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Collecting World War II Homefront memorabilia is like collecting history. Each item tells a story. As the dramatic events of World War II unfolded, items were produced that reflected that moment in history. As you will see after taking this tour, the history of World War II can be told by carefully grouping and talking about each collectible. To separate an item from it's historical context is to deprive a collection of it's meaning; of it's soul...

When hitler annexed the Sudetenland and then invaded Poland in September of 1939, it became clear that European World War II had begun. Not long after, Paris fell and with it France into the treacherous hands of the Third Reich.

American citizens became concerned that America would once again be pulled into a European war just as it had some 25 years earlier. Citizens began to exert pressure on government officials to adopt an isolationist policy. It was felt that the United States should remain neutral. Letting the Europeans slug it out was the mindset. During this time interval, 1939-1941, many items were produced that reflect this desire to remain neutral. So many in fact, there are collectors that specialize in this area alone.

Americans wore their sentiments on their clothes...

and on their cars...

Meanwhile, Britain battled Nazi tyranny alone and their civilians suffered. An aid organization was created in the United States to help aid the British civilians. It was called Bundles For Britain. Some collectors specialize in Bundles for Britain items...

Graphic coming soon!

But these years of American isolationism did not last. The Japanese Imperialists attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet moored in shallow Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7th, 1941. Headlines blared the news of the attack across the nation...

An emergency session of Congress was called. In his address to the Congress, President Roosevelt professed that a state of war has existed between the United States and Japan and uttered the immortal words, "December 7th, 1941... A date which will live in infamy"...

The headlines brought the grim news. War had been declared against the Imperialist Empire of Japan...

And "Remember Pearl Harbor" became the American battle cry...

The rallying cry could be seen on American letters...

On American clothes...

And heard in the popular music of the day...

Once news spread of the attack, thousands of Americans lined up outside enlistment stations to join in the fight...

As thousands stood in line ready to answer their country's call to arms, the American War Machine's gears were engaged and began to roll. This stage of the war called mobilization was undertaken on an unprecedented scale. The architects of the American War Machine realized early on that there was more to "fighting strength" than manpower and materiel. That to sustain fighting strength for an indefinite period of time, civilians would need to be fully mobilized as well. In effect, a "homefront" would need to be created. First, civilians would need to be put to work. An Army without materiel is ineffective. Mobilization of a civilian workforce was paramount...

Although women were not thought of as major players in the civilian workforce in the 1940's, men were off fighting overseas and hence a large contingent of the homefront work force needed to be women. They were actively sought...

and sought...

Rosie the riveter, who generically represented civilian women working in the factories, became an American icon and later cornerstone of the Women's movement...

A civilian workforce integrally involved in the production of material is not without its problems. Military secrets are easily leaked. Thus a control of information was crucial to prevent vital secrets from reaching the enemy...

The U.S. Government saturated civilians with fear that hitler's spies were everywhere...

Not only was there concern about the work force disseminating vital information on materiel production to spies, information received from the family members and friends on the fighting fronts was also a danger. If information about ship and troop movements were to fall into the wrong hands and were pieced together by the enemy, lives and operations could be placed in jeopardy...

Some of the most famous sayings of the era were spawned from this anti-espionage campaign...

Civilians were warned...

and warned...

and warned...


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