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We hope you are having a good Thanksgiving!

Yesterday’s WHAT is it Wednesday showed a banner and arm band from one of the branches of civilian defense groups that were established during World War II. Our archives include a collection of materials related to the Civilian Defense Corps, including a guide that shows what branch each banner/arm band symbolizes. This particular banner and band from our collection belonged to someone who was a member of the Auxiliary Police, whose role was to enforce emergency restrictions on lighting and prohibitions on trespassing, guard docks, factories, and bridges against sabotage, traffic duty, prevent looting, assistant in air raid protection services, and assist police. The collection includes a number of manuals for various branches of civilian defense, brochures for tips for civilian preparedness for attack, and more.

Following the London Blitz in 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt worried that although the U.S. Military was strong, more manpower and supplies would be needed in the event of a similar attack on U.S. soil, in the form of a civilian defense corps. On May 20, 1941, he signed an executive order establishing the Office of Civilian Defense to protect the general public in the event of an attack and boost morale. By 1943, the organization had more than 11 million civilian volunteers over the age of 16 (there was also a Junior Corps), who served their country in this way. The Office of Civilian Defense was shut down in June 30, 1945.
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This 1880s home at 408 Chestnut Avenue has a long history in the grocery business. It started around 1890 with Emma E. Elliott and Edward H. VanGorder, who opened a grocery dealing in staple and fancy groceries. Over the years, a number of different people took over including William Moore, A.C. Roberts, Clifton Williams, Orville L. Allen, and Thomas M. Smith, who ran the grocery for the longest stretch of time from about 1922 through the early 1940s. It remained a grocery until the 1950s. ... See MoreSee Less

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