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Remember Dec 7th!

Date: 1942
Overall: 708 x 560 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00017810
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    The December 1941 surprise Japanese attack of Pearl Harbour was a significant shock to the the United States. This World War II poster depicting the attack shows a tattered American flag flying at half-staff surounded by black smoke clouds. The poster was designed to encourage recruitment and support for the war effort.
    SignificanceThis is typical of how propaganda posters used tragic events like Pearl Harbour to appeal to public emotions. The American flag was also a common tool for generating patriotism.
    HistoryAmerica officially entered the arena of World War II on 7 December 1941 after the Japanese attacked the Hawaiian base of Pearl Harbour, leaving American armed forces significantly weakened. The 8am morning raid resulted in the deaths of 2403 Americans and the loss of large amounts of military equipment and hardware.

    Twenty-one ships of the United States Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, consisting of the battleships USS ARIZONA, USS CALIFORNIA, USS MARYLAND, USS NEVADA, USS OKLAHOMA, USS PENNSYLVANIA, USS TENNESSEE and USS WEST VIRGINIA; cruisers USS HELENA, USS HONOLULU and USS RALEIGH; the destroyers USS CASSIN, USS DOWNES, USS HELM and USS SHAW; seaplane tender USS CURTISS; target ship USS UTAH; repair ship USS VESTAL; minelayer USS OGLALA; tug USS SOTOYOMO; and a Floating Drydock. I88 Aircraft were also destroyed and 159 damaged.

    Americans were left in outrage over the surprise attack and many men enlisted in the armed forces as a result. Posters were the vehicle to unite the American public and promote the war cause. They were often displayed in libraries, post offices, schools, streets and factories. Some addressed home front efforts, others exhorted workers to greater productivity. Many warned of the dangers of leaking defence information. Some posters were targeted directly at school children. They were all part of a national and international campaign to support the war effort during WWII.

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