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Class Year

2013

Abstract

Made up of women and the men who could not join the military, the home front was more than just victory gardens and factory jobs. Although factory work was seen as a way for women both to help the war effort and at the same time gain some independence outside the home, not every woman was ready to hang up her dress and start donning pants full time. There was a middle ground where women were able to break traditional feminine roles yet still keep their dresses and serve the servicemen fighting the war between victory gardens and factory jobs; a balance was found in volunteer organizations designed to serve the military. The largest and most well-known organization on the home front was the United Services Organization, more commonly referred to as the USO. After the outbreak of World War II, USO canteens start to appear everywhere across the United States in towns and cities alike. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was one of many towns with their own USO branch. The Gettysburg branch was supported by the female students at Gettysburg College and the Army Air Corps detachment stationed on campus which provided an opportunity for local young women to explore new social roles while supporting the war effort. [excerpt]

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