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tv   Lectures in History American Cartoons in World War II  CSPAN  August 28, 2019 8:00pm-9:26pm EDT

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see, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. a lot has changed 40 years, but it is more relevant than others. ever. c-span is your unfiltered view of governments you can make up your own mind. american history tv continues now with a look at american cartoons during world war ii and how they supported and influenced the war effort, by encouraging children to recycle paper and by savings bond and stamps. this is about 90 minutes. we are going to look at today, a place where the real world comes together with the cartoon and comic world. that is why the title of today's class is songs and
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taxes, american cartoons and comics during world war ii. i can remember, from my days in tokyo chapel school, where our pastor gave us a sermon that has stuck with me ever since. the lesson of it drove from two- part. to separate to biblical text, one is from second kings if you're interested, chapter 4, where the private elisha, not elijah but elisha, has him bringing 20 rolls of barley and he has to feed 100 men. and his servant asked him, how are we gonna do that? we only have 20 rolls of barley. the prophet says, give them to the men, that they may eat, for that as of the lord they should
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eat and have some rest. so he said it before them in the eight, and they had some left, just as the lord told them, there's an incident from the new testament where, jesus is confronted with a crowd of people 5000, how will we feed all these people? one of his disciples says here's a young bully, with five barley loaves and two fish. not a lot. it could take like six months of pay to feed the crowd of 5000. jesus said, bring it up. he gave things to it, and the whole crowd was fed and there was more than enough. i remember, my pastor saying, it does not matter how little
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you are, you can be a little guy, and i was a little guy, you can be a child, boy, girl, it does not matter, when there is a need, if you bring your little bit however little bit you might have, god will use that to meet the need to. he was trying to tell us, it did not matter, how little we had. if we use it safely and faithfully for a righteous cause it will help a big need to be met. i have been thinking about that lesson, for a long time as i've been contemplating what are we gonna talk about, in terms of world war ii and paying for world war ii. in the days of world war ii the need was indeed great. franklin roosevelt as president
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made a number of speeches to the american people and the freaks weeks right after the attack in pearl harbor and one thing he impressed in the american people, was that everybody, rich, poor, old, young, did not matter had a role to pay play a very important one. in getting this monumental job done of paying for the war, and winning the war. i'm giving you an expert of his state of the union address from 1942. just a few sentences that will encapsulate what he was talking about here. and how he was urging all americans to do their little bit. fdr came before congress, and the american people on that occasion, and he said, war, cost money. so far, we have hardly even begun to pay for it.
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we have devoted only 15% of our national income to national defense. as it will appear in my budget message tomorrow. our war program for the coming fiscal year, will cost $56 billion. or, in other words more than half of the estimated annual, national income. that means taxes, and bonds, and bonds and taxes. it means cutting luxuries, and other nonessentials. in a word, it means an all out war, by individual effort, and family effort, in a united country. now, when he was talking about individual effort, and family
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effort he was talking about kids as well. family effort met even if you were over here, on the home front, and your loved ones were fighting overseas over there as the popular song went, there was still work, that you could do to help to defeat the enemy. everybody, both young and old and no matter how much you have or don't have, had a very important role to play. in the united states war effort. roosevelt wanted to make a very, very sure that everybody was clear about that. early in that new year of 1942, united states treasury is already going to work, trying
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to figure out how to get american to help pay for the war. was about talked about taxes, and bonds, and bonds, and texas. we know what taxes are right? it's when the government compels you, to pay certain part of your income, to meet the cost of government doing what it has to do. but what are bonds? a bond is a i owe you, write that down and i owe you, it's a statement that the united states government owes you money . basically what uncle sam was doing was saying, we will have people pay as taxes to pay for this thing, but, we will also have to go into debt to pay for this thing.
