“Lights Out” (February 26, 1945) 11/18
by Milton Rawson Halladay (1874-1961)
14.5 x 15 in., ink on board
Halladay was a native of Vermont and a noted political cartoonist for the Providence Journal (Rhode Island) for nearly fifty years (1900-1947). His cartoons were published in countless other newspapers and magazines. He has been called “one of the deans of American political cartooning.” His cartoon commemorating the death of Thomas A. Edison was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize.
The War Manpower Commission (WMC), in Washington, instituted a midnight curfew on all entertainment venues around the United States on February 26, 1945.
The main purpose of the curfew was to conserve coal for power, and to help alleviate the manpower shortage and the burdens on transportation.
All public and private establishments were affected: night clubs, sports arenas, theaters, dance halls, roadhouses, saloons, bars, shooting galleries, bowling and billiards, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, gambling establishments, coin-operated amusements (juke boxes, pinball), skating rinks. All-night restaurants were excluded.