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Progressive Era

TR Writes to His Son

Though the huggable “Teddy bear” was named after him, Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), who served as the president of the United States 1901 and 1909, strove for a life that embodied his ideal of assertive masculinity. He was at various times an outdoor sportsman, explorer, western rancher, and soldier, as well as an aggressive political leader and writer on history and public affairs.

While the American people had ample opportunity to observe Roosevelt’s public side, he kept his personal relationships extremely private. These letters reproduced here show an aspect of Roosevelt’s life seldom seen by the public.

Roosevelt established a residence in the nation’s capital during his six years with the U.S. Civil Service Commission. But his family also spent time at Sagamore Hill, their Long Island residence, during Washington, D.C.’s sweltering summers in the era before air-conditioning. Bound by duties in Washington, D.C., Roosevelt sent these letters to his young son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., who could not yet read but would understand the pictures.

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  • Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1858–1919), to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1887–1944). Autograph letter, July 11, 1890. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the heirs of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 1958–1965 (52.1)

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1858–1919), to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1887–1944). Autograph letter, ca. 1890s. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the heirs of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 1958–1965 (52.1)

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1858–1919), to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1887–1944). Autograph letter, ca. 1890. Autograph letter, ca. 1890. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the heirs of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 1958–1965 (52.1)

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The Loss of a Friend

Edith Wharton was a cousin of Theodore Roosevelt’s second wife, Edith. Roosevelt was familiar enough with Wharton’s novels to send her written suggestions from time to time, and the two often exchanged letters. Immediately after his death, she penned this eulogy to him as a “great American,” completing it on January 7, 1919. In 1920 she published The Age of Innocence, which won her the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a woman. The Roosevelt tribute appeared in her 1926 volume, Twelve Poems.

Edith Newbold Wharton (1862–1937). “With the Tide (January 6th 1919).” Holograph manuscript. Page 2 - Page 3. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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Child Labor

The National Child Labor Committee campaigned for tougher state and federal laws against the abuses of industrial child labor, and Lewis Hine was its greatest publicist. A teacher who left his profession to work full-time as investigator for the committee, Hine prepared a number of the Committee’s reports and took some of the most powerful images in the history of documentary photography. The Library holds the papers of the Committee, including the reports, field notes, correspondence, and over 5,000 of Hine’s photographs and negatives. This album depicts children at work in canneries and is accompanied by a follow-up report for a group of canneries previously investigated by Hine.

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Roosevelt’s Pocket Diary

Theodore Roosevelt’s seven surviving pocket diaries provide a unique insight into the inner man. On 13 February 1880, an ecstatic Roosevelt recorded his great joy, because the woman of his dreams, Alice Hathaway Lee, who he had actively courted for more than a year, had finally accepted his proposal of marriage. Knowing that his love was reciprocated and that he could now “hold her in my arms and kiss her and caress her and love her as much as I choose” gave the enraptured young Roosevelt enormous satisfaction.

On February 14, 1884, Theodore Roosevelt received a terrible blow-both his wife and mother died within hours of one another in the Roosevelt house in New York City. His mother, age 50, succumbed to typhus, and his wife Alice died at the age of 22 giving birth to her namesake. The following diary entries lovingly describe his courtship, wedding, happiness in marriage, and his grief over the death of his wife Alice, after which he never spoke of the union again. Roosevelt’s seven surviving diaries provide a unique insight into the inner man.

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  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Diary entry. February 13, 1880. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Alice Roosevelt Longsworth, 1958 (54.6)

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Diary entry. February 14, 1884. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Diary entry. February 16, 1884. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Diary entry, February 17, 1884. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

  • Diary entry, February 3, 1880. (Traveling by sleigh to see Alice Lee at her home in Chestnut Hill, MA.) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

  • Diary entry, July 4, 1880. (A walk in the woods with Alice Lee and a statement of Roosevelt’s affection for her.) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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The Titanic Disaster

“All Details Are Lacking.” The New York Herald’s headline announcing the sinking of the Titanic is evidence of how little the newspapers first knew of the disaster and the fate of the ship’s passengers. The Herald was among the first New York papers to print news of the Titanic tragedy. Although the evening Globe and Commercial Advertiser had more extensive coverage of the disaster, most of the other morning papers did not begin their coverage until April 16, 1912.

New York Herald, April 15, 1912. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (53.1)

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Justice At Last!

During William M. “Boss” Tweed’s stewardship of Tammany Hall, he acquired almost total control of New York City Democratic politics and managed to loot the city’s coffers of between $50,000,000 and $200,000,000. The New York Times entered into one of the toughest journalistic fights in New York history when it published editorials questioning how “Boss” Tweed and his associates managed to acquire such vast wealth. At first the Times lacked hard evidence, but a Tweed rival provided the newspaper with copied pages from the Ring’s secret books detailing the extent of corruption, as reported in this November 20, 1873, edition of the paper. Tweed was sentenced to twelve years in prison and fined $12,500, but served only twelve months after paying a $250 fine. Later, he was rearrested in connection with a $6,0000,000 civil suit. Tweed fled to Spain where he was identified from a Thomas Nast cartoon, apprehended, and escorted back to the United States.

“Justice at Last! W. M. Tweed Convicted.” New York Times. (November 20, 1873). Newspaper. Serial and Government Publications (53.4)

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An Immigrants’ Song

“Land of the Free,” a comic song but unabashedly patriotic, delivers impassioned lyrics that describe the hope and fierce loyalty many immigrants felt for America. The lyrics read: “Every Jew must express his loyalty to the Land of Freedom with all his being/Once settled he will surely appreciate a Land which gives him full and equal rights/ Yes! Yes!/ So become a citizen, take out the required papers/ Oy, Oy/ Become an in-law of Uncle Sam/ Cast your vote/ It gives you great power/ Then none can cause you hurt/ The world will esteem the Jew/ Defend the American Flag.”

Solomon Smulewitz (Small) and Joseph M. Rumshisky. “Zei Gebensht Du Freie Land” [Long Live the Land of the Free]. New York: Hebrew Publishing Co., 1911. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1911 (52.5)

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Capturing the Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War, a brief but vicious campaign that left 240 Americans dead and 1,400 wounded, was waged in 1898. American artist William Glackens was sent to Cuba to capture the action for McClure’s Magazine. Published at a time when photographers had made documentary sketch artists virtually obsolete, Glacken’s work represents the apotheosis of American graphic journalism.

El Pozo is one of five drawings produced by William Glackens used to illustrate an eyewitness account as reported in the October 1898 issue of McClure’s Magazine of the assault on San Juan Hill, overlooking Santiago, Cuba. Glackens was the only artist sent by the magazine to cover the Spanish American War fought in the spring and summer of 1898. His sketches in the field capture the atmosphere and mood of this short-lived war. After the war, Glackens concentrated on his art, gaining renown as a member of what came to be known as the “Ashcan School” of American painters.

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The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal traverses the Isthmus of Panama, shortening the route between U.S. Atlantic and Pacific seaports by 7,000 miles. Colombia controlled the Isthmus, but a Panamanian revolt in 1903 enabled the Theodore Roosevelt administration to begin the canal’s construction in earnest. The story behind the revolt is clouded, but Roosevelt asserts in this letter that his original message justified American intervention on the basis of international law. After the revolt and Panama’s declaration of independence, Roosevelt claimed he amended the message to comport with the new political reality.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 1919) to Matthew Hale. Typescript letter with emendations, January 6, 1908. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Roosevelt family, 1958–1965 (58A.1)

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Gatun Lock, Panama Canal

The Guard Gate at Gatun Lock is one of a series of lithographs made in 1912 during the construction of the Panama Canal by American printmaker Joseph Pennell. The artist commented at the time: “I have never seen such a magnificent arrangement of line, light, and mass, and yet those were the last things the engineers though of. But great work is great art . . . . This is the Wonder of Work.” This print is from the nearly complete collection of his work that the artist bequeathed to the Library of Congress.

Joseph Pennell. The Guard Gate [Gatun Lock]. Lithograph, 1912. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Bequest of Joseph Pennell, ca. 1937 (58A.1a)

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The Muckrakers

At the turn of the century, a group of hard-hitting crusading journalists examined what they considered the evils of the day, and, in periodicals like McClure’s Magazine, which featured articles such as this recording of Standard Oil’s predatory pricing tactics and political corruption in Minneapolis. Theodore Roosevelt tagged such writers “muckrakers” after John Bunyan’s man with a muckrake, who raked up “filth.” These exposés led to social and economic reforms during the Progressive Era.

Ida M. Tarbell (1857–1944). “Oil War of 1872.” Chapter III of the History of the Standard Oil Company. McClure’s Magazine, January, 1903. Page 2. Volume 20 no. 3. General Collections, Library of Congress (56.1)

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A Pioneering Photojournalist

A talented artist and self-promoter of the first order, Frances Benjamin Johnston made a place for herself and paved the way for other women in the emerging field of photojournalism when she began making portraits and photographs for magazines and newspapers in 1889. She exhibited with the leading Pictorialist art photographers between 1898 and 1901 but returned to magazine and news work until about 1910, when then she turned to garden and architectural photography.

Using her parents’ social connections and her own talent and initiative, Johnston earned the title “The American Court Photographer” by photographing the administrations of Presidents Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft between 1889 and 1913. President Theodore Roosevelt’s children Quentin and Archie provided some of her most appealing photo opportunities.

Photographs of The Hampton Institute for display in Paris at the World’s Exposition in 1900 form one of Johnston’s most famous photojournalism assignments. Forty of the 150 photographs she produced in December 1899 appeared in the April 1900 issue of The American Monthly, timed to coincide with the opening of the Fair. “Mechanical Drawing” is one of the 150 images that emphasize the importance of progressive education and vocational training at the school.

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Women’s Trade Union Seal

This seal, designed by Julia Bracken Wendt, features a woman in armor with a shield marked “Victory” taking the hand of a mother with babe in arms. Between them the sun rises on the goals of the National Women’s Trade Union League (NWTUL): “The Eight-Hour Day. A Living Wage. To Guard the Home,” while a factory looms in the background. The NWTUL was formed in response to the lack on interest of male unionists in the organization of women workers. The NWTUL drafted guidelines for labor reform legislation, including minimum wage and an eight-hour work day.

Julia Bracken Wendt. National Women’s Trade Union Seal. Pen and ink drawing on board. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the National Women’s Trade Union League (54.13)

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An Elegy for Fire Victims

Yiddish American popular song was rooted in Eastern European Jewish minstrelsy, which had long addressed current social, economic, and political themes. However, commercial Yiddish popular sheet music, characterized by ornate and exotic cover designs, was a uniquely American phenomenon. “Die Fire Korbunes” (“The Fire Victims”) is an elegy to the 146 victims, mostly young Jewish and Italian immigrant women, who perished in the March 25, 1911, fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory, a New York City garment sweatshop. Public sympathy and outrage over the tragedy led to the establishment of a Factory Investigating Commission, instrumental in drafting new legislation that mandated improved working conditions.

David Meyrowitz (1867–1943), composer. Louis Gilrod (1879–1930), lyricist. “Die Fire Korbunes.” New York: Theodore Lohr Co., 1911. Printed sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit (52B.8)

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“Speak Softly. . .”

This letter contains what is thought to be the first recorded use of the phrase “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick,” which was later to become a trademark description of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Here, Roosevelt, then New York’s governor, waxes happily in the knowledge that he has forced the state’s Republican leaders to abandon their support for the renomination of the corrupt Louis Payne as the state’s insurance commissioner.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) to Henry L. Sprague. Albany, New York, January 26, 1900. Carbon copy letterbook. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the heirs of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 1958–1965 (52A)

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Poster Art

This advertising poster for the early-twentieth century general interest magazine Scribner’s carries an image by William Glackens. Well-known as a painter, Glackens began his career as an artist-reporter to picture magazines and illustrated newspapers at the turn of the century. This poster is part of gift from C. Carter Smith, Jr., of eight rare and seldom seen posters dating from the 1890s to 1963, which includes recruiting posters for the Gestapo and posters advertising such diverse subjects as Maxims Bar in Berlin, Prince of Wales Havana cigars, and a rally for the 1963 John F. Kennedy-Haile Selassie parade.

William Glackens (1870–1938). [Advertisement for Scribner’s.] New York: Grignard Litho Co. (August edition). Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of C. Carter Smith, Jr., 2000 (157.7)

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African American Businesses

Included in an award-winning exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, this photograph—one of 50—was part of the “evidence” collected under the direction of W. E. B. Du Bois to illustrate the condition, education, and literature of African Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, only thirty-five years after the abolition of slavery. In his own description of the exhibit, Du Bois noted that by 1900 African Americans owned one million acres of land and paid taxes on twelve million dollars worth of property. In addition to photographs about black-owned businesses in Georgia, the exhibit included a number of images related to successful black businesses in Virginia, like the one shown.

Anonymous. [Press Room of the Planet Newspaper], Richmond, Virginia, ca. 1900. Gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Bequest of Daniel A.P. Murray, ca. 1926 (48D.1) Digital ID# cph 3b45130

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The American Negro Exhibit

The 1900 Paris Exposition’s Palace of Social Economy and Congresses Pavilion provided the perfect opportunity for W.E.B. Du Bois to inform the masses the progress made by the American Negro from emancipation to the present day 1900. The charts and photographs prepared for display were to show the progress already attained and how it compared with that of their counterparts. Featured is an occupational pie chart demonstrating that African Americans were engaged in the same basic employment as whites and a graph highlighting the diversity of African American businesses in 1900. It was prepared at Atlanta University where Du Bois was a professor of sociology at the time.

Atlanta University. Occupations of Negroes and Whites in Georgia, no.27. Ink and colored pencil chart on board, ca. 1900. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Bequest of Daniel A.P. Murray, ca. 1926 (46A.11) Digital ID# ppmsca-08993

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Photograph Album for the Paris Exposition

For the Paris Exposition Universelle, W.E.B. Du Bois assembled a unique set of photographic albums for display. It was important that this exhibit, “of American Negroes [be] planned and executed by Negroes, and collected and installed under the direction of. . . [Negroes],” said Du Bois. These four unique volumes are titled Types of American Negroes (volumes 1-3) and Negro Life in Georgia (volume 4). They show various aspects of black life through the images of people, their homes, professional organizations, physical surroundings, schools and churches, as well as institutions of higher learning. The volumes came to the Library of Congress through the bequest of Daniel A.P. Murray.

[Waiters Union]. Negro Life in Georgia. Photographic album, vol. 4, ca. 1900. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Bequest of Daniel A.P. Murray, ca. 1926 (42.7) Digital ID# ppmsca-08762

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The Exhibit of American Negroes

On December 28, 1899, sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois began work on a display for the Exhibit of American Negroes at the 1900 Paris Exposition. DuBois focused on creating charts, maps, and graphs recording the growth of population, economic power, and literacy among African Americans in Georgia. He also included photographs of black businesses, churches, homes, and communities that defied the stereotypical images held by many white Americans. Daniel A.P. Murray, assistant to the Librarian of Congress, was asked to assemble written material, including a bibliography of 1400 titles, 200 books, and many of the 150 periodicals published by black Americans. Featured here are two authors represented in the bibliography, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who once worked at the Library, and William Wells Brown.

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“Strikers Shot by Troops”

In the 1880s George Pullman built the town of Pullman near Chicago to manufacture his famous railway sleeping cars. All buildings, homes, and stores in the town were owned and rented to the workers. By 1894, the Pullman Company had declining sales and lay off hundreds of workers, and reduced the salaries of others. On May 7, the workers asked for lower rent and were flatly refused. The American Railway Union was formed and led by Eugene V. Debs. By June 26, railroad workers around the country began to strike. On July 3, President Grover Cleveland, declares striking a federal crime and orders federal troops to forcibly disperse the striking works. On July 7, troops, standing face to face with strikers, open fire killing thirty-four workers. By August 3, the strike was declared over by police, and Debs and others were imprisoned. Six days later, the U.S. Congress makes Labor Day a National Holiday.