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now, a show of hands, how many people have some sort of united states savings on to? bonds? >> company people have been given something like that for a birthday or graduation or something of that kind? right? it is a very, very interesting looking piece of paper that is not a toy. you open the 20 -- the car the, it's a very official looking piece of paper and what your parents may have to explain is that it is a u.s. savings bonds, which means, you keep it, you don't do anything with it for a while, but in a few years you will be able to cash it, and get money so you can pay for your education, this, that important things is an
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investment in the future, by having uncle sam go into debt to you. okay? that is a savings bond. with united states treasury, decided to do, was to initiate a savings bond program specifically for the purpose of collecting money for the war effort. okay, how much? well, you can get a united states savings bond at that time for as low in the amount as $18.75. if you gave united states government $18.75 and that hale want to buy a bond, and you waited several years for that want to mature, it would give you back, $25. is not a bad deal home? # home?ã
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you get $25 back years later but the slow lending uncle sam money, to win the war. i don't know about you, but what if you're a little kid in 1942? a little kid with his hands in his pockets and one thing that i have in his pockets as $18.75. because remember 1942, they're just coming out of the great depression. so, am i out of this great state in the u.s. government says no, you can buy something called united states savings stamps. united states savings stamps? yes, this is what you would do, you get yourself a little green book like this. in that little green book, you would place every time you would go and buy u.s. savings
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stamps, what are you talking about stamps i'm talking about stamps like this. you could get these they would sell these over-the-counter at banks, and other institutions, it's like okay, all i have, is $.10 it's not much and they say that's okay it's enough, because for 10 tends watch this , for $.10, you can go ahead and buy one usa being defense stamps. okay? how does that help? >>it helps because you get this little green book, your stamp book you put the stamp, right in here, maybe you have another stamp 80s to get there, these stamps, watch these stamps are various denominations some of them are $.10 on the dollar, some of them $.50 and you get
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them, get them, get them and you fill the book full, when it comes up to $18.75, you walk over to the place with that $18.75 you can buy yourself a war bond. those of you that are math experts, are going what? it's gonna take you a lot of time to buy enough savings stamps for $18.75. that is why the stamps came in various denominations larger than that a dollar, five dollars and like that. but, what if you are strictly at $.10 kind of person? what it did was, and we will see, the cost of a comic book:and was $.10. action comics number one, superman, it has at $.10 price
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sticker on it. is worth a whole lot more now. but $.10 then. if you only have $.10, this is what you do, you might spend one dime on a comic book, maybe another dime on something like a cookie or ice cream and then another dime, you would spend on this. what you did, is you had friends , i bought superman for $.10, you may have bought batman. you may not wonder woman. what we would do, is swap and trade. see? what's happening even on a level of a little kid and his friends are her friends is that, it encourages kids not to spend every dime they have. but, but some of them away. into u.s. defense saving stamps. what this stage, among the
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merits of the u.s. savings bonds program, was it curb inflation. because it's happening, is that when people are not spending all the money they have, it puts a cap on inflation. world war ii was inflationary time, and it revoked the deflationary program of the great depression. so it's one thing to have a little bit of inflation to get over the great depression but you don't want to much in the way to do that is to encourage americans to keep the money in their pocket. or save it this book, and other books like it. they represented you putting money away, lending it to uncle
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sam to help when the war, you're not spending it on stuff. that, over time curbs inflation among kids, and asking adults to do the same thing. there would be payroll savings where, you don't get your complete paycheck, you are part of that paycheck goal for war bonds and things like that. so, that is what the war bonds and the stamps program is about. that is what it is about. so when you say defense by bonds and stamps that is what it is about if you are not rich enough to buy a full bond for $18.75, then go collect stamps $.10 apiece, a dollar piece of five dollars apiece, until you save enough to buy a bond. okay, everybody clear on what the defense bonds and stamp program was about? and how whether you are rich, poor, adult or little kid, you
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could participate. of course, the government did not hesitate to say you are doing your part, you may have a brother, an uncle, parent, overseas fighting, you can do a little bit for them. your little bits, is able to help in this great endeavor. that is where the cartoons come in. u.s. government was very smart, they said we have to get top taxes and bonds and bonds in taxes and they went to walt disney. they said walt, we need your help to get americans to pay their taxes. walt disney was thinking of americans don't pay their taxes, put them in jail what is the problem? they said mister disney, yes but
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what is is very informal. we cannot arrest and jail the whole country! if we are going to just rely on fear and intimidation, it will not work. we cannot jail every last person in the country. we have to get people to want to pay their taxes. that will be tough, nobody likes paying taxes. and walt disney is nodding and stuff. and now this is what they wanted well to do, but the character are called mister taxpayer and we want that and walt said no, no, no i'm not creating a new character. >> they said no? >> he said no, we already have the perfect character for you. donald duck. >> donald duck? >> listen folks he said the
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disney studios like any other studio. we are giving you one of our star actors right now. just look at it that way. because if cantankerous donald duck can pay his taxes than anyone can. remember in previous weeks we looked at the history of animation, we saw some animated cartoons of donald duck and we saw how cantankerous he could be. we saw how he was made in part on the cantankerous secretary of the interior, how icky. and donald can pay his taxes, anybody can pay their taxes. so that what we will do, is i will show you a bit of a clip of a cartoon that walt disney, created, involving donald duck persuading him and persuading the american people to pay their taxes. i want to show you how it's done. how did they do that? how do they work into the
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argument? okay. >> there he is, new spirit in america. >> the spirit of a free people, united again in a common cause to stamp tierney from the earth. our shores have been attacked. your own country is mobilizing for civil war. your country needs you >>okay! >> are you a patriotic american? >> yesá! >>you do your part? >> yes sir! >> then there is something important you can do. >> oh boy oh boy oh boy! >> you won't get a medal for doing it. >> that is okay. >> it will be a vital help to your country. >>i'll do anything. >> can i tell you what it is? >>yes what is it? tell me! >> town value?
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>>tell me! tell me! >>income tax? >> yes your income tax. >> it may not seem important to you, but it is important. >> it is? >> yes and it is your privilege, not just your duty but your privilege, to help your government by paying your taxes, and paying it promptly. >>oh! what's the big hurry? >> what is a big hurry? your country is at war, your country needs taxes for guns, taxes for ships, taxes for democracy, taxes to beat the access. >> oh boy! victory! >> that's the spirit. >> yes sir! >> now how about your income tax? >> okay give me a minute. >>so, how about everybody attacked the issue of paying
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your income tax with that much enthusiasm? and early tax payments went up after the release of that cartoon. and it worked. and walt disney made sequels to it with donald duck. paying his taxes and the catchphrase you heard was taxes to beat the axes. the rest of that cartoon will show, it pays for planes, tanks, cannons and guns and all those implements of war. the thing you're not crazy about doing, is vital to this great enterprise. fighting and winning the war. so for taxes, how about bonds? other studios got involved as well. i want to show you, a bugs bunny cartoon in which he sings a popular song i want to caution you, even as we are
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involved in this grant enterprise, to fight the axes power and the totalitarian and the racism that they represented, the united states could still not raise itself entirely above it own racism in that time. all show you why, bugs bunny will perform blackface. after popular performer out jewels then who sing a song called my mammy in the 1927 ground wrecking talking feature the jazz singer. the film that signaled the end of the same era and the beginning of the talking era. for one bugs bunny does that blackface impression he's imitating a specific performer. he saying, uncle sammy instead of mammy but the racism is inexcusable. it's why you do not see this cartoon too much, and is one of the very few cartoons, with money that uses this offensive form of humor.
