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  1. The Truman Memoirs - September 26, 1955 Life Magazine

    The Truman Memoirs - September 26, 1955 Life Magazine

     Exerpt from the July 7, 1947 Life Magazine

    A Unique Personal Record

    I have often thought in reading the history of our country how much is lost to us because so few of our Presidents have told their Own Stories. It would have been helpful for us to know more of what was in their minds and what impelled them to do what they did. The presidency of the United States carries with it a responsibility so personal as to be without parallel. Very few are ever authorized to speak for the President. No One can make decisions for him. No One can know all the processes and Stages of his thinking in making important decisions. Even those closest to him, even members of his immediate family, never know all the reasons why he does certain things and why he comes to certain conclusions. To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decisions. Unfortunately, some of our Presidents were prevented from telling all the facts of their administrations because they died in office. Some were physically spent on leaving the White House and could not have undertaken to write even if they had wanted to. Some were embittered by the experience and did not care about living it again in telling about it. As for myself, I should like to record, before it is too late, as much of the story of my occupancy of the White House as I am able to tell. The events as I saw them and as I put them down here, I hope may prove helpful in informing some people and in setting others straight on the facts.

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  2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. - December 28, 1953 Life magazine

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. - December 28, 1953 Life magazine

    Exerpt from December 28, 1953 Life Magazine

    Rare Original Drawings Retell Dorothy's Amazing Adventures.

    There’s a cyclone coming,” shouted Uncle Henry, and he ran toward the sheds where the cows and horses were kept. "Quick, Dorothy, run for the cellar" Aunt Em screamed, and she climbed down through the trap door in the floor of the house. But Dorothy ran to get Toto, her little black dog. Then came a great shriek from the wind and a strange thing happened. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon. Toto sell out through the cellar door, but Dorothy pulled him back again. On and on they rode until, many hours later, landed with a great bump. The little girl gave a cry of amazement. She was in a country of marvelous beauty. Three queer little men appeared with an old woman. “Welcome most noble Sorceress to the land of the Munchkins," said the old woman. "I am the Good Witch of the North, and we are grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, You shall wear her Silver Shoes." Dorothy saw the Silver Shoes sticking out from under the house which had fallen on the Wicked Witch. But Dorothy wanted only to get back to her Aunt and Uncle in Kansas. "Can you help me find my way?" she pleaded.

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  3. This Pleasant Land - July 7, 1947 Life magazine

    This  Pleasant Land - July 7, 1947 Life magazine

    Exerpt from the July 7, 1947 Life Magazine

    America The Beautiful

    The Fourth of July, although it originated in the hot spirit of defiance and the powder smell of revolution, is a quiet holiday. In the small cities the crowds gather beneath bunting and flags to Watch their parades. In the picnic grounds the orators sweat and strain to produce three cheers for liberty. Yet everywhere, as in the Cheyenne street scene on the opposite page, the crowds are in shirtsleeves and cotton dresses, relaxed, having a good, long, easy day, taking their liberty for granted, a little embarrassed by all the fancy talk. In the cool of the evening many Americans will express their unself-conscious patriotism in the thought, "This has been a pleasant day and this is a pleasant land.” For in early July, on the nation's birthday, the land is at its best. The ice has long been out of the northern lakes, yet the summer's full fury has not yet descended on the countryside. America, as the color photographs on the following 12 pages show, is a land of vast, calm beauty and of people who are outdoors enjoying it.

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  4. U.S. Auto Plants are Cleared for War. February 16, 1942 Issue

    U.S. Auto Plants are Cleared for War.  February 16, 1942 Issue

    Everyone chips in. 

    Last week an era in U.S. history came to an end in a factory in Pontiac, Mich. 25 miles north of Detroit. At exactly 1:31 p.m. on Feb. 2, the last pleasure car that will be made until the war is won rolled off the assembly line in Pontiac's Plant A. Other famous maker – Ford, Plymouth. Studebaker and the rest—had already ended production. Now the $4,000,000,000-a-year auto industry had only one customer and only one boss - the U.S. Government-at-war.

