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Monday, February 4th, 2013 06:13 pm
I never heard of the American Protective League, a group of private citizens who worked with federal law enforcement during World War I.

Only according to this article in Slate's The Vault, sometimes they got a tad over zealous.

Busting citizens they considered to be food hoarders.

And other stuff.

Friday, February 8th, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
Aye, but you're from an agricultural area so it may have been much less of an issue where your family was located. Food was always more plentiful near farms, even in the depths of the war. It was cities, and especially cities in densely populated areas, where food policing was more eagerly engaged in by vigilantes, because everyone knew how thin the margin was there.

Here's a rhyme my mum remembers from WWII:
We all liked Mrs. Parker, in the City,
Until we heard she wasted crusts --- a pity!

Until the war, ladies making sandwiches for lunch or tea trimmed the crusts off the bread, and in well-off families these were thrown away or fed to pets. (Poor families dried them to make bread pudding and the like, or simply ate the bread crust and all.) During the war, throwing away your crusts was considered inexcusable even if you were wealthy and lived in the expensive part of London (the City), and everyone was expected to save and use them.

It was really a different world, wartime, at least back then. Not so much now; we take wars in stride anymore. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad.