

In one Utah Chronicle column called “Keep the Change,” men explained the nicknames they gave their girlfriends. A few of “the prize winners” were, “I call my girl Hinge, because she is something to a door,” “I call my girl Calibre because she is such a bore,” and, “I call my girl Hitler because she is sh-Nazi.” Men publicly spoke of their girlfriends in a condescending way, which in the 1940s was completely acceptable.

An excerpt from As We Do It discusses the fashion of men tipping their hats to other men, and when to do so. The authors suggest tipping hats to most men because “you might be asking him for a job or daughter sometime in the near future.” (p. 24) This further supports the sexist attitude of how men assumed “ownership” of a woman.

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AS WE DO IT is a thin booklet containing examples and information for both men and women about socially acceptable mannerisms. Many would be considered derogatory to both sexes now.

Another example of women being portrayed in a certain way is in an Atlantic article written by Megan Garber called, “‘When You Supervise a Woman’: The 1940s Instructional Manual.” This article includes instructional brochures of how to teach women about the utmost basic workplace protocol. Garber suggests that it is condescending and “is both ridiculous and hilarious by today’s standards, they’re also sort of sad: a reminder of how institutionalized sexism and its analogs can be, in the workplace and beyond.”

Not much has changed when comparing the general perception of gender roles from the 1940s to now. Books and magazines about “how to get the man/ woman of your dreams” are constantly being published and brainwashing people into an unauthentic way of living. Hopefully, society can continue with the progressive momentum we have had over the last 70 years, so the next generations can experience complete equality.

Brook Williams is a senior at The University of Utah. She plans on graduating in the spring of 2019 with a degree in communication.

Sources

Mortar Board, As We Do It, University of Utah, 1940.

 Helpful Hints to College Men,” Utah Chronicle, November 28, 1940, 7.

Freshman Women Express Views on Fraternities to Reveal Many Startling Conceptions,” Utah Chronicle, November 14, 1940, 5.

Marilla Barlow, “Keep the Change,” Utah Chronicle, November 20, 1940, 4.

Garber, Megan. “‘When You Supervise a Woman’: The 1940s Instructional Manual,” The Atlantic, August 27, 2012.

 

 

 

 

How the World War II Draft Impacted the Lives of College-Aged Men at the University of Utah

By Averie Vockel

According to Allen Kent Powell, approximately 7,000 Utahns were serving in the U.S. military by June 1941. This illustrated how the draft or Selective Service Act enacted just one year prior had the ability to alter one’s reality instantly. Powell also noted that “enrollment in Utah’s colleges and universities offered another indicator of the coming war as enrolment in the fall of 1941 dropped from 10 to 25 percent below the previous year. At the University of Utah registration for the 1941 fall quarter was 3,665 or 19 percent less than the 4,085 students who registered for the previous fall quarter.” (“Utah and World War II,” p. 109)

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World War II initiated the United States’s first-ever peacetime draft. Thousands were enlisted and many trained for battle on the University of Utah campus. Photo courtesy of Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Students of the university saw the shock wave right in front of them, as the draft majorly impacted male students’ education and career paths. In one Utah Chronicle article, “Are We Patriots,” published May 8, 1941, the writer questions the role of the war and why young men ought to be proud to serve against their will. The author suggests there should be nothing wrong with a student who has invested themselves into their education, continuing that education.

This question of the draft was something university students had no option but to face and for some, the idea of amping up militarism or leaving their school desks for war, was not as patriotic as it posed to be. Moreover, the March 6, 1941, Utah Chronicle included a letter from student Neil P. Richards titled “The Enigma of National Defense.” Richards explains the government has placed a stricter time limit on earning an engineering degree, from four to three years. Richards implies that this is due to the ways engineering departments are relied upon to assist with national defense, and isolates an example of one faculty member taken by the government. Moreover, he explains that the draft provides no provision for engineers, meaning they may finish their program and be sent to serve on front lines rather than develop technology. It is clear from Richards’s account there was not simply a war happening in the world, but a war that impacted the everyday life of the college student.

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The military on the campus of the University of Utah. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

On November 6, 1941, the Utah Chronicle detailed in an article titled “Utes Favor Militarism Short of War” the results of a survey of roughly 400 students. They were asked questions pertaining to the war and though they seemingly favored militarism, they strongly opposed adjustments to the draftable age of young men. Perhaps that was because, as outlined in a March 6, 1941, Chronicle article, that young men of university age were directly targeted by the draft. The article detailed how there could be a significant depletion of young men at the university as a result of a large draft in the following weeks that would take 410 Utah men. Or perhaps it was because the war would create a hot and volatile political climate that the young would be the only hope for recovery.

Hays Gorey, in his Chronicle article “College Men, Planners of Post War World Face Vital Issues,” explained that in order for there to be peaceful future decisions about international policies, it would be imperative to listen to various voices. Gorey suggested that the college student, specifically the college man, was the one in the best position to start creating this future.

