The Story: 1940s - 1950s Continued

Good roads take people both ways. They bring them into the community, but they also take them out of the community.

Jerry Plemmons

"Good roads" - Jerry Plemmons

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Throughout World War II, many civilian commodities such as shoes, clothing, and gasoline were rationed. These goods were needed by Americans serving overseas and the majority of cargo ships had been converted from public to military use. Viewed as a crucial part of the war effort, rationing received much public support. Despite their willingness to go without, wartime rationing and the previous decade's economic depression had made Americans hungry for the easier times that would soon begin.

"Shifts in consumerism"
- Taylor Barnhill

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Peacetime allowed people to begin buying goods that had been unavailable throughout the war, which inspired a dynamic economy and a boom in the American job market. Regretfully the small towns of Madison County did not benefit from this national prosperity. Many of Madison's already shrinking population were now commuting across county lines for work and commerce.

By the 1950s, shopping had become a key element of the American Dream. Advancements in technology offered new domestic comforts, from TV dinners to large appliances, and people could now afford to pay for goods and services they had previously made or done themselves. The need for self-sufficiency rapidly declined as consumerism increased.