What did you do, today ... for freedom?
The time was the nineteen-forties, the place was the world. The men came from Idaho, Vermont, Kansas, Oregon and every other state and territory in the U.S.A.
A concept called "patriotism" was suddenly popular with the press. A lot of other "isms" had been represented in national movements up to this era. Progressivism (what you call socialism) had thrived for years in our universities, and in the salons of the elite in places like New York City. Communists and fascists (no real difference) had meetings where the effects of capitalism were denounced in favor of government control of all industry, and Robin Hood redistributionism was trumpeted.
Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and shocked a nation into sanity.
American artists stopped celebrating Stalin and Marx for a while. They turned to a different celebration -- one having to do with the sons of their neighbors. Even the ones in New York City, if you can believe it. And, even the ones in Portland, Oregon. Yes, there was a time when Portland, Oregon wasn't a hotbed of soft-headed Progressive philosophy. I was a kid, then. I remember Civil War Veterans in the Portland Rose Parade, and these posters. (LL)
Thanks to Bill and Char for sending along these glorious images. We'll run some more next Month.
Original text © 2010 Oregon Magazine