(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD - Some historians credit the allied victory in World War II to the incredible production power of the United States.
The Smithsonian's traveling exhibit "Produce for Victory: World War II Posters of the Home Front" presents a look at the national production effort and how the war affected life in the United States through the propaganda posters produced in that time on everything from war bonds and rationing to national security and preserving the American way of life.
"It will be here from Aug. 2 until Sept. 13," said Sue Mayo, librarian for the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library and local coordinator for the exhibit. "On Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. we're having the opening of the exhibit and there will be a program and a reception."
The exhibit's presentation here is made possible through the Missouri Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service, according to Mayo.
In addition to hosting the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, the museum/library has been working on a book project involving area residents. "We have been collecting stories of the home front," said Mayo, "about people here at home and how the war affected them."
Mayo said she has collected about 30 stories for the book. "We've done most of the interviews that we plan to do," she said. "I've typed up most of them and I'm needing to get them to the printers next week."
The stories serve as a cross-section of what was going on not only all over the country, but around the world as well.
"One of them talks about how her father was 4-F, meaning he was not accepted in the service. His job on the home front was involved in the 'war pipeline' to get oil from Oklahoma and Texas to the East Coast - and that came right through this area and in fact is still being used," Mayo said. "I have a couple that tell about the McMullin Farm that used Italian prisoners of war to do the detassling of corn. McMullin Farm was about five miles north of Sikeston.
"Another interview I think is really good is a lady who experienced the war in London as an eight-year-old child," she continued. "She was in London during 'The Blitz' and she was evacuated to the coast for about six months. I think this is going to be a real interesting book."
The book will be sold to raise funds for the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library, Mayo said.
Also in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, at 1 p.m. Aug. 23, Rick Ulman will do a musical presentation featuring recordings of "the popular music of the day," according to Mayo. "There were a lot of love songs."