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Apr 07

Economic impact of war, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune April 7, 1942 contained economic news as well as grim war news.

If you spent time with anyone who endured the Great Depression you often found that they saved everything, rusty bolts, bent nails, broken tools. “That could be useful someday,” they would say.
The wartime economy was boosting wages in San Luis Obispo County. The average income in San Luis Obispo county in 1941 was $933 a big increase over the previous year’s number of $722. The state average was higher at $964.
The money did not get distributed evenly.
Money flowed to the coasts during wartime for bases and into heartland factories.
The national annual average income for 1941 was $674.
The headline says the county ranked 8th in statewide income but the story says 7th.
It is likely this was the biggest economic jump this region has seen going back to the depths of the Great Depression a mere five years earlier. Average income grew at a 208.3 percent clip over that half decade.

Allied troops on Battan and in Burma were not seeing any positive news as Japanese troops made further advances.

Quoted in the ear of the front page was a familiar name, Rep. Albert A. Gore, Tennessee Democrat.
“The scandalous increases in bonuses and salaries of some war plant executives are evidence of inordinate profits and evasion of the high bracket profit taxes.”
Political legacies are not just the realm of the Bush, and Romney families. This was the father of the man who would become Bill Clinton’s choice for vice-president Albert A. Gore, Jr.

Maj. Gen. William Hood Simpson led a parade of troops to the county courthouse for Army Day. He then joined the reviewing stand as the troops marched past.
Simpson would later command an army under General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower in Europe.
Troops marched from Los Osos road to Nipomo and Higuera Streets where the parade formally started. The parade lasted three quarters of an hour and ended at the Old Mission. The parade featured several marching bands.
“A Platoon of 276 trim nurses marched in their field uniforms of white dresses, maroon lined blue capes and blue field caps trimmed with maroon piping.”
The bands combined and played for an hour as a crowd gathered on the courthouse steps to hear “Light Cavalry Overture” by Vom Suppe and “Il Guarny Overture” by Gomez.
According to the paper a sigh of disappointment rippled through the crowd when the men stood up to play their last number.

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