The ticker tape and the confetti are raining down upon you and the countless other Americans who are celebrating the end of the second World War. As you look around Times Square in New York, you see the Uncle Sam poster that help draft many of the brave soldiers who fought. You also see the Rosie the Riveter poster that inspired so many women to go and work. You then turn and see a navy soldier kissing a nurse. You remember hearing about Old Balint / People Behind / 2 Glory being raised on Iwo Jima. This is one day that you will forever have engrained in your mind.
The posters of Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter, along with the hotos of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima and the Kissing on VJ Day have been remembered as some of the most famous artifacts from World War Il era. Ben Cosgrove, wrote in his Time article, “No conflict in recorded history transformed the globe as thoroughly as World War II. ” Most Americans will know these pictures by name, but not the history. These artifacts have helped preserve some of the key aspects of the war. With that in mind, I want to share the background and the history of these four artifacts that have shaped our country’s history.
Uncle Sam Poster The Uncle Sam poster is one of the most well known posters uring the World War Il era. This poster was placed all over the United States trying to attract young men to serve in our country’s military. The iconic “Uncle Sam” first came around during the War of 1812. Samuel Wilson, who was a meat deliver from Troy, New York, delivered meat in barrels to the fighting soldiers with the initials U. S. on them. The towns people and soldiers assumed the initials stood for “Uncle Sam. ” Samuel “Uncle Sam” Wilson soon became one of the United State’s symbols.
The person who is responsible for creating this well known poster is James Montgomery Flagg, who was an illustrator and n artist. Flagg posed for the poster and created it as a self- portrait. According to Natalie Elder, in her Smithsonian article, Flagg had originally intended the Balint / People Behind / 3 Uncle Sam portrait to be the cover of a newsweekly. The phrase “What Are You Doing for Prepardness? ” appeared on the cover of the newsweekly. However the phrase “I Want YOU for U. S. Army” was used on most of the recruiting posters used in the World War I and World War Il era.
Rosie the Riveter Poster The Rosie the Riveter poster, along with the Uncle Sam poster, is among the most well known poster used during World War II. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, this poster was used to symbolize the women’s workforce and for women’s independence. Since most men were drafted and recruited for the military, it was up to the wives, sisters, and girlfriends of the soldiers to take their spots in the factories. Women were originally taken from the working class, but as the war carried on it was evident that women from the middle-class were needed to work as well.
According to Heidi A. Strobel, in her American National Biography Online article, “the term “Rosie” was used to refer to all women who worked in defense industries and not just riveters. ” J. Howard Miller was the man who created the iconic poster Americans know today. When Miller created the poster, there was no set girl named Rosie it was aimed at. Miller used Geraldine Hoff Doyle as the model for the iconic poster without her knowledge. Geraldine was working in a Michigan factory as a metal presser when Miller took a photograph of her.
Miller than took the inspiration from the photograph to make the famous poster. The poster of Rosie was also used a symbol in the 1980s for the emerging feminist movement. Balint / People Behind / 4 Flag Raising on Iwo Jima Photo Iwo Jima is among the well known battles of World War II. The battle on Iwo Jima was among the bloodiest battles that took place. On February 23, 1945, six American soldiers raised Old Glory on Mount Suribachi, Japan. This picture is among the most famous war photographs taken. Four of the six men in the picture were Harold Schultz, John Bradley, Ira Hayes, and Rene Gagnon.
Photographer Joe Rosenthal got the iconic photograph when the flag was raised the second time by the six men. When the picture was first published the six men were nameless. According to Jim Michaels, in his USA Today article, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered that the Marines were given credit for their service. After World War II, Bradley, Hayes, and Gagnon went around the country on tour selling war bonds. James Bradley, the son of John Bradley, along with Ron Powers wrote the famous best-selling book Flag of our Fathers which was made into a movie in 2006.
Kissing on VJ Day Photo On August 14, 1945, America received news that the last Axis Power, Japan, finally surrendered. Americans across the entire United States celebrated the end of World War I. Soldiers, men, women, and children flocked the streets in New York City, New York upon hearing the news and this famous photograph was taken. A Navy soldier kissing a nurse would soon be one among he iconic photographs of World War II. But who exactly were the people in this ion photograph?
Balint / People Behind / 5 The Navy sailor is George Mendonsa, from Rhode Island, who was a Navy quartermaster during the war, and had just gotten back from the Philippines. Mendonsa said “My ship had seen a lot of action. We were sent back to the States until the Army could get strong enough [to attack]. ” He decided to take his soon-to-be-wife Rita Petry out to lunch and see a movie. The two never did get to see the end of the movie because the news of the Japanese surrender. George and Rita left Radio City Music Hall to join the throngs of people already gathered on the streets.
George thought he saw a nurse he knew from a few months before and ran towards her, leaving Rita behind. George grabbed the nurse and kissed her. But poor George had it all wrong. The girl who he thought was the nurse was actually Austrian native, Greta Zimmer, who was a dental assistant. Greta did not know what was happening until George grabbed her and was kissing her. The man responsible for capturing this moment in history was Alfred Eisentaedt. His picture of George kissing Greta would appear in LIFE Magazine and would show some of the elebration after the Japanese surrendered.
Greta said “It wasn’t that much of a kiss. “It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event. ” Little did Greta and George know that their picture would soon be one of the most iconic photos from Work War II. The stories behind these artifacts that have been captured for all time are an important part of our country’s history. “We still flinch at the scale of the suffering:” Ben Cosgrove says in his Time article. “And we marvel at the courage of the men and women whose unity of purpose kept the flame of hope alive in the darkest hours. “