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Bilingual poster encouraging wartime unity of Mexico and America and all American citizens regardless of nationality

Object | Accession Number: 2015.562.17

“Americans All” bilingual poster featuring two hats, one symbolizing Mexico and the other symbolizing America, raised up in unison. The poster was designed to promote unity between America’s multi-ethnic demographics and the nations of the Western Hemisphere during wartime. The poster was designed by Leon Helguera, a Mexican artist who immigrated to America in 1916, and was commissioned by the Office of Wartime Information (OWI). The OWI was established in 1942, and managed information about the war on the home front. This office controlled the design and distribution of war information to the American public in print, radio, and film media, and commissioned work from leading artists. The “Americans All” slogan expressed a call for unity among Americans of different backgrounds and for solidarity between the nations of the Western Hemisphere in the face of the Axis threat. In 1942, racial tensions in the Southwestern United States were at a critical point following the Sleepy Lagoon Murder in August in Los Angeles, California. Twenty-two Mexican Americans were arrested and tried without due process for the crime, causing riots in Los Angeles in 1943.The Axis powers inflamed this division with anti-American radio broadcasts in Latin America to sway public opinion. To ease the racial unrest, the OWI introduced a campaign that utilized patriotic images, with slogans in Spanish and English, to appeal to Americans of Mexican descent. Despite the hostility, Mexican Americans provided sizable contributions to the war effort with over 17,000 working in Los Angeles shipyards, airfields, and armament factories.

Artwork Title
Americans All, Let's Fight for Victory
Alternate Title
Americanos Todos, Luchamos por la Victoria
publication/distribution:  1943
publication: United States
War propaganda
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David and Lucinda Pollack
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:10:00
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