“No Longer a Stepping Stone”

“No Longer a Stepping Stone” (July 7, 1941)
by Charles (Chuck) Werner (1909-1997)
14 x 16 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Charles (Chuck) Werner won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1939 for a cartoon he did for the Daily Oklahoman titled “Nomination for 1938” which allowed for the transfer of the Sudetenland to Hitler’s Germany (October 6, 1938). At age 29, Werner was the youngest person to win the Pulitzer. Werner left the Daily Oklahoman to be the Chief Editorial Cartoonist at the Chicago Sun in 1941 before leaving for the Indianapolis Star in 1947. Throughout his nearly sixty-year career, many U.S. Presidents expressed interest in Werner’s cartoons, including Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry Truman requesting cartoons for their presidential libraries.

On 7 July 1941, the defense of Iceland, which was part of Denmark, was transferred from Britain to the (still officially neutral) United States. US Marines replaced the British troops. Iceland’s strategic position along the North Atlantic sea-lanes, perfect for air and naval bases, brought new importance to the island.

Iceland officially remained neutral throughout World War II.

“Winter Tourist”

“Winter Tourist” (November 8, 1941)
by Jay Alan Klein (1894-1965)
15 x 19 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Born in Nebraska, Klein was an animator and assistant at Terry-toons in the early ‘30s and later became a print cartoonist, credited as “Alan Klein” or “Jay Alan.”

He attended the University of Nebraska and Chicago of Fine Arts. Known for his political cartoons during WWII but mostly for his work with Modest Maidens until AP terminated all its comics in 1961. He changed the name to Modern Maidens and began syndicating the cartoon himself.

The Italian invasion of Greece lasted from October 28, 1940 to April 30, 1941, kicking off the Axis move towards the Balkans. Italian forces made limited gains, and soon the Greeks counter-attacked and the Italians were repulsed and driven back at the borders with Albania. The Italians spent much of the winter stabilizing a line that left them in control of only about two-thirds of Albania. An anticipated Italian offensive in March 1941 resulted in few territorial gains. Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, intervened in April and invaded Greece after a successful invasion of Yugoslavia.

 

“Making Some Progress”


“Making Some Progress” (September 22, 1918)
by Edward Scott “Ted” Brown (1876-1942)
12 x 20 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

One cartooning historian describes Brown as “an absolute whirling dervish at the drawing board, producing more material for the daily pages than anyone except the great George Frink.” Brown worked for the “Chicago Daily News” (ca. 1908-24) and the “New York Herald-Tribune” (1925-42).

Ted Brown, who spent his early years chasing the Alaska gold rush of 1898, returned to the US with no gold score and was a longtime editorial cartoonist for the New York Herald-Tribune, supplanting Jay N. (Ding) Darling in that position. Brown took ill in mid-1942 and died in late December.

The Fourteen Points speech of President Woodrow Wilson was delivered before a joint meeting of Congress on January 8, 1918, during which Wilson outlined his vision for a stable, long-lasting peace in Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world following World War I.

From October 1917 to October 1918, the German Chancellorship was in the hands of Count Georg von Hertling. The Fourteen Points speech was in line with the Reichstag’s Peace Resolution.

“The program of the world’s peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this:

“I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

“II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

“III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

“IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.”

In mid-August 1918, German troops began retreating on the Western Front and in the second half of September 1918, Germany’s Turkish, Bulgarian, and Austrian allies acknowledged defeat and asked the Allied powers for a ceasefire.

On September 29, 1918, the German high command, Hindenburg and Ludendorff, finally disclosed to the Kaiser that the military situation was desperate and that the war could not be won. In the face of this admission of defeat they demanded two things: The civilian government was to ask US President Wilson for the terms of an armistice on the basis of his Fourteen Points and, at the same time, the imperial constitution should be reformed to include the political parties in government responsibility.

Chancellor Hertling did not accept the demands for democratic reform and handed in his resignation.

The Armistice of November 11, 1918 ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and Germany. It came into force at 11:00 a.m. Paris time… on this day, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends.

“Will They Divide the Pot?”


“Will They Divide the Pot?” (December 5, 1941)
by John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)
14 x 14 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 Tribune from 1903 until his retirement in 1946. McCutcheon received the Pulitzer Prize for Cartoons in 1932.

In June 1941, WW2 took a sharp turn. There was war in Europe, in China, and in North Africa… and in 6 months, the US would be brought into it through the attack at Pearl Harbor. In June, though, Hitler turned on Russia and took the gambit that he could take Moscow in a well-structured, all out assault to the East.

