Honors Program

[Honors-in-Discipline (Choose below)], Honors in History

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Stephen Fritz

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

John Rankin, Ted Olson


Much has been written about America’s entry into World War II. However, little attention has been given to the war’s effects on the social and economic lives of the people of East Tennessee who both benefited and suffered from the presence of many wartime facilities and industries. World War II also affected those civilians living and working on the home front. While its men had to fight in foreign lands, the region had to deal with food, housing, and labor shortages, the changing roles of women and African-Americans, and even the presence of enemy prisoners of war. This paper intends to show how the people of East Tennessee both benefitted and suffered as a result of America’s entry into World War II. It will detail the role of local industries that in most cases changed from producing consumer goods to war material. Attention will be paid to key wartime facilities such as Oak Ridge Laboratory and Eastman Chemical. In addition, it will examine the effect that the war had on those East Tennesseans who served overseas and returned home to their families and communities changed forever. This paper will also show the extent to which East Tennessee women and African-Americans contributed to and were affected by the war effort as well as how their roles in society would be changed because of it. The use of enemy prisoners of war as labor on the home front will be elaborated upon as well. By examining these themes and topics, our citizenry today will have a better understanding of the sacrifices made to win World War II.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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