Moreover, Heber Hart, in his Chronicle article “The War This Week: College Students Look Toward Future With Hope for Better World,” echoed the idea that college students are the future. Hart wrote, “What youth does not want is a hand in an orgy of blood and fire if it will do nothing toward bettering the world.”

The University of Utah played a key role in  World War II and its students bore much of the burden. It is clear that the war and the country’s first ever peacetime draft specifically harmed college students. In a day and age where international politics seem to be heating up and rhetoric surrounding weapons technology and development are constantly brought up by world leaders as “an option,” it is important that we don’t disregard history and the valuable lessons it has provided.

Averie Vockel is a student at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication studies with a certificate in criminology.
 
Sources

“Draft May Cause Male Depletion,” Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1941, 2.

Neil P. Richards, “The Enigma of National Defense,” Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1941, 4.

“Are We Patriots,” Utah Chronicle, May 8, 1941, 4.

“Utes Favor Militarism Short of War,” Utah Chronicle, November 6, 1941, 1.

Hays Gorey, “College Men, Planners of Post War World Face Vital Issues,” Utah Chronicle, April 23, 1942, 4.

Heber Hart, “The War This Week: College Students Look Toward Future With Hope for Better World,” Utah Chronicle, October 8, 1942, 4.

Powell, Allen Kent. “Utah and World War II,” Utah Historical Quarterly 73, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 108-131.

Russian Leader Visits Campus

By Chase Thornton

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Alexander Kerensky in 1917. Public domain.

Alexander Kerensky led the beginning of the Russian Revolution. He was a lawyer who pioneered the first wave of the Russian Revolution in the year 1917. He was noted as a very influential political leader in Russia and spent many of his later years traveling to other countries and states to give informative and educational speeches about policy and influence in the political system. (Whitman)

Alexander Kerensky made one of his stops at the University of Utah campus to give a speech to students, faculty and the general public about his experiences as a political leader. Kerensky, during a two-day visit to Utah, discussed “Russia and the International Situation.” Kerensky also held meetings for faculty members and students to answer questions and further discuss other topics related to the Russian condition. Kerensky was president of the Russian Democratic Provisional Government. (Utah Chronicle)

Alexander Kerensky would travel all across America teaching the general public of Russian policy and international affairs and discuss briefly of his time spent pioneering the revolution in 1917.

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Kerensky at the National Press Club in 1938. Public domain.

After many years of war and despair among the Russian people there, Kerensky was able to give a vision of sight to the people of Russia escaping political turmoil and senseless violence that ensued. The Russian people celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 15th, during one of the most religious holidays for the Russian people. This signified a new era of hope and renaissance for the future generations of the Soviet Union. (Frazier)

However, it wasn’t an easy transition from war to peace, the people of Russia battled internally whether or not they will be safe from the tyranny of war. Debates of whether Russian was going to stay into the war invoke a response in the Russian Government. A telegram was sent out depicting that the war efforts will continue with all of the given treaties at hand. This telegram broke out to the public and the trust of the Russian Authorities was no longer intact, until the forceful resignation of the war minister and foreign minister.

Kerensky did not have 100% support of all people, and even had some rather outlandish ideas about communism causing the death of millions of people in Russia. He believed that concentration camps would be utilized to demolish a great number of innocent people. (Safire)

Kerensky eventually became the new Supreme Commander of the Russian Army. However, throughout his political career, he continued to support the war efforts being made which again made him considerably unpopular among his people. He ultimately decided that he needed to gain the leftist support so he rebranded his platform by including more socialists and more Mensheviks revolutionists. This was an unsuccessful attempt and never gained control or support of his people. (Simkin)

Sources

Whitman, Alden. “Alexander Kerensky Dies Here at 89,” New York Times, June 12, 1970.

“Russian Leader Visits Campus,” Utah Chronicle, February 15, 1945, 1.

Frazier, Ian. “What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?” Smithsonian, October 2017.

Simkin, John. “Alexander Kerensky.” Spartacus Educational, November 2017.

Safire, William. “Ghost at the Summit: The Lessons of Alexander Kerensky,” Chicago Tribune, April 2, 1993.

 

Women Workers in World War II

By Riley Spear

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Women in World War II performed men’s jobs. Used by permission, Utah State Historical
Society.

Women played a large role in helping the United States throughout World War II. With men being called from every home to come serve on the battlefields, it allowed women to enter the labor force and have opportunities in the military. The New York Times, on November 23, 1942, said, “Women want a real role to play in the planning of tomorrow.” Not only did they give their time in the home, but abroad as well.

Prior to the women’s commitment to serve in the workforce and military, The Utah Chronicle on November 25, 1942, stated there would be university classes offered to teach women certain techniques in case they were ever needed for combat. These classes included rigorous training such as wrestling, crawling through barrels, and other conditioning activities. This class excited and prepared women for their future job opportunities. Many superiors were thrilled at the chance to teach this class because it was a step toward changing the gender stereotype. Pathfinder magazine reported training classes continued to be held across the states for women in their late teens, to early forties. The training preparation classes were receiving positive feedback, and genuinely helping women in their future job roles they would pursue to help the war cause.

