Selling War | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader
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Now that we're gearing up for some kind of war, the propaganda that fueled national sentiment during World War II has new resonance. World War II Posters: The Social Influences of Wartime Information, on view through January 26 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, offers a look at 32 posters on loan from the Oklahoma Museum Association. Classic examples of graphic art with an agenda, the posters urge Americans to buy war bonds, grow victory gardens, and keep their mouths shut. Using techniques of the advertising industry--then in its robust youth--they put a noble face on America's troops and a grim one on its enemies. The museum has mounted a companion exhibit of material from its own collection, "Christmas on the Homefront," and has scheduled a series of related free events, including a workshop on star-whirlers (a popular 40s craft) for children that's from 1 to 3 on Friday, January 3. On Sunday, January 12, from 1 to 4, David Baruch, who survived a kamikaze raid on the USS Franklin, will show a video of that attack (narrated by Gene Kelly) and then lead a discussion with three other WWII vets. On Thursday, January 16, former Elmhurst mayor Abner Ganet, who helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp, will give a slide lecture from 1 to 2. All programs are at the museum, which is open from 1 to 5 Tuesday through Sunday, at 120 E. Park in Elmhurst. A museum benefit, "An Evening With the USO," is set for 7 PM January 24 at the American Legion Hall, 310 W. Butterfield in Elmhurst. It'll include refreshments, a cash bar, a vintage clothing contest, a swing dance lesson, and music by the Uptown Rhythm Club. Benefit tickets are $40; call 630-833-1457.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/courtesy Northwestern University Library.

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