Sept. 25, 1944
Claire Poe of Miami Beach, Fla., appears on the cover of Life’s special issue “A Letter to GIs,” because she is the kind of good-looking American girl that a lot of GIs know and would like to hear from. She is 18, a natural blonde, and has just entered Florida State College for Women as a freshman. She has been corresponding with a sergeant in Puerto Rico and an ensign at Fort Lauderdale, but has no steady boyfriends. She wants to become an arithmetic teacher.
Life assigns Andreas Feininger and Margaret Bourke-White to take photographs for its special issue “A Look at America.” Bourke-White took photographs from a TWA plane while Feininger remained on the ground.
The issue was intended for Americans serving overseas who could foresee the end of the war and were wondering what America would be like when they returned. Life said: “You know the war will not be over until the last shots are fired in Germany and Japan. But your victories have brought the end in sight. You want to finish the job and come home.”
Before deregulation and the breakup of the phone company, there was only Bell Telephone. And it was very popular with the Greatest Generation, particularly between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Wartime house: Channel Heights in San Pedro, designed by Richard Neutra.
A great issue about life at home circa 1944, and what returning soldiers face.
Pg. 55: Marlboro was the glamorous cigarette of successful men and lovely women? No cowboys here.
Pg. 70: Color shots of Lauren Bacall, Ella Raines and Donna Reed, a LACC beauty queen who can still milk cows!
Pg. 82: “According to a recent estimate 75% of soldiers do not want to return to their old home towns.”
Pg. 111: GI’s Dream Party: one young GI recovering from malaria is manhandled by Ginger Rogers, Jinx Falkenburg and more…