The Washington Post

The Federal Diary in the 1940s: Post-war agency shakeups

Today’s installment looking into the archives of the Federal Diary column as it reaches its 80th anniversary dives into the post-war 1940s. This particular column was published Nov. 30, 1945, just months after the war ended.

The headline, “Mass firings delayed by State Department,” referred to the changes agencies were undergoing as wartime offices were shut down or transformed into new entities. 

The Office of War Information had been terminated by presidential order, though the status of some employees was in flux; and the War Labor Board was slated to “fade out of existence” Jan. 1, 1946. The Department of War itself stayed around until 1947, when it began its transition to the Department of Defense.

Also in this column, Diarist Jerry Kluttz reports on a senator’s bid to raise some federal workers’ salaries by 20 percent — something current diarist Joe Davidson notes feds can’t expect to see anytime soon. Later, Kluttz mentions another congressman’s plan to raise the salaries of postal workers.

Have you worked for an agency as it transitioned into a new entity, gained a new name or a new mission? What was the experience like? Tell us in the comments.

We’d also like to hear from readers about their favorite Diary columns or otherwise memorable Diary moments. Write to or leave your comments below.

Previously in this series: 1930’s: No more primping; The Federal Diary’s inaugural column

Sara is a producer and editor for mobile projects at the Washington Post.



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