Home Front Friday: Preserving Stories
Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!
Letters are one of the most common World War II artifacts. During World War II troops stationed all over the world corresponded with people on the Home Front through V-Mail, a technology at the time that saved valuable cargo space by converting letters to microfilm stateside, then the negatives would be blown up and printed before being delivered. As primary sources, letters sent by V-mail offer great insight into how soldiers and their loved ones handled things like shortages, rationing, and the fear of war.
This week we hosted a Meet the Author event featuring Lana Lynne Higginbotham and Mary Felder about their book Life Between the Letters: The Chuck and Mary Felder Story. Felder spent the evening sharing her World War II love story, preserved through letters, and published with co-author Higginbotham. The book particularly focuses on the correspondence the couple sent each other for V-J Day as that anniversary is this week. Before email and text messaging, those on the Home Front might hear from their loved one overseas only occasionally, even if they diligently wrote letters daily, due to the reality of fast-moving divisions and combat conditions. Mary shared her correspondence with her husband Chuck. Many of her family were present at the event and the stories, while personal to Mary, remind us of how every single person alive during World War II has their own story.
If you have any World War II memories you would like to share, check out our guidelines for conducting an oral history or consider finding out about daily life on the Home Front, particularly in the kitchen, by sending in Kitchen Memories.
Posted by Lauren Handley, Education Programs Coordinator at The National WWII Museum