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Women worked in the military air force in World War II. Used by permission, Utah State Historical
Society.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a moment in history where all citizens had to come together as a team in order to survive the war, and women were prepared to give their aid. The Utah Chronicle, on December 3, 1942, reported that the war was asking for University of Utah women with scientific training such as engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics and accounting. The need for help was dire, and it was urgent women were made aware of their need. The War Manpower Commission posted an advertisement that read, “Longing won’t bring him back sooner…GET A WAR JOB,” in order to encourage women to help. Posters such as these motivated women to serve their country and also help their men. Women responded, coming to serve in the country as industrial workers, and abroad filling the gaping hole in the U.S. labor force.

In San Diego, CLICK Magazine reported on February 1, 1944, “Women were becoming letter carriers, bus drivers, high altitude window washers, milk deliverers, and office workers.” An assortment of positions were left vacant and women were fulfilling them without hesitation. The American Magazine wrote an issue in January 1943 on a young women named Dorothy Vogley. When the war called for women employees she seized an opportunity at Timken Rolling Bearing Co. as a testing machine operator. “At first,” noted the article, “the strange hours put her at odds end with the world, but now she believes working in the war industry has made her a new, more self-reliant person.” (p. 11) The war was able to offer women a chance to prove their worth, and spread awareness that women were capable. In some cases, such as Vogley’s, it was also a realization and an inspiration to other women.

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Women working alongside each other in hard hats and overalls. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Women’s involvement in the war was a huge turning for the United States, and in gender stereotypes. “The war may have demonstrated to employers that women could function well in jobs that had previously been male domains,” wrote Claudia D. Golding in her research article “The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women’s Employment.” After the war, and when men returned, many women were forced out of their jobs. However, within five years the percentage of women in the labor force increased dramatically. Golding’s data prove that during wartime 24.7 percent of the labor force participation rates were made up of women, and by 1950, five years after the war had ended, it increased to 26 percent. This demonstrates the determination and perseverance women continued to strive for during and following the war.

The Utah Chronicle on December 3, 1942, reported, “Women are needed, and the time is past stereotypes.” It is hard to see light in horrible sequences of events such as war. However, women took it by the reigns and demonstrated their worth, and value. The U.S. would have suffered greatly without the hard work women gave in all fields of occupations. The recognition deserved for their performance is endless. “This is a women’s war as well as a man’s,” said Oveta Culp Hobby, director of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, in the 1942 New York Times story.

Riley Spear is a senior at the University of Utah. She is studying journalism and will graduate in spring 2019.

Sources

Advertisement for women workers, Office for the War Manpower Commission, 1944.

San Diego: A Woman’s Town,” Click, February 1, 1944.

Girl on the Midnight Shift,” American, January 1943.

Amazons of Aberdeen,” Pathfinder, July 1942.

“7,000,000 Women Workers Seen in War Plants before Peace Comes,” New York Times, November 23, 1942, 1.

“Coed Commandos Out to Win War and Men,” Utah Chronicle, November 24, 1942, 4.

“Dean of Women Lists Coed Opportunities,” Utah Chronicle, December 3, 1942, 3.

Golden, Claudia. “The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women’s Employment,” American Economic Review 81, no. 4 (September 1991): 741-56.

The History of Cadet Nurses and Their Struggle for Veterans Rights

By Catherine Simmons

In the years leading up to WWll, jobs were in short supply. However, once America entered the war, that all changed. Because so many men signed up, employees of every kind were desperately needed. Nurses were perhaps needed most.

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University of Utah–Cadet Nurses War Vets. Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection, Utah State History.

In 1943, Frances Bolton introduced a bill to create a governmental program to recruit and train nurses. (“Short History”) It passed just a few months later. This led to a countrywide mass recruitment, particularly in universities. The University of Utah formed a club for all Cadet Nurses and even practiced drill with other ASTP, or Army Specialized Training Program, students. They often got in uniform and stood in formations and even ran practice exercises. (Cutler) There were numerous advertisements calling women to join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, similar to the advertisements calling men to join the service. At one point, 80 percent of nurses in the United States were part of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. (“Short History”)

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St. Marks Hospital Cadet Nurses. Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection, Utah State History.

Their 30-month training was rigorous and demanding. There was a lot of school work as well as training, not to mention the strict curfews. (Bergman) But they all said they felt an obligation to help the young men and their country.

One nurse, Eunice E. Smolak, was assigned to Bushnell General Hospital where she treated wounded servicemen and prisoners of war. She wrote about how difficult it was, emotionally and physically, to care for those wounded soldiers, and that she would never forget those experiences. (“We Remember”) Each nurse was greatly affected by what she saw and heard in those hospitals. It was not an easy job. It was physically, emotionally and psychologically demanding. However, despite the hardship each cadet nurse faced, they were not considered veterans.

