Saturday, December 15, 2018

Bring the Boys Back Home

Its centennial may be over, but here at Safelyback Saturday, we haven't forgotten about World War I. Since it has been somewhat busy chez nous, and I haven't gotten quite as far in my yuletide errands as I would like, here's a cursory look at American editorial cartoons as the country returned to a peacetime footing.
"Her Christmas Present" by Carey Orr in Chicago Tribune, December 22, 1918
Mother was certainly happy to see her boy back home in time for Christmas. The United States' role in world affairs, however, had been irrevocably changed. The country had been unprepared for the war at its outset, and vowed not to be caught flat-footed in the future.
"His Death Warrant" by Sidney J. Greene in New York Evening Telegram, December 13, 1918
We have just passed the 100th anniversary of Frank O. King's "Gasoline Alley," as has been well celebrated elsewhere. Not yet a comic strip standing on its own, "Gasoline Alley" appeared as one dialogue-cluttered panel in King's full-page "Rectangle" feature on Sundays. Here is the fifth appearance of the denizens of the Alley — Walt is the guy in short sleeves — abutted by a discussion of freedom of the seas (in which the fellow worries about our erstwhile ally Japan declaring war on the U.S. someday) and the impact of peace on doughnut holes.
Detail of "The Rectangle" by Frank O. King in Chicago Tribune, December 22, 1918
If Americans were at all worried about future enemies, the greater concern for the moment was over their most recent one.
"All That Could Be Expected" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 23, 1918
The European Entente powers demanded harsh reparations from Germany, even though the allied embargo against the Central Powers had seriously depleted the defeated nations' resources.
"The Second Table" by Ted Brown in Chicago Daily News, December, 1918
President Woodrow Wilson's idealistic dream of a League of Nations to prevent future wars was met with skepticism by our allies, and with a return of partisan politics at home.
"Back Seat Drivers" by Burt Thomas in Detroit News, November/December, 1918
How Mr. Wilson was driving depended upon where one sat.
"Gangway!" by Elmer A. Bushnell in Cincinnati Times Star, ca. December 23, 1918 
Aren't you glad political divisions are a thing of the forgotten past?
"Already Taken His Position" by Jay N. "Ding" Darling in New York Tribune, ca. December 26, 1918

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