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  5. U.S.S. Hornet's Last Days.- August 2, 1943 Life Magazine

    U.S.S. Hornet's Last Days.- August 2, 1943 Life Magazine

     Exerpt from September 30, 1946 Life Magazine.

    Tom Lea Paints Death of Great Carrier

    The sinking of the U.S. S. Hornet by Jap planes on Oct. 26, 1942 is no longer a news event. It now belongs to history. But of all the great stories of the war, none is more filled with heroism and tragedy than the loss in the South Pacific of this mighty aircraft carrier.

    Four days before the Hornet's last fight, Tom Lea, artist-war correspondent on assignment for LIFE, transferred from her to another ship. For 66 days he had lived aboard the Hornet. Since then he has been working on a series of paintings showing what happened on the day she was sunk. Research material for the paintings came not only from his own penciled sketches made before he was transferred, but from accounts given to him by officers and enlisted men who survived the sinking. His drawings and paintings are reproduced on these eight pages.

    Tom Lea says that the days he spent aboard the Hornet were the proudest days of his life. In a letter written to LIFE he describes the emotions he feels about the ship. “I have been trying to write you about how a ship seems to be a living thing and how each ship has her own particular personality. Yet a ship does not begin to live merely because she has engines, and steel, and decks and a flag. She begins to live only as she receives from the men who sail her the best part of their personalities. Men endow a ship, not only with their own souls, their own hopes and desires, but also, because a ship's performance depends upon the men who sail heir own behavior.

    “If this is true of all ships, it is particularly true of a man-of-war. Such a ship achieves her destiny only in destruction, and her quality of living is somehow shaped by her quality of dying. Men on a warship think of dying just as normally as they think of living. “An aircraft carrier is by her very nature a most pe. culiar warship, for she belongs not wholly to the sea nor sufficiently to the sky. Without heavy deck guns or stout armor, she is physically the most vulnerable of warships, carrying within her the seeds of her own destruction.

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  6. Unveiling of the New Marilyn Monroe. - August 27, 1956 Life magazine

    Unveiling of the New Marilyn Monroe. - August 27, 1956 Life magazine

    Exerpt from August 27, 1956 Life Magazine

    "Bus Stop" brings back more Adroit Actress.

    Bus Stop is Marilyn Monroe's first movie since her year-long strike for artistic freedom, a year she spent seriously studying arting, reading good books, talking about playing in The Brothers Karamazov and getting to know her Pulitzer prize-winning playwright. But as soon as she steps through the headed curtain of a Phoenix honky-tonk in 2011 Century-Fox's Bus Stop, it becomes evident that all this intellectual activity has done Marilyn absolutely no harm whatsoever. She dances in daring costumes, wiggles in and out of tight dresses, lolls lusciously and uses a baby voice to set off an unbabylike figure. Under direction of Joshua Logan, whose sly ways with a camera get a lot of lawdy, brawling fun out of the movie, she shows that she has learned a great deal about her trade, developing a sure satiric touch as a comedienne. Maybe she isn't ready for The Brothers Karamazov. It doesn’t seem very important.

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  7. Van Gogh - October 1, 1956 Life magazine

    Van Gogh - October 1, 1956 Life magazine

     

    Exerpt from April 2, 1945 Life Magazine

    Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh

    From bristly red beard to crazed blue eyes the Vincent van Gogh portrayed by Kirk Douglas (p. 62) in MGM's fine new film, Lust for Life, is the Van Gogh of his own self-portraits. The life story the movie tells is set against the glorious color of Van Gogh’s great art—the pool hall, drawbridge and cafe at Arles, the wheat fields of north central France, the now familiar scenes that in reproduction decorate thousands of American walls. Van Gogh was stubborn, quarrelsome, gifted. Born in Holland, he drifted southward, fighting with everyone, the women who loved him, fellow painters, landlords. In Arles, under Provence's burning sun, he painted the blazing canvases that made him immortal. And there he went mad. He cut of an ear and left it in tribute at the door of a brothel. He spent a year in a madhouse painting prodigiously. And free again in his 37th year, he went into a wheat field and, in a fit of depression, ended his stormy life.