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>>[ music ] >> the tall man with a hi hat, and was: his chin, will soon be knocking at your door, and he ought to be and, the tall man with hi hat, will be coming down your way, it'll even out when they shalt bring bonds today come on and stamp folks come on folks. any bonds today, bonds of freedom is that what i'm selling it's bond today, scrape out the most you can, here comes the freedom man to buy
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your share of freedom today. bond stands today, in the usa, sammy my uncle sammy, here comes the freedom man, to buy a share freedom today! sam, by a bond today. >> look at that. i want you to seize your attention on the image here. for the defense by the united states saving bond, and stamps. u.s. treasury this is a minuteman soldier, this is from the revolutionary war days. they said, you know we have to impress upon you some people that this world war ii that we are involved in now, is just as important a fight for freedom is independent as a revolutionary war in 1776.
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if you want to be in that grand tradition of the patriots of 1776 when you have to do your part for defense and by united states saving bonds and stamps. this was a very prevalent symbol , around the country. advertising the need, to buy savings bonds and stamps here it even made its way, into the first issue of wonder woman's own magazine. this is a panel, from a story of the end of the story of one of the adventures wonder woman have in wonder woman number one. and wonder woman said, when you see these minutemen posters, boys and girls remember, he's talking to you. so yes the superheroes that we have been sending, a number of
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days in this class researching the origins of, and getting the background of, they too are joining in this effort. i will tell you something. it is not as if the comic book company was just well, let's slap that in there. no, there was cooperation with the u.s. government because the back cover, the back cover of wonder woman number one, was dedicated, to the boys and girls of america from the secretary of the treasury himself. a special message to the boys and girls of america from henry morgan powell junior. secretary of the treasury. you see the letterhead here the secretary of the treasury in washington. boys and girls of america, here
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is a way for everyone of you to help your country. every time you buy a saving stamp, you are helping uncle sam to pay for a part of a gun, plane, or ship. with your fathers, brothers, or uncles, they are using it for the defense of the country. if every one of you, 40 million boys and girls, would buy at least one $.10 saving stamp every week, you would be lending your uncle sam, $200 million every year. think, of all the guns, planes, and ships he could buy with that. remember, you can help to keep them flying, by buying a defense stamp every week. sincerely, henry junior. is a minuteman symbol again, right on here it says this is
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donated by the publishers of the magazine. in the interest of national defense and victory. okay? it costs of course the company was dc comics, they had some levels to his organization at the time, was the there was the national comics wing that gave the superman, batman aquaman, and green air arrow and then there was the all-american comic wings that give us wonder woman, the flash, blue lantern, a number of other heroes. but the two companies were very interrelated. they were very close. and, these are the publishers that said, let's donate the back cover, of the first issue of wonder woman's own magazine she appeared of course an all- star comics number eight, and then her first cover appearance sensation was comics number one 1942, they said she is such a runaway hit we will give her her own magazine.
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first edition of her own magazine, they are donating space to tell every boy and girl in america to buy defense savings want and stamps. this is serious stuff. this is serious stuff. is serious, because, beyond enjoying the adventures of wonder woman there is really something you can do to be a hero! let's look at a few other covers. now here, we have worlds finest comics. you will notice a few things. number eight winter issue a superman dc publication, right? you have superman, and batman and robin, handing out things that kind of look like these
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books these little, green box. and, these pages of stamps. that is what they are doing they are handing these out. but, what are superman and batman and robin doing? why are they doing this? what are they doing this under the sign of? we said there's racism in a bugs bunny cartoon, they are underneath the big sign that says sink the japanese with pond and stamps. when you start taking the names of people's nationality and making fun out of them you're kind of dipping into racism as well. you think sometimes how would you feel if you happen to have been an american of japanese descent and he really wanted to help, and you really like superman comics and batman comics and he really wanted to
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buy those bonds and stamps, by like one of the people on this cover you're walking up there and that's the sign they have? imagine if you are a kid in the real world? and that is what they are saying on the cover? no. it tells you a bit about what was acceptable back then. you see on the left of this cover, you have lot, and lots of kids. batman, robin, superman are holding out handing out these booklets. in the state. but, unfortunately they are also handing out morsels of racism. one shiny example i don't think so.
