Merle Oberon, movie star, and Alfred G. Vanderbilt raise a din by beating pans at an aluminum-collection breakfast at the Stork Club in New York, July 23, 1941. The price of admission was a piece of aluminum ware. (AP Photo)
World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war. It is generally considered to have lasted from 1939 to 1945, although some conflicts in Asia that are commonly viewed as becoming part of the world war had begun earlier than 1939. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations —including all of the great powers —eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.
It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the first use of nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history. 
Social Security - Top Names of the 1940s
British Baby Names - Top 100 Names in England and Wales in 1944
Essential Baby - Top 100 Australian Baby Names in 1940
Baby Med - Top German Baby Names in 1940s
About.com - Japanese Baby Names for 1915 - 2000
Popular Japanese Names in 1945 - 1949 (In Japanese - Use Google Translator)
Society & Life
Wikipedia - Conscription in the United States: World War II
History.com - United States Imposes the Draft
The National WWII Museum - The Draft and WWII
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World War Two Gyrene - Recruit Training in World War II
The New York Times - The Old Army, It Turns Out, Was the Fitter One
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History.com - The U.S. Home Front During World War II
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Mount Allison University - Canada’s Role in WWII
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BBC - WW2 People’s War: My Memories of My Childhood in South London
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History.com - Worst air raid on London
EyeWitness to History - The London Blitz, 1940
LIFE Magazine - World War II: London in Color (Photos)
Local Histories - Life in Britain in The Second World War
Telegraph - WW2: Former Evacuees Look Back
British Council - A 1940s Childhood in Wartime
The Wartime Memories Project - Evacuees
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Imperial Wartime Museum - Children During the Second World War
Reddit: Ask Historians - It’s 1940, a lovely day in England and I want to write to my German cousin. Was that possible? What was international communication between the civilian populace of warring WWII powers like?
The New Yorker - The New Yorker in the Forties
The Atlantic - World War II: The Battle of Britain
The Guardian - Children of the Wartime Evacuation
NY Daily News - 1940 New York census records are now searchable by name
New York Historical Society - WWII & NYC
About.com - World War II In Brooklyn: Places to Visit
New York Historical Society - New York during WWII (Photos)
Wikipedia - History of New York City, 1946-77
Business Insider - Take A Tour Of Manhattan In The 1940s (Photos)
Madison Magazine - Ida’s Wyman’s Photography Documents Life in the 1940s and ‘50s
Growing up in Inwood, New York City in the 1940’s and 1950’s
Reminisce Magazine - Brooklyn Stoop Served as Sisters’ Stage
NY Times - Working-Class New York Life and Labor Since World War II
Wessels Living History Farm - Rural Life in the 1940s
Historic Color Photos of U.S. Life in the 1940s (Photos)
Wessels Living History Farm - WWII Causes a Revolution in Farming
Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II
World War II: Women and the War
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Wikipedia - Canadian Women in the Second World War
Canadian War Museum - The Canadian Women’s Army Corps, 1941 - 1946
About.com - Canadian Women in World War II
Veterans Affairs Canada - The Second World War: Canadian War Brides
Global News - Looking back at the role women from western Canada played in World War II
Canadian Red Cross - History of Women in the Red Cross
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Women at War
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The Huffington Post - Memories Of 1940s Childhood
The Life of a Teenage Before and After World War II (PDF)
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I’m a 13-15 year old in 1939 USA. What is youth culture like during this time?
A Black Nurse, a German Soldier and an Unlikely WWII Romance
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World War II - A Soldier’s Daily Life
My Army Service in World War II
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Canada at War - Video & Footage: World War II
Canadian War Museum - Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War
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Library and Archives Canada - Canada and the First World War: War Diaries
Veterans Affairs Canada - Second World War: My Grandmother’s Wartime Diary
The Canadian Letters and Images Project - WWII
McGill University Library Digital Collections - Canadian War Posters Collection
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The National WWII Museum - WWII and Holocaust Bibliography
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There’s a lot of close-to-combat photographs from WWII, but I don’t often hear much about the photographers. Were WWII war photographers armed? Were they subject to neutrality/immunity/respect? Were they deployed with soldiers as part of the army?
