History

Historic WWII Era LIFE Magazines On Display In WNC

Staff Report

Brevard – A nostalgic part of American history will be on display from March 6-17 at the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas. Every LIFE magazine (issued weekly) from October 1941 through October 1945 will be displayed for your enjoyment at no charge.

These 210 issues, in pristine “new” condition, were generously donated to the museum by David McDonald of Charlotte, NC. These vintage magazines are packaged in clear plastic with only the front and back covers are visible, but the museum also has approximately 100 unpackages LIFE issues from the same period. You are free to look through and enjoy those at your leisure in the museum’s comfortable library.

Sample LIFE covers are pictured here, which portray WWII events, people, inventions, and even movies of the early 40s. The yearly subscription price to this weekly magazine was only $4.50.

A few featured covers:

  • Marine Naval aviator Ace Captain John Lucian Smith. His photo appeared on LIFE’s cover on December 7, 1942, exactly one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Captain Smith shot down 19 Japanese planes – – a tally never achieved by any other American pilot during WWII.
  • Trippe’s Clipper, picturing Juan Terry Trippe, president of Pan American Airways. Trippe designed the Clipper aircraft to cross the Atlantic much faster than any plane before it – the Pan American Clipper put Portugal within 27 hours of Washington, D.C.
  • Coast Guard Skipper Lt. Maurice Jester commanded a 165-foot patrol boat waging a war against German U-boats.
  • Lana Turner and Clark Gable in a romantic embrace, documenting their 1941 movie “Honky Tonk”, a “colorful Wild West sizzling love story featuring gold miners and saloon toughs.”

This unique and historic collection is one of many artifacts, uniforms, and photos on display, thanks to the enthusiastic and generous donations and support of veterans and their families from throughout the Carolinas.

The Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas is located at 21 East Main Street (next to the courthouse) in Brevard, with free admission. The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. For school and group tours, please call 828-884-2141.

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