Growing Up Before, During and After World War II Around and during World War II there were many challenges and many exciting and terrifying events occur. Many things happen such as the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, D-day, and Hiroshima. Billie Jean Ramsey-Styles grew up during this time. Billie was born in Burnsville, Yancey County, North Carolina on December 30 1930. Her mother was a homemaker; her father was a brick mason. She lived in a five-room house that had electricity but did not have an indoor bathroom.
She did household chores like washing laundry and, dishes, making beds, carrying in firewood and cleaning house (Styles). According to a U. S. History teacher “The Great Depression was the period of time in which the stock market crashed, banks failed, and the U. S. had an economic fallout” (Mueller). It was a point in time when people did not have much of anything and they had to work hard to afford what they did have. Many people could not afford toys for their children. The children from this time still found things to do such as: play kick the can, hide and seek and, they also cut out people from magazines and used them as paper dolls. The depression also affected school budgets. Schools could not afford sports uniforms or other sports equipment. me and my cheerleading team made our uniforms in Home Ec. Many people lost their jobs and had to work at Civilian Conservation Corps Camps. “The camps were similar to the military. People were in small groups and wore uniforms. They had to work and follow all rules, but in return they got three square meals a day and a job.
The CCC camp in Burnsville worked on the Blue Ridge Parkway” (Styles). According to an article called Invasion of Poland, Fall 1939 “The beginning of the war, on September 1st 1939 Poland was invaded by Germany. Germany defeated the Polish army within weeks and Britain and France declare war on Germany because Germany invaded Poland. Russia invaded eastern Poland on September 17th” Billie Jean remembers this time cleary “me and many other people were worried that Germany and Russia would invade the United States.
I may have been worried but she felt safe in the mountains of North Carolina” (Styles). The U. S. gets involved in the war. “On December 7th 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese” (Mueller). “The Japanese had planned to destroy the Pacific Fleet but failed because, all of the aircraft carriers were away on missions or training” (Pearl). “Billie remembers what she was doing when she heard the news about Pearl Harbor. She was working a jigsaw puzzle while her father was on the couch listening to the radio- this was before the television.
All of a sudden they heard ‘We interrupt this program for a special announcement. Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor’. Billie and her family were sad for the families whose loved ones were injured or killed in the attack. They were also upset that the U. S. had been attacked. They continued to listen to the radio. Eventually, they heard “The U. S. is now at war. ” Since the U. S. entered the war the government started to ration sugar and gas” (Billie). “The rationing of sugar and gas caused a rise in the black market” (Mueller).
The Invasion of Normandy, “D-day, was on June 6th 1944. The plan was then to land and invade five beaches off the coast of France” (Mueller). Billie remembers what happened when the invasion was successful “The invasion was broadcast on the radio. I remember what happened when the invasion was successful. Everybody went to the town square to celebrate. The church bells were ringing, the fire whistle was going off and people were having fun. During this time period many stores shut down on Wednesday afternoons and people would get together and make victory gardens”.
When asked what victory gardens were she replied “Victory gardens were kitchen gardens planted during wartime to relieve food shortages” (Styles). “August 6th 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. This signaled the end of the war” (Mueller) Billie and her family were glad the war was over but sorrowful that so many people had to die to end it. They were also scared because such a destructive bomb had been developed (Styles). “After World War II everyone was rejoicing and relieved that the war was over.
People were happy that the soldiers were returning home. Sugar and gas rations stopped; you could buy more at the grocery stores. After the war things died down and returned to normal” (Styles). Growing up around, during, and after World War II was an interesting time. There were many challenges and many exciting events, such as The Great Depression, D-day, Pearl Harbor, and Hiroshima. Billie Jean Styles and other people lived during this era. I chose Billie Jean Ramsey-Styles as my interviewee because she is my great, great grandmother, who is still alive.
She also had a wealth of information on Growing Up Around, During and After World War II as she grew up during this time period. Works Cited “Invasion of Poland, Fall 1939. ” Holocaust Encyclopedia. N. p. , n. d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www. ushmm. org/wlc/en/article. php? ModuleId=10005070>. Mueller, Roger. Class Lecture. U. S. History. Mcdowell High School, Marion, NC. “Pearl Harbor. ” History. com. A+E NeIIrks Corporate, n. d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www. history. com/topics/pearl-harbor>. Styles, Billie J. Telephone interview. 30 Apr. 2013.