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Susan Talbot-Stanaway – WWI Posters: For the Hearts and Minds of Ordinary People
April 26 @ 11:30 am
Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s re-election campaign song in 1916 was entitled, “Elect Wilson, He Kept Us out of War.” However, on April 6, 1917, at Wilson’s urging, the United States Congress declared war against Germany. Only a few hours later, one of Wilson’s most energetic campaign backers, George Creel, urged Wilson to develop means to engage the war on the home front through “expression, not suppression.” The objectives were to unify people of all ages and backgrounds, including millions of immigrants, to motivate young men to enlist and women to abandon their traditional roles and become war workers. From the point of view of Ohio history, this presentation will describe the posters as works of art and propaganda, the artists who created them, how posters established new American heroes and heroines, and their lasting importance in national history.