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The Second World War transformed U.S. society. The mobilization of twelve million into the military, the mass internal migrations of those seeking work in the war industries, the short-lived celebration of the abilities of women workers on the home front, and the creation of new gay and lesbian spaces and identities all intimately touched individual lives. The war also raised profound questions about the meaning of democracy in the United States in response to the two poles of Fascism and Communism. Heffernan and Seeds continued to write, teach, and advocate for progressive ideas during the war years, but they faced new challenges and new responsibilities as well. The early 1940s saw the first attacks specifically directed at Heffernan and Seeds. As a state official, Heffernan was faced with the problem of educating a new population of children whose families were drawn to California to work in the defense industries. But perhaps most fundamentally, Heffernan and Seeds, like other white liberals, were challenged by the events of the war to face the deeply entrenched racism of U.S. society.
KeywordsChild Care White Child Oral History Progressive Education Defense Industry
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