Vocabulary:
Mass Media: communication designed to reach a wide audience

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Success in the war effort required complete dedication of our nation's resources- which included the mass media! Back then, mass media included official publications of the government (like posters), radio, newspapers, magazines and movies.
Extra Links:
Here is some more information on the Office of War Information!

More Notes:
The government "encouraged cooperation" by insisting on strict censorship. Entertainment industries, like the factories who manufactured war supplies, saw their role as an important one. They needed to keep the country focused on the war in a positive way- to support the policies and keep the effort positive. They kept up the morale at home, which was a driving force for the men fighting overseas!

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Extra Links:
Here's a page that gives more insight to movie propaganda.

Vocabulary:
censorship: government regulation of information that is made available to the public

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Generally speaking, our government typically prefers to allow freedom of speech. It is a foundation of a democracy, and promotes insight and reform. BUT NOT IN TIMES OF WAR!

Any information could be used by the enemy against us or our troops. A casual comment to the wrong person could cause our boys to DIE. Take a careful look at the posters above- the sailors pictured lost lives due to carelessness. Images like these reminded Americans that we should accept censorship as part of the plan to win the war!
Extra Links:
Here is a deeper look at American censorship during World War 2.

More Notes:
Here are some more disturbing posters published by the War Department. It seems that being paranoid was a "good thing" for the war effort - posters like these encouraged Americans to keep quiet and not ask questions. War is a dangerous test to our liberties!

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"United We Win"- can you figure out what the War Department is advocating in that poster? They are actually trying to fight the prejudices once FDR integrated the war production factories- we get the image that we must work together, black and white, in order to win.

Americans at home were encouraged to work hard and support the rationing programs. In this way, people on the home front would be doing their important part in winning the war. We were regularly reminded of the sacrifices our soldiers were making, so doing our part seemed better!

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Extra Links:
Here are some more posters from the Office of War Information.

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"Men Working Together" shows a factory worker with a soldier and a sailor- indicating that all three are equally important and doing the same job. In the lower posters, notice the ways women could help out- either at a factory or even doing domestic duties!

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Movies became increasingly popular in the 1930's as a way to escape the realities of a hard life. Massive audiences could be reached!

During the war, new movies were strictly scrutinized by the War Department. They were to send a positive message with an inspirational theme. Newsreels gave us a glimpse of what was going on overseas, and these stayed positive. There were even Hollywood movies made about the war as it was going on! Naturally, the good guys (that's us), always won...

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"Hollywood at War" gives more insight to how motion pictures were used to facilitate patriotism!

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We were bombarded with positive propaganda- to support our troops and to destroy the enemy. It was the "duty" of Hollywood to be sure that the war stayed popular, to convince the public that the sacrifice was worth it, and that the enemy was hated and destroyed.

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"The Battle Ground on Film"

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This was the last time the United States officially declared war. It was also the last time that freedom of speech was so severely curtailed.

It is interesting to suppose, if the government did not continue such strict control over the media, would the war have been so popular? Most anti-war arguments were suppressed, which greatly helped the cause.
In our future "wars" (Korea, Vietnam and Iraq), we found less government censorship and more freedom of speech. As you learn about those conflicts, keep in mind that as the public gains more information, it questions government actions.

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Extra Links:
Here's a site that has tons of links to other pages where you can learn more about propaganda during World War 2.
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