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here's an issue of action comics this is a magazine that introduced superman in the first place. this one is number 58. worlds largest selling comic magazine and the reason why it is, is who is depicted here in the corner of superman. it is superman, is in the middle the big printing press. this huge big press more importantly, the basements of dc comics or something in this organization are you have these huge gigantic presses and they are printing out pages, and pages and pages like a factory. so, this is depicting superman, strong enough to run the presses by himself, and what notices he running out? superman says, you can stop a jackpot -- j ap with war bonds
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and stamps and as you can see in this cover there is a number of copies of that brochure that superman is printing out. it's not just a one-shot deal. >>i want to show you since we are in action comics a couple of three-dimensional examples. i have a copy here of action comics number 50. the 50th issue of action comics worlds largest selling one superman is saving minors and what an ipa disappear? as if you look at the lower left-hand corner, it has a small picture of superman walking in between two
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servicemen. it says, superman says, by defense stamps, helped national defense. so even if it was not the main part of the cover, the message would still be put someplace on the cover. you know what hit people, the young audiences effectively because these messages were placed on the cover of the world's largest selling comic magazine. this one here, back the attack with war bonds was another famous one. it didn't involve, but characters but it was the famous phrase:the attack has it rhymed. and we will take a look at captain america. it says i want you to buy war bonds now and we will get to him in a bit. i wanted to show you or tell you a little personal story that filled or sowed the seeds and how i got interested in the stuff. because of me years ago when i
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was a little kid, it was my 10th birthday. my 10th birthday, i got a retrospective book of batman and robin story. i was excited. i stand corrected this will show you how much of a geek i am. my cousin got me the batman encyclopedia the christmas before. it was my aunt who got me the retrospective book of that man on my 10th birthday i am sorry. so by the time i was 10 years old i got these two big batman books, i'm reading them and i'm studying them and everything. one of the books had a whole gallery of batman covers from the 1940s. and he's punching the joker and the pain when any dealing with catwoman, and he has a first batman cover and then he had the first robin cover, all
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those things, all those characters that i liked reading about and then in the middle of it was discovered. batman and robin, seem to be interrupting their adventures to sit on top of a giant bird. what is going on here? are not fighting the pink when? it's not about the pink win. what is this all about? and what are they saying here. there's a few planes if you look at the back. is batman and robin, they have their fingers up in the v for victory sinuses keep the american eagle flying, buy war bonds and stamps. >> okay that sounds good keep the american eagle flying yes, but what is a war bond? and why buy a stamp? all i knew about stamps was the little things you put on the top of the envelope, when you
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are writing your thank you notes to your cousin and aunt for giving you this wonderful batman book. that's what i knew about a stamp. in the context of the war and i knew this was from the wartime period, i had to find out what is a war bond? what is a stamp in this context? and why did batman and robin interrupt their adventures, this is not the joker or paying when her to face her catwoman. to sit on top of a big bird, and tell their readers to do that? in order to keep the american eagle flying. it is because of this. is because the need is great. the need is great and even if you're a little kid and you just have a little bit, you can do something to help. if you don't have enough to buy a bond you can buy one of the
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little tent set tabs, for the cost of a comic book. instead of buying batman and superman, just by batman, and then use the other dime to buy a defense savings stamp. keep the american eagle flying. i said wow, that's heavy stuff of batman and robin, well. they're getting involved in the war! in the war effort. there other ways as well. remember roosevelt key expert i read for you said, it also means cutting luxuries. and other nonessentials. sacrifice. doing without an order to further a greater cause. and what the kids of america were asked to do to the costumes and comic books was not just to spare an extra dime for war bond and stamps, it was to buy the stamps of the goodbye war bond, they were also asked to do without other
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things. like paper, let's take a look. like paper. here's a cover, were superman, batman and robin are pushing a huge truck failed, filled with paper. what is a sign that robin is carrying? it says. fight paperweight and hang one on the paper hanger of berlin. what they are doing is taking a dig at hitler personal biography. hitler had been or done a number of things before he became a dictator he was, a wannabe artist, he was a house painter, he would also hang the paper. for various places. so, anything the government or cartoonist could used, to make a verbal job at hitler, and also promote, the war effort,
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they would do it. that is where you are getting this phrase of hang one on the paper hanger of berlin. the thing is, fight paperweight's now, americans don't waste how to we waste paper? well back then, before tv you got your news to the newspaper. you got a lot of your female -- famous comics from as well like the tracy little orphan annie and superman's adventures as well what you do after the next day? you heard that phrase yesterday's news? and this is where i get the line from its yesterday's newspaper what you do with it? you throw it out? not so fast. paper is used for a lot of things. you can use that wastepaper, to help the war effort. inside this very, look at the
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they're going to show a young person in gotham city how. >>this is a one-shot, one page story that makes the case for saving paper. and it starts like this. paper, paper everywhere. with rich to stop the faux. paper, paper everywhere, and none to waste that comes from the rime of the ancient samuel coleridge. water, water everywhere. how many people heard that poem? okay, read that poem. this is a nice, little pond on
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that poem. okay what's happening in gotham city? it says it's a busy day for alfred, butler extraordinaire to boost bruce wayne, alias batman and robin. a kid, grayson comes up to alford and says, hey alfred, where you going up all that junk? and alford is a replying junk? these are weapons of war my boy. the weapons of warm the kid says what? alford says, this is no jesting matter if you don't believe me, just tag along and see. and they walk off, they walk a block or two. they happen to come upon his employer batman and robin who are collecting stacks of paper from kids in the neighborhood and they're throwing them in a truck. the kid is saying batman and robin, what are they collecting all that wastepaper four. and alford replies, because we have a paper shortage, due to
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lack of manpower, and cutting need tinder, used in paper production. does everyone have that? lack of manpower, because they been dropped off to fight the war see don't have people to cut down the trees, and we don't have people to cut down the trees you have less trees being turned into paper, see you have less paper, that equals a paper shortage. okay? then the kid says paper shortage? you mean, we might not be able to read our favorite comic magazines? he's bringing it home here really good. and alford says you gotta hand it to alford. he knows just how to say it right oh, but by salvaging all this wastepaper, we provide a substitute. and we will have sufficient supplies for both
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civilians, and military purposes. and the kid replies, military? there you go again, what does paper have to do with war weapons? and alford says, it's used to make parachute, wingtips, and other military objects. containers for shells, commie rations, and various other essential supplies are made from paper as well. the kid didn't know that. and alford says everybody can help. they can help bite using paper sparingly. and by collecting waste paper, you can sell it to a dealer, or a charitable organization like the red cross, or to your school.
