Soldier and puppy, France, circa 1944.
It’s obviously “Old photos of men holding puppies" week.
Why should you cast your vote for Executive Order 9981 to be displayed first?
More than one million African American men—and thousands of African American women—served in the U.S. military in segregated units across the globe during World War II.
President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order (EO) 9981 on July 26, 1948.
The Executive Order stated that it was “essential that there be maintained in the armed service of the United States the highest standards of democracy.” These standards included “equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”
Read more about what led President Truman—grandchild of slave owners—to sign this order on the Prologue blog.
Image: “Seeking to rescue a Marine who was drowning in the surf at Iwo Jima, this sextet of Negro soldiers narrowly missed death themselves when their amphibian truck was swamped by heavy seas. From left to right, back row, they are T/5 L. C. Carter, Jr., Private John Bonner, Jr., Staff Sergeant Charles R. Johnson. Standing, from left to right, are T/5 A. B. Randle, T/5 Homer H. Gaines, and Private Willie Tellie”, 03/11/1945
Image: Pages one and two of EO 9981
Image: President Harry S. Truman (front row, fifth from right) and Secretary of the Army Frank Pace (front row, fourth from right) with members of the integrated 82nd Airborne in the Rose Garden behind the White House in February, 1951. (Truman Presidential Library, 63-1162-05)
For many, photographs from World War 2 have been seen only in grainy black and white. But new colour images have emerged that show the full horror of the destruction inflicted by Nazi bombers during “The Blitz” in London. The capital sustained 76 continuous nights of attacks, from September 1940 to May 1941, which obliterated more than one million homes killed about 40,000 people The powerful images were released to mark the 70th anniversary of the launch of Winston Churchill’s ‘V for Victory’ campaign on July 19, 1941.
WWII produced a massive archive of photographs from the front lines, but back at home, a whole other world was developing to support the troops.
The New York Historical Society has a new exhibition of rare photographs from NYC during the war. These never before seen photos are up at Nolan Park on Governors Island until September 2, 2013.
Dean Putney inherited a vast archive of over 1000 prints his great-grandfather captured in WWI. On top of that, what makes the find truly special is that many of the original negatives are in pristine condition.
Dean is crowd-funding a project to print a high-quality photo book using the preserved negatives.
Thanks Willa Koerner!
In 1941, the U.S. began to form a hand-picked army to fight in Europe. What made it different is that its troops were composed of artists, designers, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army. Their props were inflatable tanks and pyrotechnics; their tools camouflage, “spoof” radio plays, special effects, and sonic deception. Their last “disappearing act” was to vanish from history. Officially they were designated as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the first and last battlefield deception outfit ever authorized by the U.S. Army.
August 29, 1944. A girl of the resistance movement is a member of a patrol to rout out the Germans snipers still left in areas in Paris, France. The girl had killed two Germans in the Paris Fighting two days previously.
Operation Pied Piper
Operation Pied Piper began on 1st September 1939. In the next four days, two million children, some aged just 2 or 3, left major cities by train. Luggage labels tied around their necks gave their names – all they carried were their gas masks, a change of clothes and a stamped addressed envelope to send to their parents to tell them where they’d ended up.
Here is a map of the likely path my grandfather’s tank battalion, as part of the 20th Armored Division, took during World War 2. The order of the cities visited is based on the dates listed on the 20th Armored Division’s Wikipedia page, with additions made for battles that only the 27th Tank Battalion was involved in (Munich and Dachau). Of course, Google Maps follows modern roads, so their actual path was certainly a bit different.
This summer, I hope to visit a library a little over two hours away from me to read this book (although it’s in my network of libraries, it’s marked for library use only) and hopefully learn more!