USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Charles Werner

Battle to save the beachhead!

Charles Werner (1909-1997)
Battle to Save the Beachhead!
Published April 1945 in the Chicago Sun

World War II victory gardens provided a way for citizens to reduce the amount of gasoline used to transport fruits, vegetables, and herbs by planting gardens in their own yards, vacant lots, apartment roofs, and public parks. People on the home front aided the war effort by allowing more resources to be used on the battlefield. Warring governments endorsed victory gardens, and they were prevalent in America, Canada, Great Britain, and Germany. Some estimates put the amount of produce grown in victory gardens during the war at up to 40% of the national product.

A cold snap occurred in America in early April, 1945. The New York Times reported that Las Vegas, New Mexico recorded -2 degrees on April 3. Heavy snow was reported through much of the Great Plains, and seventeen inches of snow was reported in Minnesota. New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Missouri all reported crop damage. In Chicago, where this cartoon originally ran, the high temperature dropped from 64 on April 3 to an expected 30 degrees on April 4, prompting fears that victory gardens would freeze.

Werner compares keeping victory gardens with establishing a beachhead against the enemy and encourages readers to keep their gardens warm as a way for stateside citizens to continue to aid the war effort.