June 6, 1944: On in this day in 1944 the Western Allies of the United States, Britain, Canada, the Free French and others opened a Western Front in Europe during the Second World War when they invaded northern France. The D-Day landings, as they have become known, are famed as a major episode in the defeat of Nazi Germany. However, one of the less well-known fallouts from D-Day was its impact on wine consumption in the United States. Millions of Americans were stationed in France for months or even years in the mid-1940s, some remaining long after the war ended in Europe in May 1945. As they did, they were exposed to drinking wine regularly as well as a level of quality which many had not experienced back home where the wine industry was still very much under-developed outside of California. When they returned to the United States, many US soldiers retained their new affinity for wine and so wine consumption in North American began to increase considerably from the late 1940s onward. For more information, see this page from PBS.
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