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Protesting 1943 food prices

Protesting 1943 food prices

June 9, 1943: Hundreds of wives of war workers protest prices at Banning Homes Market in San Pedro.

The next morning a story in the Los Angeles Times reported:

More than 700 war workers’ wives in the Banning Homes housing project on N. Gaffey St., San Pedro, met yesterday in front of the Banning Homes Market to protest against high prices of food.

The demonstration was directed by Frances O’Brien, head of the Woman’s Auxiliary of Local No. 9 of Shipyard Workers, C.I.O. Frances O’Brien is not a resident of the Banning housing project which provides for 1800 families.

Mrs. O’Brien announced that if prices at the market were not brought into line by 10 a.m. tomorrow, the store would be picked. Women talked of obtaining bus service to San Pedro stores or forming share-the-ride clubs for shopping.

During the demonstration it was pointed out that the protest was against prices charged for certain items above those of other San Pedro stores, and not above the price ceiling fixed by the O.P.A.

Store Manager John Dente said:

“I have complied with ceiling prices. I’ve been below ceiling prices on 60 per cent of important staple commodities.”

The Office of Price Administration, O.P.A., was established in 1941 to prevent inflation during World War II.

This photo by San Pedro-based staff writer Wayne B. Cave accompanied the above story in the June 10, 1943, Los Angeles Times.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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