March Seventeenth, 03/17/1918
On Saint Patrick’s Day Clifford Berryman shows a determined Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves and preparing to use a large club to deal with the many German propagandist snakes slithering in the grass around him. Teddy bear is by his side wielding a smaller stick. Throughout World War I the U.S. Government was forced to divert substantial resources to counter skilled German propaganda aimed at weakening the resolve of the American people to continue the war effort. Berryman uses the Saint Patrick’s day theme of driving the snakes out of Ireland as a model for driving out the German propagandists.
Cartoonist Clifford Berryman’s proposal for improved government efficiency:
This untitled illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, which appeared in the Washington Evening Star on March 9, 1916, is a response to the proposal made by Representative William Patterson Borland of Missouri that an extra hour be added to the government work day. Here, Uncle Sam watches as government workers rush by below on their way to work wearing roller skates to ensure their early arrival and wondering why he had not thought of it.
(Thankfully never implemented. We can only imagine disaster would ensure in the Archives’ conservation labs…)
Let Congress Take Warning, 03/06/1909
The Inauguration Day of William Howard Taft was one of the worst Inauguration days ever due to rain, snow, sleet, slush, and chilling winds. In the cartoon, telegraph lines are shown falling over because of the strong winds and snow. Uncle Sam is bundled in winter gear while holding a resolution to change the date of Inauguration Day and telling Congress that they shouldn’t let the same thing happen again. Because of the bad weather, there was much support in changing Inauguration Day to April 30, which is when George Washington was inaugurated. The resolution was not successful until 1933 though, when Inauguration Day was changed to January 20.
Following the Spanish-American War, tensions between the burgeoning Filipino independence movement, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, and U.S. forces erupted into a war with the Battle of Manila on February 4, 1899.
Cartoonist Clifford Berryman shows the futility of a small, indigenous independence movement fighting against the large boot of Uncle Sam.
“Have You Gentlemen Any Idea When You’re To Get Off?” 07/26/1912
From the Clifford Berryman Political Cartoon Collection
The second session of the 62nd Congress began on December 4, 1911, and as the 1912 election neared, there was no end in sight. This cartoon has Uncle Sam dressed as a train conductor asking the House and Senate when they will adjourn so members could return home to campaign. Congress remained in session for another month after this cartoon was published.
The U.S. flag was formally adopted by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. While the first presidential proclamation celebrating flag day was not signed until 1916 and the first congressional legislation wasn’t passed until 1949, Americans still celebrated the birth of our nation’s flag on June 14. In this 1901 cartoon by Clifford Berryman Uncle Sam is celebrating flag day while carrying a large flag and small boy dressed as a sailor.
Flag Day 1901, 6/14/1901, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6010370)
On Wednesday the National Archives announced the Legislative Archives Fellowship for 2012. Last year the Archivist of the United States created the Fellowship to support scholarly work in United States history, based on research in the records of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Foundation for the National Archives generously provided a total stipend of $10,000 for the Fellowship.
Applications for the 2012 Fellowship will be accepted by email until midnight EDT May 16, 2012. The recipient will be selected by July 1, 2012. Research proposals will be considered on any topic requiring research in the historical records of Congress housed at the National Archives Center for Legislative Archives. Find out how to apply.
“Careful Examination” by Clifford K. Berryman, 7/16/1918, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011459)
Happy first day of spring! This political cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman was featured on the front of the Washington Evening Star in 1918.
With another spring upon the U.S., Berryman depicted the need to hurry production again for World War I. Uncle Sam is seen here issuing his order to speed up shipbuilding and to start digging the soil, while another reminder to buy Liberty Bonds lies below him and the westward drive behind him.
The Big Spring Drive by Clifford K. Berryman, 3/25/1918, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011372)
Did you remember to Spring Forward?
Dated December 18, 1904, this cartoon by Clifford Berryman depicts Uncle Sam dressed as Santa Claus as he sits on a stool with his expense account books for the United States. Three supplicants are on their knees, all with the same request for additional appropriations for a new district building.