European war dominated national front-page headlines in 1939. But on the local front, a vanishing murderer, duck hunting season, and menacing grass fires trumped war-torn stories from overseas.... More
World War II Blog
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.?
Nearly a half-million books have been written about World War II, but they view the events in hindsight. Few histories give a sense of what Americans were experiencing in those uncertain times. With the outcome unknown, the war years were filled with doubts, challenges, fears, and hopes.
Wanting to recover the world they knew, I am starting this weekly blog coinciding with the war’s 75th anniversary. My goal will be to give a personal, real-time account of events, drawing on articles from each week’s issue as they appeared at the time in The Saturday Evening Post. By adding illustrations, advertising, and the occasional cartoon, I hope to give fresh insights into the challenges, and achievements, those Americans knew.
Great Britain welcomes a war hero who lost English favor after the First World War.... More
How an agreement between two dictators caused people to lose faith in Communism.... More
Milton Mayer, whose outspoken editorials would spur contention for the Post, was one of many students who believed the U.S. should stay out of Europe.... More
An off-color and offhanded remark about Japanese immigrants from a World War I veteran foreshadowed the internment of thousands of U.S. citizens.... More
A science fiction writer lays out a suspiciously accurate plan of how the Navy would fight Japan two years before the Attack on Pearl Harbor.... More
Why the U.S. turned down 20,000 immigrant children and how a senseless prejudice became a political tool in the hands of Japan and Italy in... More
Bavarians, bicycles, and beer. The real reasons Hitler and the National Socialist Movement weren’t scaring anyone.... More
With one-sixth the population of China, did Japan really think it could conquer 450 million people and control over 4 million square miles? ... More
Experience the takeover of Czechoslovakia, the first nation conquered by Hitler, through the eyes of 1939 reporters.... More
When I’m interviewed as the Post’s archives director, I often find myself addressing the misconception that the magazine was a newsmagazine. Actually, it was more... More
I’m interested in seeing how America’s media covers the 75th anniversary of World War II in the coming weeks. Or if they cover it. In... More