I got my paws on a December 1939 Fortune magazine this week, which contained several interesting graph results of a readers’ poll. Keep in mind that there was no television then, no internet, no means of learning up-to-date war information other than radio or newspaper.
This question was: Which statement best represents your idea of Germany?
Most Americans believed that Germans were peace-loving, misled by ruthless rulers. Understanding that Hitler was the most ruthless of rulers, impending war led to this question.
I love the body language on these little black bodies. Yes, maybe, and hell to the no.
At this point, the four-term FDR was only in his second term, and readers had no way of knowing if he would go on to serve again. Look how cute they made the innacurately non-wheelchair-bound but accurately chainsmoking president look. Reports say he smoked 20-30 cigarettes per day! And as you recall, he did have polio, so he could not walk unassisted.
The last question simply asked if those polled wanted to keep FDR in the White House at all, which nearly half the readers did. And why not? Did you ever see a happier horse with a cigarette holder, swimming away from a crocodile?