Kathleen (Peggy) Foster (nee Mertz) Papers, 1942-1944

This collection was created by Kathleen (Peggy) Zoe Foster (nee Mertz) of Webster City, Iowa (7/24/22-12/17/10); it includes a diary (January 1942-July 1942), an early photograph of the author and also six letters written by her future husband, James Rodney Foster, to his parents in Jan./Feb. of 1944.

The diary begins with recap of 1941 and continues to document the author’s daily life in a small, midwestern town during World War II including her
employment at the local newspaper, The Daily Freeman Journal, and then the Fred Hahne Printing Company.  Her accounts include thoughts on the war and how it affected friends and family including Defense Stamps, rationing, moving to ‘war time’ scheduling and young acquaintances signing up for the draft and going off to war. Her social activities at the time included church and Sunday school, movies and celebrity gossip, biking, car rides, reading, listening to records and radio programs such as the Joe Louis/Buddy Baer boxing match.  She includes local and world news including the Burlington, IA Army Ammunitions Plant explosion and possible troop movements of resident boys along with news about politicians and world leaders. She gives an account of her pursuit of testing for, and finally attaining, a civil service job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C.

Finding Aid: https://archives.nebraska.edu/repositories/4/resources/528

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