Back in Time

These images seem reflective of the sense of hope and prosperity of post-WWII middle-America. I was only five years old at the time - yet many of these images seem familiar to me. How about you?  ...

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Enemy in the Mirror

  Excerpts from the book: Once the shoji screen was closed, Kiyoshi said in a low voice, “It’s about the piece I submitted to the Chūō Kōron.” Fumiko took a deep breath. The Chūō Kōron was one of the few literary magazines that still dared to publish articles hinting...

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TELEVISION

      Television shows in 1947  Series Debut Ended Picture Page (UK) October 8, 1936 1939 1946 1952 Starlight (UK) November 3, 1936 1939 1946 1949 For The Children (UK) April 24, 1937 1939 July 7, 1946 1950 The Voice of Firestone Televues 1943 1947 1949 1963 The World...

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Postwar Hiroshima & Nagasaki

This home movie really took me there.   Although grainy, watch this short film clip of 8mm home movies taken by U.S. Army Major Morris Hall during a 3-month tour of Japan less than a year after surrender. Filming with an 8mm home movie camera, Major Hall documented...

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Dr. Benjamin Spock

Although apparently narrated by a robot, this video neatly summarizes the essence of Dr. Benjamin Spock's advice to post-WWII parents.     The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, sold over 50 million copies by the time of Spock's death in...

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Baby Boom

We were the War Children 1945 When all the soldiers came marching home Love looks in their eye                -Van Morrison Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land,” as historian Landon Jones later described...

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Allies Occupy Germany

Your Job In Germany was a short film shown to US soldiers embarking on post-war occupation duty in Germany. Produced by the United States War Department in 1945, the film was made by a military film unit directed by Frank Capra and was written by Theodor...

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Bomb Kills Oregon Picnickers

Radiolab  just broadcast an excellent, detailed account of the Japanese balloon bomb incident at Bly, Oregon LISTEN: http://www.radiolab.org/story/war-our-shore/     My history-inspired novel Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War includes a...

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Home Front USA

In the spring of 1945, with much of Europe and the Pacific in ruins, the end of the war was in sight for Americans. While total U.S. military deaths exceeded 400,000 in the European, North African and Pacific theaters, mainland USA never became a significant site of...

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Anne Frank Dies

Anne Frank was a teenage writer who hid in Amsterdam with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of Holland. She chronicled her feelings and experiences in a diary that became renowned after the war. She was 15 years old when the location of the family...

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Easter in Nazi Germany

In a 1939 census of Nazi Germany (including annexed Austria), 54% of Germans considered themselves Protestant, 40% Catholic, 3.5% gottgläubig (non-sectarian believers in God) and 1.5% as non-religious. In the spring of 1936, Der Angriff, Berlin’s Nazi paper founded by...

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V-2 Rocket

The German V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2–"Retribution Weapon 2") was Mankind's first long-range guided ballistic missile. Powered by a liquid-propellant rocket engine, more than 3000 V-2 rockets were launched against Allied cities in 1944. The initial V-2 target was London;...

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Blue Star in the Window

The blue star flag, designed during WWI by U.S. Army Captain Robert Queissner, became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. In January 1942, a newspaper article by Army Captain George Maines requested information regarding children serving in the armed forces –...

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Halloween

The Brian Sisters Samhain, celebrated by ancient Celts on October 31st marked the beginning of the cold and bleak part of the year, often associated with death. The Catholic Church later transformed Samhain into a religious event known as All Hallows Eve (the evening...

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Home For Christmas

 Ironically, Bing Crosby’s elegant Toluca Lake mansion was virtually destroyed by fire. The culprit was none other than the family Christmas tree. ______________________   Want to hear the top hits of 1943? Check this out: Jukebox 1943   ...

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U.S. Women WWII

During WWII, ~350,000 women served in the U.S. Armed Forces at home and abroad.  Additionally, with many men leaving to enlist in the armed forces, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27% in 1940 to 37% in 1945 when ~25% of married women worked...

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Food Insecurity Japan

Although Japan had become an industrialized nation in the early 20th century, it remained resource poor. Prior to WWII, limited efforts were made to raise agricultural production, but land reform that would increase tenure for the peasantry was firmly resisted by the...

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Food Rationing Germany

  Rationing was introduced in Germany shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939. Initially, clothing, shoes, leather, soap and most foodstuffs were rationed. Many homes and apartments were heated with steam radiators that required coal burning hot water heaters....

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▶Food is Ammunition

This WWII government film, with very explicit recommendations, emphasizes good nutrition as a weapon of war. "Eventual victory in this war may depend on what we eat." Although rationing was imposed in the USA, food insecurity was never an issue for Americans during...

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Japanese Behavior

This 1943 documentary, produced by the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) is surprisingly sympathetic to many aspects of Japanese culture. Composed of apparent movie clips with mildly condescending narration from a Western point of view, the film actually provides an...

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▶ Homefront

This somewhat quirky propaganda film, working the concept of 'no exceptions', is worth watching to feel the level of concern on the American home front in 1943.    

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Detroit Race Riot

In June 1943 a race riot erupted in Detroit Michigan, a city brimming with ~400,000 wartime migrants competing for jobs and housing. Fueled by false rumors of racial attacks in both black and white communities, the rioting continued from June 20 until June 22 when...

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Kinderlandverschickung – Evacuation of Children

The term Kinderlandverschickung (KLV) was first used in the late 19th century to describe the foster care relocation of sick and underprivileged children to the countryside. At the outbreak of WWII, although there were no large scale civilian evacuations as in...

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Let the Storm Break Loose!

Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' speech on February 18, 1943 at the Berlin Sportpalast is often considered his most important of the war. Unlike previous Nazi propaganda that claimed incontestable German victories, the Sportpalast speech acknowledged, for the...

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Die Große Liebe

  Die große Liebe (The Great Love), which premiered in 1942, became the most commercially successful film in the history of the Nazi Germany. From the film's musical score: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter" and "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n" became...

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