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Herb Block drew this cartoon, and it was published in the
. Herb Block felt that, despite what the White House said about the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, the United States was becoming more involved in the war. The
was a well known and popular newspaper in Washington D.C.. This was first published June 17, 1965 the day after the Department of Defense announced that more soldiers would be sent to Vietnam. Since it directly followed this announcement, it was in response to that announcement and the announcement earlier that there had been no change in policy. Because it was after the announcement about the additional troops, it was not based on speculation but on actual fact. The first readers would have been in D.C. because they would have first seen this cartoon in the
. This cartoon addressed the Vietnam War. Many Americans were against American involvement in the Vietnam War, and in recent years the public had felt lied to during the U2 incident under Dwight D. Eisenhower so this could have brought back many of the same feelings as were felt during the U2 incident. Lyndon Johnson was depicted in this cartoon as saying that the American position regarding Vietnam has not changed, but since he was standing on an escalator labeled “Vietnam Escalator” it was clear that this was not the truth; that in actuality, America was becoming more involved in Vietnam. This cartoon was published in a popular and respectable newspaper so any idea put forth in it had to have been legitimate. This cartoon was created for those living in D. C. so it was created for those involved with the government and with politics. Because of their political awareness, this cartoon had reliability because Herb Block was creating this cartoon in a serious manner. Those in the Department of Defense or otherwise involved with the Vietnam War, soldiers for instance, and those who were eligible for being drafted into the war would have paid attention to this cartoon because it involved them. People in charge of the war would have reacted negatively because it portrayed them in a negative way, and people who were being sent to war or could be sent to war could have also reacted negatively because it was not good news for them. Or they could have reacted more positively seeing the lies exposed. This sketch was drafted to reflect the lie the government had told; that the American position had not changed despite sending more troops when that shows that the United States had become more involved. It was created at this time because just the day before 21,000 more troops had been sent to Vietnam. The political and social need was to depict the situation and to criticize it. The argument conveyed was that Lyndon Johnson had lied about the United States’ position in Vietnam. It contained the message that the government should be honest. The main point was that the government had lied about its position in Vietnam because it had changed in that more troops had been sent. This material was significant because it depicted the lie the government had told the people about its position in Vietnam. The social and political implications were that the government had lied. This cartoon could have made more people upset about the situation in Vietnam and the government.
This cartoon ‘Animal Farm’ was published on April 2, 1961 in the Washington Post by Herblock. Herblock was a liberal and while working for the Washington Post (one of largest and oldest newspapers in Washington D.C.) won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Herblock and the Post were known for their left wing politics, but the issue at hand in this drawing centers more on universal American legislative rights being infringed upon. By 1960, electoral reapportionment in many states had failed to keep up with population shifts, with the result that some rural districts with few inhabitants had greater representation than urban ones. Critics argued that the integrity of representative government was in many cases endangered. For example in California the votes of 422 citizens of Los Angeles County (population of 6,038,771) who have one senator, were to equal the vote of a citizen in the 28th senatorial district (population 14,294), which also had one senator. These examples, while extreme, are not isolated but rather exemplify the pattern of rural control of state legislators. Herb Block's cartoon on this inequality shows a farm animal getting greater representation than humans. Here he makes reference to George Orwell's 1946 Animal Farm, in which a "more equal" pig is dominant and the Reynolds vs. Sims ruling. In a 1964 decision, which Chief Justice Earl Warren regarded as one of the most important of his term, the Supreme Court issued a "one-man, one vote" in the ruling designed to correct the imbalance in representation. The Reynolds vs. Sims ruled state legislatures (both upper and lower) should be equally reappointed according to human populations by stating legislators represent people not acreage. During the decade Baker vs. Carr (1962) and Wesberry vs. Sanders (1964) were the precursors that lead to the Reynolds vs. Sims ruling.
AVG – This cartoon, “Let’s Get a Lock for This Thing,” was created by Herbert Block, more commonly known by his pseudonym “Herblock.” Block was a liberal often criticized U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and his cartoons often warned against nuclear warfare. It was published in the
, a newspaper that focuses on political events in the nation’s capital.
This cartoon was published on November 1, 1962, just four days after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev had installed Soviet nuclear missiles at bases in Cuba, where they could strike the United States within two minutes.
President John F. Kennedy responded with a “quarantine” of Cuba and ordered the U.S. Navy to prevent any more ships carrying nuclear material from entering Cuba. Tensions rose as the Soviet ships approached the U.S. blockade, but ultimately the U.S.S.R. agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for a U.S. promise never to invade Cuba (and a secret U.S. removal of missiles from Turkey).
The fear from the crisis, as both nations were on the brink of nuclear war, and the proximity of Soviet missiles alarmed many U.S. citizens, some of whom believed Kennedy and Khrushchev had been to reckless and needlessly risked nuclear war. However, other Americans, especially Cuban exiles, resented the U.S. promise not to invade Cuba and wished that Kennedy had taken an even firmer stance against Khrushchev and Castro.
The menacing beast in the “nuclear war” box represents the destructive and barbaric nature of nuclear war. Its huge hands show that it would have the power to destroy both Kennedy and Khrushchev if allowed to escape. As a result, both Kennedy and Khrushchev are cooperating and working hard (both are sweating) to ensure that the beast does not escape. The title implies both leaders’ efforts to prevent the risk of a future nuclear war. Perhaps the “lock” is a reference to the “hot-line” between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to allow diplomacy to be conducted more quickly if a future crisis arose.
Block’s main argument is the horror of nuclear war and the necessity that the U.S. and Soviet Union must cooperate to prevent it unless they both want to be destroyed. Block expresses relief that the leaders managed to avoid nuclear war over Cuba, but he stresses the need for future cooperation and a surefire “lock” to ensure that the crisis is not repeated. After the Cuban Missile Crisis – the closest the U.S. and U.S.S.R. came to nuclear war – Kennedy did try to reduce some tensions and signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty with Khrushchev, but tensions over Berlin again brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. However, Kennedy and all subsequent leaders managed to prevent the cold war from ever becoming “hot” and destroying the world.
KEO- This cartoon was drawn by Herb Block, also known as Herblock and it appeared on March 9, 1965 in the
. Herblock’s cartoons were drawn from a liberal perspective and the Civil Rights movement was one of his primary concerns; he illustrated the Movement’s development over time and the ways it affected the country. This cartoon was published at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. At this time, Selma, Alabama was in the midst of an intense campaign to register blacks to vote. They met massive resistance and faced a violent response from police and civilians. Two days prior to the publishing of the cartoon on May 7th, 600 people marching for Black voting rights began a 50 mile journey from a church in Selma to Montgomery. As marchers reached the bridge leading out of Selma they met a mass of state troopers who attacked and trampled the marchers, forcing them to return to the church. What was later called “Bloody Sunday” received extensive media coverage and became a symbol of racial oppression. In this cartoon, Herblock shows an Alabama storm trooper washing off a bloody club saying, “I got one of ‘em just as she almost made it back to the church.” The Church is widely considered a symbol of morality and sanctity so by having the trooper express pride at beating a woman who was trying to flee to the church, Herblock depicts Bloody Sunday as a brutal and unwarranted attack on innocent people. He further emphasizes the cruelty of the attack by saying the marcher the trooper injured was a woman rather than a man. A woman being attacked by a large trooper makes the attack sound even more violent and inhumane. Herblock used the cartoon to show white audiences the unwarranted violence blacks were subjected to and to convince them that something needed to be done to end the racial oppression. Herblock’s goal was to elicit support for the Civil Rights movement by depicting blacks as innocent victims of white aggression. This cartoon is significant in that it revealed the changing attitude toward the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Many others recognized the cruelty of Bloody Sunday and it compelled President Lyndon Johnson to push for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The cartoon’s depiction of the cruelty blacks experienced had the opportunity to convince a large number of Civil Rights opponents to support the cause rather than oppose it.
Karl Hubenthal drew this cartoon for the
Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
, incorporating his pro-American views in a depiction of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Published on October 29, 1962, this political cartoon immediately followed Nikita Khrushchev's announcement that the nuclear weapons in Cuba would be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union. Hubenthals’ illustration shows Khrushchev retreating, which represents America’s dominance in the situation as well as Cold War rivalries in general. In the context of the early 1960s, this cartoon appeals strongly to American culture, which enjoyed a plethora of films and books in the Western genre during this era. A cowboy representing the US specifically President John F. Kennedy, who intimidates Khrushchev and the USSR in an old-western showdown style, would receive supportive feelings from the American audience viewing the cartoon. “Backdown at Castro Gulch” is similar to the name of many Westerns, such as the 1957 film
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
, but in a modern context. Most Americans, from adults to children, would relate to the image of a gunfight, and widespread fear during the Cuban Missile Crisis was relieved at the time of this cartoon’s publication. Karl Hubenthal made a point about JFK’s proficiency in dealing with a dire situation, and America’s success over the Soviet Union. Although Khrushchev removed arms from Cuba as part of a deal with Kennedy, and the situation was not simply a Soviet retreat, this image would result in a more positive feeling among US citizens. The cartoon maintains a strong depiction of America, in the form of an intimidating cowboy, and it symbolizes continued safety and control of the Cold War.
This cartoon was created by Herblock on March 21, 1965 for
The Washington Post
. It depicts civil rights activists marching for equal rights around the “Jericho wall” that was voting discrimination in 1960s America. When John F. Kennedy became President in 1961, one of his biggest desires was to continue the fight for civil rights in America. However, his assassination in 1963 put those goals on hold. However, as Lyndon B. Johnson took over in JFK’s stead, he too had a desire to give more civil rights to Blacks in America and end the bigotry and racism they faced. Black activists, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., had been targeting various Southern cities, beginning during JFK’s presidency, like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, to try and end segregation once and for all. They had faced setbacks, like the many bombings in Birmingham, the KKK murders of civil rights activists, both black and white, in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964, and Blood Sunday in Selma. However, LBJ fought back and, following the events of Bloody Sunday, authorized the March from Selma to Montgomery and, a year later, signed into law the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibited the discriminatory voting privileges and practices that had kept so many Blacks from voting.
The central point of this cartoon is that pushing for equal voting rights in America could be paralleled by the Israelites marching on Jericho; the most important aspect of this is, like the Israelites, the activists will succeed. (It must be noted that the legislation had been introduced to the Senate only 3 days prior to the publication of this illustration.) The activists are portrayed as the Israelites of the Old Testament; though
“Israelites” do not carry the Ark of the Covenant, they carry another symbol of their central mission, which is Equal Rights. Jericho’s Wall symbolizes the massive deed that had to be done in order to conquer Voter Discrimination. However, the overall significance of the cartoon is slightly more subtle: the caption “Jericho, U.S.A.”, which, taking it in context of the Biblical event, signifies an eventual victory for the activists. The primary audience of this depiction would most likely be equal rights activists who also attended Church; they would immediately understand the meaning of the cartoon based on their knowledge of its Biblical counterpart.
“Alliance for Progress after the 5th year” was made by Ed Valtman and published in the Hartford Times. This cartoon was made after John F. Kennedy designed the Alliance for Progress. After being passed by congress this plan sent $20 billion in aid to South America in order to close the gap between the rich and the poor. The money was supposed to be spent on better schooling, housing, and medical needs. It was also made in order to discourage South Americans to turn to Communism. This program was produced after the problems with Cuba. The Bay of Pigs incident had occurred and the United States was afraid of Russia convincing other Latin American countries to side with communism. Russia could have put nuclear weapons in other countries in South America. The U.S did not want this to happen, which is probably why they made this program. Many referred to it as the Latin American Marshall Plan. Although this was a good idea, it helped South America very little. As shown in the cartoon the Alliance for Progress was too little, too late. The slug represents how slow coming the help was. The little house that was made in the slug also represents that the help that came was very little. It shows that even in the fifth year, the alliance for progress had not accomplished a lot. The United States had tried to help South America in the past but it did not work then and it did not work this time either. The cartoon emphasized the failure of Kennedy’s program, but at least it showed that he was trying to help the United States and foreign countries. Although Kennedy had helped with domestic problems by putting a lot of beneficial programs in place, this cartoon showed one of Kennedy’s unsuccessful programs.
