The news coming out of World War II was often grim, but every once in a while, The Saturday Evening Post found a way to lighten the mood. This article from our June 19, 1943, issue shared the stories of animal mascots that were keeping soldiers company during the war. From Randolph Field’s bulldog, Boots, to the Las Vegas Army Gunnery School’s horned toad, Machine-Gun Pete (later renamed Petricia after some toad babies showed up), these companions found themselves stowing away on transports, jumping out of planes, and even occasionally earning a military promotion. Many of them (mostly dogs) brought the soldiers moments of joy and levity, and maybe something more. As the authors write, “Whatever the animal, it’s the fighting man’s symbol of home and the things he’s fighting for.”
What did the war look like to Americans in 1939? What were they thinking as they watched the spreading conflict in Europe and Asia grow ever closer to the U.S.? Archivist Jeff Nilsson’s World War II blog offers a personal, real-time account of the events surrounding the war, drawing on articles as they appeared at the time in The Saturday Evening Post.
The News of the Week can be read every Friday. Bob Sassone rounds up the week's news in pop culture, books, food, technology, health, and current events, looks back at important moments in history, and gives a preview of upcoming holidays and events.