This is coolbert:
From a previous blog entry: "Persons of what is normally considered to be middle-age [45-64 years old] being required to do what sort of non-military duty?"
One of those non-military duties and functions being the BLOCK CAPTAIN!
A war-time [World War Two] measure only, that man-made grid as superimposed on an American urban area the basic unit of which was the BLOCK having an elected individual whose role was an unofficial but important coordinator of activities on the home front!!
That American city block one furlong long, two hundred twenty yards [about 200 meters], eight city blocks to one mile [about 1,500 meters]. Each and every city block organized to have a resident block captain, elected by his peers and presiding over the area unofficially but with a certain degree of understood authority.
"The neighborhood was the building block of these home front activities that almost immediately enveloped every family. Twenty thousand elected block captains [in Chicago alone!]"
Functions and duties of a quasi-governmental nature to include:
* Organize War Bond drives.
* Organize scrap metal drives.
* Organize "Victory Gardens".
* Organize patriotic gestures.
"held ceremonies for those departing for the military and erected small shrines for those who did not return."
* Ensure and maintain air-raid blackouts.
"he went door to door every night to make sure anyone who had their lights on after dark turned them off, or had their windows 'painted' so that lights didn't show on the street."
This would have been [?] important on both the east and west coasts especially during the early stages of the war. Big cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York in particular.
* Maintain a silent and perhaps not so-silent watch over their community [city block]
Keep an eye out for shirkers, malingerers, slackers, deserters, drifters, those unwilling to register for the military draft or allow themselves to be conscripted, etc. Recalcitrant and unpatriotic persons watched for!
Older persons serving in the capacity of block captain performing a task during war time felt to be vital, everyone has a role, and everyone feels they are contributing, a patriotic fever pitch in part the goal, and realized in a way not seen since!!