Numerous pleas have been submitted asking to change the status of cadet nurses to eligible veterans. A wave of activism has swept across the country. Former cadet nurses are sending letters and calling all their cadet friends and acquaintances, letting everyone know what they are trying to achieve. Letters were sent out begging for signatures on their petition. Cadet nurses and their families have sent letters to the editor in newspapers all over the country, including the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune, asking for recognition of their efforts and sacrifice. The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps is, in fact, the only uniformed force that has not received veterans status. That means they do not qualify for any of those benefits and services. (Karins)

On February 6, 2017, H.R. 1168, the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act, was introduced to Congress. It states that any member of the United States Nurse Corps who served between July 1, 1943, and December 31, 1948, is qualified to full veteran status, including all benefits, although those benefits won’t be back-paid. (Lowey) Seventeen representatives cosponsored the bill. However, despite all the effort put in by so many, nothing has come of it. Almost two years later and it has still not passed in the House of Representatives.

Thousands of women sacrificed so much of their time and energy, just doing their duty to their country and their fellow Americans and the least we can do is give them what they are owed. If we wait much longer, there will be no nurses left to recognize.

Catherine Simmons is a Utah resident who has a degree in communication from the University of Utah. She is married with a beautiful puppy.  She loves history and reading and dreams of becoming an author. 

Sources

Robert Cutler, “Campus in Crisis,” Utah Chronicle, November 4, 1943.

Belcher, David. “Cadet Corps Seeks Congressional Recognition: World War II Nurses Petition Congress for Veterans’ Benefits, Honors,” American Journal of Nursing 103, no. 3 (2005): 130-31.

Doona, Mary Ellen. “Cadet Nurse Corps,” Massachusetts Report on Nursing 11, no. 1 (March 2013): 6.

Karins, Jessica. “U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps members seek veteran status,” Columbia Daily Tribune, August 20, 2018.

Bergman, Julia. “All but forgotten: Cadet nurses reflect on service during WWII,” The Day, November 3, 2018.

Rep. Nita Lowey, H.R. 1168, United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act.

Alissa Sauer, “Overdue Recognitions for WWII Cadet Nurse Corps,” Veteran Aid, April 3, 2018

Short History of Military Nursing: U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps,” Ebling Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August 18, 2017.

“We Remember: Eunice E. Smolak,” USCadetNurse.org.

The Coon Chicken Inn and Utah’s Hidden History of Racism

By Chris Oregon

The Coon Chicken Inn was a fried chicken restaurant chain located in the Pacific Northwest and owned by Maxon Lester Graham and his wife Adelaide. The first Coon Chicken Inn was established in 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Coon Chicken Inn was famously known for its racist “coon” caricature logo that was used to promote the authenticity of the southern-style food. At the entrance of the restaurant was a 12-foot “coon head.” Customers entered through the mouth, which had exaggerated large lips and teeth. This same entrance was then used for the other two locations that opened later. Despite protests against the racial slurs and racist caricatures the stores remained open until the late 1950s. Even though the restaurant was racist, the only complaint from the city was when it heard rumors that operators were serving alcohol. On March 11, 1927, The Salt Lake Telegram wrote about the trial that Graham went to for “conducting a disorderly house,” because officers had claimed that they found liquor on three of the restaurant’s tables. (“Graham Enters Not Guilty Plea”)

 

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Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Catherine Roth writes that the large “coon head” used for the entrance of the building was a gimmick to attract customers. (“The Coon Chicken Inn”) Graham also used the logo on postcards, newspaper advertisements, children’s fans, delivery cars, and matchboxes as promotion.

After gaining a lot of success, Graham later opened two more locations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Each location had the “coon head” entrance that was used with the first location to attract customers. The restaurant not only provided food for its customers but entertainment as well. The Utah Chronicle mentioned that the restaurant offered dancing and talented local musicians to entertain customers. (“What We’ll Do”) The Coon Chicken Inn was popular among University of Utah students; the Interfraternity Council planned a stag party for students and the restaurant was chosen to host its festivities. (“Greek Council”) Popular among University of Utah students, several fraternities chose to hold events such as banquets at the restaurant because it had a dance floor and live music for everyone to enjoy. (“The Town Chatter”) Variety magazine also mentioned in its April 7, 1937, issue that the Coon Chicken Inn was a great spot for out-of-state bands to work with local musicians, which helped attract customers.

