Thursday Night LIFE: Ominous Rumblings Edition

In 1939, the writing may have been on the wall, but LIFE Magazine seemed almost unaware. As always, click on the images for embiggenment and a transcription of the captions if you have trouble reading.

There’s a lavish multiple page spread on the Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, for example, in which the article passingly notes that half of the school’s alumni served in the First World War, and 85 died. I’ve pulled some images from it which I think are particularly interesting:

Culver boys play at war, the lighthearted caption tells us, with pictures of cadets practicing on military equipment. I wonder how many of the boys in these images went on to actual war.
"Culver boys play at war," the lighthearted caption tells us, with pictures of cadets practicing on military equipment. I wonder how many of the boys in these images went on to actual war.
Daily life at Culver is depicted in these pictures; the overall tone of the article suggests that the academy and the students arent very serious about military bearing, which is borne out in the caption pointing out that boys feel no shame when they are ordered to walk hours as punishment.
Daily life at Culver is depicted in these pictures; the overall tone of the article suggests that the academy and the students aren't very serious about military bearing, which is borne out in the caption pointing out that boys feel no shame when they are ordered to walk hours as punishment for infractions.
Culvers cavalry unit at practice; interesting to note that mounted warfare was pretty much obsolete by this period, yet members of mounted units were held in positions of high prestige.
Culver's cavalry unit at practice; interesting to note that mounted warfare was pretty much obsolete by this period, yet members of mounted units were held in positions of high prestige. Several million horses were used in the Second World War, primarily by the Russians and the Germans, to make up for lack of other transport options.

Another multiple page spread on an honored visitor and his interactions with the American elite; here’s a single image:

George VI and the Queen Consort made a whirlwind tour of the United States, with a stop at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington to lay a wreath. 382,700 Britons would lose their lives fighting for Britain in the rapidly approaching conflict.
George VI and the Queen Consort made a whirlwind tour of the United States, with a stop at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington to lay a wreath. 382,700 Britons would lose their lives fighting for Britain in the rapidly approaching conflict.

And, finally:

This charming letter to the editor gives you an idea of how Hitlers rhetoric penetrated the United States. While it seems mindboggling, a fair number of Americans definitely shared his racial ideas and continued to do so throughout the war.
This charming letter to the editor gives you an idea of how Hitler's rhetoric penetrated the United States. While it seems mindboggling, a fair number of Americans definitely shared his racial ideas and continued to do so throughout the war.