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Exhibition Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

Herblock (1909–2001). “Try Some Other Planet,” 1949. Graphite, India ink, and opaque white over graphite underdrawing. Published in the Washington Post, June 29, 1949. Herbert L. Block Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. © Herb Block Foundation (028.01.00)


Encouraged by President Harry Truman to pass legislation that would permit some wartime refugees in Europe to enter the United States, Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. Although disturbed to find the law discriminatory, the president signed it, while urging Congress to rectify the bill’s injustices. The House soon passed a version that allowed more refugees to enter, but the Senate delayed passage. Herblock reproaches Senator Pat McCarran, Judiciary Committee Chairman, who strongly opposed changes to the 1948 bill.