“War! War!”


“War! War!” (June 13, 1940)
by Emidio (Mike) Angelo (1903-1990)
18 x 18 in., ink on art board
Coppola Collection

Emidio Angelo was born in Philadelphia, a year after his mother and father, a baker, arrived from Italy. He studied art from 1924 to 1928 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Angelo joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a political cartoonist in 1937 and worked there until 1954. He also drew cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post, Life and Esquire.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. And less than a year later, both sides (but especially the Germans) were set to escalate past The Phoney War. Germany invades the West on May 10, 1940, taking the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. This was the day British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned and was replaced by Winston Churchill. In six weeks time, Hitler would be walking through the streets of Paris.

On June 8, 1940, the Germans crossed the Seine.

On June 9, 1940, the French government fled Paris.

On June 10, Norway surrendered to Germany.

On the evening of June 10, 1940, Benito Mussolini appeared on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia to announce that in six hours, Italy would be in a state of war with France and Britain.

“People of Italy: take up your weapons and show your tenacity, your courage and your valor.”

The Italians had no battle plans of any kind prepared. Anti-Italian riots broke out in major cities across the United Kingdom after Italy’s declaration of war. Bricks, stones and bottles were thrown through the windows of Italian-owned shops, and 100 arrests were made in Edinburgh alone. Canada declared war on Italy. Italy broke off relations with Poland. Belgium broke off relations with Italy. And the Italian invasion of France began.

While making a commencement speech at the Memorial Gymnasium of the University of Virginia, President Roosevelt denounced Mussolini: “On this tenth day of June, 1940, the hand that held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor.” The president also said that military victories for the “gods of force and hate” were a threat to all democracies in the western world and that America could no longer pretend to be a “lone island in a world of force.”

On June 14, the Germans entered Paris unopposed (and as every fan of Casablancaknows, Ilsa Lund left Rick Blaine a goodbye note as he boarded the train to Marseille, on the way to North Africa).

On June 23, 1940, Adolf Hitler took a train to Paris and visited sites including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Napoleon’s tomb.

“You Gotta Stop Picking on Me!”


“You Gotta Stop Picking on Me!” (October 9, 1939)
by Emidio (Mike) Angelo (1903-1990)
18 x 18 in., ink on art board
Coppola Collection

Emidio Angelo was born in Philadelphia, a year after his mother and father, a baker, arrived from Italy. He studied art from 1924 to 1928 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Angelo joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a political cartoonist in 1937 and worked there until 1954. He also drew cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post, Life and Esquire.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.

On October 4, 1939, Adolf Hitler issued a secret decree granting an amnesty to all crimes committed by German military and police personnel in Poland between September 1 and October 4. The decree justified the crimes as being natural responses to “atrocities committed by the Poles.

On October 5, 1939, Hitler flew to Warsaw and reviewed a victory parade in the fallen Polish capital.

On October 6, 1939, Hitler addressed a special session of the Reichstag. After speaking at great length about the victory over Poland he then proposed an international security conference, hinting at desire for an armistice by saying that such a conference would be impossible “while cannons are thundering.”

And there is the context for this view of Germany’s two-faced relationship with the truth. The public face of Germany’s actions was so guided and calculated as to appear uneventful, birthing the notion that these first 8 months or so of WW2 were called The Phoney War (until the European invasion on May 10, 1940).

On October 12, 1939, the regions of Nazi-occupied Poland not annexed by the Reich were incorporated into a new administrative unit called the General Government.

“Army-Navy 1938”


“Army-Navy 1938” (November 26, 1938)
by Emidio (Mike) Angelo (1903-1990)
18 x 19 in., ink on art board
Coppola Collection

Emidio Angelo was born in Philadelphia, a year after his mother and father, a baker, arrived from Italy. He studied art from 1924 to 1928 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Angelo joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a political cartoonist in 1937 and worked there until 1954. He also drew cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post, Life and Esquire.

On May 14, 1938, the English national football team, in its last outing with the German team, was ordered to give the Nazi salute, in what remains today among the most controversial moments in sports history.

On September 30, 1938, British PM Neville Chamberlain arrived at Heston Aerodrome following a conference with Adolf Hitler and other European leaders in Munich. Holding up the recently signed Anglo-German Declaration for the assembled crowd to see, Chamberlain declared that he had secured “peace for our time.” The meetings had resulted in the Munich Agreement, which allowed and legitimized Nazi Germany’s recent annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia. Hitler, who had annexed Austria earlier in the year, had vowed to invade Czechoslovakia on October 1, 1938, to occupy the German-speaking Sudetenland region. And thanks, in part, to his secret pact with the Soviets, he did just that. It was the beginning of the end for Chamberlain.