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Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Despite being racist, the restaurant was very successful, opening a total of three locations in three different cities. After opening in Seattle in 1930, Graham was met with protests. That same year the Seattle branch of the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) and the African-American newspaper, the Northwest Enterprise, protested the opening of the restaurant and even threatened Graham “with a lawsuit for libel and defamation of race.” In response, Graham agreed to change his advertising styles by “removing the word ‘Coon’ from the restaurant’s delivery and also by repainting the ‘Coon head’ entrance to the restaurant.” Instead of the “coon head” being black he decided to paint the skin color blue to avoid further issues. Graham also canceled his order of 1,000 car tire covers to please the protesters and not get in legal trouble. In the end, Graham removed the “Coon head” from public view and decided to close the restaurant doors for good. (Roth, “The Coon Chicken Inn”)

Today, the original Coon Chicken Inn building is gone. Despite the restaurant being shut down, Coon Chicken Inn remains relevant today due to the collectibles being sold online as black memorabilia. In 2017, Cook’s Garage, a Texas restaurant, caused outrage when customers noticed a Coon Chicken Inn neon sign on its walls. After receiving so much backlash, the owner said the sign wasn’t there to offend anyone, but to display Americana history. (Robinson) Even though the restaurant has been closed since the 1950s, it is still making headlines to this day. It’s still a relevant topic due to its racism. The Coon Chicken Inn will forever be a part of Utah history.

Chris Oregon is a senior at the University of Utah. He is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in Spanish.

Sources

Graham Enters Not Guilty Plea,” Salt Lake Telegram, March 11, 1927, 2.

The Town Chatter,” Utah Chronicle, December 21, 1932, 2.

What We’ll Do,” Utah Chronicle, January 25, 1934, 2.

Greek Council Chooses Rulers,” Utah Chronicle, May 21, 1936, 1.

“Salt Lake City Sets Bands for Summer,” Variety, April 7, 1937, 50.

Advertisement, Coon Chicken Inn, Utah Chronicle, September 28, 1944, 4.

Roth, Catherine. “Coon Chicken Inn (Seattle),” HistoryLink.org, October 16, 2009.

Roth, Catherine. “The Coon Chicken Inn: North Seattle’s Beacon of Bigotry,” Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project, University of Washington, 2009.

Robinson, Elliott. “The Coon Chicken Inn Lives,” CreativeTension.org, 2017.

Expressing the Importance of Buying War Bonds and Stamps

 

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American Home Foods, window display, April 23, 1945; Shipler Commercial Photographers. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

By Eric U. Norris

During World War II, the war effort couldn’t be stressed more to the public than through the importance of buying stamps and bonds. The Utah Chronicle reported on April 8, 1943, that the University of Utah was starting a bond drive on April 19 with the goal of reaching $75,000 to buy a P-51 Mustang fighter plane by June 1. If the drive reached its goal the fighter plane would have the university’s name painted on its nose when it flew into its first battle. The Utah Chronicle made it a point to get young people involved and well informed in the war effort and contained multiple articles that detailed the development of the drive and how much money was raised.

The Utah Chronicle article “Easter Morn to Bring out Newest Fashions in War Time Clothing” mirrored many of the wartime efforts by magazines to encourage the purchase of war bonds. The majority of the article listed the newest spring clothing the campus coeds would be wearing on Easter Sunday. However, the author, Gladys Barker, tagged on at the end of the article, “It’s not wise to say that old bear ‘Vanity’ will not overcome that desire to save money for war bonds and stamps.” Its addition seems to contradict the theme of spending money on clothing yet it blatantly displays the obsession in raising money for the war effort.

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Donor Everett L. Cooley holds a chart indicating money raised for the War Fund Drive, May 1942. From left: Arthur Gaeth Dommenter; J. Fielding Smith; E. J. Dreyfons; Mrs. Wm. Gibbs McAdoo. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

World War II brought out this involvement from the public to support itself. Basically, those who weren’t drafted were encouraged to buy stocks and stamps to fund those who were involved in the war — some of whom were University of Utah students. The overt patriotism that came up after the United States entered the war really shows in some of these articles and advertisements. One ad filled the entire page of an April issue of the Utah Chronicle. It depicted a caricature of Adolf Hitler with a swastika in the background. On the left side it read “JUNK HIM” and on the right side it read “BUY BONDS.” World War II was presented and is often remembered as a very black and white, good versus evil type war. The Nazis and the Axis Powers were considered evil and the US and its allies were good, so it was very easy to assimilate a communal aspect to the American public, and on a smaller scale, to the students at the University of Utah, especially when the majority of information people received about international affairs were from printed publications.

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Utah Chronicle, April 29, 1943.

The drive worked as a great marketing ploy to get students to help out. By contributing to the drive, students were aiding the US in its quest for victory, and their school’s name would be on that fighter plane attempting to achieve it. The Utah Chronicle went as far as writing an article on April 29 that Nazi forces would infiltrate the campus on Friday, April 30, in an attempt to dissuade anyone from purchasing any securities in the form of war bonds and stamps. This article, “Nazi Forces to Blitz Utes on Friday,” read as a letter from Colonel Reinhart Von Schlubbe, but it wasn’t true. However, it sparked a reaction by students and resulted in a total of $1,000 in stamps and bonds that were bought that day despite the alleged raid, according to The Utah Chronicle’s May 6 article “Nazis Leave After High Stamp Sale,” which, of course, included a reminder about the bond drive and when and where to purchase bonds and stamps.

