Following the Japanese bombardment of the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and Germany and immediately mobilized the country for war. "Remember Dec. 7th!" is a propaganda poster intended to promote a sense of nationalism and boost support for the war effort. It combines imagery suggesting the destruction of the base—smoke and a tattered American flag—with a quotation from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain." Invoking Lincoln could both give comfort to Americans and remind them of the sacrifice of previous generations.
The image was designed by Allen Saalburg (1899-1987), who was an illustrator and printmaker, son of a newspaper cartoonist. Saalburg studied painting at Pratt Institute and at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1927 he moved to Paris, where he exhibited paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Gallery. After his return to New York in 1930, he started working on murals and theatre sets. The Federal Art Program in New York commissioned Saalburg murals in Central Park and the zoo, among others. He also had several private commissions, such as the original gourmet shop at Bloomingdale's and a mural with eighteen interior panels for the Home Building Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
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