PEOPLE AND THE WAR

Entertainment

Hollywood became very involved in the war, prompting its leading men such as Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, and Clark Gable to enlist. Ronald Reagan, later Governor of California, narrated military training films. Two agencies were established by the Office of War Information to ensure that filmmaking encouraged morals and patriotism: the Bureau of Motion Pictures, which reviewed scripts, and the Bureau of Censorship, which supervised films exported to other countries.

Studios produced cartoons and short films, encouraging war bond purchasing and rationing. Newsreels that ran before feature films began to show real wartime footage which was intended to keep wartime fervor from waning. Newsreels showed graphic footage of concentration camps after the war's end. As popular as movies were, it was the radio where families gathered for news and entertainment, including President Roosevelt's "fireside chats." Vivid radio broadcasts from war correspondents, sometimes from the front lines, brought the war home. Most Americans learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which initiated America's involvement in World War II, through their family room radio.