In August 1941, I answered three classified ads in The New York Times for entry-level accountants. The previous decade, mired by the Great Depression of the 1930s, was not favorable to accounting graduates, and the quoted salaries would be considered insulting today. However, in 1941 the situation had changed.Germany had by then invaded France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and the Baltic countries, and had installed puppet dictators in Hungary and Romania. The remaining democracy in Europe was England, which was being bombed daily by the German air force, while the heroic Royal Air Force held them at bay. London and even Coventry were severely bombed, and the population took to air raid shelters each evening, including King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized that if England fell, Germany would look to the West. Roosevelt commenced the Lend-Lease Program, which included Liberty ships and planes to maintain England's spirit and resistance. As a result of the spurt in U.S. factory output, the entire economy pushed upward.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access