“Strikers Shot by Troops.” (Pullman Company Strike, Chicago). New York Times, July 8, 1894, Vol XLIII, no 13,337. Serial and Government Publications (134.6) [Digital ID# at0134_6]

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New York City

Joseph Pennell launched his career as an illustrator by selling picturesque drawings of south Philadelphia to Scribner’s Monthly in 1881. He was a prolific artist and writer who experimented with new graphic techniques and sought to draw critical attention to book illustration. After living in London for a number of years, Pennell returned to the United States in 1917. Pennell taught for several years at the Art Students’ League in New York City. It was there that he created a visual portrait of New York, which he called the “unbelievable city”. Though a traditionalist, Pennell was among the earliest artists to treat skyscrapers as a compelling art subject.

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World War I

The Most Famous Poster

Originally published as the cover for the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” this portrait of “Uncle Sam” went on to become—according to its creator, James Montgomery Flagg—“the most famous poster in the world.” Over four million copies were printed between 1917 and 1918, as the United States entered World War I and began sending troops and matériel into war zones.

Flagg (1877–1960) contributed forty-six works to support the war effort. He was a member of the first Civilian Preparedness Committee organized in New York in 1917 and chaired by Grosvenor Clarkson. He also served as a member of Charles Dana Gibson’s Committee of Pictorial Publicity, which was organized under the federal government’s Committee on Public Information, headed by George Creel.

Because of its overwhelming popularity, the image was later adapted for use in World War II. Upon presenting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a copy of the poster, Flagg remarked that he had been his own model for Uncle Sam to save the modeling fee. Roosevelt was impressed and replied: “I congratulate you on your resourcefulness in saving model hire. Your method suggests Yankee forebears.”

Uncle Sam is one of the most popular personifications of the United States. However, the term “Uncle Sam” is of somewhat obscure derivation. Historical sources attribute the name to a meat packer who supplied meat to the army during the War of 1812—Samuel (Uncle Sam) Wilson (1766–1854). “Uncle Sam” Wilson was a man of great fairness, reliability, and honesty, who was devoted to his country—qualities now associated with “our” Uncle Sam. James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960)

With the storm of war brewing behind her, a personification of America sleeps. She wears a Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty since Roman times. This poster tells all of America to wake up and do their part for the war effort.

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The Salvation Army

Founded by William Booth (1829–1912), the Salvation Army is best known for its social welfare and charitable services. Booth’s daughter Evangeline (1865–1950), who also had a long and successful career with the organization, persuaded the U.S. government to allow women in the “Army” to serve overseas during World War I. President Wilson awarded her the Distinguished Service Medal for her war work. After a series of leadership roles, Booth became the Salvation Army’s first woman general in 1934.

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A Pacifist Viewpoint

The years just prior to World War I were a period of intense political activism among American artists. Radical art and politics converged in the socialist journal The Masses, which became a forum for the pacifist viewpoint of artists like Boardman Robinson who saw the war as the product of international competition among industrial capitalists. Such powerful and provocative anti war statements by Robinson and his colleagues led to the eventual suppression and demise of the journal during World War I, when the United States Post Office used the newly enacted Espionage Act to ban its distribution.

Boardman Robinson (1876–1952). Europe, 1916. Lithographic crayon, ink, and gouache on paper, 1916. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZC4-3901

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Wilson’s Fourteen Points

The U.S. entered World War I in April 1917. On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points, which would serve as the basis for peace in November 1918. The points are shown here in the original shorthand draft by Wilson himself (Wilson habitually drafted his speeches in shorthand). With the Fourteen Points, Wilson sought to break the will of the Central Powers to fight by promising a just peace that would guarantee national independence and self-determination for all peoples involved in the war.

Woodrow Wilson. “Fourteen Points Address” draft. Shorthand, 1918. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7 - Page 8 - Page 9 - Page 10 - Page 11 - Page 12 - Page 13. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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The War Effort

During World War I the Division of Pictorial Publicity enlisted prominent illustrators to promote and advertise the war effort, among them Charles Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg, Jessie Willcox Smith, Howard Chandler Christy, Cass Gilbert, and Joseph Pennell. Although Pennell was personally opposed to war as a Quaker, he created a series of war lithographs that present images of sprawling and towering invincibility.

The lively correspondence between Pennell and H. Devitt Welsh, who served as Assistant Secretary on the Committee on Public Information, chronicles Pennell’s efforts to access sensitive areas such as shipyards and munitions factories. Here Welsh makes the somewhat wry observation that Pennell’s celebrity is both an asset and a liability.

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The Yanks Are Coming!

During World War I the Division of Pictorial Publicity enlisted prominent illustrators to promote and advertise the war effort, among them Charles Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg, Jessie Willcox Smith, Howard Chandler Christy, Cass Gilbert, and Joseph Pennell. Although Pennell was personally opposed to war as a Quaker, he created a series of war lithographs that present images of sprawling and towering invincibility.

The lively correspondence between Pennell and H. Devitt Welsh, who served as Assistant Secretary on the Committee on Public Information, chronicles Pennell’s efforts to access sensitive areas such as shipyards and munitions factories. Here Welsh makes the somewhat wry observation that Pennell’s celebrity is both an asset and a liability.

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  • June Bauer, music and lyrics. “Our Uncle Sam.” Judsonia, Arkansas: Bauer Company. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1918 (58E)

  • George M. Cohan (1878–1942). “Over There.” New York: Wm. Jerome Publishing Corporation, 1917. Sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1917 (58B.3)

  • Edgar Allen, music and lyrics. “I’m A Regular Daughter of Uncle Sam.” New York: Shapiro, Bernstein, & Company. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1917 (58C.1)

  • Harry von Tilzer, music. Lou Klein, lyrics. “The Little Good for Nothing’s Good for Something After All.” New York: Harry von Tilzer Music Publishing Company. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1918 (58F)

  • Irving Berlin, music and lyrics. “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” New York: Waterson, Berlin, & Snyder. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1918 (58G.1)

  • Byron G. Barker, lyrics. Fred E. Ahlert, music. “He Gave to the World His Tomorrow That We Might Live Today.” Morgantown, WV: Barker & O’Kelly. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1919 (58B.1)

  • Billy Alexander, music. Marjorie Hibbs, lyrics. “Our Dear Daddy Soldier-Boy.” Los Angeles: W.A. Quincke. Music Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1918 (58D.1)

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Y.W.C.A. Girls in Service

Neysa McMein was an illustrator and poster artist who designed all the McCall’s Magazine covers from 1923 through 1927 for The Saturday Evening Post and The Woman’s Home Companion. During World War I, McMein went to France as a lecturer and entertainer for the U.S. and France. Also, she designed posters for both the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A., and the Red Cross. The Y.M.—Y.W.C.A. services to the armed forces began, in the U.S., with the Civil War and it continued providing service for all wars thereafter.

Neysa Moran McMein (1888–1949). “Y.W.C.A. In Service for the Girls of the World.” Poster, 1919. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (58.D.8)

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The American Red Cross

During World War I, more than 18,000 Red Cross nurses served with Army and Navy Nurse Corps. In Europe, they worked at American base hospitals, in field units, and aboard ships. On the home front, they combated the 1918 influenza outbreak and provided medical supplies to military camps, munitions plants, and shipyards. World War I led to a marked increase in the number of women involved in public health nursing. Here in an appeal for funds to aid our allies abroad, a red cross shines like a beacon above some of the United States’ most potent political symbols—the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, and the Statue of Liberty.

L.N. Britton. They Are Looking to Us for Help—Are You One of Us? Add Your Bit to the Red Cross War Fund. Color lithograph poster. Brooklyn: Latham Lith. & Ptg. Co., 1917. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (58.15) Digital ID# cph 3g10785

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First Thrill of Liberty

This image depicts a ship of immigrants entering New York Harbor, en route to Ellis Island, where symbols of freedom—the Statue of Liberty and an American flag—greet the aspiring citizens. This poster encouraged participation in one of three war bond campaigns, the 2nd Liberty Loan drive of 1917. The muted red, white, and blue tones appealed to the patriotism of the newest Americans. The poster was also published with text in Yiddish and Italian. The Prints and Photographs Division has a collection of over 800 World War I posters created by American artists in support of the war effort.

