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Other World War II Resources and Web Sites

This World War I poster stirred up strong emotions for many Americans. It is part of an Oregon State Archives Web exhibit that provides valuable context for study of World War II.

This World War I poster stirred up strong emotions for many Americans. It is part of an Oregon State Archives Web exhibit that provides valuable context for study of World War II. This and other posters were produced by the Committee on Public Information, which commonly portrayed Germans as bloodthirsty animals in an effort to spur enlistment or other goals. (Image courtesy University of Texas at Austin)

More Ways to Learn About the Home Front
The following resources include Web exhibits, searchable image databases, collections of Web links, and descriptions of selected films that relate in some way to the home front. It also includes a PDF document that provides an extensive bibliography of scholarly works about the American home front during World War II.

Oregon State Archives Web exhibits
The following Web exhibits shed more light on Oregon before and during World War II:

delta World War I and the Oregon Experience - Compare and contrast home front experiences during the two world wars.
delta A 1940 Journey Across Oregon - Get a taste of Oregon life in 1940 on the eve of World War II by traveling from the Idaho border to Astoria.
delta A 1940 Oregon Coast Tour - Experience life on the beach in 1940 on the eve of World War II by traveling the entire coast from Astoria to Brookings.
delta Pearl Harbor Remembered - Explore how the attack on Pearl Harbor affected Oregonians.

 

Web sites with significant sets of home front images
A number of images from the following Web sites were used in this exhibit. Collectively, they offer an excellent visual record of home front life in the United States:

delta National Archives - Search for home front photographs in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC).
delta Library of Congress - Search or browse the extensive collection of photographs from World War II.
delta Northwestern University Library - Search and view over 300 posters issued by federal agencies during World War II.
delta Salem Public Library - Search or browse photographs in the Oregon Historical Photographs Collection from a number of collections including the Salem Public Library, Marion County Historical Society, and the Oregon State Archives.
delta Fighters on the Farm Front - Learn more about Oregon's Emergency Farm Labor Service in this exhibit from Oregon State University.

 

Other selected Web exhibits and link collections
The following Web exhibits and collections of links provide more perspective on the home front and the larger war:

delta Oregon at War - Watch videos of Oregonians describing their World War II experiences on both the home front and the battle fronts- from Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Experience.
delta The War: A Ken Burns Film - Gain a deeper view of the war through the lives of people in four American towns - from the Public Broadcasting Service.
delta The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color - See color images of home front and battlefield life - from the Public Broadcasting Service.
delta Veterans History Project - Learn about what it was like to serve in the military in World War II with audio and video - from the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.
delta Voices of World War II: Experiences From the Front and at Home - Listen to speeches, music, reports, and other audio resources related to World War II - from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.
delta From the Home Front and the Front Lines - See diaries, photographs, and other resources documenting both sides of the war - from the Library of Congress.
delta World War II Web Resources - Explore a full range of resources about various aspects of the global war - from the Multnomah County Library.

 

Laurel and Hardy contributed to the home front cause as air raid wardens in a 1943 comedy film. (Image courtesy Amazon.com)

Laurel and Hardy contributed to the home front cause as air raid wardens in a 1943 comedy film. (Image courtesy Amazon.com)

Films about the home front
The following comedic and dramatic films give a contemporary taste of home front live from the viewpoint of the Hollywood studios:

delta Air Raid Wardens (1943 -Directed by Edward Sedgwick) - Comic actors Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are turned down when they try to enlist in the military. They decide to do the next best thing and become air raid wardens.
delta Hail the Conquering Hero (1944 -Directed by Preston Sturges) - A man is discharged from the Marines for a hay fever condition before seeing any action. Feeling like a failure, he is talked into passing himself off in his home town as a wounded war hero. The story careens out of control and comedy follows.
delta The House on 92nd Street (1945 -Directed by Henry Hathaway) - A Nazi espionage ring operates on the American home front on the trail of the Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb.
delta The Best Years of Our Lives (1946 -Directed by William Wyler) - Three World War II veterans return home to small town America to discover that both they and their families have changed.

 

A recommended publication about the home front
delta World War II and the American Home Front - (4.8 MB PDF-178 pages) Study home front life in this informative publication that includes discussions of mobilization, family life, the working class, and minorities. The publication also includes extensive bibliographic references on pages 174 to 178 - from the National Park Service.

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An Oregon State Archives Exhibit - Copyright © 2008