On December 7, 1941 Japanese troops bombed Pearl Harbor this awoke the sleeping giant known as America. The next day December 8 America declared war on Japan and their allies. With the country eager to fight and scared for outcomes distractions and entertainment became a key factor to keep the soldiers and citizens sane. Many forms of entertainment include radio programs going to the movies and the United Service Organization.
At this time radio was the main form of news and entertainment because channels would air so many different things like music, sports, and talk shows. Listening increased during the war time. In 1945 there was nearly 10,000,000 radio licenses around the world (Imperial War Museums 2018). Shows range from the Informative Brain Trust to popular comedies such as It’s That Man Again (Imperial War Museums 2018). One very popular singer had her own show known as Sincerely Yours – Vera Lynn. Vera Lynn’s voice became recognized throughout troops and was known as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’. Radios today mainly only play music on the FM but on the AM you’ll find something you’d most likely hear back in the 40’s.
By the 1920s the theater became a very popular pastime and in the 1940s you can see a large change of the movie themes (filmsite.org 2018) films began to become very propaganda and comedic during the wartime. Popular films Include Which We Serve (1942) and Millions Like Us (1943) (filmsite.org 2019). Both these movies have similar themes of supporting your nation and propaganda for the war and to serve your country. Even Disney partook in comedic cartoons that made fun of leaders to make light of the subject and to degrade their characters (filmsite.org 2018).
Franklin D. Roosevelt brought together multiple organizations including, The Salvation Army, The Young Women’s Christian Association, The National Catholic Community Service, The National Travelers Aid Association, and the National Jewish Welfare Board. The organizations combined create the USO. The United Service Organization was established in 1941 (United Service Organizations 2018). The USO provided programs, services and live entertainment to the United States troops and their families. The USO was very important to the troops so they can escape from the hardships of war. The USO is still around today helping soldiers and providing them with goods and services.
Any range of entertainment from music and dancing to enjoying a sports game would help distract and provide ease to the citizens and soldiers. Without entertainment it would have been very hard to get through the war, let alone come out of it on top. Entertainment served as a reminder who the troops were fighting for, freedom home and safety.
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