The National Archives Powers of Persuasion
Poster Art from WW II
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Introduction

About this Exhibit

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Part 1

Man the Guns!

It`s a Woman`s War Too!

United We Win

Use it Up, Wear it Out

Four Freedoms

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Part 2

Warning! Our Homes
Are in Danger Now!

This is Nazi Brutality

He`s Watching You

He Knew the Meaning
of Sacrifice

Stamp `Em Out!

Four Freedoms

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-- everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.
--President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress, January 6, 1941

President Roosevelt was a gifted communicator. On January 6, 1941, he addressed Congress, delivering the historic "Four Freedoms" speech. At a time when Western Europe lay under Nazi domination, Roosevelt presented a vision in which the American ideals of individual liberties were extended throughout the world. Alerting Congress and the nation to the necessity of war, Roosevelt articulated the ideological aims of the conflict. Eloquently, he appealed to Americans` most profound beliefs about freedom.

The speech so inspired illustrator Norman Rockwell that he created a series of paintings on the "Four Freedoms" theme. In the series, he translated abstract concepts of freedom into four scenes of everyday American life. Although the Government initially rejected Rockwell`s offer to create paintings on the "Four Freedoms" theme, the images were publicly circulated when The Saturday Evening Post, one of the nation`s most popular magazines, commissioned and reproduced the paintings. After winning public approval, the paintings served as the centerpiece of a massive U.S. war bond drive and were put into service to help explain the war`s aims.

You can hear this excerpt from President Roosevelt`s address (920K WAV File).  [Download WAV]    Text

Save Freedom of Speech
By Norman Rockwell
©1943 SEPS: The Curtis Publishing Co., Agent

Printed by the Government
Printing Office
for the Office of War Information
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-208-PMP-44)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Save Freedom of Speech--Buy War Bonds
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Save Freedom of Worship
By Norman Rockwell
©1943 SEPS: The Curtis Publishing Co., Agent

Printed by the Government
Printing Office
for the Office of War Information
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-208-PMP-43)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Save Freedom of Worship--Buy War Bonds
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Ours...to fight for--
Freedom From Want

By Norman Rockwell
©1943 SEPS: The Curtis Publishing Co., Agent

Printed by the Government
Printing Office
for the Office of War Information
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-208-PMP-45)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Ours...to fight for--Freedom From Want
Horizontal Rule

Ours...to fight for--
Freedom From Fear

By Norman Rockwell
©1943 SEPS: The Curtis Publishing Co., Agent

Printed by the Government
Printing Office
for the Office of War Information
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-208-PMP-46)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

  Poster Ours...to fight for--Freedom From Fear

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