Exploring the collections of the Mercantile Library:

Commemorating International Day of Peace
In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly established September 21 as International Day of Peace. Two decades later, it unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of world-wide non-violence and cease-fire. To commemorate this important day in a time when there is still so much violence and unrest in the world, we find the theme of peace eloquently expressed in two works from the Mercantile’s Irving Dilliard Journalism Collection. The drawings are by Daniel Fitzpatrick, whose editorial cartoons were a highlight of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 45 years.
Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick (1891 – 1969), Endless Maze, December 1, 1946.
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL
In this image, which was published in the Post-Dispatch on December 2, 1946, the word PEACE makes up a challenging maze that spans the globe and dwarfs a group of individuals just beginning the long journey. Fitzpatrick’s method of using crayon on grained paper gave stark contrasts of light and dark as well as the ability to create raw, rough-edged figures. The day’s newspaper headlines reflect disagreements on international disarmament plans and conflicts related to the ongoing coal miners’ strike, but the cartoon may also reflect the many challenges facing the world in the year after the official end of World War II.
The second world war surely also inspired this dramatic image from November, 1945, that was published in Collier’s Magazine. Fitzpatrick shows two figures, one labeled Patience and the other Teamwork, who struggle to move the world up the steep hill toward peace. The cover of the Colliers had the ominous headline “Four Planks for Peace: A Program to Prevent Extinction by Secretary of War Patterson.” As the repercussions of World War II continued with the Nuremburg Trials, Colliers included Fitzpatrick’s poignant editorial drawing to remind its readers of these ongoing challenges.
Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick (1891 – 1969), World War and World Peace, November 24, 1945.
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL
Daniel Fitzpatrick was one of the most important editorial cartoonists in the United States. He was born in Superior, Wisconsin, and as a young man, he dropped out of high school because his love of history was not encouraged. When his mother discovered this she asked, “What do you think you’re going to grow up to be?” Fitzpatrick retorted, “An editorial cartoonist.” He studied anatomy and life drawing for two years at the Art Institute of Chicago before getting his first cartooning job at the Chicago Daily-News. In 1913 he took a job at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he remained until his retirement in 1958. Universally acknowledged as the dean of editorial cartoonists, “Fitz” strongly supported the rights of the underdog while attacking the “establishment.” Through cartoons with messages on equal rights, a clean environment, and concern for the militarization of America’s post-World War II foreign policies, he gained the admiration and respect of scholars, journalists, statesmen, and regular newspaper readers worldwide. During his lengthy career, Fitzpatrick’s cartoons were syndicated in 35 newspapers in the United States. He won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1926 and 1955 for images that, sadly, have as much relevance today as they did then.
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