Category: postwar

    Ringing in the New Year: Peace and War, Hope and Fear

    1. Puck cartoon marking the new year in 1914. A young man (the New Year) in a smoking jacket and a vest labeled 1914 says to the old year, dressed as Uncle Sam, "Have something on me, old man! Whatll it be?" The choices are two whiskeys, one marked "hope" and the other "fear". They are in a well-furnished upper middle class salon with an overhead electric lamp lighting their faces. Source: Library of Congress,
    2. Cartoon sketch by John T. McCutcheon titled "Is that the best he can wish us?," published in the Chicago Tribune on December 31, 1917. It portrays an old man, 1917, disappearing into the annals of history (literally pages, one marked "history") as he wishes a younger man with a globe for a head ("The World"), "Scrappy New Year!" The new year is dressed as a soldier and is weighed down by infantry kit as well as a few artillery tubes and merchant ships. Source: Library of Congress,
    3. Red, white, and blue New Yearโ€™s poster with Baby 1919 flanked by Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. Behind them is a big red sun with the text, โ€œWorld Peace with Liberty and Prosperity 1919.โ€ Europe was still in turmoil and experiencing violence, but Americans had reason to be optimistic. Thus, this lithograph from United Cigars (logo at Libertyโ€™s feet) seems apropos for the time. Source: Library of Congress,

    'Near East Relief' Appeal, 1919

    'Hunger knows no armistice--Near East Relief', woman with two children on ground against a brick wall, stark emotional expression on their faces
    Poster from 1919. Repository: Library of Congress.

    'Dead, but the remains are still with us'

    Mars, the god of war, from late 1918. Repository: Library of Congress.

    Donโ€™t be a Sucker (1947)

    There is an infectious simplicity about this film, which rings true politically in these times, even if the history it tells was more complicated.

    Source: U.S. War Department, Prelinger Archives, hosted by the Internet Archive.

    Germany and the United States on the Eve of the Cold War

    Almost anyone who has lived in Germany over the past sixty years will find the following video very strange indeed. It appeared in the early days of the occupation, when the Cold War was still only on the horizon and a strict anti-fraternization policy made sense to the U.S. military leadership.

    By the way, if you’re a Dr. Suess fan, listen to the language. I’ve read many of his stories to my son, and I can hear the hand he had in this film.

    Dr. Suess also addressed the question of war and peace in a famous children’s book from the Cold War, The Butter Battle Book. In it, one side ate its bread butter side up, and the other butter side down, leading to mistrust, the erection of a wall, and an arms race.

    Source: U.S. Army, 1945, hosted by the Internet Archive