Victory Vacations

This 76-page booklet says it was originally titled “Veterans Victory Vacations,” apparently in an attempt to justify recreational travel on the part of returning vets while World War II was still underway. This particular version, minus the “Veterans,” was published right after the war ended.

Click image to download a 40-MB PDF of this booklet.

The booklet has numerous black-and-white photos accompanied by silly comics showing men doing all kinds of manly things surrounded by scantily clad, admiring women–just what returning veterans no doubt hoped was waiting for them. One comic on page 23 would qualify as racist today, but even if you ignore the Sambo appearance of the waiter, just the fact that all the tourists are white while the servant was black was racist enough.


Victory Vacations — 1 Comment

  1. I know that in order to reproduce anything depicting a racist attitude from a previous era a disclaimer is required, lest anyone think you condone or agree with it. Sure the picture of the waiter is pretty aggregious. Cultural sensitivity wasn’t real big then – heck, fat girls and totem poles didn’t fare much better. All in all I think that showing the casual subtle and not-so-subtle racism that minorities had to put up with is a great reminder for us all showing how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

    Anyway, none of that should detract from this beautifully written brochure, the goofy cartoons notwithstanding. The prose, written in a kind of ’40s dudespeak, seems way above what some anonymous advertising hack would have put out. They even quote John Muir! The descriptions of the activities around Puget Sound, many of which I have done because I live there, do not seem at all aged. The descriptions of “partying” with “your own gang” or “laying low & saving up” while on the train, heck, I’d sign up for that right now. I would give anything to have ridden in that open car through Montana canyon & over the Cascades. Which of course is not possible now, 70 years later. My opinion is that it was a tragedy that even with this level of effort to attract passengers, and having such a wonderful product to sell them, that the railroads were ultimately unsuccessful. This brochure shows that it wasn’t for lack of trying.

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