Despite the effort put into the advertising and emphasis in the articles for war bonds and stamps, the drive itself didn’t do well. The Utah Chronicle also reported on May 6 how the University of Utah only gathered $8,000 in five weeks for the drive, while the “high school down the street” managed to raise $45,000 in eight days. To add on, it brought the patriotism of the university into question and challenged the students to answer by buying more bonds and stamps. While the cause for the drive was to raise money to aid the military, the reward for reaching the goal made it look like it was a popularity contest. It felt that the U was trying to be the school that could say, “We raised the most money! We rallied for the cause! And now our name is immortalized in this war on the nose of a P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane!”

Eric U. Norris is a senior at the University of Utah. He’s majoring in communication with an emphasis on journalism. He is also a senior staff writer for SLUG Magazine.

Sources

Martin Tubbs, “U Sponsors Plane in Stamp Drive,” Utah Chronicle, April 8, 1943, 1.

Gladys Barker, “Easter Morn to Bring out Newest Fashions in War Time Clothing,” Utah Chronicle, April 22, 1943, 3.

Nazi Forces to Blitz Utes Friday,” Utah Chronicle, April 29, 1943, 1.

Advertisement, “Heil Hitler: Junk Him; Buy Bonds,” Utah Chronicle, April 29, 1943, 3.

Nazis Leave After High Stamp Sale,” Utah Chronicle, May 6, 1943, 1.

Bond Drive Shows Little Enthusiasm,” Utah Chronicle, May 6, 1943, 2.

 

 

 

 

Postwar Planning at the University of Utah

By David Miller

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Fort Douglas (aerial), 1920-1940. Fort Douglas Military Museum, Salt Lake City.

World War II ushered in a time of radical change for the United States. Men and women went to war by the thousands and those who stayed home were forced to pick up the slack. The end of the war in 1945 was a relief for millions around the world, but the change was sudden and drastic and many had a hard time adapting. Universities across the country had to work especially hard to adapt to a post-war world. On June 9, 1944, the Progressive Opinion reported that “our own school system faces one of the greatest crisis in its history and, likewise, some of the greatest changes.” Elinore H. Partridge explains in the article “A. Ray Olpin and the Postwar Emergency at the University of Utah” that these changes were based mostly around two events that were tied to the end of World War II. GIs were coming home and looking for an education and all the teachers had either gone to war or switched to a more financially sustainable job in the war industry. (p. 197) Though the changes were swift, the University of Utah was not caught off guard. Plans had already been made and policies set into motion.

By the early 1940s, the University of Utah had adapted greatly to a nation committed to the war effort. Salt Lake City newspapers reported on the university’s wartime transformation. The Salt Lake Telegram reported on December 31, 1943, that “already more than 1,000 young men in khaki are pursuing studies designed to prepare them as efficient cogs in a war machine.” Yet, even as women and men left for the war, those who remained behind began to plan for the future after the conflict.

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Utah Chronicle, May 4, 1944.

On February 15, 1944, The Salt Lake Telegram reported that “a postwar planning council for Salt Lake City to ‘Integrate effort and coordinate a multiplicity of plans’ was approved.” The Utah Chronicle reported on September 21, 1944, that Brigham Young University would hold a conference on postwar planning for the “representatives of Utah’s institutions of higher learning.”

The University of Utah hosted similar discussions on postwar planning which were announced in the Utah Chronicle. For example, the paper reported on April 20, 1944, that “the school of business is doing its post-war planning by charting new courses for returning soldiers and by discussing their plans with downtown businessmen and government officials.” The University of Utah even helped to draft resolutions to send to their state representatives, the Utah Chronicle reported on May 5, 1944. According to the same article, “The resolutions had been discussed by the State College of Washington” and were then amended after being discussed at a public meeting at the University of Utah. Steps like these demonstrate how the University of Utah was committed to finding the most efficient way to navigate these trying times.

When the war finally did end in 1945, the impact on Utah was almost immediate. In January 1946, the University of Utah employed around 225 full-time faculty members and had around 3,000 students. In months enrollment rose to 5,300 and by the next year, it was up to 10,000. (Partridge, p. 197)

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A. Ray Olpin, University of Utah president from 1940-1960. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

The problem wasn’t just with the number of new students either. According to a May 1944 article in the Progressive Opinion, a newspaper published in Salt Lake City, “American schools have lost 200,000 competent well-prepared teachers since Pearl Harbor.” With too many new students and not enough teachers, a downgrade in the quality of higher education in Utah looked inevitable. But Utah met these problems head-on.

