American Propaganda in World War II

*Post written by Jake Knecht, student assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

World War II bond poster "Ours to Fight For; Freedom from Want", 1943. Bond poster is from the William Sonntag collection, MSS 286-001.

“Ours to Fight For; Freedom from Want”, 1943. Source: William Sonntag collection (MSS 286-001).

During World War II, the American government employed a very intensive propaganda campaign to sway the American public to purchase war bonds. War bonds were essentially loans that the government would receive from paying citizens so that they could fund war efforts. As many families had reduced household income due to having one or more men fighting in the war, the government knew that enticing the average American to spend money on war bonds could be a tough sell; they would need to get creative and persuade the public in such a way that they would want to purchase war bonds.

The government’s solution was to create various forms of propaganda in order to tug at the heartstrings of the families who had someone they loved in the war. The idea was to make everyone realize how much the men who were fighting had to sacrifice, and in so doing, make the public realize how relatively little a sacrifice the price of a war bond was for the greater good. War bonds were not only depicted as helping to fund the war; they were to fund freedom and the future of America. This message and vision was largely effective in convincing Americans to purchase war bonds during World War II.

World War II bond poster "Let's All Fight; Buy War Bonds", 1942. Source: William Sonntag collection (MSS 286-042).

World War II bond poster “Let’s All Fight; Buy War Bonds”, 1942. Source: William Sonntag collection (MSS 286-042).

Propaganda for war bonds came in many forms: radio broadcasts, comic books, sporting events, and celebrity appearances and endorsements. Perhaps the most influential form of war bond propaganda came in the form of posters. Posters were colorful, powerful, and ultimately more emotional than other forms of propaganda due to the simple yet effective means through which they conveyed their messages to viewers. They contain some of the more memorable images from the war because many of the posters were made to appeal to the emotions of the American public.

World War II bond poster "To Have and to Hold; Buy War Bonds", 1942. Source: William Sonntag collection (MSS 286-043).

World War II bond poster “To Have and to Hold; Buy War Bonds”, 1942. Source: William Sonntag collection (MSS 286-043).

War bond posters oftentimes depicted soldiers either in or preparing for precarious situations so that the viewer would think about the danger soldiers are placing themselves in and want to buy bonds to help support them. Other posters depicted family and children in order to show the public what they were really protecting by purchasing war bonds. If you are interested in viewing war bond posters, the University Archives and Special Collections has a variety of them available, in addition to other material from World War II.

 

 

 

 

References

Riddle, L. (2016 August 6). American prpaganda in World War II. Retrieved from https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/american-propaganda-world-war-ii.html

American women, World War II and propaganda (n.d.). Retrieved https://uki16.wordpress.com/war-bond-posters/

Posted in American history, British History, European History, history, Student Assistants, World War 2 | Leave a comment

Passing the Torch: Dr. David L. Rice

Dr. David L. Rice walking in front of the construction of the Science Center, 1969. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 00484.

Dr. David L. Rice walking in front of the construction of the Science Center, 1969. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 00484.

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Over fifty years, the University of Southern Indiana has been a beacon of light onto the city of Evansville since its conception in 1965. Three wonderful individuals guided the University into future. Those three individuals were Dr. David L. Rice, Dr. H. Ray Hoops, and Dr. Linda Bennett. In a special three part series, “Passing the Torch”, we honor the legacy of USI’s three presidents.

(Left to Right): Betty Rice and Dr. David L. Rice, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 08885.

(Left to Right): Betty Rice and Dr. David L. Rice, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 08885.

Long before the creation of Indiana State University-Evansville, David L. Rice began his academic career at Purdue University. From there, he received his bachelor, master, and doctor of philosophy degrees. He started at Ball State University, as a faculty member and director of research. He served with the Cooperative Education Research Laboratory and Bureau of Research at the U.S. Office of Education. In 1967, Indiana State University-Evansville, he became the dean to oversee the university. He would not become president of ISUE until 1971 (USI Web Services, 2018).

During his twenty-seven tenure, Dr. Rice oversaw the growth of ISUE, independence movement from Indiana State University as a separate institution, creation of numerous bachelor and master’s degrees and expansion the curriculum, and becoming a “public university accessible and affordable” (Office of the President, 2018; USI Web Services, 2018). Dr. Rice announced his retirement on March 3, 1993: Rolland Eckels stated, “David Rice is a classic example of the right person in the right place at the right time. He came in 1967 and very effectively acted as a shepherd to the embryonic campus. He has quietly and effectively done a superb job of familiarizing the legislature with the importance of USI to the educational development of Southern Indiana” (Anderson, 1993).

