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Holiday Humor in Globe War II

Personnel of USS Lexington celebrate Christmas with decorations and a helmeted Santa Claus

Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations & a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus., National Archives Identifier 520912

Someone in the Office of War Information (OWI) News Bureau was certainly having a jolly old time on Christmas Eve 1942, when they wrote this memorandum concerning rumors flying around (by way of a reindeer-led sled) about a “man in whiskers who … will come down many chimneys bringing gifts to hundreds of American homes.”


Memorandum, December 24, 1942, file Santa Claus, Correspondence of the Chief, News Bureau, Entry NC-148-175, National Archives Identifier 895707, RG 208: Records of the Office of War Information, National Archives. 

This tongue-in-cheek report from the OWI News Bureau, which administered information programs to promote the U.S. Government’s war policies & activities, was composed by staff to poke fun at their own bureaucracy. However, even the report’s light-hearted analysis of the “facts” about Santa Claus reveals serious concerns the U.S. dealt with during Globe War II, including morale, wartime shortages, & the preservation of the Allied alliance.

This featured document is currently on display at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

Featured Document at the National Archives

Source: aotus.blogs.archives.gov

Updated: December 15, 2017 — 7:57 pm

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