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