Labor Day, 1943

Labor Day advertisement for Safeway in the Mendocino Beacon, 1943.

Note the Red Stamp and Blue Stamp Values in the ad and the Red Points mentioned in the cartoon at the bottom. Color-coded stamps and points were part of the food rationing system put in place during World War II.

Food rationing began in the spring of 1942, when government-issued food coupons were required to purchase sugar. The following November, coffee buyers needed vouchers to complete their purchase.

In 1943, war ration books containing stamps were issued. Red Point stamps were needed to buy meat, fish, fats, and dairy, while Blue Point goods included canned, bottled, and dried food. Each individual was allowed 64 Red Points and 48 Blue Points per month.

Rationing of most food was lifted by the end of the war, but sugar continued to be rationed until 1947. The Beacon described an evening of bridge on June 17, 1947, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Jackson. “At the conclusion of the games, the hostess served a delicious luncheon. Boy, oh, boy! the sugar rationing is over. There were home-made cakes, the delicious kinds of long ago.”

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