Posts Tagged ‘World War Two’

The US Photographed Its Own WWII Concentration Camps

March 31, 2022

President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, two months after Japan bombied Pearl Harbor. It empowered the US army to incarcerate 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II.

In March 1942 the government created a new department, the War Relocation Authority, and hired photographers to document “resettlement” and life in the “relocation” camps, possibly to complement the work of the WRA’s Community Analysis Section. One of those photographers was Dorothea Lange, who had documented dustbowl migrants and other rural Americans for the Farm Security Administration. The WRA photographs were surpressed until 1972.

A Vox video by Coleman Lowndes.

More:

Dorothea Lange’s WRA photos at the University of California

Dorothea Lange’s WRA photos at the US National Archives

The Densho Encyclopedia

Japanese American incarceration

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Food Will Win the War

March 2, 2019

“Food Will Win the War,” a Walt Disney Studios production for the USDA, 1942. Directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Fred Shields. This WWII theatrical cartoon was for the home front, but Disney produced or contributed to hundreds of military training and propaganda films during World War II.

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Jeep

October 8, 2017

“Autobiography of a Jeep” (1943), from United Films via the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, reprocessed by Jeff Quitney. The Willys MB Jeep was the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II (more here). This WWII-era film celebrates the buggy’s prowess.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Feathered Heroes of D-Day

June 9, 2014

Feathered Heroes of D-Day

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allied forces invading Nazi-occupied Normandy made use of the latest electronic technology. So how did the Allies learn of the invasion’s progress? Carrier pigeon.

Gustav (pigeon ­NPS.42.31066) flew 230 miles across the English Channel from a ship off Normandy to carry home the first D-Day news. Paddy (pigeon number NPS.43.9451), an Irish-born RAF messenger pigeon, flew 230 miles across the Channel in four hours and fifty minutes with updates. Both birds were later awarded the Dinkin Medal for bravery, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. 32 birds received the Dinkin, an indication of the importance of these sturdy birds to the war effort. Try and remember that the next time their civilian cousins decorate your car.

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‘Rosie The Riveter’ Clocks Out

December 30, 2010

Rosie The Riveter Clocks Out

Today one of World War II’s iconic “Rosie The Riveters” punched out on the time clock for the last time. Geraldine Hoff Doyle passed away at 86. A news photo of her working in a metal pressing plant is said to have inspired the famous “We Can Do It!” poster encouraging women to seek industrial work in the war effort.  While Norman Rockwell painted a woman doing war work for a magazine cover, it is the poster that has has become a pop culture icon.

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