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Montana Museum of Art & Culture

WWII Propaganda Poster

Stamps, Winner R. Hoe & Co. Award -
National War Poster competition, ca. 1943, 
approximately 22 x 34 inches

WWII Propaganda Posters

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We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression-everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.     -President Franklin D. Roosevelt 

President Roosevelt addressed Congress on January 6, 1941, delivering the historic "Four Freedoms" speech at a time when Western Europe lay under Nazi domination.  Roosevelt presented a vision in which the American ideals of individual liberties were extended throughout the world and alerted Congress to the necessity of war.  The means in which the government communicated these messages to citizens took a variety of forms, including strategic media initiatives.  A series of posters were developed which reflected war time attitudes, depicted national symbols, appealed to patriotism, espoused freedom, recognized the contribution of women to the war effort and entreated citizens to conserve resources.  These posters often made a direct, emotional appeal, playing on the public's fear of the enemy and reports of Nazi atrocities to enrage or activate the public. The posters were central to fundraising efforts for Liberty Bonds & Stamps in WWI and for War Bonds & Stamps in WWII, with seven national drives as well as for the Red Cross and Community (War) Chest.

This collection consists largely of World War II-era posters which were collected and preserved by The University of Montana as they were issued by U.S. government agencies. 

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