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Der Spiegel Magazine - Out of the Ashes: A New Look at German’s Postwar Reconstruction
The Cost of Living in 1940
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The People History - Food, Groceries and Toiletries in the 1940s Prices
The People History - Clothes in the 1940s Prices
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Curbed NY - What Would $50 In 1940 Rent A New Yorker Today?
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The 1940’s Experiment: 100+ Wartime Recipes
Retro-Housewife: In the 1940s Kitchen: 1940s Recipes
A 1940s Menu: Food in the 1940s
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Chocolate! The Wars Secret Weapon - America in WWII Magazine
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The American Scholar: Rum and Coca-Cola
Wartime Canada - Food on the Home Front during the Second World War
Alberta Online Encyclopedia - World War II: Homefront in Alberta: Rationing
Wartime Canada - Recipe Ideas from BC Electric
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Canadian War Museum - Art and War: Australia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War
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List of Billboard Number-One Singles of the 1940s
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Social Security - Life Expectancy from 1930s+
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Penicillin: Medicine’s Wartime Wonder Drug
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U.S. Veterans Affairs Lobotomized Soldiers After World War II
Lobotomy For World War II Veterans: Psychiatric Care by U.S. Government
1930-45 in Fashion
Rationing Fashion in the United States
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1940s Make-Up Guide
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1940s Rationing - Utility Clothing Fashion and Costume History
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Fashion in the 1940s - Prices & Examples
What did they wear? Gas masks for all
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The Front Line of British WWII Fashion
World War II and Fashion: The Birth of the New Look (PDF)
The impact of World War II on women’s fashion in the United States and Britain (PDF)
The History of Fashion WWI to WWII
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Authentic WWII Era Hairstyle & How To
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World War II German Uniform
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LIFE.com - Fashion in Post-War Paris
WWII US Naval Dictionary
Glossary of German Military Terms
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FUBAR F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition: Soldier Slang of World War II (General Military)
Military Slang For WWII
List of Ethnic Slurs by Ethnicity
The Racial Slur Database - Germans
Military Time Chart for 24 Hour Time Clock
Converting Standard Time to Military Time
WW2 Civilian Slang
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Words That Were: 1940–1949 (Canada)
Law Enforcement & Crimes
New Jersey State Police - History: 1940’s
New York State Police - History: 1940’s
Anaheim Police Department - History: 1940
Academia.edu - British Police Training in the 1940s and 1950s
Art Theft and Looting During World War II
Rape During the Occupation of Germany
War Rape in World War II
Allied War Crimes During World War II
Nazi Medical Experiments
World War II Crimes
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World War II and the Holocaust
World War Two - German Prisoner of War Camps
List of WWII POW (Prisoner of War) Camps in Germany
German Prisoners of War in the United States
Japanese Prisoners of War in WWII
Sexual Slavery - Germany During WWII
German Military Brothels in World War II
Rape, Murder and Genocide: Nazi War Crimes as Described by German Soldiers
Ne: George doesn’t just have one idea for his life – he has dozens, all of them gathered from and related to the external world around him. He wants to go places, do things, build all sorts of things – skyscrapers, docks, houses. As a child, he fantasizes about having harems in the middle east and going to Africa on a safari. George has a big imagination and hates his mundane life in Bedford Falls.
Fi: He’s an individual who puts aside his personal desires to help others out, not because he is adapting to them but because he feels personally responsible for their well-being. George holds very strong opinions that whenever he’s upset, come out in unpleasant ways (“why do we have to have so many kids?”). He is driven by his own passions, often hampered through his responsibilities. George is a very kind and tender-hearted man, and a little shy when it comes to intruding on the emotions of others.
Te: His organizational skills allow him to keep the Building & Loan up and running after his father dies. He organizes paper drives and scrap drives during the war. He often talks about his ideas out loud, tying them in with his fantastical imagination (“Let’s go for a walk in the moonlight… up to a pool where it’s all green, and we’ll swim in it in the moonlight!”). When driven to the edge, George makes an emotionally-charged rational decision to kill himself for his insurance money.
Si: Since this is his weakest function, George struggles to be sentimental about the house and Bedford Falls, until he realizes what life would be like without him and it in his life. Then, he comes to treasure his memories of helping keep Bedford Falls out of Potter’s hands, and learns to love his old house.
Bob’s Air Mail Service Station, Los Angeles, June 1938.
