Cigarettes Linked to Cancer

https://youtu.be/gCMzjJjuxQI 1949 Camel ad In 1950 The Journal of the American Medical Association published two articles linking smoking and cancer: Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiological Factor in Bronchogenic Carcinoma: A Study of Six Hundred and...

read more

Dianetics

In May 1950  the magazine Astounding Science Fiction published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard. Dianetics divides the mind into: (1) the conscious analytical mind (2) the subconscious reactive mind (3) the somatic mind...

read more

First Kidney Transplant

https://youtu.be/EP9gnlmEyo8 In June 1950 Dr. Richard Lawler performed the first successful kidney transplantation. The donor kidney was removed from a patient who had died of cirrhosis of the liver. The recipient was a 44-year-old woman with polycystic kidney...

read more

James Forrestal Dies

James Vincent Forrestal (February 1892 – May 1949) was a strong supporter of naval battle groups centered on aircraft carriers. In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Forrestal for the newly established position of Undersecretary of the Navy....

read more

The Tragedy of Billie Holiday

https://youtu.be/tZJoVPFoYPM In January 1949 Police broke into a room in the Mark Twain Hotel in San Francisco and arrested Billie Holiday and her manager John Levy on charges of possession of opium. Her defense attorney Jake Erlich, fingered Levy as an informer and...

read more

World Health Organization

  The concept of an international health organization was first suggested in 1945 by the Chinese United Nations delegate Dr. Szeming Sze. Although the initial resolution failed, at an international conference the following year, all 51 member countries of the...

read more

Dr. Benjamin Spock

      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 1998. The book has also been translated into 39 languages. Prior to Spock's book, child care experts recommended rigid...

read more

My Japan

This propaganda film was produced by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1945 in an effort to promote War Bond sales. My Japan might be described as a heavy-handed attempt to elicit angry responses from American citizens regarding Japan's audacity as well as contempt for...

read more

Was Hitler High?

A new book by Norman Ohler makes sensational claims that not only Adolf Hitler, but much of the civilian population of Nazi Germany, was high on drugs. While there is evidence that methamphetamines (e.g. Pervitin)  were extensively used by the armed forces, it is...

read more

U.S. Pilot Defects

For years a devotee of the ultra-conservative radio ministry of Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a 23 year-old USAAF P-38 pilot named Martin James Monti defected to the Axis powers in October 1944. Why a young American might actually defect to the Axis is hard to...

read more

Camera Thrills of WWII

This American propaganda film made by Castle Films emphasizes the "thrill" of war. Intended to be upbeat and exciting, perhaps motivating enlistment, it captures the spirit of the era.

read more

Vichy France

Vichy France propaganda cartoon about the allied bombings of France. A Jewish radio announcer in London broadcasts the imminent arrival over France of Allied Liberator aircraft. US planes, flown by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat, drop bombs...

read more

Japan Faces Defeat

  By the end of 1943, with no prospect of joining forces with its German allies who were being pushed out of Africa, and American forces penetrating its defensive ring, Imperial Japan was having great difficulty maintaining its distant holdings in the Western...

read more

Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot suit attire consisted of baggy legged, narrow- cuffed, waist-high pants, a short tie over a buttoned shirt, suspenders, a long coat with wide lapels and padded shoulders, wide-legged, pegged trousers, flashy shoes and either a fedora or a tando hat with a feather...

read more

American Marine Diary

Here are excerpts from the American Marine Eugene Sledge's diary ( published as With the Old Breed) when Sledge was at the battle of Pelieu in 1944. Although Sledge wrote a year later at Pelieu, it's not hard to imagine that this is was what the Japanese soldier...

read more

On the Eastern Front

For the ordinary German soldier, the horrific war on the Eastern Front was unlike its more "civilized" counterpart in the Western campaign. The seeds of anti-semitism, long present among "Aryan" Germans, were germinated and vastly amplified by Nazi propaganda, laws...

read more

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...

read more

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....

read more

▶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...

read more

IMAGES – WWII

Images often evoke powerful emotions of times past.  As a writer of history-inspired fiction, I create visual story boards of locations and characters from which I write scenes. On my Pinterest site, I have collected a number of photographs, drawings and posters...

read more

▶ 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.    

read more

Tokio Jokio

This 1943 Looney Tunes cartoon mocks an imagined Japanese documentary film. With Mel Blanc supplying all the voices, the film contains many silly stereotypes and racial insults typical of the era.      

read more

Dietrich Bonhöffer

Dietrich Bonhöffer (1906 –1945) was a German Lutheran theologian and founding member of the Confessing Church that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to permeate German Protestant churches with Nazi doctrine. An outstanding academic theologian,...

read more

Comments, contributions, corrections, and suggestions are always welcome:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *