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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Mama and Joey: 1943

Mama and Joey: 1943

December 1943. Lynn Massman and her son Joey at the United Nations service center nursery in Washington, D.C. View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information.

 

United Nations

Dave is correct. If you listen to recordings of radio news broadcasts and speeches from World War II, the phrase "the United Nations" is used about as often as "the Allies." And the phrase appears in numerous war posters, such as this one:

United Nations Service Center

Anybody know what this service center was? The United Nations organization as we know it today was not created until after WW II. Is it possible that the center referred to was a USO (United Service Organization) center?

[We've addressed this question a number of times. "United Nations" refers to the nations allied against the Axis. A common expression at the time. - Dave]

Madonna and Child

Beautiful mother, beautiful baby, beautiful photo.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Lynn Massman with baby

I think that some of the comments made about Lynn Massman, and her role as a mother, are disrespectful and show a lack of understanding about the historical context of this photo. At that time, US victory was far from certain. Many people worked as spotters in coastal cities, watching for enemy bombers. That's how scary it was. Millions of young mothers were constantly preoccupied with the fear of losing their husband/fathers in battle. Many of them worked in strenuous and tedious jobs in defense plants and factories, both for their economic survival and as a way of supporting the war effort. Lynn and my mother had much in common. I interviewed my mother four years before she died in 2004, and she had many stories of struggle and heartbreak in those times. But her devotion, her spirit and her patriotism, is the reason I am living and able to write this today. My mother believed in and stongly supported women's equal rights all her adult life, but she had no problem wrapping her arms around her role as a mother. And still, she found time to be a fine librarian for nearly 20 years, and a strong and assertive person up to the end.

Respect for homefront

Miguel, I'm sorry the sarcasm was too dry. My point being just the opposite. I was aiming my barb at those who don't value motherhood as having intrinsic worth unless paired with another vocation. Dave, thank you for filling us in on her life, she had genuine love of family and her community.

Motherhood not fulfilling?

Why was she "so unfulfilled"? Why do you have to assume that?

[Lynn had eight children. She also ran for the state Senate in Montana. - Dave]

WWII Madonna

If only she knew how unfulfilled she was taking care of her baby, she wouldn't radiate such serene beauty and contentment and love.

I see the poster showing military rank and decorations, wonder if the the other piece is a map of the DC area for visitors?

 
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