Remember Your First Thrill of American Liberty. Your Duty—Buy United States Government Bonds. New York: Sackett & Wilhelms Corp., 1917. Color lithographic poster. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (58A.4)

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Lest Liberty Perish

The Division of Pictorial Publicity was part of the Committee on Public Information, America’s central propaganda agency during World War I. Painters and illustrators were urged by director Charles Dana Gibson, eminent illustrator of the Gilded Age, to contribute their work to build support for the war at home and to defray the enormous costs of troops and equipment by enlisting subscribers. Ultimately 700 poster designs were produced. For the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive of 1918, printmaker Joseph Pennell conjured up this image of New York City “bombed, shot down, burning, blown up by an enemy.” Because the aircraft of the day were unable to cross the Atlantic, Pennell’s scenario was implausible; but his design was unanimously accepted and mass produced.

Joseph Pennell (1857–1926). Lest Liberty Perish from the Face of the Earth. Watercolor sketch for poster, 1918. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Joseph Pennell bequest, ca. 1937 (3.12)

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General Pershing’s 2nd Division

After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) appointed John J. Pershing (1860–1948) to command the American troops being sent to Europe, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Pershing’s army conducted two significant operations, the Saint-Mihiel salient and the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The later campaign led to the Inter-Allied destruction of the Germany resistence in October 1918 and the Armistice the following month. Seen here is Pershing with the 2nd Division of the AEF after the war’s end.

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The Stars and Stripes

From February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919, by order of General John J. Pershing, the U.S. Army published a newspaper for its WWI forces, The Stars and Stripes. When the paper began publication, American troops were dispersed throughout the Western Front, and the newspaper provided these scattered troops with unity of purpose. At the peak of its production, the paper had a circulation of 526,000 readers. As this issue illustrates, The Stars and Stripes was a deliberate attempt to recreate the American soldier’s hometown newspaper—the eight page weekly featured news from the home front, war reporting, sports, health and welfare projects, poetry, and cartoons.

The Stars and Stripes. Vol. 2, no. 5 (March 7, 1919). Serial and Government Publications (58.14)

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An Armistice Day Tribute

Clifford Berryman made this drawing on Armistice Day, ten years after the truce of November 11, 1918, that ended World War I. He depicts Uncle Sam standing before a garlanded tomb and paying his respects to Americans who served in that conflict. A Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and Washington institution, Berryman used fine pen and ink lines and cross hatching to render the figure, tomb, and classical backdrop to create a solemn mood that commemorates the first World War=s end, and the service and sacrifices by soldiers of America=s armed forces. In 1954 Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day to honor all American veterans.

Clifford Berryman (1869–1949). November 11, 1928. Pen and ink over graphite under drawing on paper. Probably published in The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), November 11, 1928. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the artist, 1945 (58A.6) [ Digital ID# ppmsca-05578 ]

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War Time Conservation

Mary Evans offered this collection of her tested recipes to encourage American women to conserve wheat, meat, and sugar sorely needed for the fighting men and Allied peoples. She further suggested using fish, poultry, fresh vegetables and fruits grown at home or locally as the main components of the daily wartime diet. She included recipes for clam chowder, vegetable stew with dumplings, pigeon pie, cooked cucumbers, rice fritters, honey cocoanut fruit squares and maple opera caramels. In addition to wartime cookbooks, countless posters and advertisements were generated to promote food conservation on the homefront.

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Food Shortages

This World War I cartoon by Oscar Edward Cesare depicts Uncle Sam as a farmer behind the plow, gazing at an ominous black spiral cloud labeled “Food Shortages.” The United States had entered the war early in 1917, just as the German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare created a food shortage crisis in Europe. Cesare was a widely admired cartoonist and a frequent contributor to such publications as Harper’s Weekly and The New York Times.

Oscar Edward Cesare (1885–1948). Behind the Army. Ink brush and opaque white over graphite underdrawing, ca. 1917. Copyrighted by the New York Post. Gift/purchase from J. Arthur Wood, Jr., 2003 (58.16) Digital ID # ppmsca-07887

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World War I War Gardens

During World War I, Maginel Wright Enright received the “call” to design a series of posters for the United States School Garden Army (part of the National War Garden Commission). This national campaign was launched in 1917 to increase the food supply. Enright’s posters, designed with strong flat colors and figures, depict an army of vegetables marching along with a child carrying a hoe.

Maginel Wright Enright (1877–1966). The Seeds of Victory Insure the Fruits of Peace. Color lithograph, 1918. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (58B.5) Digital ID# ppmsca-12381

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Announcing the Armistice

Of the presidents whose papers are housed in the Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson is one of the five who fulfilled the duties of commander in chief during a major American war. Shown here is Wilson’s pencil draft on White House stationery of his announcement of the armistice ending World War I on November 11, 1918.

Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924). Holograph pencil draft announcement. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, 1930 (59.8)

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Depression Era

The Forgotten People

When they met in November 1934, photographer Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) and economist Paul Taylor (1895–1984) made a formidable team of advocates for improving living conditions of migrant laborers. Their illustrated reports provided clear accounts of the systemic causes of the problems and the need for governmental response. Lange herself selected, cropped, printed, mounted, and captioned the photographs in the reports. Her captions incorporate the very words of the people pictured, telling their own stories.

Armed with these forceful reports, H.E. Drobish, director of California’s Rural Rehabilitation Office of the Emergency Relief Administration, stated in his request for federal funding to build housing camps for workers:

“These laborers stand at the foot of the socioeconomic scale in our state....These are the ‘forgotten men, women, and children’ of rural California but on these people the crops of California depend.”

Between 1935 and 1943, Lange and other top-caliber photographers hired by Roy Stryker of the Resettlement Administration produced what was to become the world’s best-known photographic survey, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) collection. These report albums came to the Library of Congress as part of that collection when it was transferred from the FSA in the 1940s.

Dorothea Lange (1895–1965). “On these workers the crops of California depend . . . March 1, 1935.” and “More Oklahomans reach Calif. . . Apr. 7-1935.” Sketchbooks with gelatin silver prints and ink notes, 1935. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Federal Theatre

Established in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was part of the Works Progress Administration and was active from 1935 to 1939. It was administered entirely by, and was wholly a function of, the Federal government and was intended to provide employment for theater professionals during the Great Depression. FTP productions included plays, musical revues, vaudeville, dance, children’s theater, puppetry and circus performance. There were also black theater, and Yiddish, French, German, Italian, and Spanish language presentations. There has been nothing comparable to it since.

Orson Welles (1915–1985) was only twenty-one when he directed, designed costumes for, and appeared in the title role of The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. The 1937 FTP production of Christopher Marlowe’s rarely staged Elizabethan play was, artistically, one of the most notable productions in the history of the American theater. Welles’s highly innovative use of costumes, lighting, and a series of trapdoors resulted in a production in which the sense of black magic and damnation was all-pervasive.

Although the set design was very simple, the production was given intense visual effect through powerfully dramatic lighting and splendid costume coloring. The cardinal’s vivid costume with its luxurious folds was designed to stand out against an essentially black thrust stage that was punctuated from the sides and above with a complex arrangement of lights. Welles also designed the costume for Faustus’s assistant Wagner.

Doctor Faustus is thought to be the only instance in which Welles designed costumes for the theater. It is also an early instance of racially integrated casting. Jack Carter, whose elegant and austere Mephistopheles contrasted mightily with the explosive Faustus of Welles, had appeared as Macbeth in the 1936 all-black production of Shakespeare’s play, often known as the “Voodoo Macbeth” (also directed by Welles for the FTP in New York City).

In another FTP production, Welles directed and appeared as Mugglethorpe in Horse Eats Hat adapted by Welles and Edwin Denby from the 1850s French farce Un chapeau de paille d’Italie.

The Library’s Federal Theatre Project Archives consist of a wide variety of materials documenting the stage productions actually mounted or considered by FTP companies. The archives include scripts, often elaborately marked to function as production guides, costume and set designs, posters, photographs, playbills, and publicity materials.

Some of the designs are thought to have come from vaudeville presentations, and are attributed to James Stewart Morcom. Like many FTP professionals, he had a successful later career. Morcom designed for the New York City Ballet and was with the Radio City Music Hall for many years.

One of the highly regarded writers whose work was seen often in FTP theaters was Eugene O’Neill, who allowed FTP a special royalty rate. The FTP produced O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones in several cities, including a production with marionettes in Los Angeles in 1938.