Throughout the autumn of 1938, Britain was once again on the brink of armed conflict with Germany as the latter’s aggression increased.

November 6, 1938 was Kristallnacht. A wave of violence targeting Jews occurred throughout Germany and Austria in retaliation for the assassination of Ernst vom Rath. Nazi authorities did not interfere as Jewish shops and synagogues were burned and looted, and 20,000 Jews were arrested. Remarkably, that same evening, Swiss citizen Maurice Bavaud attended a parade in Munich celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch with the intention of assassinating Adolf Hitler with a pistol. However, Hitler marched on the far side of the street relative to Bavaud’s position making the shot too difficult, so he abandoned his attempt. A week later, on November 13, Bavaud was caught stowing away on a train in Augsburg. Later, when interrogated by the Gestapo he admitted his plan to assassinate Hitler.

On November 18, 1938, 3,500 members of the motion picture industry attended a “Quarantine Hitler” rally at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The crowd unanimously voted to send a telegram to President Roosevelt urging him to use his authority to “express further the horror and the indignation of the American people” at the Nazi persecutions of Jews and Catholics.

On November 21, 1938, Neville Chamberlain told the House of Commons of plans to lease at least 10,000 square miles in British Guiana to provide homes for German Jewish refugees

On November 24, 1938, Hitler ordered his military to prepare for an occupation of Danzig.

On November 26, 1938, the Army-Navy Game was played under the shadow of these world events.

“Expectant Father”


“Expectant Father” (December 31, 1956)
by Burris A. Jenkins, Jr. (1897-1966)
14 x 14 in, ink and crayon on board
Coppola Collection

Burris Jenkins Jr. was the son of a prominent Kansas City minister, war correspondent and newspaper editor. Jenkins Jr. was a popular sports cartoonist, whose work appeared in the New York Journal-American from 1931. His humorous published verses were also popular. Although best known for his sports themes, Jenkins was also a skilled courtroom illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

Jenkins was not afraid to provoke, and he has some strong WW2 examples, including one of the rare direct commentaries on concentration (death) camps. Among his best-remembered cartoons are his angry piece on the discovery of the dead Lindbergh baby, and his sentimental image of Babe Ruth’s farewell to Yankee Stadium.

He was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Post for a series of pessimistic Christmas cartoons, a firing that prompted his father’s resignation from the same newspaper.

His father was an interesting guy. Jenkins, Sr (1968-1945) was ordained in 1891 and served as a pastor in Indianapolis. He received advanced degrees from Harvard and went on to serve as a professor and president of the University of Indianapolis and president of Kentucky University. He left Kentucky to return to Kansas City as pastor of the Linwood Boulevard Christian Church. The church burned in 1939, and Jenkins chose Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect for the church’s new home overlooking the Country Club Plaza.

Jenkins served as editor of the Kansas City Post from 1919 to 1921, hoping to fight for the establishment of the League of Nations. The Jenkins, Sr., biography tells the story about his leaving the Post slightly differently that for the son: “After two years, it became necessary for him to choose between the newspaper and his pulpit and, without hesitation, he resigned from the Post.”

“Live dangerously!” Jenkins would thunder from the pulpit, embracing his own philosophy against all adversaries. Unconventional in nearly every aspect of his chosen field, Jenkins often preached from non-Biblical texts, such as the latest book or his travels abroad. The church frequently hosted motion pictures, dances, card games, and fundraising boxing matches. These activities led to opposition to Jenkins and his Community Church from other churches in the city.

Welcome to 1957. I was a little over a month away from being born.

The smoke from the cigars on the floor tell a story about 1956:

Larson’s Perfect Game – October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Suez – On October 29, 1956, Israeli armed forces pushed into Egypt toward the Suez Canal after Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70) nationalized the canal in July of that same year, initiating the Suez Crisis.

Election – Ike was re-elected in 1956

Poland – The Poznań protests of 1956, also known as Poznań June, were the first of several massive protests against the communist government of the Polish People’s Republic. Demonstrations by workers demanding better working conditions began on 28 June 1956 at Poznań’s Cegielski Factories and were met with violent repression

Hungary – The Hungarian Revolution of 1956, or the Hungarian Uprising, was a nationwide revolution against the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956

Grace Kelly – Grace Patricia Kelly was an American film actress who, after starring in several significant films in the early- to mid-1950s, became Princess of Monaco by marrying Prince Rainier III on April 19.

Andrea Doria – On the night of July 25, 1956, a collision between the ocean liners SS Andrea Doria (Genoa) and MS Stockholm, 45 miles SE of Nantucket, killed 51 people and prompted one of the largest civilian maritime rescues in history.

