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World War II 1941-1945

1942 - War Industry

December 1941 - Production begins at the U.S. Rubber plant near York Road. With 15 miles of railroad access and 30 miles of gravel road, at the height of World War II the factory will employ 10,000 men and women. In 1958, the site will be developed as part of the Arrowood-Westinghouse-Carowinds area. 

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1944 - The Road to Berlin

June 6, 1944 - France has been invaded and is controlled by the German army. The Allies, countries fighting together to defeat Germany, attack Normandy in northern France. The most massive invasion in world history will be remembered as D-Day. More than 4,000 ships, 10,000 airplanes and 175,000 troops cross a body of water called the English Channel and overwhelm the Germans. Now, the Allies can fight their way eastward across Europe in pursuit of the German army.

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1945 - FDR dies

April 13, 1945 - Just three months into his fourth term, America's longest-serving president has died. The funeral train carrying the body of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passes through Charlotte as it travels from Warm Springs, Georgia to Washington, D.C. White and black church choirs sing as thousands of mourners pay their respects at the Southern Railway Station.

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1945 - Germany Surrenders

May 7, 1945 - Less than a year after the invasion of Normandy, France, called D-Day, Germany surrenders. Throughout Europe and the U.S., people celebrate. But the war is not over. Japan has not surrendered and fighting continues in Asia. The U.S. government has limited, or rationed, the amount of household goods families can buy. Every bit of America's resources go to help the war effort.Ration Books

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1945 - End of an Era

August 6, 1945  - The U.S. drops the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The city is virtually destroyed. Three days later, a second bomb falls on Nagasaki, Japan. On September 2, the Japanese officially surrender and the war is over. Three hundred thousand American lives have been lost. In the six years of war, more than 54 million have died worldwide. Six hundred men and women from Mecklenburg County have given their lives in the fight for freedom. World leaders vow that such a war will never be fought again.

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1941 - Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 - As the sun rises over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese war planes attack the U.S. Navy base. It is the first act of war against the U.S. The Japanese sink 19 ships. Over 2,400 American service personnel and civilians are killed. The nation, terrified, waits to see what will happen next

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1941 - U. S. Joins War

December 8, 1941- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress agree: The U.S. must declare war on Japan. Two days later, we will declare war on Germany and Italy as well. The U.S. has entered World War II. For nearly four years, its effects will be felt in every community across the country. More than 20,000 men and women from Mecklenburg County will serve in the U.S. military during the war. 

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1942 - Evac Hospital

The 38th Evacuation Hospital, made up of Charlotte doctors and nurses, gives medical aid to the troops fighting in North Africa and Italy. After the war, Charlotte will remember her veterans by collecting donations and memorials. The money will fund the building of Freedom Park in 1948.Freedom Park

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1942 - The Carolina Israelite

The modern, or reform, Jewish congregation separates from Temple Israel, which is more traditional. The new temple will be called Beth El. While many Charlotte Jews will distinguish themselves through civic and charitable work, no one will cause more controversy than Harry Golden. Although once a writer for the Charlotte Observer, Golden begins publishing his own paper, The Carolina Israelite, from his home in the Elizabeth neighborhood. He will win both national acclaim and disdain for his editorials against racial segregation.Temple Beth El

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