hitler invaded Poland September 1, 1939. Despite Britain's declaration of war on September 3, America chose to remain out of the war. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941 America declared war on the following day. The period of time between September 3, 1939 and December 8, 1941 is known as the prewar period or the period of American isolationism. WWI was fresh in the minds of Americans who were called to arms a short 30 years earlier. Many Americans felt the previous war as well as WWII should be fought by the Europeans. There were many neutrality movements in the prewar period. One example was the America First Committee. It was formed to promote neutrality i.e. to keep the U.S. out of war. Lots of great items stem from these neutrality organizations.
By early 1940 Britain was suffering tremendous civilian hardship as a result of standing mostly alone against nazi aggression. Major food and supply shortages abounded. Some Americans formed aid organizations for Britain. Bundles for Britain (BFB) was one such organization dedicated to providing much needed nonmilitary relief to British civilians. There are a good number of BFB collectibles available as well as for other relief groups like the British War Relief Organization.
This prewar period is a truly fascinating area to collect. It is politically charged and deeply rooted in history. It is a relatively narrow grouping as there were not the tremendous numbers of items produced like Remember Pearl Harbor items. These collectibles are challenging to comeby. Fortunately these items are not expensive in general, yet an extensive Pre-War collection is a valuable gem indeed.
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