I Think That I Shall Never See a Plant as Repulsive as a Pea

150 Brooklyn College students spent the summer of 1943 in Morrisville, NY picking peas and string beans by day and studying farm biology, geology, rural sociology, and war service courses in military topography and navigation. Majoring in Peas published in the New York Times describes the unusual wartime Farm Labor Project program. A Brooklyn College report of the program¬†describes students’ ‘enlistment’ for three months ‘so that they could contribute useful war service but not lose all chance to gain regular college credit.’ This photo of students is from the Brooklyn College DSpace archive. The title of this post is the first line of a theme song adopted by the group of students as reported in the New York Times article.

Profile photo of Michael Branson Smith

About Michael Branson Smith

Michael Smith is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Communications Technology program at York College. Prof. Smith hosts a personal digital archive project blog on Commons titled It Cannot Be Trivial.

One comment

  1. Eric Metcalf

    Any reader who follows the link to the report itself will be taken aback by some of the language. Most folks today would recognize a reference to the “agricultural industry” as some distant cousin to work on a farm, but “the food production front”? War tends to transform everything, starting with the language, as Victor Klemperer pointed out. Eric Metcalf

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