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and the kid says okay, let me help right now. he takes a big pile out of alford's hands, and he carries himself. alford is very impressed he says i seem to have been very persuasive, and the kid says don't worry alfred, i will collect plenty of paper myself from now on. and help bob hitler on the nose. do you see how this one page story, draws a connection? it draws a quick connection between turning in wastepaper and bopping hitler in the nose. the emperor of japan at the time they got this thing into punching hitler in the nose and will get to that a little bit. i want to show you a few other people into this. take a look at this one. number six. here we have wonder woman again.
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pushing the express wagon and she is accompanied by her friend the golden age 1940s version of green lantern, and the flash. how many people, have seen the latest live-action/tv show? okay. that/with the hat we used to call him the flash with the head when we were kids. he was the flash of the golden age the 1940s. always used to wonder, how can he run so fast without losing his hat! especially on a windy day with the wind generated by him running so fast. but he could do it. because he's the flash. do you see? and with green lantern practice i was wondered with all the different colors in his costume, the purple cape, the redshirt, the red and yellow
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boots why does he call himself the green lantern? he could have picked a whole bunch of different colors. while the ring was green and the lantern was green. okay. like superman and batman and robin, will wonder woman kept her basic appearance that she still recognizable. to people who might not recognize the other two. you notice the three superheroes are leading a crowd of kids, i will zoom in and out at the same time. notice they have a crowd of kids and they're all doing what? they are all carrying big stacks of paper. and, wonder woman is pushing a wagon filled with big stacks of paper. so she has is wagon and all this papers tied up. the sign over here drive the point home and says world
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production, urgently needs wastepaper. they are not very subtle about it. this tells you something else as well. it tells you, why comics from the world war ii period are so rare and scarce and if you have a mint condition copy of a golden age 1940 comic book, you can sell it for a lot of money. it is not so much the age of the comic book, is part of it but the scarcity. because as one writer put it the kids reading these comics back in world war ii days were so good and so faithful about turning their wastepaper and after they finish reading them. so many of those comics were destroyed. see? that is why the comics were so scarce because they were destroyed by the kid to finish reading it, shared with your
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friends now they took it and put it in one of these bundles and turned it into the government so they can use it the fair wastepaper. everybody see that? i remember, in 1989, batman movie, and all the batman hoopla that came out of that. i remember a lot of people got into their heads if they started saving those comics from 1989, 1991, that they too could make a lot of money in 20 years. and it didn't quite pan out that way. you know why? because we were not doing this anymore. probably if you buy a comic now, and save it, it will probably not be the next action number one. or the next detective comic number 27 or even the next amazing fantasy number 15 which introduces spiderman. remember we say detective 27 was the first appearance of batman.
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it is probably not going to be that. you can see that if you want, you never know. if people count on that they will be very disappointed. are so valuable, if you have a good or mint condition copy is because so many of them were destroyed in the paper drive. okay, does everybody see that? they were sacrificed to a larger purpose. i, sometimes, i was born in queens and grew up in queens, manhattan. one of the things i loved was looking at things from the 1939- 1940 world's fair. that seemed to be so cool. and, i wish they would have kept the trial on, which was the big pyramid and the big globe. i wish they hadn't have melted it down, so i could see it. do you know why the melted it
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down?, for a bigger purpose. it was melted down for war materials. the same with these old comic books. they were destroyed for a bigger purpose, because it was a generation of kids and their parents who said, whatever little bit i have, even if i have two sacrifice, i am going to give that up for the bigger purpose. we have a war to win. if we don't fight this war, there may not be a future. for people to look back from. this is more than just the funny books. this is really serious stuff. okay, we have talked a lot about dc. let's get more into marvel. we did talk about marvel the last couple of classes. marvels first two big
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characters were the submariner and the human torch. incidentally, the title, submariner was borrowed in part from that poem i told you about before the rhyme of the ancient mariner, water water everywhere, not enough to drink. fire and water, and they would fight. their first big superstar character, the one that really put them on a map in the way they had quite been before was of course, captain america. we have talked about captain america as the symbol of fighting the axis even in the time before the united states officially entered world war ii. how many people have seen captain america, the first avenger? okay. which is good, because i am going to show you a little excerpt of it. and, i am not going to feel so bad that i can't show you more of it right now. because, most of you have seen
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it. i want to draw your attention to one particular part. just before he goes out in what he considers -- the fellow said listen bonds buy bullets and bullets kill . and he draws that connection. and when he goes out there with that shield and he is reading all of his lines, he is talking about the connection between buying a bond and helping your loved one overseas. this is a representation, i would say of the real-life struggle that the captain america comic magazine was helping to wage. okay? let's show the excerpt. then, i will show you a couple of other comics.>> you buy
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bonds, and bonds buy bullets. and bullets kill . not all of us can drive a tank, but there is always a way we can fight. series ee bonds, each one is a bullet in the barrel of your bond. >> weight, what poster are they posing in front of?>> that
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one.>> that is right. this is a takeoff of the famous uncle sam poster that says, i want you. that was done during world war i and was used again very effectively during world war ii. but, here captain america is saying i want you to buy war bonds now. many of you have seen this movie, and you know that as part of his war bond drama, his part of the routine i will say. he wasn't dancing in it, but it was the act. there is a guy who portrays hitler. and, at the appropriate moment captain america turns around and punches hitler in the phase. if you look at it closely, inspires a cover of a comic
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book. this comic book. captain america number 1. now, this is the actual real captain america number 1. it came out long before the attack on pearl harbor, and we talked about in class that joe simon, jack kirby, the people who produced what would later be called the marvel comics line of comics. they had a number of names back in the day. timely, atlas, etc., etc. they said, you know we are trying to make a statement against the isolation. let's just make our separate american peace with hitler, so he will leave us alone. we don't need to get involved in the world. let's just leave hitler alone and he will leave us alone.