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  • James Stuart Morcom (b. 1906). Stage Design. Gouache, colored pencil, and wash on illustration board. Design 2. Music Division, Library of Congress. WPA Transfer

  • Orson Welles (1915–1985). Costume design, Cardinal of Lorraine for The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Textile swatches and mixed media drawing, 1937. Music Division, Library of Congress

  • Nat Karson (1908–1954). Costume design for Mugglethorpe in Horse Eats Hat. Textile swatches and mixed media drawing, 1936. Music Division, Library of Congress

  • Artist Unknown. WPA Federal Theatre Presents Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Silkscreen poster, 1937. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

  • Orson Welles (1915–1985). Costume design, Wagner for the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Textile swatches and mixed media drawing, 1936-37. Music Division, Library of Congress

  • Eugene O’Neill. The Emperor Jones. Avery Memorial. Hartford, Connecticut 1938. Poster. Music Division, Library of Congress. WPA Transfer (62.4)

  • Eugene O’Neill (1888–1953). The Emperor Jones. Avery Memorial. Hartford, Connecticut 1938. Production notebook. Music Division, Library of Congress. WPA Transfer (62.3)

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Frank Sinatra Auditions

In 1935, the first year of radio network broadcasts of Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, more than thirty thousand acts auditioned for the talent contest program. One of the successful acts was the “Hoboken Four.” The vocal quartet auditioned as “Frank Sinatra and the 3 Flashes,” but was renamed, purportedly by Major Bowes himself. The act won the competition of the September 8, 1935, broadcast and joined one of Major Bowes’s traveling vaudeville units. Sinatra soon left the tour to strike out on his own.

The Library holds a copy of nearly every radio and television network broadcast of the Amateur Hour program, which ran until 1970, and every successful application form for contestants on the radio series.

Other Amateur Hour performers represented in the collection who went on to achieve stardom include Robert Merrill, Regina Resnik, Beverly Sills, Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, Jack Carter, Dorothy Collins, and Ann-Margret. Many believe that Maria Callas appeared on the radio program, but research has not substantiated this rumor.

Frank Sinatra (b. 1915). Application for Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour. Annotated form, 1935. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress

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New Deal Arts

Often known as “The Voodoo Macbeth,” this production of the Negro Theatre Unit, a recipient of employment and training provided by the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), was also directed by Orson Welles for the FTP and played in New York City in 1936. Anthony Velonis, who created this poster for Macbeth, was hired in 1934 to work on the Poster Project and soon started printing with silk screening, a process he initiated, to increase poster production. It is largely due to his influence that the silk screen process has attained a secure place in fine art printmaking.

Anthony Velonis (b.1911). Macbeth. Silkscreen, 1938. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Beverly Sills Auditions

In its first year of radio network broadcasts, more than 30,000 acts auditioned for Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour. This talent contest program introduced many well-known performers during its run. A young Beverly Sills, then aged ten, won the competition with a powerful delivery of a Mozart aria in 1939. Other Original Amateur Hour performers represented in the collection who later achieved stardom include Robert Merrill, Regina Resnik, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, and Ann-Margaret.

Beverly Sills (b. 1929). Application for the Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour. Annotated form, 1939. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Joseph Brown, 1969 (65.1)

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The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath, where he documents a national tragedy by tracing one family’s exodus from Oklahoma because of the great “dust bowl” disaster. The naturalistic style delivered a message that shocked the nation and exposed the exploited masses of the Depression Era. Steinbeck was instrumental in changing laws to benefit the working classes. For this and subsequent novels, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

John Steinbeck (1902–1968). Typescript for The Grapes of Wrath with copy-editing marks, 1939. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Frank J. Hogan, 1941 (61A.8)

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Tuberculosis Tests

Elizabeth Olds created Tuberculosis Tests for Children as part of a series of prints about the Roosevelt administration’s assistance to the unemployed during the Depression in Omaha. Having trained in Minneapolis and New York, she became the first woman awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (1925) to paint. In 1932, while working for the Omaha Public Works of Art Project, she learned lithography, from grinding the stones to cranking the press. Later, she was a member of the silkscreen unit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in New York. Following WWII, Olds wrote and illustrated children’s books.

Elizabeth Olds (1896–1991). Tuberculosis Tests for Children, 1934. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Ben and Beatrice Goldstein (104.1)

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“Our Good Earth”

John Steuart Curry, along with other American Regionalist artists, presented visions of America that found beauty and dignity in the lives of ordinary citizens. This concern was shared by Farm Security Administration photographers, who set out document the Depression, and in the process created indelible images which often blurred the lines between art, and information. Here, Curry’s hero stands watch over playing children, and “amber” waves of grain suggesting plenty, hope, and patriotic identity.

John Steuart Curry (1897–1946). “Our Good Earth,” 1942. Lithograph. Edition 250. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (66.2)

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No Work

The defeated figure portrayed in No Work depicts the rawness of life during the Depression. Born in Beijing, China, to American parents, Grambs arrived in New York in 1934 with a full scholarship to attend the Art Students League. In 1936 she joined the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, earning enough money to maintain her studio on Fourteenth Street, an area where many radicals congregated. The print is part of an important collection of images that addressed a broad spectrum of American social and political issues from 1912 to 1948.

Blanche Grambs, (b.1916). No Work, 1935. Lithograph. Printed at the Art Students League by Will Barnet. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation, 1999 (66.4)

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Ben Shahn’s Our Friend

In 1944 Ben Shahn, a painter, printmaker, muralist, and activist, produced a series of posters for the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), a branch of organized labor, urging people to “register and vote.” This poster by Shahn was published by an arm of PAC formed to elect a progressive president and congress in 1944—specifically, to help propel Franklin Roosevelt into an unprecedented fourth term.

Ben Shahn (1898–1969). Our Friend. New York: National Citizens Political Action Committee, 1944. Lithographic poster. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (62.5)

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The Bonus Army March

The Bonus Army, some 15,000 to 20,000 World War I veterans from across the country, marched on the Capitol in June 1932 to request early payment of cash bonuses due to them in 1945. The Great Depression had destroyed the economy, leaving many veterans jobless.

Veteran Army Signal Corps photographer Theodor Horydczak, of Washington, D.C., photographed their camp site on the Mall. Six futile weeks of lobbying Congress raised government fears of riots, and on July 28, cavalry, infantry, tank troops and a mounted machine gun squadron commanded by General Douglas MacArthur and Major Dwight Eisenhower dispersed veterans and their families with bayonets and tear gas. Public opinion denounced President Herbert Hoover for the resulting bloodshed and helped force him from office.

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World War II

Off to War

More than one million African American men and women served in World War II. Artist William Henry Johnson’s war images often represented groups of soldiers in training camps, but this piece focuses on one soldier’s parting from family and home. It bears the influence both of modern abstraction and of the Harlem-based New Negro Movement, which encouraged African-American creativity driven by its own innate identity and unconstrained by Western traditions.

William Henry Johnson (1901–1970). Off to War. Silkscreen, ca. 1942. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Harmon Foundation, ca. 1970 (73.5)

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Pearl Harbor Bombed!

In addition to holding the most extensive radio broadcast collection in the country (nearly three-quarters of a million recordings), the Library of Congress offers researchers unparalleled print documentation of the medium. The NBC Radio Collection at the Library includes hundreds of thousands of scripts, business correspondence, bound press releases, and programming documentation.

This annotated script of a December 7, 1941, news report on the bombing of Pearl Harbor includes the announcer’s markings for emphasis. The NBC “program analysis” index card outlines all of the network’s news broadcasts of that day, including the break in regularly scheduled programming to announce the tragic news from Pearl Harbor.

Other NBC documentation now at the Library outlines nearly every program heard over the network throughout World War II, including the debates which preceded our entry into the war. Described in detail, for example, are programs aired in 1941 devoted to the Fight for Freedom Committee, which promoted intervention and aid to Britain, as well as programs devoted to the isolationist America First Committee.

Recordings of more than half of these programs are also in the collections of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress. The Library’s radio collections provide not only the means to monitor the progress of World War II as experienced on the home front, but, through the extensive Armed Forces Radio and Television Service Collection, to hear American entertainment and information as heard by the fighting American forces abroad.

The microphone pictured was used by Joseph Nathan Kane to broadcast his Famous First Facts radio series of 1938.