In 1934, Bob Spencer took advantage of an abandoned Fokker F-32 and turned it into a full service gas station. Located on the intersection of Wilshire and Cochran, the plane was decorated in Mobilgas colors and named The Happy Landing- Cars were fully serviced under its massive wings. Presumably it was lost to the WWII scrap drives.
A/N: This is a follow-up to a previously posted imagine titled ‘We All Try’ which can be found here.
“So let me get this straight you had your ex and your current girlfriend sleeping under the same roof with you?”
I let out another sigh, feeling as if I had went over this many of times now since I had hopped on the Skype call with my brother and Jonathan. “Yes.”
“What a legend,” Jonathan commented while he saw Rafinha seem to nod in approval.
“You two act like something happened. I told you I just picked her up, brought her here and she went to sleep.” No matter how many times I went over the story, it seemed the pair were adamant on making up their own version which included me spending the night with Y/N instead.
“That’s hard to believe I mean God, you and Y/N are like sex magnets. How many times have I walked in on you two in my house practically smothering each other on my couch? There was one time I’m pretty sure I caught you two mid-act though I still try to pretend I didn’t.”
Jonathan chuckled as he saw my brother shudder at the memory. “I really hope you got a new couch.”
“I did and I broke it in myself. I wasn’t letting Thi have that one too. So have you talked to her?”
“Your ex. Who else? What did Daniela say when she found out?”
I gulped, being reminded of my girlfriend and her obliviousness to all that had transpired over the past 24 hours. “She doesn’t know.”
“What?!” Rafa questioned in shock.
Jona added in his commentary as well. “Yup. It’s official. He’s a legend.”
“How did you get away with that?”
I shrugged, realizing it wasn’t in my plan to not have Daniela find out. Was I glad Daniela and I didn’t have to have a conversation about my ex calling me and me picking her up in the middle of the night to allow her to stay over my place? Of course. But that didn’t stop me from feeling as if I had lied to her. “When I woke up and checked the guest bedroom, she was gone and Daniela didn’t mention ever seeing another woman in the house so I figure she just didn’t find out.”
“Have you talked to her since she left?” Jona questioned in reference to my ex. I shook my head no.
“You could at least text her and make sure she’s okay. You know what nevermind. I’ll do it.” Rafa reached down and soon enough, he was on the screen maneuvering through his phone.
“We should invite her to the dinner. You two can catch up there.” Rafinha’s suggestion was useless as I shook my head. The last thing I wanted was to bring her to a dinner with my family who adored her. They were sure to not only embarrass me but bring up pieces of our relationship that they found memorable to send us all on a trip down memory lane.
“Why not!? Daniela will be out of town right? It’ll be perfect.”
“I’m not inviting her.”
“Come on, Thi. You know you want to.”
“I don’t,” I spoke sternly.
“Well I want to see her,” Rafa commented.
“Then see her on your own time when you land.”
“Well since this is an Alcântara dinner and I’m a major part of this family too, I’m inviting her whether you like it or not. I don’t care that it’s at your place.”
“I wish I could come to see this. Can I come?” Jonathan asked. It seemed me and my brother answered in unison.
“Yes,” Rafa spoke over me.
“50/50 vote. Looks like I’m coming,” Jona smiled while Rafa smiled and nodded in approval.
“You know how Mamãe and Pa are. They’re going to end up asking ridiculous questions, trying somehow to find a way to reunite me and Y/N. I don’t want to deal with that. I do have a girlfriend whether you two and anyone else realize or care.”
“Oh please. No one’s going to jeopardize your relationship. It’ll be fun. Like old times.”
Valéria gave a gentle smile, the fork clasped tightly in her hand as she elected to speak instead of sending another forkful into her mouth. “So Y/N, is there a new man in your life?”
Thiago nearly choked on the piece of grilled chicken in his mouth, his parents looking at him with concern as he held up his hand to assure he was fine. I could see Rafa and Jona laugh behind their hands as they were sitting with us at the dining room table.
Meanwhile, I was debating in my head how exactly to answer the question asked of me. In reality, I had no one but I didn’t want my answer to come off as lonely as answering in that manner would have me look. I didn’t want Thiago to think that since his departure from my life, I had been facing a drought but I also didn’t want to lie and get him thinking I did have a man in my life. I was torn.
“No. I’m not dating right now.” I gave his mother a gentle smile before I picked up my glass of water and took a sip, washing down the last bit of food I chewed.
