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Guide to the War Propaganda Collection, 1861-1991
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Background Information
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: War Propaganda Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1861-1991
    Extent: 6.75 linear feet (48 frames)
    Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

    Sanoian Special Collections Library.
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The collection was donated by W.G. "Bill" Harrison.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], War Propaganda Collection, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.

    Background Information

    The War Propaganda Collection contains framed propaganda material from certain wars in which the United States was a part. The material was collected and framed over a number of years by W. G. "Bill" Harrison of Fresno, California, who took a particular interest in such items.

    Scope and Content

    The War Propaganda Collection measures 6.75 linear feet and dates from 1861 to 1991. The collection is arranged in five series: Civil War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm and although a majority of the material is from World War II. The material is framed and includes captions explaining the origin and purpose of the artifact, with some exceptions.
    The Civil War series (1861-1865) contains two items, a .69 caliber musket ball and a four segment display of a minie ball. According to the caption encased with the .69 caliber musket ball, it was used in the Wilderness Campaign in May of 1864.
    The minie ball caused severe damage when it hit its target. Most men died as a result of the injuries the minie ball inflicted. It was reported to make a "hole the size of man's thumb, but the exit wound was the size of a man's fist," (Box 1, Civil War, four segment display of minie ball caption).
    The World War II series (1939-1945) contains food ration tokens that were used in the United States. The tokens were color coded according to the material that could be bought with them. Red tokens were used to purchase meat while blue tokens were for all processed foods. Materials such as clothing, shoes, gas and tires were also rationed.
    Prisoners of War (POW) items from the Korean War series (1950-1953) state that the Chinese People's Forces battle is not with American Soldiers but rather with MacArthur, who on the flyer, is referred to as a common enemy.
    The Vietnam psychological warfare leaflets contain propaganda from the Allied forces as well as anti-American leaflets distributed by the Viet Kong. The series (1961-1975) offers insight into the strategies used by the opposing forces.
    The Desert Storm series (1991) contains eight framed psychological warfare leaflets distributed by the United Nations. The material tries to discredit Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's war strategies and motives. One leaflet reads, "If Saddam puts civilians on military sites to die, it shows he is ready to sacrifice all of you, the holy place, and the history of Iraq for his own survival," (Box 7, Psychological warfare leaflets, Desert Storm campaign).