“Convincing the Nation,” a new exhibit at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, draws on historical artwork, archival material and artifacts to tell the story of the United States government’s efforts to capture people’s attention during World War II, as it sought public support and a cooperative home-front willing to put the needs of the nation before their own. The exhibit opens October 1 and will be on display through December 19.
“Convincing the Nation” includes more than thirty posters from the 1940s that were used as a primary form of one-way communication before radio and television. While decorative at times, the posters were designed to grab attention and be easy to understand.
While the urgent circumstances of war required home-front citizens to adjust their daily, peace-time routines, public officials understood that inducing behavior change would not be easy. They relied on large scale publicity efforts such as the printed posters to reach the public with wartime messages.