“Ah well, that’s too bad for the men out there. You always had a good head on your shoulders and still do,” she added. “I’m sure you’ll find the time for a relationship when you find it suitable.”
I didn’t know what to think of being invited to this dinner at Thiago’s place that would be attended by his family. I had been quick to deny the invitation when Rafinha text me but he wasn’t the type that liked to take no for an answer. A few hours of exchange led to me accepting the offer and now here I was.
It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it was going to be considering just two days ago, Thiago had rescued me from the bar and taken care of me. I wanted to thank him for that but I never did, deciding to leave his home early before he or his girlfriend could wake up and discover me. I had written many of drafts of messages to send him but I ended up deleting them every time. I still had not officially thanked him, even as he sat diagonally across from me.
We hadn’t spoken many words to each other. He had opened the door when I arrived but Rafinha and Jonathan were quick to run to the door and tackle me into their arms when they saw me, not even giving Thiago a chance to properly greet me. He seemed okay with it as he instead chose to just walk away.
Even over dinner we didn’t speak and it seemed the conversation carrying on between everyone ignored the big elephant in the room that was the exes sitting across from each other as if everything was smooth. They weren’t.
But I was glad I had come, able to reunite with the familiar faces of those I once considered family and in a strange way still did.
“I’m going to start the dishes,” Thiago spoke lowly as he slid back from the table and stood up, grabbing for his empty plate and heading off into the kitchen.
“I’ll help,” his father said as he stood up from the table as well. It seemed everyone followed suit after that including Bruno and Thaisa. I got up from the table as well, heading off into the direction of the living room and sitting on the couch. A bright flash of lightning could be made out behind the sheer curtains covering the window. I found it to be relaxing. Bruno on the other hand?
“Did you hear that?!” He questioned as he found his way next me, leaning into me for comfort. I giggled and wrapped my arms around the small boy, pulling him closer to me and kissing his forehead. “It’s just lightning. It won’t hurt you.”
I stood in the doorway, peering unnoticed at my ex and my little brother’s interaction as he clung to her side. I couldn’t stop the grin that spread my face as I watched, able to sense the comfort my brother felt with her just as I had once felt in a different manner.
“You know you’re staring at her, right?”
The sudden sound of a voice from behind caused me to jump some, turning to see my brother Rafinha smirking at me as he made way to my side and watched the two himself. “I won’t tell her.”
“Oh great. How could I ever repay you for your gratitude?” I spewed sarcastically, causing him to lightly chuckle. “Loosen up, Thi. You’ve been uptight all night.”
You try sharing the same space as your ex when you were trying to rid your thoughts of her romantically from your mind. It wasn’t helped when she was wearing that blouse that seemed to accent her cleavage and that pencil skirt that made her ass poke out so perfectly that…
Shit. I was doing it again.
Jonathan joined in beside us, looking out the window at the weather outside. “Yeah I’m definitely not going out in that. I call the other guest bedroom.” It was in the original plans that only my parents, Bruno and Thaisa were staying in my place during their visit while Rafinha and Jona had snagged a hotel nearby for their visit to Munich. It seemed the original plan was quickly being scrapped.
“Noone is driving in that weather,” my mother chimed as she neared us. “I can take the kids in my room, Jona can have one room and Rafa can have the other.”
That only left one person…
“Y/N can stay in your room,” she said as she smiled and turned to me.
“Ma—“ I began to speak but her stern look in my direction let me know she wasn’t up for any rebuttals and I shut my mouth. It was as if she was reveling in the opportunity to coup me and my ex up in a room alone. It wasn’t that she hated Daniela but I could tell she found herself comparing her to my past relationship and absolutely no one could live up to her beloved Y/N.
She patted my shoulder with a smile. “I’ll go tell her she’ll be in your room.”
I lay still in the bed, almost as still and straight as a statue as I stared up at the ceiling, trying to make sure I remained on my side of the bed with no touching of Thiago or his side. It was yet another night I found myself in his clothing only this time we were tasked with sharing the same bed. That was surely a harder task.
Even now lying in the same bed, we hadn’t exchanged many words. He had asked me whether I wanted a long-sleeved or a short-sleeved t-shirt to sleep in and that was about it for my exchange with Thiago Alcântara. I wasn’t sure if he was ever going to speak or if he was just going to find a way to fall asleep without speaking a word but I figured it would just have to be me who would break the silence.