Margaret Truman – A sometime controversial figure, Truman’s full-length biography of her father, published shortly before his death, was critically acclaimed. On April 21, 1956, Truman married Clifton Daniel, a reporter for The New York Times.

World Series – The 1956 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the New York Yankees and the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers during October 1956. The Series was a rematch of the 1955 World Series. NY took the series 4-3. It was the last all-New York City Series until 44 years later in 2000; the Dodgers and the New York Giants moved to California after the 1957 season. This was the last World Series to date not to have scheduled off days.

“Biography of a President”


“Biography of a President” (June 16, 1937)
by John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)
14 x 21.5 in., ink on drawing board
Coppola Collection

On the Purdue campus, where he was a student, McCutcheon (class of 1889) is memorialized in a coeducational dormitory, John T. McCutcheon Hall. The lobby displays an original of one of his drawings, a nearly life-size drawing of a young man.

After college, McCutcheon moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he worked at the Chicago Morning News(later: Chicago Record) and then at the Chicago Tribunefrom 1903 until his retirement in 1946. McCutcheon received the Pulitzer Prize for Cartoons in 1932.

On February 5, 1937 (20 years to the day before I was born), President Franklin Roosevelt announces a controversial plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics immediately charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court and thus neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his New Deal.

During the previous two years, the high court had struck down several key pieces of New Deal legislation on the grounds that the proposed laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch and the federal government. The February 1937 plan was to provide retirement at full pay for all members of the court over 70. If a justice refused to retire, an “assistant” with full voting rights was to be appointed, thus ensuring Roosevelt a liberal majority. Most Republicans and many Democrats in Congress opposed the so-called “court-packing” plan.

The Senate buried FDR’s judicial reform proposal in committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s report, released on June 14, 1937, denounced the measure as a “needless, futile and utterly dangerous abandonment of constitutional principle.”

The majority opinion acknowledged that the national economy had grown to such a degree that federal regulation and control was now warranted. Roosevelt’s reorganization plan was thus unnecessary, and in July the Senate struck it down by a vote of 70 to 22.

The margin notes:

Under 1: He greets representatives of the Press.
Under 2: He instantly receives many offers from enemies and friends who wish to cooperate.
Under 3: He is obliged to call off all further offers of assistance.

“The Man Who Asked for It”


“The Man Who Asked for It” (July 31, 1944)
by William (Bill) Crawford (1913-1982)
18.5 x 22.5 in., ink and crayon on heavy paper
Coppola Collection

Crawford worked as a sports cartoonist and for the Washington Daily Newsand the Washington Postfrom 1936-38. He joined the Newark Newsas an editorial cartoonist and his cartoons were distributed to more than 700 daily newspapers by the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He was an active member of the National Cartoonists Society, serving as its president and vice-president. In 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1963 he was awarded “Best Editorial Cartoon” by the National Cartoonist Society, and in 1973 he received their Silver T-Square Award. Crawford retired in 1977.

Brazil was underdeveloped in the 1930s, with a mediocre military and poor infrastructure.

Yet, the tip of Brazil is one end of the shortest distance across the Atlantic from Nazi-occupied Africa, at 1600 miles. So the fear of Brazil being the beachhead for an invasion of the Americas was real.

By early 1944, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (BEF) had been formed, and local soldier were being trained by a combination of American and British advisors. On July 30, 1944, the first BEF troops embarked at Rio de Janeiro to cross the Atlantic and complete training in Africa, moving from there to join the US in Italy. From September 15 to October 30, 1944, the Brazilians relieved American troops in the Serchio Valley, near Pisa and Livorno on the coast, and have successive victories retaking small provinces in the area, capturing about a 30-mile swath.

“Achilles Heel?”


“Achilles Heel?” (January 13, 1943)
by Burris A. Jenkins, Jr. (1897-1966)
10 x 16 in, ink and crayon on board
Coppola Collection

Burris Jenkins Jr. was the son of a prominent Kansas City minister, war correspondent and newspaper editor. Jenkins Jr. was a popular sports cartoonist, whose work appeared in the New York Journal-American from 1931. His humorous published verses were also popular. Although best known for his sports themes, Jenkins was also a skilled courtroom illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

Jenkins was not afraid to provoke, and he has some strong WW2 examples, including one of the rare direct commentaries on concentration (death) camps. Among his best-remembered cartoons are his angry piece on the discovery of the dead Lindbergh baby, and his sentimental image of Babe Ruth’s farewell to Yankee Stadium.

He was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Post for a series of pessimistic Christmas cartoons, a firing that prompted his father’s resignation from the same newspaper.

