June 6, 1944
in the morning of June 6, 1944, Americans heard on their radios that
thousands of American and British soldiers had landed on the beaches of
northern France. They were fighting German soldiers. This day marked the
beginning of the end of one of the bloodiest wars ever: World War II.
Where were your grandparents and great-grandparents during the
Second World War?
During the Second World War, Germany, Italy and Japan were our
enemies. The war effort involved thousands of men and
women, both fighting abroad and working at home around the clock
to build weapons and machines and to raise money. Food,
metal, and gasoline were rationed during this time.
Ordinary people grew "victory gardens" and saved everything from
tin foil to hairpins.
America's involvement in the war lasted a long time--from 1941
to 1945--so music and movies at the time were often about the
war. Because so many men were fighting as soldiers, many
women worked in factories. Ask your parents or grandparents
whether they remember seeing posters from the wartime, like
Rosie the Riveter.
The American and British invasion of France was a top-secret
mission called "Operation Overlord." When they landed on
the beaches of Normandy on June 6, the goal of every soldier was
to drive the German military back. Thousands of men died
during that effort, either in the churning waves of the sea or
by German gunfire. But enough soldiers struggled up onto
the bluffs that, by nightfall, American and British forces had
conquered a small area of Nazi-occupied France.