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  8. Walt Disney Goes To War. - August 31, 1942 Life Magazine

    Walt Disney Goes To War. - August 31, 1942 Life Magazine

    Excerpt from January 18, 1943 Life magazine

    Walt Disney and His Studio Help Win The War

    Pictured below, with open collar and a day's growth of beard, is Walt Disney, whose studio in Burbank, Calif. is now going full blast to help win the war. Tacked up behind him are sketches for his Food Will Win The War, a short cartoon film made for the Department of Agriculture. Here Disney drives home the immensity of U.S. food resources. Looking at random, you see that America produces enough flour to make enough spaghetti to be knitted into a sweater covering the whole earth, or enough fats to produce a fat lady who could squash Berlin. Within a year Disney's studio has undergone a big change. He has just released Bambi, a pre-war project, which tells tenderly the story of a deer. Now 90% of Disney's 550 employes are making films that bear directly on the war. At least six major branches of the Government have engaged Disney to reach the public, usually with the aid of Donald Duck or Pluto the pup. But an important majority of Disney's war films are for training purposes. The Army has ordered a few such films. The Navy is Disney's best customer, having ordered more than 50 films on every war subject from bombing and gunnery to paratroop training. Walt Disney is both a visionary and practical artist. That is why his new training films are successful today, and perhaps extremely important to the future. Disney's artists are fine teachers because, primarily, they know how to hold your interest. By their highly perfected animated-cartoon technique, they can show you the inside of something-say, an antitank gun-where no camera could penetrate. They can take the gun apart, piece by piece. Step by step, they can show a mechanical process. They can show an aviator what to expect flying through thunderclouds or, in a film on malaria, they can make a germ-bearing mosquito so gruesome that nobody could ever forget it. On his own, Disney is making 18 cartoon shorts to be released publicly next year. Half of them are related to war. With no sacrifice of humor or variety, these films will crusade for the kind of world where a free popular art, using man's unlimited imagination, can flourish-where everyone has some chance to laugh and learn.

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  9. Whisky Shortage - December 13, 1943 Life magazine

    Whisky Shortage - December 13, 1943 Life magazine

     Exerpt from December 13, 1943 Life Magazine

    Nation Drinks What it Can as Favorite Spirit Grows Scarce

    Throughout the U. S. last week, liquor-store proprietors gave customers the once-over. For a steady patron, one bottle of whisky might appear furtively from under the counter. Strangers walked out with rum, brandy or gin. In New York the FBI nabbed a gang of thugs in the act of hijacking more than 1,200 cases of whisky. In back rooms and loft buildings, Federal raiders dismantled illicit stills and poured bootleg liquor down drains. It was sort of like old times. A fortnight after the start of a Senate investigation of the liquor situation, a bloc of the nation's distillers took big ads in major city newspapers from coast to coast to explain why whisky was hard to get. Now held in storage are about 303,000,000 gallons, of which 100,000,000 must be held for post war reserve. Should the remaining 203,000,000 be thrown on the market they would vanish, the distillers estimated, in less than a year-hence voluntary rationing. As Christmas approached, parched Americans began gulping rum, brandy, imported gin. Even these might dry up soon.

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  10. Yankee-Dodger Series of 1952. - October 20, 1952 Issue

    Yankee-Dodger Series of 1952. - October 20, 1952 Issue

      Exerpt from September 30, 1946 Life Magazine.

     The Country Can't Take it's Eyes off TV as Series Comes to Climax

    For seven days the midday life of some 70 million Americans was disrupted. People went to lunch and didn't come back for hours. Work slowed down, classrooms were disrupted, and especially on the last day almost nobody, from beer-sipping low-brows to erudite high-brows, watched anything but the Yankees-Dodgers acting out on TV one of the most dramatic World Series since the Dean brothers whoomped Detroit 18 years ago. The audience saw Dodgers make impossible catches, marveled at an old man named Mize clouting three homers, watched the Yankees Casey Stengel make one successful managerial move after another. By the seventh inning of the seventh game people had seen enough to talk about all winter. Then with two out and bases loaded a Yankee infielder gave them another tidbit by making a story-book catch of a pop fly lost in the sun. As people sat breathless, a waitress in Denver eyed TV deadheads at her counter and said, “We can’t get them off the stools. They just ask for another cup of coffee and go on watching.”

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