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the poster said, when did hitler ever leave anybody alone if he had a chance to invade them? no, we need a hero that will express the need to fight hitler. there was a concern, because hitler was a dictator that might get killed at any time. that by the time this comic book hits the stands, that hitler might already be dead. and, they felt that might not be the worst outcome. let's put the comic out anyway, whether he is alive or dead by the time hits the stands. but, if you look at the captain america movie again, there is a lot of comics of hitler being punched in the phase. with the move did was put hitler in a fictional situation. that explains why this image became so popular. in action comics number 1, he really does lift up a carton stack it against the cliff. but, in captain america is that
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not true that he couldn't get that close to hitler? because, the war would already be over with. what they did was say, this is a representational cover and the moviemakers came up with a real reason that inspired him. does everybody see that? let's look a bit at captain america cover. which in and of themselves were pieces of propaganda. you see, when you went to the newsstand to buy comics, the cover was so important because it is the first thing that i. and captain america comic was a masterpiece of propaganda. and he likes punching the enemy in the face. case in point, captain america number 13, the first captain america issue that came out after the attack on pearl
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harbor. he is punching a japanese warlord and saying, you started it. now, we will finish it. and you notice on the top left- hand corner, it says all out for america issue. there is a special urgency, because now we are at war. let's open this comic and see what it says on the first page. by the way, down here it says, remember pearl harbor. which is kind of hard to forget at the moment, when this comic was published.let's open up the cover and let's look at the first page. i will zoom in here. captain america, new,
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different, exciting. number 13, who is the editor? stan lee. i told you that mark goodman was ahead of marvel comics or the company that would become marvel comics. and, a distant relative of his who was just a kid at the time comes to marvel, he is hired to basically be a gofor. and what is a gofor? go for this , for that. suite the floor, refill the ink, little rinky-dink jobs like that. the guy got paid. and overtime, as simon and kirby moved on to other things and other features, and as other people working at marvel were drafted into the army, stan lee becomes the only guy left in the office. sometimes, working for a small
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company can help you out if you are the only guy left in the office, because at that very young age, guess what? he is the editor. stan lee would later say, it was supposed to be temporary while everybody else was at the world. it turns out the temporary job i had for 30 years. let's look at this page a little more. what is at the center of the page right in between captain america and bucky? what is this in the center? that minuteman image for defense, buy united states saving bonds and steps. it is right there front and center. and, bucky is even saluting it. there is something else here, too. way down here on page 57, after you have finished reading the adventures of captain america and bucky, we have a character called the secret stamp. meet america's newest hero, as
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a young united states defense agent in the first of many thriller minutes and two adventures. how many people here have heard of the secret stamp? i didn't think so. i hadn't heard about the secret stamp before i got into comics. who is the secret stamp? why are they not going to make a movie about him? the secret stamp is a kid on a bicycle who puts on a mask and has a cape and he sells or bonds and stamps. but, he got the government attention. let's turn to page 57 of this comic book. let me zoom in. there he is. there is the kid, the bicycle,
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and what is that button he has? it says, official u.s. defense agent. but, what is interesting about this last page about the secret stamp is that the last page, in addition to the big minuteman image here is also dedicated front and center to a letter to stan lee from the united states treasury department on december 2, 1941. that is a week before pearl harbor. and let us see what it says. mr. stan lee, editor captain america comics, 330 west 32nd street, new york, new york.
