November 24, 2010 – October 21, 2012

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, West Wing Floor Plan

This small exhibition reveals how Americans used entertainment to distract themselves during a turbulent year when the country was recovering from the Great Depression and World War II loomed -- 1939. Heroes, both real and imaginary, were made through radio and such films as The Wizard of Oz, and the New York World's Fair allowed visitors to experience a more hopeful "World of Tomorrow." Featured objects, including Joe Louis's boxing (sparring) gloves, the Scarecrow hat Ray Bolger wore in The Wizard of Oz, and images from Life magazine demonstrate how entertainment and the arts were used to escape the despair and hopelessness of the era.