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How a Southerner Overcame his Racist Past (Coronet Magazine, 1948)

The attached is an historic article that explains the lesson that so many white Americans had to learn in order that America become one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

There can be no doubt that many ragged, dog-eared copies of this middle class magazine must have been passed from seat to seat in the backs of many buses; perhaps one of the readers was a nineteen year-old divinity student named Martin Luther King?

Was Jesus Black? (The Crises, 1914)

Chances are pretty slim that Jesus of Nazareth was a button-nose blondy - so pink of cheek, with eyes of blue; yet, time and again, this was the manner in which he was rendered by the Christian idolaters of the Gilded Age. When the African-American magazine THE CRISES began to run illustrated advertisements depicting Christ as anything but a white fellow you better believe there were some letters addressed to their editors on the issue. The attached article was their response to these outraged readers.

Manhattan Servant Problems (Vanity Fair, 1918)

The attached cartoon depicted one of the unintended consequences of German aggression during the First World War: the creation of what was known as "the servant problem". It should be understood that the difficulty in question caused no particular hardship for those who were supposed to be the servants; they were simply delighted to vacate the collective domiciles of Mr. & Mrs. Got-Rocks in order to pull down a living wage in a nice, cozy smoke-spewing armament factory some place - leaving their former employers to fix their own meals and diaper junior.

Click here to read about the New York fashions of 1916.

Christ is Big Box-Office (The Literary Digest, 1927)

Hollywood film producers have long known that "In the beginning, there was the word, and the word was Box-Office, and the word was good." Each generation of producers learn anew that Jesus Christ is, in the lingo of Beverly Hills, Boffo Box Office (keeping in mind that the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ grossed $370 million).

This magazine article is a review of one of the first movies to tell the story of Jesus, The King of Kings , which was directed by Hollywood's earliest prophet: Cecil B. DE Mille (1881 1959). The film was genuinely adored in all circles; one critic ranted:

"Cecil B. DE Mille's reward for 'KING of KINGS' will be in heaven..."

Click here to read about the 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb.

Women, Fashion and Uniforms on the Home Front (Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1942)

Two short, gossipy paragraphs from a Hollywood literary magazine printed early in the American home front experience concerning women war-workers, fabric rationing and the long-standing debate between ready-made uniforms vs custom-made uniforms:

"Feminine uniforms are causing great dismay. Women of small means complain that while they would like custom-made uniforms, they can't afford them. Nevertheless, designers are doing a capacity business, turning out ultra-chic numbers for those in the money..."

Click here to read an article about women's uniforms during W.W. I.

The World War Two Origins of the T-Shirt (Men's Wear Magazine, 1950)

A couple of paragraphs from a popular fashion industry trade magazine that pointed out that the white cotton knit crew-neck garment we call the T-shirt came into this world with the name "quarter sleeve" and had it's origin in the U.S. Navy, where it earned it's popularity and soon spread to other branches of the U.S. military during the mid-to-late 1930s.

When the Second World War, the garment was in the supply sheds of each service branch and ready to be issued to as many as twelve million men over the course of the war. As this article makes plain, the T-shirt was the only element of the military uniform that these men wanted to keep when the war ended. The actor Marlon Brando, who wore one in the 1947 stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (costumes by Lucinda Ballard: 1906 1993), is credited for having made the garment fashionable.

The rest is history.

Fashion Modeling in the 1940s (Coronet Magazine, 1944)

Inasmuch as this 1944 article sums up the bygone world of the New York fashion model, the terms "heroin chic" and "bulimia" are not found on any of it's five pages (an over site, no doubt). The Forties were a time when a model would be just as likely to get a booking from a commercial artist as she would a photographer, and, unlike the Twenties and the earliest days of the Thirties, it was a time when a standardized image of beauty was well-established.

"five feet nine inches in height, weight 110 pounds, bust 33, waist 24, hips 34, blonde or a light shade of brown hair. She will have quick, clever eyes and a very expressive face."
"Many of the models are bitter, unhappy girls inside. They soon grow disillusioned with their dream of modeling as a gateway to theatrical glory; they learn that their height is against them."

Read about the attack of the "actress/models"!

Propaganda Radio (Direction Magazine, 1941)

This magazine article first appeared on American newsstands during February of 1941; at that time the U.S. was ten months away from even considering that W.W. II was an American cause worthy of Yankee blood and treasure.

Yet, the journalist who penned the attached column believed that American radio audiences were steadily fed programming designed to win them over to the interventionist corner. He believed that it was rare for isolationists to ever be granted time before the microphones and quite common for newscasters to linger a bit longer on any news item that listed the hardships in France and Britain. Objectivity was also missing in matters involving the broadcasting of popular song:

"Kate Smith missed none of the emotional nuances in such songs as 'The Last Time I Saw Paris' and 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square'. Lynn Fontanne gave such an evocative reading of Alice Duer Miller's 'The White Cliffs' that she was called upon to repeat it on several succeeding broadcasts."

Read about the American reporter who became a Nazi...

Christian Radio Broadcasting Begins in Earnest (The Independent, 1925)

Believing that vast numbers of broadcast-clergy can only damage the credibility of the church in the long-run, this article was written which concerned the personal quest of one observant Christian who wished to see that the amount Christian programming be reduced. The author pointed out that by 1925

"One out of every fourteen broadcasting stations in the United States is today owned and operated by a church or under a church's direction..."

Click here to read about the Christian broadcasts of Oral Roberts...

The Hat Superstition that was Reliable... (Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)

As far as superstitions and clothing are concerned, hats seem to be the one garment that has the most unfounded and irrational precepts attached to their existence. Plentiful are the dictates pertaining to where hats should never be placed or worn - these superstitions existed centuries before the Second World War, but for one citizen of San Angelo, Texas, he had his own beliefs where hats are concerned and some believed that, as a result, he was able to save the lives of 56 American servicemen...

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