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dear mr. lee, we welcome the opportunity of congratulating you on the page roddick thought behind your new adventure comic strip, ronnie holt, u.s. defense agent. remember, ronnie cole is the civilian identity of the secret stamp. you can't forget that. we like the idea very much. and believe such a strip will be effective in connection with the plan promoted by newspaper publishers now reaching national proportion, to sell defense saving stamps through approximately 500,000 loyal, young american newsboys from maine to california. sincerely yours, director defense saving stamps, treasuring department, washington, dc. holy cow. this guy got the government attention. take the opportunity to buy
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some of these. these are on kindle and ibooks. you can get a lot of golden age comics for just one dollar just by reading these. it is not sad, the secret stamp. he is a kid who is mad when bullies knock over a bicycle and take all of the defense stamps for themselves. what does he do? he puts on a mask and a cape, and he gets on his bicycle and he goes after them. he even gets the time at some point in the plot to call the police. i am always concerned about this kind of thing. it is like, you can't just put on a mask and cape and get on your bicycle and go after?. the guys could be dangerous. but, the message got through, that selling u.s. saving bonds and stamps was an important thing and you were working with and for your government when you did it. and that somebody who tries to rob and steal them, really was
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a crook. not just against the person he stole it from, but against the government. and the point got through. apparently, the point got through very, very well. because, with each passing year, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, americans kept buying bonds. there were different loans. the second war loan, then the third war loan, and the fourth war loan, etc. it was called the mighty seventh war loan. the idea was, and this may shock you, that if you begin to see good news in the newspaper about the war, this is not the time to sit back and say, okay, it is over. i won't buy so many defense stamps. they didn't want you to do
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that. they didn't want you to do that at all. they wanted to make sure that people kept it up. i am going to play the song, sung by the legendary bing crosby about how, in the latter days of the war americans were still urged to keep it up. keep it up. all right. i am going to turn this up. people are very fond of my colorful speakers. i am going to turn it way up. i hope it doesn't blow anyone's hearing away. it shouldn't. but, the song comes under the title, buy, buy, buy bonds, which is pretty easy to remember.>> for after all, all right here we go.>> buy, buy,
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buy a bond. and by-and-by the bond will bring you victory. buy, buy, buy a bond. and you will be standing by the victory arch when johnny comes marching home again. so, you will need no request. for after all, you know that you are investing in the rest. until the lads come back again, buy, buy, buy bonds. this is no time to say you have done enough. this is the time to really do your stuff. and even if you can't be a soldier in the ranks, you can be the guy that helps to buy the guns and planes and tanks. this is the time for you to do your best. this is no time for you to take
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a rest. the enemy is reeling, and his morale is low. and now is the time to fall in line and deal the final blow. eye, buy, buy a bond. and by-and-by the bond you buy will bring us victory. buy, buy, buy a bond and you will be standing by the victory arch when johnny comes marching home again, oh you should be not needing a request, for after all you know that you are investing in the best. until the lads come back again, back to attack again, buy, buy, buy bonds.>> do you think the message got through? oh yes, oh yes. buy, buy, buy bonds. keep buying them and do not think that just because the war
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seems to be going our way that you can slack off. actually, after the war was won, and that hard-fought victory was achieved, the united states treasury department continued to advertise u.s. savings bonds and stamps as a way to finance your education, to finance a home, to finance civilian things you wanted as an important way to save money. as of 2012, you can't go to a bank or other over-the-counter institution, as they say to buy bonds. but, you can buy them at the u.s. treasury's online website, treasury now, people have been asking, why aren't u.s. savings bonds and things of that nature is popular now as they were back
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in the days of world war ii? one of the reasons is that for some of the bonds, you are not getting any interest. it is zero or 0.3%. it doesn't seem like it is going to give you much anymore. not like when we were talking about and you put an $18.75 and you get back $25. you are not having that so much. some people are nostalgic, where you don't have that physical thing anymore. i mean you can print out and you can go online and buy the bond and you can print something out and stick that in your nieces or nephews birthday card. but, it just doesn't seem the same. the government has been saying that by discontinuing the paper bonds, we are saving a lot of money regarding the cost of printing the paper bonds.
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so, that is a thought. but, some of the romance is gone. some of the romance is gone. and, some people, particularly and i can't identify with this, of a generation that grew up before there were computers and before everything was online, they might find online buying bonds a bit cumbersome, as one reporter put it. it is not as easy as just walking up to a place and maybe some celebrity might be there to give you one of these books and give you a set of stamps. it is not like that anymore. it is kind of impersonal. but, the big reason is that people don't see it as much of an investment. i want to ask you this, after i do this i am going to open it up for the questions. dr. taylor, we are more interested in a's than cues.
