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Forties "40's" Theme Party

1940s USO CANTEEN PARTY

Celebrate with a patriotic USO Canteen "40's" theme party.  The first USO centers were in railroad sleeping cars, barns, museums, and churches, and within its first four years had operations in three thousand locations.

Decorating Ideas

Hang gliders or airplanes from the ceiling.  Use a patriotic centerpiece.

Small Gifts were presented to the GI's by the USO Hostesses; Present small gifts (favors to the soldiers).

Give something to all the kids like gliders or toy jeeps.

International Affairs in 1940s

May 27, 1941. Unlimited National Emergency declared in the U.S. after Germany invades Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete.
June 22, 1941. Germany invades the Soviet Union.
December 7, 1941. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The U.S. officially enters World War II.
1942. Battles rage in the Pacific Ocean.

Companies, Inventions, Discoveries & Technology 1941

Penicillin is mass produced.

April 11, 1941. Ford signs its first contract with a labor union.

Humanities and The Arts, Entertainment & Sports 1941

Edward Hopper paints "Nighthawks."
In support of America's war effort, Pepsi changes the color of its bottle crowns to red, white and blue.  A Pepsi canteen in Times Square, New York, operates throughout the war, enabling more than a million families to record messages for armed services personnel overseas.

WWII & Movie Poster Art
1941- Present Movie Posters
Posters on the American Home Front, 1941-1945

Make Memories

Ask each family member for several pictures of their families and any old pictures they might have of their parents. The best way to handle this is to get in touch with a videographer and get some ideas from him. It's really was not that expensive to do. Play this video at the party. Set up a TV & VCR in a corner and keep the video going for people to stop by and watch for a little while. Give a copy of the video to each family . It is a good way to keep the memories for a lifetime.

Rent a video of a Movie from 1941 (Citizen Kane, How Green Was My Valley, The Maltese Falcon, Sergeant York, Sullivan's Travels, Suspicion, You'll Never Get Rich) Fibber McGee and Molly was a favorite Radio Show in 1941, set up and area with an old radio and play a tape of the radio broadcasts.  (There is a website listed below that has sound clips from the radio show), record these and set a tape player behind the Radio and play the tape.

Asked each child and grandchild to write a one-page memoir of their most special memories of the Birthday Person.  Use family photos of the birthday person's wedding, various holidays or vacations taken with their children and grandchildren.  Create or make poster boards and display them on easels all around the party area.   

What to Wear:
Guys could come dressed as GI's, Captains Hat, Army Dress Up - Girls as Canteen Hostesses or Rosie the Riveter (Of all the images of working women during World War II, the image of women in factories predominates. Rosie the Riveter--the strong, competent woman dressed in overalls and
Red Bandanas --were introduced as a symbol of patriotic womanhood. The accoutrements of war work--uniforms, tools, and lunch pails--were incorporated into the revised image of the feminine ideal.)

Food:
Lots of Snacks Foods ( this was the foods served in canteens) Pepsi is a must (1941- In support of America's war effort, Pepsi changes the color of its bottle crowns to red, white and blue. A Pepsi canteen in Times Square, New York, operates throughout the war, enabling more than a million families to record messages for armed services personnel overseas. 

INFORMATION FROM 1941

Establishing the Canteen- 1941
The canteen officially started December 25, 1941, as young women met soldiers traveling through North Platte that Christmas Day and presented them with snacks and small gifts.  

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt challenged six private organizations; the YMCA, YWCA, the National Catholic Community Service, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Traveler Aid Association, and the Salvation Army to handle the on-leave recreation needs for the members of the Armed Forces. The six organizations pooled their resources and the United Service Organizations which quickly became known as the USO  was incorporated in New York State on February 4, 1941.  The first USO centers were in railroad sleeping cars, barns, museums, and churches, and within its first four years had operations in three thousand locations. 

MOVIES FROM THE 40'S

You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - Sidney Lanfield / Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth. Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles / Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten.
How Green was my Valley (1941) - John Ford / Maureen O'Hara.
The Maltese Falcon (1941) - John Huston / Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor.
Meet John Doe (1941) - Frank Capra / Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck. Sergeant York (1941) - Howard Hawks / Gary Cooper.
Sullivan's Travels (1941) - Preston Sturges / Veronica Lake.
Suspicion (1941) - Alfred Hitchcock / Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine.
You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - Sidney Lanfield / Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth.
Disney - Original story and sketch of Donald from "Early to bed" 1941
Disney Canine Caddy 1941
Wolf Man (1941) directed by George Waggner

1940s MUSIC

Welcome to the Skylighters Canteen Ballroom. One of the most popular reasons for hitting the Canteen was the dancing. The 1941 Wurlitzer Model 750 was loaded with some great music to get your feet tapping, so girls work that skirt and guys grab the nearest girl! Sing along with Proud To Be American or dance to the sounds of the Big Band music!

1940'S RADIO

From April 16, 1935 to September 6, 1959 one of the best-known addresses in the USA was the home of Fibber McGee and Molly. They resided at 79 Wistful Vista in a Midwestern city where the popular shows took place. Initially the show was broadcast on Mondays, but eventually it was moved to Tuesday evenings where it stayed for most of its run. Fibber was just that - a fibber, a braggart, a man who stretched his stories and ideas to the limit, often to the dismay of his patient spouse Molly. McGee took telling tall tales to a fine art. His wild ideas and schemes were the basis for the show which usually took place in the living-room at their home. They didn't enjoy quiet evenings alone because there was always a steady stream of visitors, each a character in their own way, who added to the confusion and hilarity.

Create a Forties "40's" Theme Party your guest will remember for years to come!

 

 
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