All Images: National Archives
“Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the 60 years following the end of World War II, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars, have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to soldiers wounded on the field.”
A boy sits alone in the ruins of his home, his parents buried dead underneath after a German bombing. London, 1945.
“A newspaper seller carrying a placard announcing that Britain had declared war on Germany.” c. 1939 (via Imperial War Museums)
Hitler Pin Cushion, c. 1941 (via Retronaut)
“It’s good luck to find a pin. Here’s an Axis to stick it in!” -The Stick a Pin in Hitler Club, Chicago IL.
American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. Robert Capa—©International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos
As we posted earlier today, this evening Christie’s held its first-ever auction of contemporary photojournalism prints at its New York City auction house. The event, which will be hosted by news anchor Christiane Amanpour, will benefit the family of the late Anton Hammerl, a photographer who was killed in Libya last April.
The auction, says David Brabyn, one of the organizers, demonstrates the sense of community among photographers who put themselves at risk for their work. “It’s been quite highlighted recently,” he says, “after all the deaths of reporters, both photographers and print.”
But one of the most important prints up for bid was not a donation from someone in that community. Robert Capa’s photograph of American soldiers landing in France on D-Day is perhaps the most familiar picture in the bunch; Capa was killed by a land mine in 1954. The donation comes from the International Center of Photography, where his work is archived. (The winning bid will also include a personal tour of his archive.) ICP was founded by Capa’s brother, Cornell Capa, and the print comes from his personal collection.
Read more about this image and the auction here.
Three American soldiers lie half-buried in the sand at Buna Beach on New Guinea. This photo was taken in February 1943, but not published until September, when it became the first image of dead American troops to appear in LIFE during World War II. George Strock’s photo was finally OK’d by government censors, in part because FDR feared the public was growing complacent about the war’s horrific toll.
Shortly after the liberation of the city, a French woman who had a baby with a German soldier has her head shaved, as a sign of humiliation. Her mother (left) suffered the same treatment. France, Eure-et-loir, Chartres. 18th August, 1944. Photography by Robert Capa.
World War II: Women’s Work - 50 Photos That Brought the War Home
Lest there be any doubt that World World II had (unintentionally) sparked a cultural shift, this photo of a female welder at a boat-and-sub-building yard was a clear signal that women were as comfortable brandishing a blowtorch as they were wielding a wet mop. Though many of them would be forced to abandon their jobs to make way for the men when the war ended, gender roles — as Americans had long-understood them — had forever shifted.
*_____* she’s really pretty *__________*
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941— a date which will live in infamy— the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
-President Franklin D. Roosevelt
You know the words, now listen to President Roosevelt’s voice - FDR’s Day of Infamy speech delivered to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941.
Listen: Seventy years ago today.
A word to listeners, your city station WNYC will remain on air for an indefinite period tonight, to bring New Yorkers news, emergency public service messages, and special announcements and orders from Naval and Army authorities in the city area. This is New York City’s own station, WNYC
-Jody, BL Show-