South Carolina Servicemen After the War, a report on soldiers returning home, 1945

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Document Description:

The South Carolina State Development Board, which began as the State Department of Research, Planning, and Development, worked from 1945 through the early 1990s to foster business growth in the state.  The State Development Board created and supported many educational programs throughout the state until the Board became the Department of Commerce in 1993.  In 1945, the Board published South Carolina Servicemen After the War, which summarized the plans and expectations of returning soldiers and compared them to the rest of the country.  This table illustrates the tremendous changes that occurred after World War II as men returning to civilian life took advantage of federal and state technical and academic programs, hoping to move beyond their previous jobs or life on the farm into the burgeoning technology and business industries.  The publication also contains a section covering the “Suggestions and Opinions of Servicemen,” in which soldiers comment on the working and education conditions of the state.  Some suggestions include, “Revert back to 1938-39.  All women that had jobs, then let them continue to do so—all that did not, let them go back to being housewives,” and “To make definite plans to give the Negro soldier or veteran equal opportunity.”

Citation:

South Carolina State Development Board.  Research, Planning and Development Board.  “Table 1: Postwar Plans of Men in Service.”  In South Carolina Servicemen After the War. 1945, 9.  Published Materials Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards: 

Standard 5-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the economic boom-and-bust in America in the 1920s and 1930s, its resultant political instability, and the subsequent worldwide response.

Indicator 5-4.4 Summarize the political and social impact of World War II, including changes in women’s roles, in attitudes toward Japanese Americans, and in nation-state boundaries and governments.

Standard 5-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic, and political events that influenced the United States during the Cold War era.

Indicator 5-5.2 Summarize changes in the United States economy following World War II, including the expanding job market and service industry, consumerism, and new technology.

Standard 8-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina’s economic revitalization during World War II and the latter twentieth century.

Indicator 8-7.1 Summarize the significant aspects of the economic growth experienced by South Carolina during and following World War II, including the contributions of Governor Strom Thurmond in promoting economic growth; the creation of the State Development Board and the technical education system; the benefits of good road systems, a sea port, and the Savannah River site; and the scarcity of labor unions.

Indicator 8-7.5 Explain the economic impact of twentieth century events on South Carolina, including the opening and closing of military bases, the development of industries, the influx of new citizens, and the expansion of port facilities.

Standard USHC-9: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic, and political events that impacted the United States during the Cold War era.

Indicator USHC-9.1 Explain the causes and effects of social and cultural changes in postwar America, including educational programs, expanding suburbanization, the emergence of the consumer culture, the secularization of society and the reemergence of religious conservatism, and the roles of women in American society.

Lessons Using This Document:

Social Effects of WWII on SC (Pt. 2)

Social Effects of WWII on SC (Pt. 3)

 

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