Victory Gardens and Gold Stars


This is the second of four posts from Nancy Hubener Warner  b. 1937

I remember, as a second grader, delivering packets of seeds to families to raise “victory gardens”.  Most everything was rationed. You couldn’t just walk into a market and buy whatever food you wanted nor could you fill up your car with gas whenever you liked.  Tires and nylons were difficult to come by.  The government introduced rationing because certain things were in short supply during the war, and it was the only way to make sure everyone got their fair share.  Every American family was issued a series of ration books.  They contained removable stamps good for certain items. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the corresponding stamp.                                      

Once the stamps were used up for a month, people couldn’t buy any more of that product.  This meant not wasting food.  Mama always said “clean your plate up, think of the people around the world who haven’t anything to eat.”  I often stood in lines with her waiting to buy sugar, shoes, nylon stockings and many other rationed items. 

We didn’t own a car however the national maximum Victory Speed was 35 miles an hour.  The purpose was to conserve rubber, not gasoline.

Families who had members serving in the military always had a small banner hanging in the window with stars designating how many men or women they had in their family who were serving.  If they had lost some in battle, they hung a gold star.  It was a sad but too common sight.


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