Wartime Entertainment
Television was first displayed at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, and the first TV shows aired in 1941. It seemed to be a popular new idea ready to take off, but then the U.S. went to war and TV didn’t really catch on until after the war was over.

Radio however, remained very popular. People listened to the radio to hear music or listen to the news. There were also all kinds of programs on the radio – dramas, comedies, children’s shows and action adventures. Some favorite kids’ shows at that time were Superman and the Lone Ranger.

Movie Theatres were also very popular during the war. People could go see two movies (called a double feature) for about 10 cents. Movie stars like John Wayne appeared in patriotic movies that showed Germans and Japanese losing the war to the Americans. Between the movies of a double feature were newsreels, which lasted for about 10 minutes. The newsreels featured images of our soldiers and showed people how the war was going.

Movies were a great place to see the fashions at the time. One particularly interesting fashion was the "Zoot Suit" on the far left below.

This site was developed by Carole Parsons, a 5th grade teacher at Millbrook Elementary School. This lesson is part of a unit on WW II for the 5th grade Social Studies classes. Students are also working on performing a play based on the attack on Pearl Harbor, reading a WWII novel, and using extensive PowerPoint presentations to provide additional information to enhance the text.


Ruth Patrick Science Education Center



http://rpsec.usca.edu/Classwork731sp2006/lesson/parsons/wartimeentertainment.html (February 2006)

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