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Grandma Never had a Headache

Here are some facts about the United States in the 1940s. I guess what surprised me the most was the life expectancy in those years: 68.2 for females. That is a lot higher than I would have thought. I think that if you lived through yellow fever, cholera and polio you became pretty hardy. My maternal grandmother never drove herself and after my grandfather died in 1940 she mostly walked every where she went, church, town, grocery store and then we drove her some places. She lived to 94 and told me she NEVER had a headache her whole life. Can you imagineā€¦ She came to Oklahoma with her family as a girl right after the run and only went to school a few years. When her mother died she quit school and stayed home taking care of her brothers and her father. Her dad was a farmer and their life was not easy in those days for sure.

Population 132,122,000
Unemployed in 1940 – 8,120,000
National Debt $43 Billion
Average Salary $1,299. Teacher’s salary $1,441
Minimum Wage $.43 per hour
55% of U.S. homes have indoor plumbing
Antarctica is discovered to be a continent
Life expectancy 68.2 female, 60.8 male
Auto deaths 34,500
Supreme Court decides blacks do have a right to vote
World War II changed the order of world power, theĀ  United States and the USSR became super powers
The war ended when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Japan, and a Cold War began with the Soviet Union. When our solders returned home,
1940’s Eisenhower expanded the highway system and the suburbs became the place to raise a family.

In 1940 a new house cost- $3,920.00
In 1940 the average income per year was – $1,725.00
In 1940 a gallon of gas was – 11 cents
In 1940 the average cost of new car was- $850.00
Philco Refrigerator- $239.00
New Emerson Bedroom Radio 1938- $19.65
Sealey Mattress – $38.00
Nylon Hose – 20 cents

Not a lot of the streets were paved in those days. The main streets and the downtown had real brick streets. It was a real thrill when we got our first asphalt street. That was the best place to ride a bike so you can imagine how many kids hung out there. We called it Rocky Lane (don’t know why because it was so SMOOTH). To this day that hometown has kept the brick streets (too bad every town didn’t leave their brick streets because there are no pot holes!!).

My Grandmother

I recently read a blog post from a friend about aprons. I can just see my grandmother wearing her apron everyday when she was at home. If she went anywhere she would put on her hat and carried her gloves (no apron) but always a dress. My grandmother never owned slacks or shorts. She walked to the grocery store and to church. She was the sweetest lady. I can still hear her calling me. She went through all the names of her grandchildren before she got to mine and I find myself doing the same thing with my grandkids. She swore she had never had a headache in her life. Can you imagine that? She had come to Oklahoma with her family from Illinois, as a girl, soon after “the land run”. They lived in the country and she went to a small school house which at that time was on the edge of town. She even rode a horse to school. She had to quit about the 5th grade because her mom died and she had to take care of two brothers and her dad. She studied at home and was a very smart lady. Her husband, my grandfather, died when I was a baby and I never knew him. He rode the caboose on the Frisco railroad and retired with them. My grandmother died at 94 and had lived through the land run and seeing a man walk on the moon. She played conasta for years and never missed the Kentucky Derby on tv. What a neat lady, my grandmother. I think of her almost every day. Be sure and tell your children and grandchildren about grandparents if they have passed on. If you haven’t done so, be sure and do a family tree. That is such a great gift to your children!

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1 Comments:

Blogger Judy said…

WOW, your grandmother was such a neat person. I really enjoyed reading about her. I find myself going through all the names of the children and my mother did the same thing. Must be something about getting older.
November 30, 2008 4:00 PM