Left to Right: Dr. David L. Rice and Dr. H. Ray Hoops, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 26092.

(Left to Right): Dr. David L. Rice and Dr. H. Ray Hoops, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 26092.

Without Dr. Rice’s leadership in the early years of ISUE and the independence movement, USI would not be what it is today. During his tenure, the student body at ISUE/USI experienced a 707% increase, 922 students in 1967 to 7,443 students in 1994 (Office of the President, 2018). In 1994, the USI Board of Trustees announced a successor to Dr. Rice: H. Ray Hoops (Miller, 1994).

At the University Archives and Special Collections, we house the personal collection of the USI President’s collection (UA 001). For more information on the Rice presidency, check out the Rice Library Online Digital Collection and look through past editions of The Shield newspaper and other university publications.

References

Anderson, J. (1993, March 3). President Rice to announce retirement. The Shield, p. 1.

Miller, S. (1994, January 26), New president anxious to continue USI’s progress. The Shield, p. 1.

Office of the president, USI. (2018). Former presidents. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/president/former-presidents/

USI Web Services. (2018). USI presidents. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/about/history/usi-presidents/

Posted in Education, history, USI | Leave a comment

Remembering USI Leader, Byron Wright

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Headshot of Byron Wright, n.d. Source: University Photographs (UP 10227).

Headshot of Byron Wright, n.d. Source: University Photographs (UP 10227).

Throughout USI history, many men and women helped to shape, lead this prodigious university into the future, and created what we see today. This past week, we lost one of those leaders:  Bryon Wright.

Born in Matthews, Indiana, on September 25, 1929, Wright began his educational career at Ball State University. He graduated with his bachelors in education and master’s in business administration. Wright worked a school educator in his hometown and Muncie, Indiana until he started his academic career at Ball State (Browning genealogy database, 2018). Eventually, Wright would hear about a new university forming in Evansville, peaking his curiosity.

Wright recalls the moments leading up to interviewing and receiving his position at ISUE:

“The first time I heard about a new university in Evansville was Palm Sunday, April 11, 1965, while attending an Indiana Business Officers meeting at Notre Dame. […] At a reception that evening, the business officer of Evansville College (University of Evansville) told a group of us that Indiana State University was going to start a campus in Evansville. He also that this would possibly have a negative effect for Evansville College. I didn’t give this much though since I was worried about getting back to Muncie the next day. Then in the latter part of July 1967, a colleague at Ball State told me that he has placed my name in the hat for the position of business manager of the Evansville Campus of ISU. I still didn’t know much about the Evansville campus. Later, David Rice called asking if I would be interested. I then interviewed with Dave and later with Ken Moulton, vice president and treasurer of ISU in Terre Haute. […] I was employed to start at Evansville on September 1, 1967” (Wright, 2018).

Byron Wright giving Mary Lue Ruessler, secretary of Business Affairs, her certificate of appreciation, n.d. Source: University Photographs 02663.

Byron Wright giving Mary Lue Ruessler, secretary of Business Affairs, her certificate of appreciation, n.d. Source: University Photographs 02663.

During his tenure, Wright worked for the creation of USI’s independence from ISUE and served as Vice-President of Business Affairs until his retirement in 1995 (Evansville Courier and Press, 2018). In recognition of Wright’s work at USI, he is forever immortalized with the renaming of the administration building: Byron C. Wright Administration Building.

Reference

Browning genealogy database. (2018). Wright, Byron Courtney. Retrieved from http://browning.evpl.org/

Evansville Courier and Press (2018, April 30). Wright, Byron Courtney. Retrieved from http://obits.courierpress.com/obituaries/courierpress/obituary.aspx?n=byron-wright&pid=188870633&fhid=10665

Wright, B. (2018). More than one building. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/1965/memories/early-yrs.asp

Posted in history, USI | Leave a comment

Taking Care of Business: Keller-Crescent

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

U.S. Coast Guard cutters on Dress Plaza, approaching the city. Steamboat and barges beyond them. Identifiable buildings are Keller Crescent Printing & Engraving Co. at 24-28 SE Riverside Dr., Hotel McCurdy at 101-11 SE 1st St., and in front of the hotel, the Graham Motor Cars distributorship owned by Robert W. Baskett at 118 SE Riverside Drive, 1937. Source: Flood of 1937 collection (MSS 272-0765)

U.S. Coast Guard cutters on Dress Plaza near Keller Crescent Printing & Engraving Company on Riverside Drive during the 1937 flood. Source: Flood of 1937 collection (MSS 272-0765).

