Betty Grable: Allied Pinup GirlShe Reminded Men What They Were Fighting For
Even with certain key categories of industrial and agricultural workers being exempt from the draft, the draft left the nations farms and factories short of personnel. In 1942, an agreement with Mexico brought thousands of Mexican agricultural workers, called braceros, to America to harvest the fruit and grain crops of the West.
The armed services enlisted nearly 216,000 women in WWII. Most commonly known were the WAACs (army), WAVES (navy), and SPARs (Coast Guard). Millions of women also took jobs outside the house, working in the war industry. WWII foreshadowed an eventual revolution in the roles of women in American society.
The immediate post-war period witnessed not a permanent widening of womens employment opportunities, but a widespread rush into suburban domesticity and the mothering of the "baby boomers."