His father was an interesting guy. Jenkins, Sr (1968-1945) was ordained in 1891 and served as a pastor in Indianapolis. He received advanced degrees from Harvard and went on to serve as a professor and president of the University of Indianapolis and president of Kentucky University. He left Kentucky to return to Kansas City as pastor of the Linwood Boulevard Christian Church. The church burned in 1939, and Jenkins chose Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect for the church’s new home overlooking the Country Club Plaza.

Jenkins served as editor of the Kansas City Post from 1919 to 1921, hoping to fight for the establishment of the League of Nations. The Jenkins, Sr., biography tells the story about his leaving the Post slightly differently that for the son: “After two years, it became necessary for him to choose between the newspaper and his pulpit and, without hesitation, he resigned from the Post.”

“Live dangerously!” Jenkins would thunder from the pulpit, embracing his own philosophy against all adversaries. Unconventional in nearly every aspect of his chosen field, Jenkins often preached from non-Biblical texts, such as the latest book or his travels abroad. The church frequently hosted motion pictures, dances, card games, and fundraising boxing matches. These activities led to opposition to Jenkins and his Community Church from other churches in the city.

In January 1943, the strength of the U-Boat fleet was at a maximum. A new German commander had over 200 functional units in operation. Their wartime tactics had been successful, attacking on the surface at night in ‘wolf packs,’ which allowed them to make use of their low silhouette and high surface speed, at the same time minimizing the chances of being detected.

The tide was about to turn, but the concern was clearly evident.

In 2019, this cartoon might have been subtitled “America’s Ass.” (see: “Avengers: Endgame” if you do not get that reference)

“Propaganda” (80 years ago)


“Propaganda” (October 26, 1939)
by Emidio (Mike) Angelo (1903-1990)
13 x 13.5 in., ink on art board
Coppola Collection

Emidio Angelo was born in Philadelphia, a year after his mother and father, a baker, arrived from Italy. He studied art from 1924 to 1928 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Angelo joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a political cartoonist in 1937 and worked there until 1954. He also drew cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post, Life and Esquire.


On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. To justify the action, Nazi propagandists falsely claimed that Poland had been planning, with its allies Great Britain and France, to encircle and dismember Germany and that Poles were persecuting ethnic Germans. The SS, in collusion with the German military, staged a phony Polish attack on a German radio station. Hitler then used this action to launch a “retaliatory” campaign against Poland.

Like all clever propagandists, Hitler sought to mask his true intentions by appealing to the moral high ground. He understood that many, if not most, Germans did not want to go to war again; World War I had cost the nation some 2 million dead. And indeed there was no uproar of enthusiasm when German troops invaded Poland. What made it palatable to the civilian population was to paint Germany as the victim of foreign machinations and violence. By staging the phony attacks on the German borders, the Nazis provided “proof” of their victimhood and used it in tandem with the claim that Germany was encircled by enemies in the east and west. To further preserve Germany’s image as the victim, the Propaganda Ministry directed the German press not to refer to the invasion of Poland as war, but only as a military intervention.

In October 1939, Germany directly annexed former Polish territories along German’s eastern border: West Prussia, Poznan, Upper Silesia, and the former Free City of Danzig.

On October 6, Hitler addressed a special session of the Reichstag. After speaking at great length about the victory over Poland he then proposed an international security conference, hinting at desire for an armistice by saying that such a conference would be impossible “while cannons are thundering.” Britain and France rejected these overtures some days later and the uneventful phase of the war known as the Phoney War would drag on until May 10, 1940 (when Germany invaded Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and Churchill replaced Chamberlain).

A Gallup poll was published in the United States asking, “What should be the policy in the present European war? Should we declare war and send our army and navy abroad to fight Germany?” 95% of Americans polled said no.

“We Just Grow Tobacco and Cane Sugar…”


“We Just Grow Tobacco and Cane Sugar…” (December 20, 1980)
by Charles Phillip Bissell (1926 – )
11 x 17.5 in., ink and wash on board
Coppola Collection

In 1960, Boston Globe cartoonist Phil Bissell, working for $25 a day, was handed an assignment that would change his life—and the lives of fans of the brand-new AFL football team coming to Boston. “Sports editor Jerry Nason came to me and he said, ‘They’ve decided to call the team the Boston Patriots. You better have a cartoon ready for tomorrow’s edition.’” Bissel’s “Pat Patriot” cartoon was the Patriot’s logo from 1961-1992.

Cuba’s 1980 five-year plan acknowledged sugar was still the backbone of the island’s economy and called for increasing sugar production 20 to 25 percent in the next five years.

