It was 1943 and the world was at war. Even in the tiny town on Eatonville, far from the front lines, the impact the war was having on the country was obvious.
Articles of the Time
In a September ’43 issue of the Dispatch, articles about the new women’s athletic club and an episode at the pool hall ran alongside articles like this:
• Dim-Out. Eatonville’s “Dim-Out” regulations were easing up. Dim-out regulations were in effect along many coastal area roads to reduce light, and make it hard for enemy aircraft to identify target locations. The regulations required homes to pull shades and businesses to turn off signs and marquees.
• Ration Board Needs Volunteers. The Eatonville War Price and Rationing Board was scheduled to open in August and would service LaGrand, Silver Lake, Alder, Elbe, and Ashford, among others. The call was out for volunteers.
Rationing scarce resources and goods, such as gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, and nylon, was commonplace in 1943 and the Dispatch was anticipating a run on canning sugar.
• The 2nd War Loan Drive. The Eatonville Lumber Company ran an ad to promote the sale of war bonds.
According to Duke University, the War Finance Committees, in charge of the loan drives, sold a total of $185.7 billion in securities. “This incredible mass selling achievement (for helping to finance the war) has not been matched, before or since. By the end of World War II, over 85 million Americans had invested in War Bonds, a number unmatched by any other country.”
• War Stats. The Dispatch also ran information on Eatonville men involved in the war, from where they were stationed to who had been lost.
The paper also reported interesting facts, such as “Two dollars a day from the pockets of every man, every woman, every child in the United States! That’s what it is costing the U.S. to win this war — $260,000,000 a day.”
On a brighter note, the Roxy Theater was doing great business and playing 5 movies a week, including Wings and the Woman, the story of one of the first women in uniform.