NBC Program Book. Annotated typescript, December 7, 1941; Microphone, ca. 1938. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress

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God Bless America

America’s unofficial national anthem was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only five years old. The original version of “God Bless America” was written by Irving Berlin (1888–1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island, for his Ziegfeld-style revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. “Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America...” ran the original lyric. However, Berlin decided that the solemn tone of “God Bless America” was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show and the song was laid aside.

In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a “peace” song. He recalled his “God Bless America” from twenty years earlier and made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised “God Bless America” during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation; the sheet music was in great demand. Berlin soon established the God Bless America Fund, dedicating the royalties to the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

Berlin’s file of manuscripts and lyric sheets for this quintessentially American song includes manuscripts in the hand of Berlin’s longtime musical secretary, Helmy Kresa (Berlin himself did not read and write music), as well as lyric sheets, and corrected proof copies for the sheet music.

These materials document not only the speed with which Berlin revised this song, but also his attention to detail. The first proof copy is dated October 31, 1938; the earliest “final” version of the song is a manuscript dated November 2; and Kate Smith’s historic broadcast took place on November 11. These documents show the song’s step-by-step evolution from the original version of 1918 to the tune we now know.

These manuscripts are part of the Irving Berlin Collection, a remarkable collection that includes Berlin’s personal papers as well as the records of the Irving Berlin Music Corp. It was presented to the Library of Congress in 1992, by Berlin’s daughters, Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Louise Emmet, and Elizabeth Irving Peters.

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  • Irving Berlin (1888–1989). “God Bless America.” Manuscript holograph score, 1938. Music Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Berlin Family, 1992 (67.1)

    Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin. Copyright renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin. Copyright assigned to Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., Anne Phipps Sidamon-Eristoff, and Theodore R. Jackson as Trustees of the God Bless America Fund. International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

  • Irving Berlin (1888–1989). “God Bless America.” Printer’s proof. Music Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Berlin family, 1992 (67.2)

    Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin. Copyright renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin. Copyright assigned to Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., Anne Phipps Sidamon-Eristoff, and Theodore R. Jackson as Trustees of the God Bless America Fund. International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

  • Irving Berlin (1888–1989). “God Bless America.” Lyrics in the hand of Irving Berlin sent to Dwight D. Eisenhower. December 28, 1940. Music Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Berlin Family (67.1)

    Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin. Copyright renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin. Copyright assigned to Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., Anne Phipps Sidamon-Eristoff, and Theodore R. Jackson as Trustees of the God Bless America Fund. International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

  • Irving Berlin (1888–1989). “God Bless America.” Original lead sheet, ca. 1918. Music Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Berlin Family (67.7)

    Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin. Copyright renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin. Copyright assigned to Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., Anne Phipps Sidamon-Eristoff, and Theodore R. Jackson as Trustees of the God Bless America Fund. International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

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Memo from Stalin

In August 1942 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed W. Averell Harriman (1891–1986), head of the American Lend-Lease Program, to represent the United States at a conference with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The Moscow conference sought a common understanding of Soviet and Anglo-American military plans in the war against Hitler’s Germany and was the highest level meeting to that time of the three allies.

At the conference Churchill delivered some unwelcome news. He told Stalin that Western military planners had concluded that an Anglo-American invasion of Europe that year was military folly. The Soviets, however, desperately wanted a “second front” to relieve Nazi pressure. (By that time German forces had taken much of the western Soviet Union and held Leningrad under siege.)

In response to Churchill’s announcement, Stalin gave Harriman the memo reproduced here, one of the few documents with Stalin’s handwritten signature (lower right) extant in the West.

In it Stalin deplored the decision and argued that British and American forces were capable of invading Europe in 1942. In an attempt to break the joint British-American stance, Stalin also worded the memo to imply that the decision was a British one. (Churchill, however, spoke for the United States as well as his own country in this decision.)

This memo illustrates the sometimes difficult nature of the American-Soviet alliance during the war. Harriman’s position as head of Lend-Lease in London and, from 1943, ambassador to the Soviet Union placed him at the center of this demanding alliance. The copious memoranda, letters, cables, and personal notes in Harriman’s papers make them an indispensable source of historical documentation of that relationship as well as of the Cold War diplomacy that followed.

Joseph Stalin (1879–1953). Aide memoire in Russian, August 13, 1942. Mixed media on paper on board, 1981. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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D-Day

General Dwight D. Eisenhower did not announce the Allied landings on the coast of France until 3:30 a.m on June 6, 1944. As the last edition of the day, this 6:00 a.m. extra edition of The New York Times carried the most complete D-Day coverage of any morning newspaper world-wide, replete with text and detailed maps of the Normandy. In addition to Raymond Daniel’s lead story, the front page includes NBC’s Wright Bryan’s coverage from a U.S. Ninth Air Force plane, providing one of the first eyewitness accounts of the airborne invasion.

New York Times, June 6, 1944. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (68A.1)

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A Naval Hero

On December 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Mess Attendant Doris “Dorie” Miller came to the aid of his shipmates on the U.S.S. West Virginia, helping to move the injured out of harm’s way, including the mortally wounded captain. Though untrained in its use, Miller also manned an antiaircraft machine gun, downing several Japanese planes before being ordered to abandon the sinking ship. Miller’s courage and devotion to duty at Pearl Harbor earned him the Navy Cross, the first ever awarded to an African American sailor. This honor is even greater in light of the fact African Americans were only allowed to serve in the messman’s branch of the Navy at the time. Though later killed in action in 1943, Miller’s legacy of bravery in the face of great danger and discrimination lives on.

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Manzanar

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government evacuated 110,000 Pacific Coast residents of Japanese descent to internment camps in the interior of the United States. Photographer Ansel Adams, aggrieved by this harsh policy, visited the Manzanar Relocation Center near the Sierra Mountains in 1943 and photographed how citizens “had overcome the sense of defeat and despair by building . . . a vital community.” Originally published in Born Free and Equal (1944), almost all of these prints and negatives were deposited by Adams at the Library for posterity.

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Camp News

Tessaku was a magazine mimeographed in a relocation camp located in a remote and desolate part of northern California, a few miles from the Oregon border. While many of the camps had community newspapers, internees also published magazines. Only nine issues of Tessaku, appearing sporadically, were printed. Issue no. 5 is a rare surviving copy. Such ephemera, intended for a short life-span, are valuable for their ability to convey the texture of life in the camps and offer unique evidence for researchers.

Tessaku [Barbed Wire]. No. 5, Tule Lake, California: Tessakusha (October 1944). Page 2 - Page 3. Asian Division. Government transfer, 1953 (73)

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Patton’s War

General George Patton, one of the U.S. Army’s leading ground-combat commanders, kept a detailed and candid diary of his World War II experiences, as well as extensive photographic albums documenting the war. This photograph from 1945 shows him (pictured in the front row, with helmet, second from left) as commander of the U.S. Third Army, along with General Omar Bradley, commander of the U.S. 12th Army Group (in the front row, center).

George S. Patton (1885–1945). Page from photographic album. 1942–1944. Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Patton family, 1965 (70.3,71)

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Star Spangled Banter

In early 1941, Bill Mauldin was a young private in the 45th Division when he moved with his fellow troops into Camp Barkeley near Abilene, Texas. Serving as a staff cartoonist, Mauldin had a talent for portraying his fellow soldiers that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1945. Mauldin became a political cartoonist, expressing his opinions on the editorial pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Chicago Sun-Times from 1958 to 1992 and winning a second Pulitzer prize for cartooning in 1959. In 1975, Bill Mauldin gave the Library more than 1,700 original cartoon drawings that date from 1938 to 1965 along with his papers.

Bill Mauldin (b.1921). Star Spangled Banter. The 45th is moving into its new temporary (we hope) field camp in the cornfields of Camp Barkeley. Ink and crayon over pencil on layered paper, 1941. Published in the 45th Division News. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Bill Mauldin, 1975 (68A.4)

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The 332nd Fighter Group

In March 1945, Toni Frissell took more than 280 photographs of the “Tuskegee Airmen,” the elite, all-African American 332nd Fighter Group at Ramitelli, Italy. The group was commanded by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr, who later became the first three-star general in the Air Corps. The Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 700 missions and never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft. They earned more than 744 Air Medals and Clusters, more than 100 Flying Crosses, 14 Bronze Stars, 8 Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and a Legion of Merit. This photo records a member of the group is being given an “escape kit” containing cyanide in the event of capture in Yugoslavia.

