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Larece Galer brings you the latest military news. To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

War changed fashion

I think by this time everyone knows that I am a sewaholic, a history buff and love learning about the past.
A recent conversation about war rationing piqued my curiosity about how war rationing affected clothing and how the women of this country managed during those years to clothe their families while the men were at war. I found that the “Make Do and Mend” program published helpful pamphlets about the subject.
Both America and Great Britain had programs that urged the public to “Make Do and Mend.”
The American War Production Board, nicknamed “Old Snip, Snap, the Government Shears,” enacted Limitation Order L-85. The order, which was an effort to conserve materials for the war effort, directed the yardage allowed in clothing, how many belt loops were allowed and how many buttons could be used. The directive suggested the length dresses should be and mandated men’s trousers were no longer allowed to have cuffs.
A pamphlet I found online from this time period is titled Make and Mend for Victory, Book No. S-10. The pamphlet, which sold for 10 cents, is 50 pages of hints and tips on how to resize a man’s suit into a woman’s outfit, how to make accessories, information on mending and darning and how to make your own clothes. This pamphlet helped those at home stretch the ration coupons just a little further.
The rationing efforts of World War II helped to usher in the American sportswear market. Metal and rubber were rationed, if available at all. Buttons were limited by rationing and zippers became more common. Cork was used in footwear, replacing rubber. American designers were no longer overshadowed by the Paris design houses, and the American designs made use of the materials that were available during the war. The skirts got shorter, the shoulders narrower and pants for women became more common than ever before.
How lucky can we be in this day and age when we can hop in the car, drive to the nearest mall and buy new items? Just imagine not being able to buy anything without that ration stamp, as all purchases were limited by the number of ration stamps you were issued. Creative Americans all pulled together for the war effort and American fashion changed in the process.

Eastlake VFW cancels fish fry March 14
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3863, 33641 Vine St. in Eastlake, has canceled the fish fry dinner scheduled for March 14. Please check with the post for a new date.
The post will serve corned beef dinners and sandwiches 4 to 7 p.m. March 15. Dinners will be priced at $8 and sandwiches will be $5. On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, only sandwiches will be served between 1 and 7 p.m. For details, call the post at 440-942-3980.

Mentor AMVETS hosts steak dinner
AMVETS Post 40, 9141 Jordan Drive in Mentor, will host a steak dinner 5:30 to 8 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at the post home. Dinners are open to the public and are $12 per person. For details, call the post at 440-527-1911.

Painesville Legion serving Sunday breakfast
American Legion Post 336, 60 Chester St. in Painesville, will be serving breakfasts from 9 to 11:30 a.m. each Sunday through the end of May.
The menu will contain meals ranging in price from $3 to $6. For details, call the post home at 440-357-7711.

Lucky Shoots Saturday in Madison
American Legion Post 112, 6671 Middle Ridge Road in Madison, will host Lucky Shoots beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturdays through March 15. Sign-ups start at 9 a.m. and breakfast for the shooters is $2.50; breakfast for everyone else is $5. For details, call the post home at 440-428-7893.

Veterans dinner offered in Kirtland
A Veterans Hospitality Dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. March 19 at Old South Church, 9802 Chillicothe Road in Kirtland. The dinner is free for veterans and their families. This is a family event to bring together area veterans in appreciation of their service. The dinner also will offer activities for children. Please register in advance at to assure adequate food. For details, call 440-463-5400.

Abbey Rodeo appears at Willoughby VFW
Willoughby VFW Post 1500 will host its fifth annual fundraising spaghetti dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. March 22 at the post, 38295 Pelton Road in Willoughby. Entertainment by Abbey Rodeo will follow dinner. Proceeds from the event benefit The Littlest Heroes, VFW charities and local veterans in need.
Tickets are $18 a person and might not be available the night of the event because of advance sales. For tickets, call the post home at 440-951-9233.

Chili cook-off at Willowick post
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, will host a chili cook-off at 3 p.m. March 23 at the post home. Entry fee for chili is $20 and to try a bowl, the cost will be $5. Call Kevin Carroll, commander, for information about the cook-off at 440-567-1847.

Willowick Legion to host Blessing of the Bikes
American Legion Post 678, 570 E. 328th St. in Willowick, will host a “Blessing of the Bikes” at noon April 13 in the post parking lot. The parking lot will open at 10:30 a.m., with the blessing scheduled for noon. Vendors, food, music and raffles will be a part of the event. All proceeds will benefit local veterans. For details, call the post home at 440-943-9659.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

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