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The 1940s (pronounced "nineteen-forties" and commonly abbreviated as the "Forties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1940, and ended on December 31, 1949.

Most of World War II took place in the first half of the decade, which had a profound effect on most countries and people in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The consequences of the war lingered well into the second half of the decade, with a war-weary Europe divided between the jostling spheres of influence of the Western world and the Soviet Union, leading to the beginning of the Cold War. To some degree internal and external tensions in the post-war era were managed by new institutions, including the United Nations, the welfare state, and the Bretton Woods system, facilitating the post–World War II economic expansion, which lasted well into the 1970s. The conditions of the post-war world encouraged decolonization and the emergence of new states and governments, with India, Pakistan, Israel, Vietnam, and others declaring independence, although rarely without bloodshed. The decade also witnessed the early beginnings of new technologies (such as computers, nuclear power, and jet propulsion), often first developed in tandem with the war effort, and later adapted and improved upon in the post-war era.

1940s Media

18,849 media by topicpage 1 of 189
Old truck under an older shed overhang in Italy, Texas. Gabriel J. Penn, postmaster in Waxahachie, 15 miles away, named the town in 1880 because, he said, its climate was much like that found in "sunny Italy"

Old truck under an older shed overhang in Italy, Texas. Gabriel J. Pen...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. Credit line: The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Ph... more

Training a policewoman--Chief among the policewoman's duties is the prevention of delinquency among young girls

Training a policewoman--Chief among the policewoman's duties is the pr...

Two policewomen talking to a girl in sailor suit. National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress).

British troops outside Jerusalem[?]

British troops outside Jerusalem[?]

Photograph shows British troops possibly outside Baghdad, Iraq during World War I.

British troops in France

British troops in France

Photograph shows British soldiers in a train during World War I, France. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2011)

British at Etaples buying from natives

British at Etaples buying from natives

Photograph shows British troops at Étaples, France with women selling food, during World War I. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2012)

The Worcesters going into action

The Worcesters going into action

Photograph shows British troops marching and waving their helmets in greeting. Printed on front: Official photograph; Crown copyright reserved; Daily Mail War Pictures, 33. Title from item. In collection: Brit... more

British Going on Picket -- Mesopotamia

British Going on Picket -- Mesopotamia

Photograph shows British troops, probably in Iraq during World War I.

Gen. Sir C.A. Anderson

Gen. Sir C.A. Anderson

Photograph shows Lieutenant General Sir Charles Alexander Anderson, (1857-1940), Commander of British Troops in South China. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2014)

British troops in Detroit

British troops in Detroit

Photograph shows British soldiers participating in a Red Cross parade in Detroit, Michigan, on July 15, 1917 during World War I. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015)

France - in a front line trench

France - in a front line trench

Photograph shows British troops in a trench in France during World War I. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015)

Entry of Field Marshall Allenby, Jerusalem, Dec. 11th, 1917. British troops lining the streets of Jerusalem

Entry of Field Marshall Allenby, Jerusalem, Dec. 11th, 1917. British t...

No. 1844. Title from: Catalogue of photographs & lantern slides ... [1936?]. This record contains unverified data from caption card. Forms part of: the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection. Caption ca... more

Field kitchen & Tommies resting

Field kitchen & Tommies resting

Photograph shows field kitchens and British troops resting on the road between Neuville and Wancourt, France during the Battle of Arras, April 29, 1917. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015 and similar image a... more

British watch shelling near Wancourt

British watch shelling near Wancourt

Photograph shows British troops watching shell-bursts near Wancourt, southeast of Arras, France, during World War I on June 21, 1917. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015 and similar image on Imperial War Muse... more

British field kitchen

British field kitchen

Photograph shows British troops at field kitchens and dug-outs in "Sausage Valley," Somme River, France, during World War I. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015 and Imperial War Museums website: http://www.iw... more

Hankow, China ...

Hankow, China ...

Hankow, China. Col. Charles A. Lindbergh inspects the cockpit of his plane after the ship had been hoisted aboard the British airplane carrier HERMES after it had capsized in the Yangtse River shortly after it ... more

Along the cloud lanes

Along the cloud lanes

Aerial view of airplane in flight. JO8941 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Northrop Aircraft Corp.

Studenten seid Propagandisten des Führers Hoch-u. Fachschulen bekennen sich am 29. März zur Deutschen Freiheitsbewegung / / Ludwig Hohlwein, München.

Studenten seid Propagandisten des Führers Hoch-u. Fachschulen bekennen...

Poster shows a man with left arm raised calling out to students to become propagandists for the Führer; a large swastika in the lower left corner mirrors that on his lapel. The man also asks that universities a... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

The photographs in the Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Photograph

The photographs in the Farm Security Administration / Office of War In...

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Negatives

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

The photographs in the Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Photograph

The photographs in the Farm Security Administration / Office of War In...

This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937). The photographs of the Farm Se... more

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