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World War II propaganda posters raised spirits, women’s wrath

This is one of hundreds of propaganda posters designed to raise morale and reinforce defense themes during World War II. Many were colorful and attractive, undertaken by name-brand artists. But this one caused a stir. Background posts: “Little Johnny” helped win the war, The bomb: ‘And yet it helped win the war’, and Katharine Beecher made candy in World War II.

Propaganda posters appeared in York County and across America in high-traffic areas during World War II – schools, factories, offices and store windows.
As I stated in my history of York County in World War II, “In the thick of the fight,” these posters reminded Americans why they were fighting and what the fight was for.
The posters were designed to raise morale. But this particular poster “Wanted! For Murder,” raised a ruckus… .

A common theme was to warn people how loose talk at home could cost lives overseas.
A National Archives exhibit stated that use of the female model in this “Wanted!” poster drew a protest from a Hawaii resident:
“American women who are knitting, rolling bandages, working long hours at war jobs and then carrying on with ‘women’s work’ at home – in short, taking over the countless drab duties to which no salary and no glory are attached, resent these unwarranted and presumptuous accusations which have no basis in fact, but from the time-worn gags of newspaper funny men.”
– For numerous additional posts on York County links to World War II, visit this blog’s World War II category.
– For additional posts on York County women’s history, click here.

Other posts of interest linked to York County women in World War II:
‘Her words helped win the war.’
Nurses and their work appear again and again in York County’s past.
Pioneering aviator Aline Rhonie another York native who made U.S. headlines.
York County WWII nurse: ‘You know, it was the biggest war ever, and they needed nurses’.
21st-century Victory Gardens might morph into Stimulus Gardens.
World War II pilot from York County, Pa.: ‘Female pioneers … inspire generations of young women to achieve the impossible’.
York County native and World War II WASP pilot Mary Reineberg Buchard wins national honor.