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Seeking memories

Published on -5/15/2012, 9:44 AM

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Seeking memories

For many of us, it is hard to imagine what life was like in the United States during World War II. Virtually every person in the nation was affected by the war on a daily basis. Scrap drives; bond sales; patriotic displays; rationing books; and shortages of food staples, gasoline and rubber were a part of daily life on the home front.

Much has been written about the lives of our nation's men and women during that time. There are few among us who do not know about the experiences of GI Joe and Rosie the Riveter. One group whose experiences have been largely overlooked in historical accounts of World War II is American children. Certainly, their lives were as greatly affected as the adults' lives.

While those who were babies and preschoolers have little if any recollection from that time, individuals who were school-aged children surely have stories to tell about life as a child during this pivotal time in history.

As a master's student at Washburn University, I hope to fill some of that gap in historical account as my final thesis project, "At Home on the Range: Childhood in Kansas During World War II." My goal is to survey adults who were children living in Kansas during World War II to collect their childhood stories and memories. If you are aged 75 to 85 and are willing to participate in this worthwhile project, I invite you contact me and express your willingness to share your memories. Once I've heard from you, I will send you a questionnaire that will ask about your childhood experiences during World War II. You may reach me by email at donna.clark@washburn.edu, or by note or postcard sent to Donna Clark, c/o WWII Research Project, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621.

I look forward to hearing from a large variety of Kansans -- male, female, people of all races and ethnicities, rural or urban, and pacifists as well as those who supported the war. It is time to record this group's experiences in history.

Donna Clark

Topeka

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