In honor of this week's Fourth of July holiday, American Independence Day, Our Daily Green is looking back at some of our nation's historical campaigns.
While the iconic Uncle Sam military recruiting poster, with his pointed finger beckoning "I Want You", is probably the most well known World War I posters, it was only one of over 700 posters created to promote patriotism during that era. Beginning in April 1917 through the end of the war in November, 1918, illustrators and artists submitted posters to encourage conservation, defense, and sacrifice on the home front. President Woodrow Wilson wanted to rally support from the American people.
Under the leadership of Charles Dana Gibson, The Society of Illustrators in New York City launched what became the Division of Pictorial Publicity. These posters brilliant colors and urgent demands were a rally cry to hold the nation together." Artists utilized national symbols and icons such as the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam, and the girl next door to inspire the American nation to contribute to the call of liberty. Every American citizen was asked to stand up and take his or her patriotic place in the defense of our great country. To do less would be un-American. After the war, Congress tallied up the bill and found that two-thirds of the cost of the war was raised by poster bond drives.
Our Daily Green was especially happy to see posters that encouraged gardening and food conservation. Nearly 95 years later, the sentiment still rings true.