PTA History: 1940-1949

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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  • Mrs. William Kletzer elected National PTA president
  • Congress represented on National Committee on Education and Defense
  • Participated in White House Conference on Children in a Democracy
  • National PTA administration theme, "The Child in His Community," based on White House Conference
  • National PTA historical data bound and placed in library at national office
  • Nevada Congress organized as 50th state branch.
  • National PTA Membership: 2,379,599


  • Special committee on community school lunch appointed and school lunch program inaugurated on nationwide basis
  • Nine-point Permanent Platform adopted
  • National PTA president served as member of findings committee for Emergency Safety Conference called by U.S. President
  • More than 900,000 men members in a total of about 2.5 million
  • President proclaimed October as PTA Membership Month
  • 1941 National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers convention theme, "The Place of the PTA in the Total National Defense Program"
  • NCCPT emphasized instruction for all leaders; programs for such training set up at convention meetings
  • National PTA arranged for NCCPT to purchase National PTA parent-teacher manuals and rural service leaflets at cost, and a financial grant was made for extension purposes and printing


  • Mrs. Anna M. P. Strong elected NCCPT president
  • Birney Memorial dedicated, Marietta, Georgia
  • National Congress represented on Wartime Commission, U.S. Office of Education, and on Commission on Children in Wartime, U.S. Children's Bureau
  • National PTA president participated in nationwide radio broadcast from White House supporting National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis
  • National PTA promoted wartime activities among local units—enrollment of PTA members in nursing courses and cooperation in "Save the Fat" and other national salvage programs
  • Special wartime edition of National Congress Bulletin and a War Handbook published
  • PTA radio series, The Family in War, starring the Baxter family, became popular...Magazine started "Motion Picture Previews"
  • NCCPT now has 20 state branches (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia), a District of Columbia branch, and units in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • NCCPT began to work more closely with U.S. Children's Bureau
  • Mrs. Strong first NCCPT president to address National PTA convention


  • Mrs. William A. Hastings elected National PTA president
  • National convention canceled because of war
  • Board met for series of workshop conferences that clarified major problems of coming PTA year
  • PTA wartime activities, suggested and reported in National Parent-Teacher and National Congress Bulletin, included victory gardens and cooperation with High School Victory Corps
  • Special committee appointed to study juvenile delinquency


  • "All Children Are Our Children" chosen as theme of national convention; Eleanor Roosevelt gave convention address
  • National PTA one of first groups to support establishing of an organization dedicated to ensuring international peace
  • Represented at White House Conference on Rural Education


  • Mrs. W. M. Henry elected NCCPT president
  • National convention again canceled because of war
  • National PTA chosen as one of three educational associations to send representatives as consultants to U.S. State Department delegation at UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco; president sent
  • National Board statement supported UN organization
  • National PTA cooperated with University of Iowa on first workshop on home-school cooperation
  • Cooperated with Northwestern University on three-day workshop on reading and language problems in postwar America
  • Workshops for NCCPT national officers held
  • North Carolina and Virginia NCCPT held workshops on juvenile justice
  • Interracial NCCPT committees sought to improve relations between the races
  • Scholarship made available for representative of NCCPT to attend National PTA summer workshop at University of Iowa
  • National PTA membership: 3,487,138 in 50 state branches


  • Mrs. L.W. Hughes elected National PTA president
  • Announced Four-Point Program, to unite PTAs in efforts toward school education, health, world understanding, and parent and family life education
  • National PTA one of 60 voluntary organizations appointed to national commission to advise State Department on UNESCO
  • Represented at National Conference on Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency called by Attorney General
  • Board adopted resolution recommending $2,400 a year as minimum beginning salary for teachers with college degrees and full professional training
  • National PTA aided clothing and food collections for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)
  • With Northwestern University, sponsored three-week credit course on parent teacher leadership
  • Legislation for permanent federal school lunch program, long advocated by National PTA, enacted
  • Joint committee of National PTA and NCCPT formed


  • Golden Jubilee year; Jubilee History, first history of National PTA, published
  • National PTA initiated three-year project at Northwestern University to train prospective and in-service teachers in effective home-school relations
  • Sponsored international education project: kits of personal and classroom supplies for teachers in war-devastated countries (nearly 3,000 kits shipped overseas, valued at over $75,000)
  • National PTA president appointed by State Department as member of U.S. National Commission for UNESCO


  • Helped draft Local Public Health Services Act of 1948 (to extend health units to countries still without them) and sponsored its introduction in the U.S. Congress
  • Special committee drafted "A Plan Action Against Unwholesome Comics, Motion Pictures, and Radio Programs"
  • National PTA represented at White House meeting of U.S. Committee for International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
  • International education projects for PTAs: CARE packages and hospitality for exchange teachers
  • PTA was topic of research by 31 candidates for graduate degrees (four for Ph.D.s) during past 14 years
  • National PTA president attended 9th Pan American Child Congress, in Venezuela; visited PTAs in Canal Zone


  • Mrs. John E. Hayes elected National PTA president; participated in national conference of Citizens Committee for the (first) Hoover Report on reorganizing the U.S. government—a report that led to the creation of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
  • Mrs. J. S. Morgan elected NCCPT president; administration emphasis, "For Every Child an Equal Chance"
  • NCCPT national office established at Dover, Delaware
  • National PTA inaugurated expanded parent education program, with five parent education specialists conducting summer workshops in designated regions
  • Published Where Children Come First: A Study of the PTA Idea, by Harry and Bonaro Overstreet
  • Initiated "Quarters for Headquarters" to raise money for national headquarters building in Chicago
  • Participated in newly created CARE-UNESCO book project, sending books to teacher-training institutions overseas