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Posts Tagged: 1940s

Lessons from the 1940s – Don’t Lose Heart

In 1940, things looked bleak in the United Kingdom. Hitler had swallowed up Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In July, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe began attacking British shipping. In August the target shifted to the RAF, and by September 6, the British had lost 466 planes. Then… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Watch out for Stereotypes

US poster, 1942

During World War II, stereotypes were used in posters, newsreels, and movies to demonize the enemy and motivate people to fight. It’s much easier to fight an enemy you hate. Nowadays, these images make us wince. We’re too enlightened to stereotype people. Or are we? Most of us would be ashamed to admit we have… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Careless Words Kill

US poster, 1943

During World War II, careless words could lead to needless deaths. A mother chatting in the beauty parlor about her son’s ship leaving San Diego the next day, a spy in the chair next to her – a sub notified, a ship sunk. Posters like this reminded people to watch their words. Recently school bullying… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Save and Invest

US War Bond poster, WWII

The generation that fought World War II on the battlefield and on the Home Front had come through the Great Depression. While we cringe at today’s unemployment figures hovering around 10 percent (as we should), in 1932, 13 million were unemployed – 25 percent of the labor force at a time when most households had… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Teamwork

US poster, 1943

The brave pilot risking his life for the sake of his country. The soldier and sailor and Marine in combat. These are the people we think about when we think of World War II. Their stories are told in movies and documentaries and books – including mine. But this poster recognizes the truth – teamwork… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – No Complaints

US Army Nurse Corps recruiting poster, 1944

They waded ashore in chest-deep water in Algeria and took shelter behind sand dunes. Snipers and strafing fighter planes aimed for them. They ate cold K-rations and dug slit trenches and dealt with fleas, mosquitoes, lice, and flies. And they were women. Lately I’ve been researching nursing in the Mediterranean Theater (North Africa, Sicily, and… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Have Faith

US poster, 1942

Here’s a poster you wouldn’t see today: “Strong in the strength of the Lord, we who fight in the people’s cause will never stop until that cause is won.” While researching my World War II novels, I was surprised at the religious tone in the writings. Top Ten songs like “Comin’ in on a Wing… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Mother – Work and Play

Today’s parenting magazines trumpet the necessity of playing with your children, and mommy blogs gush about the joys of floor time and entering the child’s world. If a 1940s’ mom time-traveled to 2010, she would be confused by this. She had work to do. Play was for children. Not that she ignored her children, but… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Woman – “Grown-Up Culture”

US poster promoting canning, 1943

The more I look at this poster, the more I see how our culture has changed. In the 1940s, mother-daughter outfits were popular – the daughter wanted to dress just like her mother. Nowadays, middle-aged mothers dress like their teenaged daughters. Something has flipped in recent generations. In traditional cultures, children couldn’t wait to grow… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Woman – Support Your Man!

US recruiting poster, 1944

Here’s a poster that would never be printed today. To the eye of the 2010 woman, this girl looks a bit…daft. The doting little woman fawning over her man’s accomplishments. Doesn’t she have a life of her own? Maybe she’s not as stupid as we think. Though our culture has undergone a gigantic shift, the… Read more »