Edmund Dulac’s Fairy Tales Go to War

One of the best-known illustrators of the “golden age of children’s gift books,” Dulac was also a subtle purveyor of Allied propaganda during the Great War.
US infantrymen rest during their drive to follow armored units south from Normandy into Brittany, Villedieu, France. Some men sit and lean their rifles against a stone wall, while others lay on the ground, resting their heads on their backpacks.

Books on the Battlefield

During World War II, GIs battled boredom with novels provided by the Armed Service Division, raising questions about the “feminizing” effect of reading.
Royal Air Force bombers, 1938

The RAF on Speed: High-Flying or Flying High?

Drug use during World War II, especially by Nazis, was typically viewed as immoral. But what about when it was approved by leaders of the Royal Air Force?
A photograph of George Leslie Stout, Langdon Warner, and Japanese officials at Nishi Honganji temple in Kyoto, Japan, May 1946

The Other Monuments Men

The men and women who tracked down looted art after WWII didn’t just go after stuff stolen by the Nazis. They also searched for treasures stolen by the Japanese. Sort of.
Boy Scouts Pick Fruit For Jam at a Fruit-picking Camp Near Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, 1944

Skipping School for Harvest Camp

As more young adults joined the military or worked in wartime industries, England turned to children to fill the growing gap in agricultural labor.
The radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki City, as seen from 9.6 km away, in Koyagi-jima, Japan, August 9, 1945.

Hiding The Radiation of the Atomic Bombs

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. came with censorship and obfuscation about the effects of the radiation on those who were exposed.
Women form a human chain to carry bricks used in the reconstruction of Dresden, March 1946

Did Allied Bombs Destroy German Morale?

With men mostly absent, women and children dominated a small city called Darmstadt. Then "fire night" came.
Leading Kentucky hemp farmer Joe "Daddy Burt" Burton with a harvested hemp plant.

The Return of Hemp

Even though it's made from cannabis plants, you can't get high on hemp. But it was classified as an illicit drug for nearly 50 years.
An illustration from the cover of America's Best Comics #11, November 1944

The Propaganda of World War II Comic Books 

A government-funded group called the Writers' War Board got writers and illustrators to portray the United States positively—and its enemies as evil.
Group portrait of European refugees saved by the Emergency Rescue Committee on board the Paul-Lemerle, a converted cargo ship sailing from Marseilles to Martinique

The World War II Escape Route from France to Martinique

After the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, some refugees tried to make it out through the Caribbean.