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'Are You Doing All You Can?'

Then as now, patriotism surged during wartime. During World Wars I and II, volunteer efforts not only boosted morale at home and abroad, but also provided necessary financial and manpower support for the war efforts. This 1942 print (below left), published by the General Cable Corp., typifies the colorful poster exhortations of the period that encouraged each citizen to be involved in the war effort.

Are You Doing All You Can? Reach Your Boy Overseas by V-Mail

The activity "On The Homefront" is a thematic presentation that features Library materials relating to war and patriotism. The "Gallery" section is in five sections. In "Volunteer Work," a World War I Red Cross poster exhorts citizens to "Knit Your Bit" because "Our Boys Need Sox." The "Civil Defense" section links to a poster on "Air Raid Precautions" during World War II. In "Conservation," a poster urges Americans to "Do with Less -- So They'll Have Enough." "If You Can't Go, Buy War Bonds," says a World War II poster in the "Economic Initiatives" section. And a compelling image of Marines raising an American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, in 1945, which was the inspiration for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, can be found in "Patriotic Support."

"On the Homefront" is one of many activities in the Learning Page. This Web site, though designed especially for teachers and their students, offers educational activities that anyone can enjoy and learn from.

The "Collection Connections" section of the site is especially useful as an introduction to the 8 million items in the more than 100 American Memory collections. They will guide you to the best and most interesting material in each American Memory collection, making it easier to navigate through the collection to find what you are looking for.

The "Read More About It" page suggests books to complement each of the collections, arranged by age level. The lists were compiled by the Library's Center for the Book, which is a nationwide program to promote reading. Every state and the District of Columbia has its own Center for the Book. Check out the State Center Affiliates page for your state and its reading activities.

A. "Are You Doing All You Can?" 1942, poster, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction No.: LC-USZC4-6033 (color film copy transparency); Call No.: POS - WWII - US .J7 1942 (C size) [P&P].

B. U.S. Government Printing Office, "Reach Your Boy Overseas by V-Mail," 1942, poster, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction No.: LC-USZC4-2752 (color film copy transparency; Call No.: POS - WWII - US .J44.D46 1942 (C size) [P&P].

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