Even though the United States did not officially enter World War II until December 8, 1941, Vermonters had been involved—mostly indirectly—in the war effort for over a year. On September 1940, the Secretary of War ordered units of the Vermont National Guard into active duty; and in October—following the enactment by Congress of the Selective Service Act, creating the first peace-time draft in U.S. history—young Vermont men began receiving draft notices. Over the winter of 1940-1941, facilities at Fort Ethan Allen were expanded to house the 1,700 men of the Guard and their equipment. Meanwhile, efforts were underway to gain support for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease plan to assist those nations resisting Germany’s army by providing arms and defense materials, and some Vermont industries began shifting over to war-related production.
For more background on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/world-war-ii-at-home-1942
For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/robert-frost-poet-laureate-1938
For more background on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/fighting-silicosis-dust-control-in-granite-industry-1937
The Vermont Women's Legislative Caucus began its political life as the Vermont Chapter of the Order of Women Legislators, the OWLs. In June 1936, the women then in the Vermont legislature met at the Fletcher Farm in Proctor for a two day organizational meeting. Following the lead of Julia Emery of Connecticut, founder of the first OWLs group in the nation in 1927, the Vermont legislators joined together to form an organization, which, according to the Rutland Herald reported at the time, "is something else again, a legislative noman's land, as it were, social, informative, discursive, and instructive in its scope." Twelve years later, Vermont participated in forming the National OWLs, receiving the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/the-owls-vermonts-women-legislators-1936
For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/legislative-reappointment-1965
Telling the story of the development of the sport of skiing in Vermont often begins in 1934, when the first rope tow, a contraption powered by a Model-T Ford truck, was set up on a slope at Clint Gilbert’s farm in Woodstock. This mechanized apparatus did, indeed, launch a new era as well as a new technology in the history of skiing. But the story begins with the coming of skis to the north country that involved two Vermonters not often enough mentioned in today’s skiing memoirs: Fred Garey of Thetford and Fred H. Harris of Brattleboro.
For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/early-days-of-skiing-1934
In 1933, the midst of the Great Depression, Col William J. Wilgus, former chief engineer of the New York Central Railroad, propose the construction of a scenic highway with a 1,000-foot right of way through the Green Mountains. Modeled after Virginia’s Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the road was viewed, in historian Richard Judd’s words, “as an imaginative solution to the state’s apparent need for a big project which would employ many people, stimulate the Vermont economy, and confer lasting benefits on everyone concerned.”
For more information on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/green-mountain-parkway-1933