Toni Frissell (1907–1988). Issuing Escape Kits Containing Cyanide Capsules to Members of the 332nd Army Air Force Fighter Group. Gelatin silver print, March 1945. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the photographer, 1971 (73.3)

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The Home Front During World War II

In this striking image, couples, family groups, and men and women in uniform, move through the monumental interior of New York City’s Penn Station, illuminated by glowing lights and the bright backdrop of a huge American flag hanging within an arched niche. Using dynamic forms, color, and composition, Mexican caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias evokes an atmosphere of wartime drama.

Miguel Covarrubias (1904–1957). [Train crowded with service men and women and a large U.S. flag], 1943. Gouache on paper board. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (73.6)

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Trinity Test Nuclear Explosions

This sequence of photos was taken six miles from the first nuclear bomb explosion site. The blinding fireball awed all who witnessed it. As Los Alamos director J. Robert Oppenheimer watched the demonstration, he recalled a line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of worlds.” Technically, the Trinity test proved that the complex detonation method by implosion actually worked but also revealed a highly radioactive dust skirt encircling the blast that weakened the bomb’s power.

Nuclear explosion, Trinity Test Site. New Mexico, July 16, 1945. Image 2 - Image 3. Gelatin silver prints. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Transfer from the Atomic Energy. Commission, 1971(68A.4a-c)

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Documenting the Homefront

Between 1935 and 1943, top-caliber photographers such as Marjory Collins, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Jack Delano, working under the direction of Roy Stryker produced the well-known photographic survey of America during the Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which became the Office of War Information (OWI). During WWII the OWI recorded homefront activities that supported the war effort. In this image, photographer Collins documented workers trying to keep up with orders at the Annin Flag Company in Verona, New Jersey. And like many of the photographs produced under government auspices, Collins’s series at the Annin Flag Company promoted the story of nation-wide mobilization.

Marjory Collins (1912–1985). Verona, New Jersey. Sewing stripes on an American flag at the Annin Flag Company, March 1943. Contemporary print made from original negative. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. O.W.I. transfer, 1946 (4.10)

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Rosie the Riveter

The character of “Rosie the Riveter” was one of the best-known symbols of the U.S. government’s propaganda campaign encouraging women to join the war effort. Widespread male enlistment left vacancies in essential industries such as airplane and munition production, and nearly 3 million women answered their country’s call to serve in defense plants. Norman Rockwell’s Rosie is a strong woman capable of doing a “man’s job,” and she appeared on the cover of a magazine that actively encouraged women to join the workforce during World War II. Rockwell enhances her patriotism by placing a flag in the background and her feet firmly on Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978). Cover illustration for the Saturday Evening Post (May 29, 1943). Color photomechanical print. General Collections, Library of Congress (71.2)

The Library does not have permission to display this image online.

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Raising the Flag

Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima is one of the best-known war images ever made. The Allies invaded the island, more than six hundred miles off the coast of Japan, on February 19, 1945, hoping to establish a staging area for bombers. Rosenthal, a photographer for the Associated Press, landed under gunfire three hours after the invasion began. The Marines fought their way to the top of Mount Suribachi on February 23 and raised a small flag. Later that same day, five Marines and a naval medicine corpsman raised this second, larger flag at the summit and were recorded by Rosenthal. Contrary to popular belief, the moment was not staged. In thirty-one days of brutal fighting, 6,821 Americans died, including three of the flag-raisers. Rosenthal inscribed this print to Wyoming Democratic Senator Joseph O’Mahoney.

Joe Rosenthal (b. 1911). American Marines Raising American Flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Gelatin silver print, 1945. Wide World/Associated Press. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Joseph C. O’Mahoney, 1961 (5.11)

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Rockwell’s Four Freedoms

Taken from Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 speech to Congress, the “Four Freedoms”—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear—became a rallying point for the United States during WWII. Artist Norman Rockwell created four vignettes to illustrate the concepts. Rockwell intended to donate the paintings to the War Department, but after receiving no response, the painter offered them to the Saturday Evening Post, where they were first published on February 20, 1943. Popular reaction was overwhelming, and more than 25,000 readers requested full-color reproductions suitable for framing.

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978). OURS. . . to Fight for: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear. Offset color lithograph, 1943. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. O.W.I. transfer, 1946. LC-USZC4-1349 (58A.5)

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Women and the War Effort

During World War II the U.S. government mounted an extensive propaganda campaign encouraging women to join the war effort. In the fall of 1943, the Office of War Information mounted the “Women in Necessary Services” campaign. The Saturday Evening Post enlisted Norman Rockwell to create a cover for its Labor Day issue. His illustration shows a woman clad in red, white, and blue and encumbered with the accouterments of defense work, including air raid warning equipment.

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978). Cover illustration for the Saturday Evening Post, September 4, 1943. Color photomechanical print. General Collections, Library of Congress (71.3)

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Flag Raising

During World War II, Kyra Markham and many other artists in the United States contributed to the war effort by creating images that stirred patriotic sentiments and feelings of contentment toward life in America. Born Elaine Hyman, Markham quit high school at age sixteen to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1916 she joined the Provincetown Players theatrical troupe in Massachusetts and supplemented her acting income by painting murals and working as an illustrator. In 1930 Markham studied at the Arts Students League in New York, later enrolling in the New Deal-sponsored Federal Arts Project.

Kyra Markham (1891–1967). Flag Raising on Leroy St. Lithograph, 1942. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation, 1999 (73.7)

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At War’s End

In August of 1945, service members in the Pacific Theater were dreading an invasion of Japan. Infantryman William T. Livingston saw fierce action in the Philippines and survived the ravages of tropical diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. In one of 462 letters home, he describes the elation that quickly ensued after news reached his unit of the war’s end. News of the war’s end dominated the front pages of newspapers coast to coast, as did the headlines that gas rationing would cease. Private First Class Livingston would go on to serve as part of the occupying force in Japan for five months.

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The End of Hostilities

Professional photographer Charles Rosario Restifo spent the war photographing the intense action in the Pacific Theater. After the atomic bomb attacks in Japan, he snapped a photo of jubilant Filipinos with newspapers trumpeting the end of hostilities. Restifo also had the privilege of photographing the controversial General Douglas MacArthur, who is seen here seated at the signing of the Japanese surrender. These photos by Sergeant Restifo and others are accessible on the Veterans History Project website (www.loc.gov/vets).

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  • Staff Sergeant Charles Rosario Restifo (1917–1995), 161st Photographic Company. [War Over, Manilla, Philippines], August 10, 1945. Digital print. Veteran’s History Project, Library of Congress. Donated by Beatrice L. Restifo, March 18, 2003 (67.8a)

  • [Japanese surrender], September 2, 1945. Gelatin silver print. Veteran’s History Project, Library of Congress. Donated by Beatrice L. Restifo, March 18, 2003 (67.8b)

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Truman Appoints A Prosecutor

On May 2, 1945, President Harry S Truman issued Executive Order 9547, appointing Robert H. Jackson, an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, as Chief of Counsel before an International Military Tribunal. This unprecedented court was to try prominent Nazi leaders for serious offenses committed both before and during World War II: conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Given broad powers to act on behalf of the United States in conjunction with America’s major allies, Jackson later observed that he had never before been compelled to establish a court and then find a courthouse in which to try his case.

Executive Order, May 2, 1945. Harry S Truman (1884–1972). Executive Order, May 2, 1945. Typewritten copy. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (77.5)

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Nuremberg Document Book

Displayed here is the document book used at the trial of Nazi leader Martin Bormann (1900–1945?), who was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946. A key associate of Adolf Hitler, Bormann implemented the racist programs of National Socialism, especially the persecution and extermination of European Jewry. His exact fate after the war is unclear. He was officially declared dead in 1973, when a forensic expert determined that a skeleton uncovered at an excavation in West Germany was most likely Bormann’s.

