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A Little Sugar


It is no secret that there are shortages during any wartime. During World War II, the government rationed food, gas, and even clothing. The federal government used rationing to control supply and demand of many goods. It was a way to avoid the public's anger with shortages, and it was also a way to keep the wealthier class from being the only ones who could buy certain commodities. Nylons were hard to come by; the nylon fibers were needed for parachutes for the soldiers. Rubber and metals were carefully saved, too.

In the spring of 1942, the Food Rationing Program was started. Foods were scarce, and many people formed into groups and clubs and ran scrap drives and donated goods. Many even planted rows of vegetables in what they called "Victory" gardens. But some commodities, like sugar and flour, could only be rationed out.

Sugar rationing took effect with the distribution of "Sugar Buying Cards." Registration for such rationing was generally at local schools. One family member was sent to register all other members of the family. That person was supposed to describe all of the other family members. Then, coupons were distributed based on the size of the family, allowing a certain allotment, but not guaranteeing availability.

With this system, obviously some issues occurred during registration. One family's troubles with their registration was reported on this day in 1942.

In Marmath, a baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. George Buzalsky at 9 p.m. the night before the registration for sugar rations started.

The cousin to the new baby, a Leo Buzalsky, was helping Mrs. Eleanor Howard Buzalsky with the registration. When they got to George Buzalsky's family, they had to register the baby. However, they didn't have all of the information they needed. The only information they had was his birth weight, five and a half pounds, and size, 18 inches. They did not know his name, because he had not yet been named.

Since they needed more information, Leo, the cousin, said, "We'll enter him as Joe and his hair is dark in color."

T he Slope County Messenger relayed that Leo was off in assessing the baby's hair color on the sugar registration. However, the parents ended up rather liking the name Joe, and so they decided to keep it for their little boy.

Wasn't that sweet?

By Sarah Walker


The Knox Advocate, June 5, 1942

"Wars and Battles—World War II Rationing—The Home Front," http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1674