But President-elect Reagan saw Cuba as a solid outpost of the Soviet Union in ways that were not seen since the Kennedy era. The fall of the Soviet Union was still a decade away, and the fight with Gorbachev was high on the Reagan agenda.

On December 20, 1980, Fidel Castro called President-elect Ronald Reagan a threat to peace at the close of the second Communist Party Congress and told a cheering throng of Cubans to use their spare time to train to defend the island nation.

Castro urged the crowd to devote spare hours and part of their vacation to train in a militia to defend Cuba. He attacked the United States and said Cubans ‘prefer a thousand times to die before surrendering. We will not make a single concession to imperialism.’

Castro said the United States had hinted it would lift its blockade of Cuba if the Caribbean island stopped sending troops to other nations and loosened ties with Russia, which provides massive aid to Cuba.

But Castro asserted once again that more than 100,000 Cuban soldiers have fought in such foreign nations as Angola and Ethiopia and said Cuba would not stop sending troops overseas in demonstration of what he termed “internationalism.”

Ironically, Castro said, “As long as the Soviet Union exists, and as long as Cuba exists, these ties will exist. What right could the United States have to tell us who our friends should be.”

In January 1981, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the US president tightened the trade embargo against Cuba, instituting the most politically hostile policies since the invasion at Bay of Pigs.

“The Wild Man of Borneo”


“The Wild Man of Borneo” (June 12, 1945)
by Burris A. Jenkins, Jr. (1897-1966)
15 x 18 in., ink and crayon on board
Coppola Collection

Burris Jenkins Jr. was the son of a prominent Kansas City minister, war correspondent and newspaper editor. Jenkins Jr. was a popular sports cartoonist, whose work appeared in the New York Journal-American from 1931. His humorous published verses were also popular. Although best known for his sports themes, Jenkins was also a skilled courtroom illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

Jenkins was not afraid to provoke, and he has some strong WW2 examples, including one of the rare direct commentaries on concentration (death) camps. Among his best-remembered cartoons are his angry piece on the discovery of the dead Lindbergh baby, and his sentimental image of Babe Ruth’s farewell to Yankee Stadium.

He was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Post for a series of pessimistic Christmas cartoons, a firing that prompted his father’s resignation from the same newspaper.

His father was an interesting guy. Jenkins, Sr (1968-1945) was ordained in 1891 and served as a pastor in Indianapolis. He received advanced degrees from Harvard and went on to serve as a professor and president of the University of Indianapolis and president of Kentucky University. He left Kentucky to return to Kansas City as pastor of the Linwood Boulevard Christian Church. The church burned in 1939, and Jenkins chose Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect for the church’s new home overlooking the Country Club Plaza.

Jenkins served as editor of the Kansas City Post from 1919 to 1921, hoping to fight for the establishment of the League of Nations. The Jenkins, Sr., biography tells the story about his leaving the Post slightly differently that for the son: “After two years, it became necessary for him to choose between the newspaper and his pulpit and, without hesitation, he resigned from the Post.”

“Live dangerously!” Jenkins would thunder from the pulpit, embracing his own philosophy against all adversaries. Unconventional in nearly every aspect of his chosen field, Jenkins often preached from non-Biblical texts, such as the latest book or his travels abroad. The church frequently hosted motion pictures, dances, card games, and fundraising boxing matches. These activities led to opposition to Jenkins and his Community Church from other churches in the city.

The island of Borneo, with its oilfields and strategic location for the offensive against British Malaya and Dutch Java, was one of the prime targets of Japan’s military offensive of 1941-42. The Japanese systematically and swiftly secured their objectives in Borneo during the early months of their push into the resource-rich Southern Area (South-East Asia) following Pearl Harbor.

In 1945 the task of retaking from the Japanese the former British Borneo territories of Sarawak, Brunei, and North Borneo (Sabah) was entrusted to the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). The 20th and 24th Brigades of the 9th Division launched an amphibious offensive, codenamed OBOE 6.

In order to facilitate his re-conquest of the Philippines, MacArthur struck a deal with the Dutch that he be given “complete authority in the East Indies during any military operations.” In return, he promised to restore Dutch authority in their colonies as rapidly as possible. Therefore, the recapture of the Netherlands East Indies, particularly Java, became part of MacArthur’s plans. The seizure of Borneo was to offer bases to launch his offensive against Java. Furthermore MacArthur argued that the Bornean oilfields would be denied the enemy and instead deployed to Allied advantage.

Nonetheless MacArthur had no intention of committing American land forces in the Borneo campaign. Instead, Australian troops would spearhead the offensive there. Two main landings were undertaken by the Australians in North Borneo on June 10 and June 20.