Operation Barbarossa moved the German forces systematically forward, and within a few hundred miles of Moscow. Operation Typhoon was meant to take the prize and end the effort in victory. But the Russian roads were poor, and their rails were wider than the Germans, so the trains were stuck. Soon, the Germans were lacking food, ammo, and fuel, and soon, the proper clothing for the Russian winter, which they were not anticipating to face.

Operation Typhoon has been described as a stalemate of a boxing match, with lots of blows being landed but nothing gained beyond exhaustion and mutual damage. In early October, the wet season turned the battlefields into mud-pits that the Russians were better at negotiating.

The weather turned colder in November, improving the mobility of the Wehrmacht, who got within 12 miles of the Russian capitol by the end of the month.

Then the tide turned again. In early December, the temperature dropped to -40 (pick your scale, they converge here). Siberian-trained Russians, in fur-lined snow-white gear, tore through the Germans, pushing them back 150 miles. Hitler’s troops were ordered to not back down, and the seesaw occupation along the Eastern Front continued through the war.

 

“Somewhere in Germany”


“Somewhere in Germany” (March 24, 1947)
by Vaughn Richard Shoemaker (1902-1991)
13 x 16, ink and wash on board
Coppola Collection

Shoemaker was an American editorial cartoonist. He won the 1938 and 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning and created the character John Q. Public. He spent 22 years at the Chicago Daily, and subsequently worked for the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago American, and Chicago Today. He retired in 1972.

The Molotov Plan was the system created by the Soviet Union in 1947 in order to provide aid to rebuild the countries in Eastern Europe that were politically and economically aligned to the Soviet Union. It was originally called the “Brother Plan” in the Soviet Union. It can be seen to be the Soviet Union’s version of the Marshall Plan, which for political reasons the Eastern European countries would not be able to join without leaving the Soviet sphere of influence. Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov rejected the Marshall Plan, proposing instead the Molotov Plan.

On March 18, 1947, TASS (the Russian news agency) published the text of a secret agreement made at the Yalta Conference in 1945 on the matter of German reparations, in order to back up Molotov’s demand for them. The question then turned to whether the Yalta text was supplemented or superseded by the Potsdam Agreement.

This is a rather elegant piece of art from Shoemaker.

 

“The New York City Election”


“The New York City Election” (undated, ca. 1900)
by John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)
14 x 15 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 Tribune from 1903 until his retirement in 1946. McCutcheon received the Pulitzer Prize for Cartoons in 1932.

I suspect this is an early piece from McCutcheon. First let’s look at the symbolism.

The term “Knickerbockers” traces its origin to the Dutch settlers who came to the New World – and especially to what is now New York – in the 1600s. Specifically, it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore…pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as “Knickerbockers”, or “knickers”. In 1809, legendary author Washington Irving solidified the knickerbocker name in New York lore when he wrote the satiric “A History of New York” from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker. Later known as Knickerbocker’s History of New York, Irving’s book introduced the word “knickerbocker” to signify a New Yorker who could trace his or her ancestry to the original Dutch settlers.

With the publication of Irving’s book, the Dutch settler “Knickerbocker” character became synonymous with New York City. The city’s most popular symbol of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was “Father Knickerbocker”, complete with cotton wig, three-cornered hat, buckled shoes, and, of course, knickered pants.

Tammany Hall was the name given to the Democratic political machine that dominated New York City politics from the mayoral victory of Fernando Wood in 1854 through the election of Fiorello LaGuardia in 1934. Tammany was usually depicted as a Tiger, based upon Thomas Nast’s 1871 caricature of Tammany Hall as a tiger killing democracy in the coliseum of New York politics, and represented the reign of “Old Bosses” in the machinery, particularly referring to Boss Tweed (1856-1873).

From 1902 until his death in 1924, Charles Francis Murphy was Tammany’s boss. Murphy wanted to clean up Tammany’s image, and he sponsored progressive era reforms benefiting the working class. Murphy always advised that politicians should have nothing to do with gambling or prostitution, and should steer clear of involvement with the police department or the school system.

With Murphy cleaning up the Tammany image, and McCutcheon’s larger ink/brush works being more associated with his early career, I tag this as early in McCutcheon’s career.

“We Will Never Forget…”


“We Will Never Forget…” (December 7, 1982)
by Charles Phillip Bissell (1926 -)
12 x 17.5, 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.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese navy launched a surprise military attack against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor located on the island of O’ahu. The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet as the Japanese expanded throughout the Pacific region. Despite numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action, the lack of any formal warning by Japan led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” The attack on Pearl Harbor, not only brought America into World War II, but raised suspicions of the large Japanese communities on West Coast of the United States and in Hawai’i.

“Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…”


“Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…” (April 5, 1971)
by Don Hesse (1918-1985)
9 x 12 in., grease pencil on paper
Coppola Collection

Don Hesse worked for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat from 1946 to 1984 and was appointed primary editorial cartoonist in 1951. Through syndication his political cartoons enjoyed a wide circulation, capturing the eye of long-term admirers like President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. Currently, many of Hesse’s cartoons are on permanent display in the Library of Congress

On the morning of March 16, 1968, around 100 soldiers from Charlie Company, following a short artillery and helicopter gunship barrage, landed in helicopters at Sơn Mỹ, a patchwork of settlements, rice paddies, irrigation ditches, dikes, and dirt roads, connecting an assortment of hamlets and sub-hamlets. The largest among them were the hamlets Mỹ Lai, Cổ Lũy, Mỹ Khê, and Tu Cung.

Although the GIs were not fired upon after landing, they still suspected there were VC guerrillas hiding underground or in the huts. Confirming their suspicions, the gunships engaged several armed enemies in a vicinity of Mỹ Lai; later, one weapon was retrieved from the site.

According to the operational plan, 1st Platoon led by Second Lieutenant (2LT) William Calley and 2nd Platoon led by 2LT Stephen Brooks entered the hamlet of Tu Cung in line formation at 08:00, while the 3rd Platoon commanded by 2LT Jeffrey U. Lacross and Captain Medina’s command post remained outside. On approach, both platoons fired at people they saw in the rice fields and in the brush.

The villagers, who were getting ready for a market day, at first did not panic or run away, as they were herded into the hamlet’s commons. Harry Stanley, a machine gunner from Charlie Company, said during the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division inquiry that the killings started without warning. He first observed a member of 1st Platoon strike a Vietnamese man with a bayonet. Then, the same trooper pushed another villager into a well and threw a grenade in the well. Next, he saw fifteen or twenty people, mainly women and children, kneeling around a temple with burning incense. They were praying and crying. They were all killed by shots to the head.

Most of the killings occurred in the southern part of Tu Cung, a sub-hamlet of Xom Lang, which was a home to 700 residents. Xom Lang was erroneously marked on the U.S. military operational maps of Quảng Ngãi Province as Mỹ Lai.

In 1971, during the four-month-long trial, Calley consistently claimed that he was following orders from his commanding officer, Captain Medina. Despite that, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on March 29, 1971, after being found guilty of premeditated murder of not fewer than twenty people. Two days later, President Richard Nixon made the controversial decision to have Calley released from armed custody at Fort Benning, Georgia, and put under house arrest pending appeal of his sentence. In August 1971, his life sentence was reduced, and in September 1974, he was paroled.

“WW II Vets” (May 12, 1985)


“WW II Vets” (May 12, 1985)
by Charles Phillip Bissell (1926 -)
11 x 17.5, 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.

On May 8, 1945, VE Day, about a week after Hitler’s suicide and the fall of Berlin, the Allies of World War II accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

It is hard to tell what else was in the word balloon, but the intention is clear: can it really be 40 years ago…?

“League of Nations Summer Session”


“League of Nations Summer Session” (June 5, 1930)
by John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)
14 x 17 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 Tribune from 1903 until his retirement in 1946. McCutcheon received the Pulitzer Prize for Cartoons in 1932.

“A debate that promises to enliven the summer session with a lot of fierce shoulder-shrugging”

The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. The League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success, sometimes putting self-interest before becoming involved with conflict resolution, while also contending with governments that did not recognize its authority.

Thanks to the strength of the post-War isolationists, the US did not join the League, and the utter lack of European cooperation meant a lot on infighting and long, drawn-out conferences at which not much happened.

Longtime French Premiere Aristide Briand revitalized the concept of creating a “European Union” as a way to prevent another World War. He proposed to use the League of Nations as his platform.

During the 1929 Assembly, Briand promised the 27 invited European Member States that he would submit a more detailed plan that they could then discuss, including the need for European stamps, a European Customs Union, and a European coinage.

By the time Briand’s proposal was ready for discussion in May of 1930, Europe was in the process of undergoing some drastic changes, resulting from the economic depression, in the form of growing levels of unemployment and nationalism, and, as we now know, the rise of fascism.

The League effectively ceased operations during World War II, but created the foundation for the United Nations in 1945.