York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

About York County in World War II: ‘We provided tanks, guns, refrigeration units and soldiers’

World War II ended on what became known as V-J Day, as reported in The Gazette and Daily on Aug. 15, 1945, in the disparaging language typical of that day. On Aug. 14, the world will observe the anniversary of the war’s end 65 years ago. Also of interest: Friendly fire saved life of young soldier, now York, Pa., resident and World War II combat hero from York County: ‘Avenged the death of his platoon leader’ and The Tuleyas of York and Millersville, Pa.: A love story, not baseballs and hand grenades.

Who says young people aren’t interacting with history?
Statistics about readers of this blog, yorktownsquare.com, suggest that about one quarter of its readers are below 18, most in the 13-17 year old range. Those above 50 years in age make up 30 percent of the readers of this blog.
York Town Square viewers will access pages in the high six figures this year, so you can do the math about their interest.
Clearly, middle and high-schoolers are accessing the blog for classroom purposes… .

On Dec. 8, 1941, The Gazette and Daily told York County residents the news from Pearl Harbor, that they had heard on their radios the day before.
In fact, the stats, however flawed because of the sample size, indicate users in the 13-17 year range are 52 percent more likely to use this blog than others.
I thought about these numbers in addressing a set of e-mailed questions about World War II from York countian Sophie Barnes, a fourth-grade student who has not yet reached the 13-17-year demographic.
Her thoughtful questions pointed to a real example of the interest of young people in history.
So I turned her questions and my answers into a York Sunday News column (6/6/10), with the accompanying sidebar and worked in, as well, a reminder that the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II is coming:

Sophie Barnes e-mailed questions about World War II to me as part of her research toward a school assignment in Pennsylvania history.
Her task — assigned by Commonwealth Connections Academy, a chartered cyber/virtual school — was to understand how people from her hometown served in World War II or how her town contributed to the war effort.
Pretty tough class assignment for a fourth-grader.
Since she asked me such thoughtful questions, I thought I’d turn the table.
What did she take away from this project?
“The most significant thing . . . was that Pennsylvania made huge contributions to the war,” she replied. “We provided tanks, guns, refrigeration units and soldiers just to name a few. One out of every seven soldiers was from Pennsylvania which shows how dedicated Pennsylvanians were to the war effort.”
Sounds like 10 out of 10 work to me.
Which, as it turns out, is what Sophie earned.

Also of interest:
All York Town Square World War II posts from the start.