Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa

"Our New Army of National Defense," March 26, 1941

    Download Image Resource

Black and white cartoon  of strikers on a picket line.
Courtesy of National Archives, Berryman, Clifford, "Our new Army of National Defense," Washington Evening Star, 26 March 1941


This scene, drawn by Clifford Berryman, depicts the general scene visible at factories and plants across the country as workers during this time engaged in widespread strikes. The strikes were aimed at gaining higher wages as the United States was in the final stages of its recovery from the Great Depression, though unemployment rates still sat at 15 percent nationwide. The strikers in the illustration are holding up signs that read, "This place closed by strike!" and "Do not cross the picket line." 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What would strikers be "defending" the country from?
  • How did Clifford Berryman characterize the strikers in this image? The title of this political cartoon is "Our New Army of National Defense." How does the title support this characterization?
  • Why would workers strike at a time with high unemployment?

Citation Information

Berryman, Clifford, "Our New Army of National Defense," Washington Evening Star, 26 March 1941. Courtesy of National Archives