“The U. S. A. Is Ours, All Of Us.” Liberty Magazine, 1942.

October 14, 2022

Magazines: United We Stand; Television, Internet, And Social Media: Divided We Sit. Part Three

Lessons from the past for today’s magazine editors and publishers… “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9

Not all the magazines of July 1942 carried the American flag on the cover, however each magazine, in its own way, paid tribute to the United We Stand campaign and the war efforts.  In this third installment of Magazines: United We Stand, Social Media: Divided We Sit, we look at three magazines from 1942, Hit!, Liberty Laughs, and Liberty To read part one click here and to read part two click here.

Hit! magazine, July 1942

In what reads like dry humor today, Hit magazine, in an article on pages 4-5 about the model displayed on that spread, wrote:


You mustn’t use rubber, you can’t get zippers, so what can a poor girl do about a girdle? Confidentially, she shrinks.  No fooling, brother, the answer to girdle shortage in the near future will be bend down, sister, bend down. If your girl can’t afford the ritzy reducing salons, give her the turkish towel workout at home.  Dancer Movita of the Havana-Madrid night club in New York says it’s a lulu. As soon as she finishes her morning shower, Movita goes into action. Her technique is a combination of the rhumba, conga and the Susie-Q.  Movita’s theme song is rub-a-dub-dub and she plans to roll the excess poundage away with a turkish towel, thus eliminating the need for a two-way-stretch. After she’s perfected her form (and frankly we can’t see a thing wrong with it now) she’ll turn in her girdle in the interests of National Defense.  And then the only rubber not available for defense will be you, you rubberneck!

Liberty Laughs magazine, December 1942

This brand new magazine with a tag line Best War Cartoons, Jokes and Anecdotes premiered with its December issue with a back cover cartoon supporting the United We Stand campaign and screaming “every BOND is a STEP in the right direction.” The magazine published by Dell Publishing Co., was the brainchild of Frances Cavanah and Ruth Cromer Weir, who were listed as the Compilers of the content.

Liberty Laughs first issue started with AN OPEN LETTER

Members of the Chicago North Shore Alumnae Chapter of Theta Sigma Phi, National Honorary and Professional Fraternity for Women In Journalism, have compiled this magazine as a contribution toward the war effort. We pledge to turn over all the royalties from its sale to Army Emergency Relief.

We believe that a nation that can laugh is a nation that can take it, and we have attempted to bring together some of the best war humor published to date.

Without the generous cooperation of AMERICAN, COLLIER’S, ESQUIRE, NEW YORKER, PARADE, SATURDAY EVENING POST, THIS WEEK and other magazines and newspapers, this project would not have been possible.  We are grateful to the artists and authors who have allowed us to use their material without fee.  No one represented in this magazine has received one cent of compensation…

Liberty magazine, February 14, and October 3, 1942

The Macfadden publication, in its Feb. 14 issue, had a painting of Miss America 1942 draped with an American flag adoring the cover of the issue.  In an editorial under the heading of Remember Pearl Harbor the magazine asked WHY NOT USE THESE ABLE MEN? And went on to answer:

TO win this war, we need all the brains that America can supply. Not only New Deal brains but all constructive minds.  No party in this country has a monopoly on ability. The administration has been telling us that politics must be adjourned. When do we start?…

Now is no time to hold old grudges. Now is no time for discrimination. Now is a time to use all our resources for victory… These resources, these brains, these great and patriotic Americans should be allowed to help win the war!

In the same issue of Liberty magazine an advertisement for Texaco read: Helping make America strong:


Right now it is good to know our aviation designers are at work on the greatest fighting airplanes the world has ever seen.  Working side by side with them on the gasoline and lubrication problems of these new planes are the research men of the oil industry. In the Texas company alone are more than 1000 skilled scientists and technicians — working and planning — helping make America strong.

An ad on the inside front cover of the October 3 issue, Liberty magazine offers an Emblem of the Statue of Liberty with the words WE ARE MAKING WINNING THE WAR OUR JOB.   

The ad goes on to state: The Emblem of Liberty WEAR IT ON YOUR COAT Americans will never stop fighting for those principles of liberty that have made this country great!

Wherever you see the Liberty Emblem – in a coat lapel, in a window, on a counter or in a store – you will know that an American is saying: “I Am Making Winning The War My Job”

An editorial in the aforementioned issue under the title THE U.S.A. IS OURS reads:

THE U.S.A. is ours – the individual possession of every mother’s one of us.

THE U.S.A. is not just a name to be applauded patriotically, not just a land, not just a country.  The U.S.A. is factories turning out beds and cars, cereals and cosmetics, medicines and clothes, tanks and airplanes and guns. It is capital contributing its money and brains, and labor contributing its muscle and skill.  It is farms producing food.  It is cities housing millions and villages warm with friendliness.  It is roads leading to work and to pleasure. It is schools and churches and hospitals and homes. It is song and laughter and love and children and the good satisfaction of a day’s work…

And, more than all this, it is the mighty sinews of freedom, weaving through every least citizen’s affairs, giving him the right – and the opportunity – to be part of this great whole, to co-operate, contribute, and pridefully share in its priceless gift – liberty…

Remember, the U.S.A. is all of us.  It belongs to all of us.  It is our hearth and our home. It is our opportunity – and our obligation…

Don’t let any of us put any personal interest before this one – and we’ll keep it ours – the magnificent U.S.A.

To be continued…

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Magazine Media Center

Preserving the Past, Present, and Future of Magazine Media

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