On this day: American Civil War Propaganda

This poster was printed in Lexington, Kentucky on the 9th of October, 1862. Issued by Confederate supporter and politician Lt. James B. Clay, son of prominent politician Henry Clay, the poster urges the people of the state to resist the Union forces.

Source

Printed broadside issued by Henry Clay's son, Lt. James B. Clay, in which he makes a plea for Southern sympathizers to defend their homes from Yankee invasion. Lexington, Kentucky. 9 Oct

 

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On this day: the premiere of an anti-Nazi film

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You Nazty Spy!, the first Hollywood film made with an anti-Nazi sentiment, premiered on the 19th of January, 1940.

Featuring The Three Stooges, it satirised Nazi Germany at a time when Americans had still not entered the Second World War, and the country remained neutral.

Some American politicians, such as Burton Wheeler and Gerald Nye, were offended by the anti-Nazi sentiment in the production, seeing it as war propaganda.

Of course, their attitudes changed completely twenty-three months later, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Christmas Propaganda

As the Korean War entered its second year, and the second Christmas of the conflict came close, the Chinese government produced Christmas-themed propaganda leaflets to be spread amongst United Nations forces.

This leaflet is from 1951. It would be another year and a half before the war ended.

Whatever the colour, race or creed,

All plain folks are brothers indeed.

Both you and we want life and peace,

If you go home, the war will cease.

Demand Peace!

Stop the War!

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On this day: the birth of “Axis Sally”

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American woman Mildred Gillars, nicknamed “Axis Sally” for the prominent role she played broadcasting Nazi propaganda during World War Two, was born on the 29th of November, 1900.

Born in Maine, but moving to Ohio as a child, Gillars moved to Germany to study in 1934, and then later obtained work as an English teacher in Berlin.

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As a young actress in America in the 1920s. X

By 1940, she was working as an announcer for Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft: German State Radio.

Along with an Italian-American woman by the name of Rita Zucca, who performed the same work for Mussolini in Fascist Italy, she was dubbed “Axis Sally” for her anti-American propaganda that was broadcast to US troops once her home country joined the war.

Gillars’ broadcasts told stories of wives and sweethearts at home who cheated with other men while the troops were away, and spread defeatist propaganda to try and destroy American morale.

At the end of the war “Wanted” posters for Gillars were put up around Berlin. Once she was found and arrested in 1946 she was returned to the United States, where she was put on trial for treason.

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The New York Times announces that Mildred Gillars is to stand trial for treason. X

She was eventually convicted of treason for a broadcast titled Vision Of Invasion, and spent twelve years in prison before being released on parole.

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The FBI escorts Gillars to her trial in 1949. X

Gillars went on to live in a convent and work as a schoolteacher, before dying of cancer in 1988.

Her fellow “Sally”, Rita Zucca, spent nine months in an Italian prison, and – having given up her American citizenship – was barred from the United States.