The cartoon, “Wallace for President,” was created by “Herblock” which stands for his real name, Herbert Block. Block became a well-known political cartoonist early in the 1940s and was characterized by his liberal outlook and criticisms of the domestic policy of the US. During this time period, Block’s main concern was centered on the events surrounding the cold war. This specific cartoon was published in the
, a newspaper known for its liberal editorials. The cartoon was published on 2/11/68, just a week after Wallace announced his bid for the presidency. Wallace had been observing the events and progression surrounding civil rights. Wallace felt alarmed by the new liberal and progressive attitude of the government. Wallace believed he had a legitimate chance to stop the integration of society if he won the presidency. In doing so, Wallace based his political campaign on a purely segregationist policy on a third-party ticket. Wallace is depicted above getting his suit tailored, however underneath that suit is Ku Klux Klan attire. This displays the hidden intention of Wallace when he becomes President. He is simply masking his racism by placing a political suit over it. The various writings on his suit show the terms used by Wallace when he tried to run for President. He used words that were left up to vague interpretation, but really would limit the spread of integration within the US. Block asserts that the public should not be fooled by the lies that Wallace is using while trying to obtain power. Block takes an extremely negative depiction of Wallace, in the hopes that this would sway viewers away from voting for Wallace. The impact of this cartoon may have been for a regional area, but nationally, Wallace was only able to take 5 southern states in the 1968 Election
This cartoon was created by Herblock, a liberal cartoonist who worked for the Washington Post during the latter half of the twentieth century. He was very critical of corruption in the US government and injustice in society. One of the topics he criticized was the government’s attempt at granting Civil Rights. He understood that although legislation was being passed to provide blacks with equal rights, the legislation was not being enforced. This cartoon was published in 1960, right around the time Kennedy was elected president. Only six years before, the Supreme Court had ruled that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. This cartoon addresses segregation, and how the new integration laws were not actually being enforced. It was originally encountered in the Washington Post, and was intended to get people to think about the immorality of segregation. The church is meant to symbolize freedom and equality because one of the basic tenets of the United States is freedom of religion. The sign even says “Brotherhood of Man,” suggesting that everyone is free to come to the church and worship together. However, the name of the church is “First Segregationist Church,” and the caption above says “Pray Keep Moving.” This is meant to symbolize the irony of the situation: whites claimed they were treating blacks equally, but in reality, they were still trying to separate themselves from them. This cartoon targeted Americans who were in a position of power to actually enforce the integration laws, such as politicians and law enforcement. Herblock would have hoped that by drawing attention to the unfairness of integration and the lack of enforcement of the laws, people would put more effort into making sure integration laws were being followed. It gets the message across that segregation is intrinsically unjust and should not be tolerated. This material is important because it illustrates that the laws were not being enforced, and the lack of enforcement was known. It illustrates an important aspect of the Civil Rights Movement which was critical in the early sixties. If it was successful, it would have had the effect of driving the US government into investigating cases of segregation.
This cartoon, titled "OK Mr. President, Let's Talk", drawn by John D. Clare for the
in 1962, depicts Khrushchev and JFK vigorously armwrestling. Perhaps the most significant portion of the cartoon is that fact that each leader has a finger poised to strike a button that would presumably detonate the hydrogen bomb that the other sits upon. This undoubtedly represents the intensity of the Cold War struggle between the two leaders; although each was trying to avoid nuclear war, they were both ready to use nuclear weapons if necessary. Although it is evident that neither Khrushchev nor Kennedy is winning the arm wrestle, it should be noted that Khrushchev is sweating significantly more than Kennedy. This may be merely artistic expression; however, it also may indicate that people outside of both the US and the USSR percieved Kennedy to be in greater control of the situation compared to Khrushchev. This cartoon was published on October 29, only a few days after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thus, Clare may have made Khrushchev look sweatier due to the result of the Crisis, which showed the world that Krushchev was in fact not as heavy-handed as he made himself out to be, and that Kennedy was not in fact an easily malleable youth. Regardless of how Clare wished the sweat to be percieved, the cartoon still makes the extreme precariousness of the situation quite clear. Although Kennedy is considered the "winner" of the Cuban Missile Crisis confrontation, in the long run, neither leader revealed any signs of conceding to the other. Khrushchev exemplified this in his letter to Kennedy, concerning the refusal of the USSR to give in to US demands, "Therefore, Mr. President, if you coolly weigh the situation which has developed, not giving way to passions, you will understand that the Soviet Union cannot fail to reject the arbitrary demands of the United States." Although this statement was later contradicted by the fact that Khrushchev eventually did give in to Kennedy's demands, ending the Missile Crisis, the quote is representative of the Cold War situation as a whole.
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