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i get that. that is all right. the question is, does our government need money today? yes or no? yes. so, why don't we have bond campaigns like we have been talking about over today's class for other purposes? healthcare, what else? to lower the deficit? there are places where you can contribute money to the government to lower the deficit. sure, you can do that. come on, where are the celebrities where are the comic characters, where are the comic characters? where are the songs about buying bonds? where are people saying, whatever you can give, it will help? i am saying, whatever the economic conditions that may or may not make u.s. savings bonds as attractive to americans on
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the street as they used to be, what about that idea of connecting a great cause to an individual's purchasing of savings bonds and stamps? what happened to that? couldn't we do that again? and, if so, what causes? i would like to open it up for the questions with a microphone, if anybody has any ideas. just wait for the mic, you have to wait for that microphone. would anybody like to take a crack at, why don't we do this anymore? this could be fun. go for it.>> is it possibly because there isn't as much patriotism with it? while we are still fighting in iraq and afghanistan, there isn't as much of a greater threat, as there was back in world war ii with the and the
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japanese .>> i don't know. i think people would argue that the threat levels are just as high in our post-9/11 world. but, you are not the first person to think about what is happening to patriotism. what is happening to the patriotism?>> would it be something about how paying money towards the government is somehow viewed as a socialist effort that people are now completely turned off from? >> it has to do with what do americans think about various terms like socialism and capitalism? and all of the other isms? is it not good anymore to pay money to the government? i want to throw in a related question on this for you to think about. are americans more gung about paying taxes today then in
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1943? what about that? what about getting a cartoon out there to help americans feel better about paying their taxes? okay, wait for the microphone.>> i was going to say, society is different and people are more selfish today. >> people are more selfish today. >> yes, they are not willing to do those type of things anymore. it is a different era. i think that is why. >> that is sad. >> but, it is a reality.>> why are people more selfish? what do you think? it is all about me? i mean, aren't there plenty of things to get excited about in terms of helping others? what happened to that? okay.>> is it because there is
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a lack of trust towards our government, that they will take our money and do the right thing with it?>> now, this is something you have hit upon. in the wake of vietnam and watergate there is the idea that the government may not always be as trustworthy with the people. they may not tell the entire truth and you might not be able to trust everything you hear from the reporters. there was an aura around the presidency during world war ii. that is part of it, that there is a mistrust of government. but, maybe that mistrust is against the american interest when it comes to not being a part of bond drives and savings drives. is there a way to rebuild that trust? what do you think? what do you think? hey, i am taking my aquaman break. or, my submariner break.
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i should be part partisan. one character here, one character there. one company here, one company there. one has to be bipartisan. okay, but the one thing that both dc and marvel and all the other cartoon and comic companies had in common, was that when something like world war ii came up they all pitched in to help all joking aside on that, they all pitched in to help.but, is there a great cause? when was the last time you picked up a comic book or saw a cartoon that talked about a cause in the real world? the real world, two syllables. is it all just escapism now? back then, did you notice something? it was escapism, but also relevance. a relevance that said, when you finish reading this comic, and
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all your friends finish it give it to the government to help the war effort. do you want to hit hitler on the nose? help captain america do that, buy u.s. savings bonds and stamps. what happened? think about it. think about it. >> a large distrust was built after the events of watergate. i know that, because i remember when i took the presidency course with you. when abraham lincoln said something, no one questioned it. like, i mean somebody is going to have to question it now and
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again. but the masses believed in their president.>> you are saying there was an understanding. >> yes, there was an understanding. like, they are trying to help us. that was the mentality. but, like vietnam and watergate, as time went on, do you know what i mean? there was a split between the people and the government. i think that is why people right now, if you ask any young person that doesn't know more than just a decent amount of history. but they might not be in history classes and they might not want to be affiliated with politics, the majority of people say they don't know what is going on. like, they just don't want to hear about it. they don't want to hear what is going on in the government. because, in the eyes of the masses, the government doesn't care. they are out just for personal
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gain. and when they do this, that is it.>> whatever happened to the superhero approach? that the government was a hero? whatever happened to that?>> i feel like nowadays people have a distaste for helping the government, because they don't really want to help a government they don't agree with.>> so, the government seems to need to get the image of being a hero again. how do we do that? how do we do that?>> isn't there an issue now that we would never be able to get away with publishing a superhero punching another leader in the face? that, we would do that now as poking the bear, rather than as
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a nationalist or nationalism pushing forward of something. instead, it is dangerous almost and we are more likely to make fun of a crisis then at about it. >> that is going to be part of it. and, when we look at what happened to comics in the rest of world war ii and in the future, because we are getting towards the end of our class today. i want you to think about something. how did the image of the government change, and much more how did the image of the superhero change, and the idea that comic books were good for kids in the first place? what happened to that idea as we move out of the 40s and into the 50s? we will be looking at a lot of different issues that we explored today as the calendar moves from one year to another and one decade to another. but, we will have to pick that
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up time. so, i will see you then. we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on c-span three. lectures in history, american artifacts, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency, and special event coverage about our nations history. enjoy american history tv now, and every weekend on c-span three. >> weeknights this month we are featuring history programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on c-span. this week we take you into college classrooms around the country. on thursday, grams on drugs in u.s. history.
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including one examining marijuana regulation in america. see american history tv thursday at 8 pm easter and every saturday and sunday on cspan3. >> labor day weekend on american history tv, saturday at 8 pm eastern, on lectures and history, a discussion about abraham lincoln and native americans. sunday, at 4 pm, on real america, the 1950 army film invasion of southern france. and monday, labor day at 8 pm eastern the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of virginia's first general assembly. held at jamestown. explore our nation's past on american history tv every weekend. >> sunday night on q&a, university of pennsylvania law school professor amy wax on free expression on college
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campuses and the conflict surrounding an opinion piece she co-authored in the philadelphia inquirer. >> i think this is what ruffled a lot of people and not all cultures are alike. we were trying to tout this code of behavior as being one that was particularly functional and suited to our current technological democratic capitalistic society and comparing it to other cultures which are not as functional. and, we gave some examples. that immediately caused a firestorm. >> sunday night at 8 pm eastern on c-span's q&a. to back up next on american history tvs lectures and history series, a discussion on military vehicle innovations and the role of american factories during world war ii. we look at the types of amphibious vehicles used in the pacific and the process of testing, production, and battle applications. this is just over


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