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 imagine… 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.
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, the 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!!).