Part of the Historical Studies in Education book series (HSE)


The Second World War transformed U.S. society. The mobilization of twelve million into the military, the mass internal migrations of those seeking work in the war industries, the short-lived celebration of the abilities of women workers on the home front, and the creation of new gay and lesbian spaces and identities all intimately touched individual lives. The war also raised profound questions about the meaning of democracy in the United States in response to the two poles of Fascism and Communism. Heffernan and Seeds continued to write, teach, and advocate for progressive ideas during the war years, but they faced new challenges and new responsibilities as well. The early 1940s saw the first attacks specifically directed at Heffernan and Seeds. As a state official, Heffernan was faced with the problem of educating a new population of children whose families were drawn to California to work in the defense industries. But perhaps most fundamentally, Heffernan and Seeds, like other white liberals, were challenged by the events of the war to face the deeply entrenched racism of U.S. society.


Child Care White Child Oral History Progressive Education Defense Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gary Gerstle, “The Protean Character of American Liberalism,” American Historical Review 99, no. 4 (October 1994): 1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cited in Ronald Goodenough, “Racial and Ethnic Tolerance in John Dewey’s Educational and Social Thought: The Depression Years,” Educational Theory 27, no. 1 (Winter 1977): 53.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Arthur Verge, “The Impact of the Second World War on Los Angeles,” Pacific Historical Review 63, no. 3 (August 1994): 295.Google Scholar
  4. 40.
    W. Norton Grubb and Marvin Lazerson, “Child Care, Government Financing, and the Public Schools: Lessons for the California Children’s Centers,” School Review 86, no. 1 (November, 1977): 12–13; Charles Dorn, American Education, Democracy, and the Second World War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). For the broader debate about child care policy in the United States, see Sonya Michel, Children’s Interests/Mother’s Rights: The Shaping of America’s Child Care Policy (Yale University Press, 1999); Barbara Beatty, Preschool Education in America: the Culture of Young Children from the Colonial Era to the Present (Yale University Press, 1995); Elizabeth Rose, A Mother’s Job: The History of Day Care, 1890–1960 (Oxford University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  5. 57.
    Helen Heffernan, “A Heritage of Freedom,” WJE 48, no. 9 (October 1942): 6–7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kathleen Weiler 2011

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations