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The War Isn’t Over Yet


World War II ended in Europe with the surrender of Germany in May, 1945. By June of that year, it was clear that Japan could not hold out much longer. U.S. vice admiral Daniel Barbey hinted that an invasion of Japan would not wait until the end of the typhoon season. He said, “It will take more than a big wind to stop us.”

Americans anxiously looked forward to the end of the war. But several articles published in the Fargo Forum and Daily Tribune on this date in 1945 made it clear that the hardships were not over yet. The Secretary of Agriculture announced that food shortages would continue at least until 1946. Fats, vegetable oils, sugar, and canned fruits and vegetables would continue to be in short supply. Rice and dried beans would also be scarce. Wheat and potatoes would be available, but the demand for meat would be greater than the supply.

Food was not the only thing expected to be in short supply. Automobile tires were also difficult to come by. Only some car owners were eligible to purchase new tires as rationing continued. Eligible owners had to be making a trip for a change of address, and they had to have been issued a special gas ration for the trip. Production workers required to move for their work, members of the military reassigned to a new base, and returning veterans were those who would be allowed to purchase tires for their cars. But tires were not an issue for many people, since they were unable to get cars! Only essential drivers who were approved to buy cars in 1942 would be eligible to purchase new cars in 1945. Those included law enforcement officers, mailmen, doctors, veterinarians, and ministers.

Americans dreaded the thought of invading Japan. They knew casualties would be horrific. They were also sure it would be necessary, since they did not know about the bombs that would end the war. But it was becoming apparent that their hardships would not end as soon as Japan surrendered. The shortages would continue after the war’s end.

Dakota Datebook written by Carole Butcher


Fargo Forum and Daily Tribune. 17 June, 1945:

“Food Supply to be Short Until 1946”

“Says Invasion May Not Wait Until the End of Typhoon Season”

“List Eligibles for 1945 Cars”

“Most Motorists Have Car Stamps”

“Some Motorists May Get Tires for Moving Residence”