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Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
(December 2000)

World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth,   pp. [1]-30


Page 2

Broehm 2 
This was a very emotional and uncertain time for America's youth as they
watched family members, friends and neighbors go off to war. Fears and anxieties
only 
deepened with air raid drills and blackouts. Many believed Manitowoc was
a prime 
target for enemy bombing raids. However, this sense of danger and hatred
of the enemy 
tended to bond the members of the community. Regardless of ethnic background
or 
socioeconomic status, citizens worked together in war bond drives, salvage
drives, and 
rationing. It was a cooperative rather than an independent spirit. It was
Manitowoc 
Shipyards and other war industry that stimulated the local economy. The pride
in 
Manitowoc's submarines only helped to unite the people. During the war, Manitowoc
was described as a "boom" town. 
Manitowoc, Wisconsin's 1940 population of 24, 404 was composed primarily
by 
individuals of German, Norwegian, Polish or Bohemian descent.' Manitowoc,
also 
known as the "Clipper City," was a shipbuilding and shipping center.
The largest 
aluminum ware plant in the world, the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company,
was 
also located in Manitowoc. In 1940, Manitowoc County had 3,893 farms, and
was the 
leader in Wisconsin's cheese production.2 
During the Great Depression, however, workers and farmers struggled to survive
the economic crisis. The decreasing orders for ships and for industrial goods
resulted in 
1 U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census of
the United States, 
1940: Po ulation, 1I, 665. 
U.S., Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census of the
United States, 
1940: Agriculture, II, 904 


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