Robert Jackson, U.S. Chief of Counsel (1892–1954). International Military Tribunal. Document Book. Bound typescript. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress (71.4)

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Images from the Trial

Worldwide curiosity about the Nuremberg Trials was satisfied in part by courtroom photographs and drawings. George Biddle, brother of an American judge on the International Military Tribunal, made these two sketches as an artist for Look magazine. On the left is Hans Fritzsche, a mid-level official who directed radio propaganda, he was acquitted on all counts but later convicted by a German court. On the right is Reichsmarschall Hermann Göering, who had commanded the German air forces. After his conviction he committed suicide. The photograph shows the prisoners in the dock. Front row: Göering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Walther Funk and Hjalmar Schacht. Back row: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Franz von Papen, Artur Seyss-Inquart, Albert Speer, Konstantin von Neurath, and Fritzsche.

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  • George Biddle (1885–1973). Caricature of “Fritzsche” [Hans Fritzsche] and “‘Fat’ Goering” [Hermann Goering], [1946]. Ink drawing on paper. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (72.4)

  • Defendants in the Courtroom—Nuremberg Trials, [1945–1946]. Gelatin silver print. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the family of Robert H. Jackson, ca. 1984 (73.8)

  • “All Except 3 of Nazi Chiefs Guilty, Goering, Hess, Von Ribbentrop Convicted; Schacht, Von Papen Fritzsche Acquitted.” New York Times (October 1, 1946) Late City Edition. Vol. 406, no. 32,392. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (70.7)

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Cartoonist’s Take on Nuremberg

Here Bill Mauldin comments on the war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Germany, which began at the Palace of Justice on November 20, 1945. Mauldin returned from Europe with a Purple Heart, a Pulitzer Prize, and a contract for a syndicated cartoon Back Home. He employed the same sardonic humor that he had in his military cartoons, which occasionally put him at odds with newspaper feature editors.

Bill Mauldin (1921-2003). How Can You Call Me Intolerant? Some of My Best Friends Had to be Put into Concentration Camps,” 1946. Ink over pencil with overlay drawing on layered paper board. Published by United Feature Syndicate, January 21, 1946. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift, Bill Mauldin, 1975 (69.6) Digital ID# ppmsca-09921

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At War’s End

News of the war’s end dominated the front pages of newspapers coast to coast in August of 1945, as did the headlines that gas rationing would cease.

“Peace,” “Gas Rationing Ended,” “Navy’s Discharge Plan,” August 15, 1945. Chicago Herald-American Vol. 46, no. 26. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (68A.8)

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The Postwar Era

Old Soldiers Never Die . . .

General Douglas MacArthur was one of the most prominent U.S. military figures of the first half of the twentieth century. Beginning as a combat officer in World War I, MacArthur’s military career reached its pinnacle after his victorious Pacific campaign during World War II with his appointment as Supreme Allied Commander charged with presiding over the Japanese transition to democratic self-rule. MacArthur’s career came to a close during the Korean War, but as recognition of his status as one of the nation’s greatest living military leaders, Congress asked him to address a joint session. MacArthur closed his speech with a famous line from an old army ballad: “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964). Typescript speech for address given April 19, 1951. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7 - Page 8 - Page 9 - Page 10 - Page 11 - Page 12. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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Harry S. Truman

Six months before President Harry S. Truman’s dramatic recall of General Douglas MacArthur after the two disagreed about the future course of the Korean War, political cartoonist John Chase ridiculed the president’s capacities as a military leader with this caricature of the commander-in- chief dwarfed by his general’s outsized hat.

John Chase. [President Truman Wearing General MacArthur’s Hat.] Ink on paper, 1950. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-69946

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Images from the Trial

Author, educator, and political philosopher Hannah Arendt was born into a German Jewish family in Königsberg, now Russian “Kaliningrad.” After being arrested in 1933, Arendt fled her homeland, moving from Prague to Geneva then to Paris, and finally to the United States in 1941. In 1946, she wrote that she understood that “the infinitely complex red-tape existence of stateless persons” inhibits freedom of movement. This denial of the right of citizenship led Arendt on a exploration of the origins of totalitarianism that would dominate her intellectual life.

In 1949 Arendt used this well-worn affidavit of identity “in lieu of a passport, which I, a stateless person, cannot obtain at present.” Also seen here is Arendt’s draft of the introduction to the third edition of Origins Of Totalitarianism, her first major book.

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  • Hannah Arendt (1906–1975). “Affidavit of Identity in Lieu of a Passport.” Document with photograph, 1949. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift and bequest of Hannah Arendt, 1965–2000 (234.1a)

  • Introduction to the third edition of Origins of Totalitarianism. Typescript with author’s alterations. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift and bequest of Hannah Arendt, 1965–2000 (234.1c)

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Look Magazine

Actors Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn graced the cover of Look magazine to promote their romantic thriller Charade, then recently released for the holiday season. A popular general interest magazine, Look often featured movie stars on the cover but regularly covered serious social issues such as politics and race. The two- to three-month lead needed to compile and distribute the bi-weekly sometimes put topics on the newsstands at awkward times. In this instance, the results of an opinion poll on the 1964 presidential election appeared three weeks after Kennedy’s November 22 assassination. When Look ceased publication, its owner gave the magazine’s archive of negatives to the Library.

Phillip Halsman, photographer (1906–1979). Look. Vol. 27, no. 25. (December 17, 1963). Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Rebel Without a Cause

Nicholas Ray was in the vanguard of a new generation of directors whose careers began in the late 1940s and who used cinema to articulate the psycho-social problems of post-World War II America. When the first generation of studio heads retired in the 1950s, control was loosened over the mainstream genres of Hollywood melodrama, and Ray was able to make films that focused more on the emotional development of protagonists and less on their actions.

Nicolas Ray. Rebel Without a Cause. Film still matted as lobby card. Warner Bros., Burbank California, 1955. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress (80.5)

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Supporting the Persian Gulf War

Earlie Hudnall, Jr.’s extensive body of photographs captures the spirit of life in African-American communities in his native Houston and on his travels to Haiti and Central America. This photograph portrays the homeland crowd at a demonstration in support of American troops returning from the Persian Gulf War.

Earlie Hudnall, Jr. (b. 1946). God Bless Our Troops, 1991. Gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Purchase, 2001 (80A)

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“Dewey Defeats Truman”

Weeks prior to the 1948 election, many leading editorial writers and political columnists relied on early Gallup Polls, which predicted Thomas E. Dewey’s win over incumbent Harry S. Truman. Truman’s strategy was to bypass the press by taking his case to the people in a “whistlestop” campaign. An issue of the early edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune was handed to Truman after the election. The headline declared “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Truman upset Dewey despite having the support of only 15 percent of the nation’s daily papers.

“Dewey Defeats Truman.” Chicago Daily Tribune, November 3, 1948. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Ms. Barbara, Diamond City, Arkansas (69.4)

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Memorials

The Lincoln Memorial

Dedicated in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most popular works of American architecture. It won its architect Henry Bacon, the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, his professions highest honor. These original sketches are two in a series that shows his critical role in the evolution of the design, scale, and placement of the statue created by Daniel Chester French for the building’s interior.

Henry Bacon. [Studies for the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.] Graphite of Tracing Paper, 1917. Page 2. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
—Laurence Binyon “For the Fallen”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, originally designed as a student project by Maya Lin at Yale University’s School of Architecture in 1981, has become a profound symbol that has served to unify and reconcile a nation sorely divided by a foreign entanglement. Lin envisioned a black granite wall, in the shape of a V, on which the names of the American military dead and missing would be inscribed. The architect hoped that “these names, seemingly infinite in number, [would] convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole.”

Since its unveiling in 1982, the work—popularly known as “the wall”—has become a point of reference, inspiring a new generation of American memorials. Maya Lin’s drawing is one of 1,421 design-competition submissions documented in the Library of Congress as part of the Papers of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Architect/artist Paul Stevenson Oles recalled about his role in the initial phase of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: “. . . shortly after we had learned our entry had not been selected as the winner, I received a frantic telephone call . . . from the competition’s Professional Advisor Paul Sprieregen, informing me that the drawings of the winner’s original submission were so vague—beautiful, indeed, but highly ambiguous. . . . He asked me if I could produce, say, three drawings for the purpose of explaining Maya Lin’s design, in a hurry . . . In those heady hours, Maya asked, shyly, if “she could be included in the picture.” I agreed, conditionally, if she would be willing to appear on the arm of the illustrator (center drawing).”

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