Are movie stars “essential” for the war effort?

Tuesday, Mar. 16, 1943

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 2.20.12 PMMickey Rooney was rejected by his draft board for army service. That was good news for his employer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which claimed Rooney was “an essential man in an essential industry.” Who or what is essential during wartime? Addressing the 12 governors of America’s Midwest “corn belt” states yesterday, Former President Herbert Hoover warned that America is “going the way of Europe in 1918” unless agricultural production is ranked as an essential activity. With the draft widening, it was harder and harder to fill the job even boys used to hold, as this cartoon demonstrates. Ohio Governor John Bricker declared that, unless farmers get help during planting season, “America will go hungry.” Britain had a well organized “Land Army Girls” program. Would America give that kind of responsibility – and authority – to women? It would not be the kind of forced labor Germany had instituted. Already Nazi officers were going door to door in France, rounding up able-bodied youth, and shipping them to Germany to work in factories and on farms.



This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Music and Media, WWII, Today in WWII, Uncategorized, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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