Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Food is Ammunition

WW1 US Food Administration Poster by J. Sheridan, reminding Americans that food conservation was essential to the war effort

by J. E. Sheridan

c. 1918

Herbert Hoover, former head of the Belgian Relief Organization, lobbied for and won the job of administrator of the Food Administration. Hoover had made clear to President Wilson that a single, authoritative administrator should head the effort, not a board. This, he believed, would ensure an effective federal organization. He further insisted that he accept no salary. Taking no pay, he argued, would give him the moral authority he needed to ask the American people to sacrifice to support the war effort. As he later wrote in his memoirs, his job was to ask people to "Go back to simple food, simple clothes, simple pleasures. Pray hard, work hard, sleep hard and play hard. Do it all courageously and cheerfully."

Just What the Hoover Food Control Means; Article from New York Times, 1917.

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