Newsreels-Videos of War Time 1942-1944

Who doesn’t have a relative or ancestor who either served in the military or on home front during World War II? Even for families who immigrated since 1945 to America, nearly every region of the globe was affected by this long, massive war. The way Americans kept informed on events during the war were the bi-weekly newsreels shown in the local movie theaters. Each section ran for 8 to 10 minutes to provide information to the public of what was happening on the battle fields. Being news broadcasts, other events (sports, entertainment, farms, industries, volcanic eruptions, government, etc.) not related to the war were also shown. Now nearly 70 years later, 20th century-Fox Film Corp. has donated a portion of their film collection to the Library of Congress and the University of South Carolina and made digital on the Internet.

The available search box on the site by the University of South Carolina, allows you to select from a certain month and year (1942-1944). You can also select a location relating to news events (Great Britain, North Africa, Italy, United States). You can also search by a key word, such as ‘baseball’. After selection of a category or time period, click ‘Go’ for the full range.

A list of topics with the specific date (if that was selected) will appear. Place your cursor over the volume number and date and a short description will appear. If you wish to view it, click on the volume and date words. Being a video film, it will then take a few moments (about 50 seconds) to download to play. When the arrow to play appear, click on it to begin. Lowell Thomas narrates many of these newsreels, along with music background. The white box in the lower right side will enlarge the screen allowing easier viewing. For each month of a certain year there will be 8 to 9 of the newsreels. You can start at the beginning of 1942 and go week to week with events.

Not only is this a wonderful look into actual events, people and places, you are also hearing and seeing films just as your parents and grandparents saw them. Only you know the end results whereas they did not.

Besides the actual newsreel to view there is a written script of what was said, a scanned copy of what the narrators and newsmen had to read.

This is a great offering, an opportunity to step back in time. Especially interesting would be to share this viewing with any relatives who lived those years, even if they were youngsters.

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