"We Caught Hell! - Someone Must Have Talked" Poster

Description:

Physical Description

Four-color print on paper.

Specific History

The national dread of spies and saboteurs in the early days of the war prompted many informant programs. In March 1942, J. Edgar Hoover reported that the FBI had 17,000 informants in the United States; 2,400 were in industrial plants. An extreme result of this fear was the forced internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast of the United States.

Guarding against information leaks was something that the folks at home could do, and at least with the posters, they did it with vigor. This poster is part of the "loose lips" series and depicts anger and accusation in its message.

General History

Posters during World War II were designed to instill in people a positive outlook, a sense of patriotism, and confidence. They linked the war in trenches with the war at home. From a practical point, they were used to encourage all Americans to help with the war effort. The posters called on every man, woman, and child to endure personal sacrifice and domestic adjustments to further the national agenda. They encouraged rationing, conservation, and sacrifice. In addition, the posters were used for recruitment, productivity, and motivation as well as for financing the war effort. The stark, colorful graphic designs elicited strong emotions. The posters played to the fears, frustrations, and faith in freedoms that lingered in people's minds during the war.

Date Made: 1944

Printer: U.S. Government Printing Office

Place Made: United States

Related Event: World War IIThe Great Depression and World War II

Subject:

See more items in: Military and Society: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, ThinkFinity

Exhibition: Price of Freedom

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Paul Fry

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1987.0730.04Catalog Number: 1987.0730.04Accession Number: 1987.0730

Object Name: poster

Physical Description: paper (overall material)green (overall color)yellow (overall color)orange (overall color)black (overall color)Measurements: average spatial: 102 cm x 74 cm; 40 3/16 in x 29 1/8 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-3e1b-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1081900

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.