The University of Utah went to great lengths to accommodate new students, especially veterans, under the leadership of president A Ray Olpin. A lot of the time these vets had families and current student housing was too expensive. According to Partridge, “Olpin and his staff worked throughout the spring of 1946 to acquire family-dwelling units. By summer, after countless telegrams between Olpin and United States Senators Abe Murdock and Elbert D. Thomas, 301 family units were moved in to place to form an instant community.” (p. 197)

World War II brought about changes at institutions around the world and the University of Utah was no exception. The University planned for and then reacted to the end of the war with the power of intellect. This chapter in the school’s history demonstrates the value institutions of higher education can have to their communities. They are places where ideas are born and plans are executed.

David Miller is a student at the University of Utah. He is planning on graduating in 2020 with a double major in communication and psychology.

Sources

“War Science Eclipses Art at Utah Campus,” Salt Lake Telegram, December 31, 1943, 9.

“City Board Appoints Postwar Planning Council to Coordinate Multiplicity of Movements,” Salt Lake Telegram, February 15, 1944, 7.

“Postwar Planning,” Utah Chronicle, April 20, 1944, 4.

“Resolutions Go To Congress,” Utah Chronicle, May 4, 1944, 1.

Baukhage, “U.S. School System Faces Greatest Crisis in History,” Progressive Opinion, June 9, 1944, 3.

“16 U Teachers To Attend BYU Meeting,” Utah Chronicle, September 21, 1944, 1.

Partridge, Elinore. “A. Ray Olpin and the Postwar Emergency at the University of Utah,” Western Historical Quarterly 48, no. 1 (Winter 1980): 195-206.

 

WAVES and SPARS: Women go to War in 1943

By Matt McPherson

At the height of the second World War, university students across the nation were forced to withdraw from school and join military forces. First the men, but with a high demand, women also became part of the war’s history. Women not only entered the workforce, but they broke gender barriers by joining military forces. In 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and the SPARS (United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve). Historian Roger D. Launius discussed women’s impact on the war saying, “Not only did women enter the workforce in a big way, but many of the other traditional sexual boundaries were eroded by the war.”

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.36.37 AMAs reported by the Salt Lake Telegram on Tuesday, January 11, 1943, Lieutenant Tova L. Petersen, a recruitment officer for the WAVES and SPARS, arrived in Salt Lake City to interview applicants. Just one month later the first Utah women would enlist in the military.

The Utah Chronicle reported on February 25, 1943, that twelve women from the University of Utah were assigned and enlisted to make up Utah’s first contingent of the WAVES and SPARS by the Navy Recruiting Station in Salt Lake City. In order to enlist, women had to be between the ages of 20 and 36, some schooling was required, and they could not be married to a man in the same military branch. The women had to complete four months of training of which nine participants were WAVES and three were SPARS. Following their training, they were assigned to active duty around the United States, or sent to schools for “technical training by Navy experts.” Utah continued to enlist women to reach a quota; to do so, the naval officer from San Francisco remained in Salt Lake City to approve applications.

A brochure titled Facts About the WAVES and SPARS addressed the importance of women joining the armed forces. The author wrote, “Never in history has there been such an urgent need for American women to serve their country. This is total war — a war in which every woman as well as every man must play a part.” The brochure gave complete instructions on how and where to apply, what living situations would be like, and the basic requirements to enlist as WAVES or SPARS.

On March 19, 1943, the Sugar House Bulletin shared an image with a brief description of women in training, titled, “Future WAACS, WAVES, SPARS Start Training.” The trainees are shown doing jumping exercises on a springboard.

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On March 8, 1943, The Utah Chronicle published a letter from Florence Henrichsen, a WAVES member and former University of Utah student. Henrichsen wrote from Massachusetts to her sister and told her of her daily life. There was no more staying up late and no more everyday clothing, which she referred to as “civies” — only uniforms were allowed now. Henrichsen did not express any resentment for her decision and seemed quite happy. She wrote of her meals and the training she partook in. She ended the letter to her sister with a little encouragement: “Come and be a WAVE with me – you would love it.”

Reporting for KSL in August 2014, Peter Rosen shared the story of Utah’s own Kathryn Klaveano who served in the Navy WAVES. Klaveano wanted to be a part of the action. She is quoted as saying, “I told them I will go AWOL before I would be a secretary.” And she was more than that. Klaveano was a flight orderly on domestic military flights “from Newfoundland to Miami and to Hawaii.” Another Utah woman, Ora Mae Hyatt, actually served outside of the U.S. and made her way to Okinawa. Unconcerned with her surroundings, Hyatt said, “We were young. We didn’t dwell on the danger we were in.” (Rosen)

World War II brought an urgency upon the United States and called for young men and woman to help fight. President Roosevelt’s establishment of WAVES and SPARS gave women the opportunity to join the war effort. In February 1943 the first twelve Utah women were given the chance to help shape America’s future military and they did just that.

Matt McPherson graduated from The University of Utah in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication.

Sources

“Future WAACS, WAVES, SPARS Start Training,” Sugar House Bulletin, March 19, 1943, 3.

“From Former U Coed—Now WAVE,” Utah Chronicle, March 8, 1943, 3.