“Do you still like to fall asleep with music on?”
“What?” I could tell he was taken by surprise by the fact I had chosen to speak and maybe even from such a random question. I repeated it for him.
“Do you still sleep with music?”
“…Sometimes. Daniela can’t fall asleep with music playing so I don’t usually.”
The mention of her name now sent a disapproving chill down my spine. It was the first time he had spoken her name directly to me. Not lingering on it any longer, I reached over to the nightstand by the bed and grabbed for my phone, unlocking it and heading for my music app and browsing the various stations I had saved to my phone. A small, satisfied grin perked my lips as I selected one and the low volume of music filled the once silent room.
I wasn’t 100% sure but I thought I could make out the small hint of a smile from him through the darkness of the bedroom. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” I sunk further into the sheets, my eyes still looking up at the ceiling as I found my body relaxing to the tone of music. I had even begun to hum a little to myself until the song switched off, now replaced with a song that immediately made my eyes widen. My excitement was impossible to contain as that familiar introduction melody caused me to jump from under the blankets and land my feet against the floor. I stood up and rushed to the other side of the bed where Thiago lay, who was now looking up at me with curious eyes though I was sure he knew why I was so beside myself.
He chuckled still looking to me. “What? No. I’m not dancing.”
“Aw come on. This was your favorite song when we were dating.” I wasn’t willing to take such an easy no as I held out my hand for him to take. He looked between my pleading pout and the outstretched hand a few times before sighing and beginning to get up to my delight, his hand landing on top of mine once he finally pushed the blankets on top of him to the side.
The slow sounds of ‘You’ by Jesse Powell continued to play as my feet began to move side to side to the rhythm and Thiago quickly found pace with me as one of his hands remained connected with mine and the other found comfort on my waist while we slow danced. I could see his eyes close for a brief moment, feeling the music, before he opened them and looked directly to an already staring me. It made him smile. “Stop staring at me, punk,” he joked.
I giggled. “Okay. I’m done looking.”
It seemed he found comfort quite fast because soon enough, he rested his head on my shoulder, the curls of his hair pressing against my neck. Our feet continued to move about the room in a slow dance, my eyes pressing closed as I relished the feeling of the moment. It was a similar feeling to one I remembered from us doing the same thing during our time together as we would find ourselves entangled in each other’s arms and allowing music to express our love for each other.
A silly part of me felt that was happening again right now.
In 1941, the United States conducted a large-scale scrap drive to help our allies the Britons build aircraft. We rustled up some 70,000 tons of aluminum, principally in the form of cookware Mom never uses anymore anyway. And that is why it is uh-LOO-min-um, and not AL-yoo-MIN-ee-um. Ingrates.
During World War II the need for raw materials led to several drives and campaigns to either ration or recycle those goods in civilian life. There were scrap metal drives and rubber drives. The were rationing policies for necessary goods such as fuel, metals, and food. One of the more unusual campaigns was for civilians to save their used cooking fat, whatever was left over from fried chicken, French fries, bacon, or whatever fried foods that made up the American diet. Grease and fats were a precious war time material, needed because they contained high contents of glycerin, used in high explosives for bombs, mines, torpedoes, and artillery shells. The US Government encouraged housewives everywhere to collect their unwanted grease, distributing leaflets, posters, and commissioning radio advertisements to support the program. Civilians were encouraged to strain the grease so that no food particles remained, then store it in a can or jar until at least a pound was collected. The fat could then be sold to one of 250,000 participating butchers and meat retailer, or of 4,000 frozen food distributors. Those who turned in their grease were paid 4 cents a pound, and were also rewarded with 2 extra ration stamps.
The campaign to collect waste cooking fats during World War II was not as fruitful as expected. In December of 1943 butter, lard, vegetable oil, and other fats were rationed by the government. As a result many households chose to strain and reuse their cooking fats rather than collect it. Regardless, millions of pounds of used fats and cooking grease were collected for the war effort.
The most crippling wounds you sustain in life don’t sting like a scrape or ache like a bruise, they sit in you like a black hole, absorbing one thing after another until every scrap of joy and drive in your heart is gone. The deepest cuts don’t cause you pain, they consume you whole.