Illinois at War, 1941-1945
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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September 30, 1942


Local defense councils through neighborhood air raid wardens awarded "V" for victory home window display placards to those households which met the five criteria stipulated, beginning in September 1942. Kenney (population 483) situated in DeWitt County in rural central Illinois was the first community in the country to participate in the V-Home campaign one hundred percent. It achieved this honor in November 1942 and was the focus of state and national attention.

The Washington Office of Civilian Defense sent informational packets to state and local councils to help them in implementing the V-Home campaign. Selections from one of those packets are as follow.

It must be remembered that inspection of all homes and property will be subject to
the consent of the owner or occupant. The V HOME inspection is not
compulsory. The inspecting warden is not an inquisitive meddler

*                        *                        *

The enemy may be off our coast in a submarine. He may be in a long-distance
bomber with charts of our target areas. He may be among us as a saboteur and a
rumor-monger. He is in every town and every home in American, disguised as
waste, inefficiency, disunity, insecurity, ill-health, plotting to weaken the home
front and thereby to weaken also the production front and the fighting front - to
decrease the total striking power of this Nation.

*                        *                        *

This is a good time to recall the New England proverb:

Eat it up, wear it out,
Fix it up, or do without!

Points to Consider

Why would a household want to display a "V-Home" sticker?

Who determined which households qualified as "V-Homes"?

Could a family living in an apartment be certified as a "V-Home"?

How could the spreading of rumors or the fostering of racial intolerance impede the war effort?

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