“First WAVE, SPAR Unit Accepted,” Utah Chronicle, February 25, 1943, 3.

“Women Wanted in WAVES, SPARS,” Salt Lake Telegram, January 11, 1943, 18.

Advertisement/image of U.S. Army announcement, Utah Chronicle, January 14, 1943, 2.

Facts About the WAVES and SPARS,” n.p., 1943.

Rosen, Peter. “Utah Woman at War: Stories of Service in WWII,” KSL, August 28, 2014.

Launius, Roger, D. “World War II in Utah,” Utah History to Go.

 

Images provided by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

The Life of a Japanese-American Artist in the Topaz Internment Camp in 1940s Utah

By Sayaka Kochi

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941, an estimated 120,000 American citizens were forced into isolated camps because of their Japanese ancestry. Their ethnicity separated Japanese-Americans living in the United States from white culture, and racism took away their human rights. Additionally, many were placed in camps under the false pretense of giving them safe places to live at that time.

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Photo of the Central Utah Relocation Center, better known as Topaz. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

One of these internment camps was located in central Utah; the camp, Topaz, was named after a nearby mountain. Chiura Obata, a Japanese-American artist and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of those who were sent to Topaz. According to Sandra C. Taylor, Obata was “a sensitive, political aware man” who continued his art activities in the Topaz art school while teaching painting to Topaz internees with a hope of raising people’s spirits in the camp. (Taylor, p. 73)

Obata has been a widely recognized Nikkei artist (Japanese word for emigrants and descendants) since before the abandonment of his life in California. On March 11, 1928, the Oakland Tribune reported Obata’s art exhibition in the East-West Gallery of Fine Arts in San Francisco. His artworks had a variety, and every piece of his work expressed his appreciation of art.

Obata was not merely a well-known artist but also a student-oriented teacher. According to the California Magazine published on March 15, 2016, Obata held his last painting demonstration combined with an art sale for “any art student, regardless of race or creed” before he moved into the camp. In April 1942, Obata closed his art studio due to a relocation to the camp, and along with it, he sold his masterpieces, raised money, and donated all earnings into the establishment of a scholarship for students in the University of California.

His enthusiasm for the arts did not decline but grow, even after he was forced to relocate and was imprisoned in the middle of the desert. The Utah Nippo reported on January 25, 1943, that the eighth governor of Utah, Herbert B. Maw, was presented with the scenery painting of Topaz by Obata in the induction ceremony of the new councilmen of the Topaz community government in the Central Utah Relocation Center. Furthermore, the article of the Utah Nippo published in January 1943 announced that Obata’s silk paintings were sent to President Roosevelt as a gift. Even though Obata was interned during World War II, his artistic talent was never oppressed.

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Two of the watercolor paintings produced by the students taught by Chiura Obata in Topaz. 
Park Record, March 12, 2011.

In 1945, with the end of the bloody chaos across the world, Obata was released and allowed to return to his beloved old home. Soon after he returned to the campus of the University of California as an art professor, three water paintings drawn by Obata, while he was interned in Topaz, were exhibited in the University of Utah. This University of Utah Japanese art exhibition sponsored by the War Relocation Authority was reported by the Utah Chronicle on November 15.

Obata left his teaching job in 1954. Upon his retirement, he got word from Clark Kerr, the first Chancellor of the University of California, who said, “You have been able not only to exercise your own creative gifts to the fullest extent, but also to help develop and guide the talent of students. In addition, your exhibits, lectures and demonstrations have given pleasure and instruction to countless people throughout California and in many parts of the United States.” (In Memoriam, p. 137)

In the midst of turbulent times, Obata was acknowledged to be one of the best artists in spite of his Japanese ancestry. His dedication to arts and his contribution of teaching arts have been outstanding, even now. At the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Obata’s new exhibition named “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” was held in 2018. Through his experiences under the restraint and the patience, he created the arts which carry the strong message: “Who gets to be called American?” (Mann) This message can be sympathetic and relevant with today’s society as well.

Sayaka Kochi is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Sources

“Chiura Obata, Art: Berkeley,” University of California: In Memoriam (September 1978): 137

Cirrus Wood, “Artist Interned: A Berkeley Legend Found Beauty in “Enormous Bleakness of War Camp,” California Magazine, March 15, 2016.

Court Mann, “UMFA’s new Chiura Obata exhibit asks: ‘Who gets to be called American?’” Deseret News, June 1, 2018.

“Governor Maw Visits Topaz,” Utah Nippo, January 25, 1943, 4.

Hal Johnson, “So We’re Told,” Berkeley Daily Gazette, April 20, 1942, 6.

“Jap Internees’ Art Displayed,” Utah Chronicle, November 15, 1945, 1.

“Pres. Roosevelt to Be Presented Silk Paintings,” Utah Nippo, January 15, 1943, 4.

Taylor, Sandra C. “Book Reviews of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment,” Utah Historical Quarterly 69, no. 1-4 (2001): 72-73.