by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In addition to the report on defense stamp sales, the February 20, 1942 issue of The Broadcaster also featured an article on the news real presented by Mr. C. E. Kirby. The film featured . . . our present World War. The pictures showed the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Declaration of War by Congress. It also gave portions of the President’s outstanding war speeches.” Televisions were not available for home use until 1946, so this would have been very educational and informative for the students.
In the March 9, 1942 issue it was announced that the WPA (Works Progress Administration) on orders from the National Capital, would no longer fund our school music program. Because the parents and Board of Education wanted to retain the program, they found money to pay the band director, Mr. Phil Turner, to continue the program on one day each week. Mr. Turner contracted to spend one day each week at Bates City, with his remaining time spent at Turner Music Company in Independence.
But the big news came in the April 3, 1942 issue of The Broadcaster in an article titled, “Sugar Ration Program.”
Although we have only a meager amount of information concerning the National Sugar Rationing Program, it is our desire to keep our parents and patrons informed as best we can.
The date of the registration has been set for May 4 – 7. The entire school district will be registered at the central school building. There registration took place on over the three days. One card was issued for each family member in the household under 18 years of age although one family member could sign up for the entire member as long as they could provide the age, height, weight, color of hair and color of eyes for every person he or she planned to sign up. They also had to report the amount of brown and white sugar on hand at the date of registration.
The article concluded by stating additional information would be forthcoming as it was received with the conclusion that if Grain Valley participated in voluntary rationing and conserve buying they would not be required to participate in a compulsory rationing program.
Articles involving sugar rationing continued until the actual dates in May. It was evidently completed without a hitch, as there was no further mention of the program.
In a proclamation, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared May 1, 1942 as Child Health Day. It required children over six months of age to be immunized against diphtheria and smallpox. In order to comply with the proclamation, the Jackson County Health Department had free immunization clinic throughout the county.
As the 1941-42 school year drew to a close, life continue to be fairly normal and school ended in May with a senior breakfast, prom and graduation. While each issue of The Broadcaster referred to the war, the United States was only six months into a long war that would bring many more changes to Grain Valley.
Next Week: Boys in Service, gasoline rationing
Learn more about the Grain Valley Historical Society at www.grainvalleyhistory.com.