As we wrap up our blog series, “Taking Care of Business”, we examine the Keller Crescent Company. For a hundred and thirty years, Keller-Crescent served as an important employer to Evansville and the Tri-State region.

Keller-Crescent started in 1885 as Keller Printing in Evansville, Indiana: its’ founder, William H. Keller served during the American Civil War, with the Eighth Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Company G. He started as a sergeant and by the end of the war, Keller ranked as a first lieutenant (Smith, 2017; National Park Service, 2018). By 1906, Keller merged with Crescent Engraving and Printing Company, becoming Keller-Crescent (Smith, 2017).

Receipt for Judge P. Maier (1908) from the Keller-Crescent Printing and Engraving Company, 1908. Source: John Payne collection (MSS 299-7-31)

Receipt for Judge P. Maier (1908) from the Keller-Crescent Printing and Engraving Company, 1908. Source: John Payne collection (MSS 299-7-31).

As the company grew, their headquarters moved to downtown Evansville, at “… the corner of Riverside Drive and Locust Street” (Smith, 2017). They stayed at that location near thirty years until they moved to East Louisiana Street (Evans, 2015). During their tenure, Keller-Crescent was a top advertising and printing corporation in Indiana and in the United States. Keller-Crescent were bought out twice: by American Standard, in 1968, and by Clondalkin, in 2007; furthermore, they closed their doors in October 2015 (Evans, 2015).

On the Rice Library digital collection, inside of the Flood of 1937 collection, there are over thirty photographs of the old downtown Keller-Crescent headquarters during the 1937 flood.

References

Evans, Z. (2015). Former Keller Crescent facility to close, eliminating 150 jobs. Retrieved from http://archive.courierpress.com/business/local/former-keller-crescent-facility-to-close-eliminating-150-jobs-ep-1081236136-324568061.html/

National Park Service. (2018) Keller, William H.: Soldiers and sailors database. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=FB329AAE-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A

Smith, D. (2017). History lesson: Keller-Crescent Company. Retrieved from https://www.courierpress.com/story/life/columnists/2017/02/27/history-lesson-keller-crescent-company/98445762/

Posted in Evansville, Indiana, Indiana history, Natural Disasters, Photography | Leave a comment

My Adventures in the University Archives

*Post written by Mikayla Hanks, student assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Student assistant, Mikayla Hanks, creating the "Cool Old Stuff" sign for the archives department, 2018.

Student assistant, Mikayla Hanks, creating the “Cool Old Stuff” sign for the archives department, 2018.

Have you ever seen a real life copy of the Titanic Newspaper? Did you know that Archie has not always looked the way he does today? My name is Mikayla Hanks and I am a student worker in the University Archives and Special Collection (UASC). I have been a student worker in the Archives department for two years. During my time in the archives, my mind has been opened to numerous different parts of history that I was not aware of before. The Titanic Newspaper and Archie are just a glimpse into what I have experienced and learned in my time here. Being able to see a copy of the Titanic Newspaper after it sunk, in real life, is one astonishing thing to experience. I highly recommend if you want to see an unbelievable piece of history, stop into the archives and witness it for yourself.

Did you know that Archie has not always looked the way he does today? There have been many different Archie’s in the past. Each one being much different from the one before. His beak, his uniform, and even his muscles have changed. The UASC has some of the past Archie’s outfits and often puts them on display. So many different Archies at USI, who knew?

 

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One of my favorite experiences with the Archives department was being able to help with the displays and decorations for Arch Madness (Arch Madness is like March Madness, but with archive materials). During the promotion, I was able to use my art background and make displays that had images of each archive material that was on the bracket racing to the number one spot. Coming in to work, I was excited to see what archives won that day and what new pieces I was going to be able to recreate. One of my favorite pieces to recreate was the 1963 “Ultimate Frontier” painting from the Stelle Community Collection, which is located in the Communal room of the Archives. My experience working in the Archives changes each time I go in those doors, I learn something different, or I add knowledge to something I already knew. The USI Archives Department is full of countless wonders and treasures you never know what you will find or what is waiting to be explored.

Posted in Communal Studies, history, Student Assistants | Leave a comment