The poster featured here is one of hundreds created by the War Production Board (WPB) during World War II. One month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the WPB was created, absorbing the Supply Priorities Allocation Board and the Office of Production Management. Its chairman was granted sweeping powers over the nation's economic life. The WPB converted and expanded the peacetime economy to maximum war production; controls included assignment of priorities to deliveries of scarce materials and prohibition of nonessential industrial activities. During its three-year existence, the WPB supervised the production of $185 billion worth of weapons and supplies.
Write the significant words from the poster on the board, e. g. "work, fight, sacrifice, this isn't peace—it's war." Lead a class discussion about the words with the following questions:
Share the poster with students, and review Our Documents #73, Joint Address
to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan, 1941. Ask students
to compare the language in the poster language with Roosevelt's language in
the speech, and to consider the effectiveness of both.