by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Prior to the 1942-1943 school year, Superintendent Jay Walker became seriously ill and was eventually diagnosed with a rare disease, Guillian-Barre Syndrome. The body’s immune system attacks the nerves and the result is paralysis.
Mr. Walker spent several weeks at University Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. His replacement, Mr. Fullerton discontinued the weekly column in The Broadcaster.
There was, on December 21, 1942 a meeting to begin a Civil Defense Organization and all “loyal citizens of Grain Valley,” were urged to attend. There wasn’t, however, any follow-up article, so I cannot tell you how successful the program was. Fortunately, it never had to be put to the test.
Rationing continued , and on February 22, 1943 the second ration book took effect. This program continued until the war ended. It was a necessary, but not a popular result of the war.
Jeep Day (April 14, 1943) was the only other event reported in the remaining issues of the school papers through the conclusion of the 1943-1944 school year. Forty-five United States
Jeep Certificates were mailed to Missouri Schools which sold $900 worth of War Bonds and Stamps within a stated time contracted with the war Savings Staff in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Grain Valley bought five jeeps.
The Jeep Day parade consisted of all grades and students from the nearby rural schools. Each class carried a banner with a slogan. The order of the parade was the police car, two Jeeps, the band, the visiting rural schools (Murphy, Pueblo, Tarsney, Elm Grove, Moreland and Oakland), followed by Grain Valley primary students and ending with the Seniors. After the parade, everyone returned to the school and students were given free jeep rides for the remainder of the day.
There continued to be bi-weekly reports on War Stamps and Bonds, but evidently the good citizens of Grain Valley had given away all of their scrap metal, as there were no further drives. For more than two years the United States fighting in World War II, with no end in sight.
Perhaps they decided no news is good news. Perhaps morale was so low that no one wanted to read about the war.
The exact date of the war's end is not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted, at the time, that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945 (V-J Day). The formal surrender of Japan, which was on 2 September 1945 officially ended the war in Asia. Unfortunately, I do not have any issues of The Broadcaster from the fall of 1945. Hopefully, it was front page news!
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The Honor Roll was constructed on the west side of Main Street near the old Christian Church (SW corner of Main and Walnut Streets) It remained there through the 1950s and honored the women and men from Grain Valley who served in World War II. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society