Office Of War Information Created

On June 13, 1942, some six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Office of War Information (OWI) was created.

In October of that year, the documentary photography unit of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was transferred to the OWI to document the war effort, as it had the U.S government’s battle against poverty during the Great Depression. An important U.S. government propaganda agency during World War II, the OWI supported America’s mobilization for the war effort by recording the nation's preparations for war in films, texts, photographs, radio programs, and posters. OWI photographers documented American life and culture during the early years of World War II, focusing on such subjects as aircraft factories, training for war work, women in the workforce, and the armed forces. Photographs were created to inspire patriotism in the American public.

The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was a U.S. government agency created during World War II to consolidate government information services. It operated from June 1942 until September 1945. It coordinated the release of war news for domestic use, and, using posters and radio broadcasts, worked to promote patriotism, warned about foreign spies and attempted to recruit women into war work. The office also established an overseas branch which launched a large scale information and propaganda campaign abroad.

The OWI was established by Executive Order 9182 on June 13, 1942, to consolidate the functions of the Office of Facts and Figures, OWI's direct predecessor; the Office of Government Reports, and the division of information of the Office for Emergency Management. The Foreign Intelligence Service, Outpost, Publication, and Pictorial Branches of the Office of the Coordinator of Information were also transferred to the OWI. (The Executive order creating OWI, however, stated that dissemination of information to the Latin American countries should be continued by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.) Elmer Davis, who was a CBS newsman, was named director of OWI.

Among its wide-ranging responsibilities, OWI sought to review and approve the design and content of government posters. OWI officials felt that the most urgent problem on the home front was the careless leaking of sensitive information that could be picked up by spies and saboteurs.