Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On is a catchphrase that originally appeared on a World War II-era British public safety poster. After one of the original posters was recovered and placed in a British bookshop in 2000, the inspirational message was shared online, sparking a series of image macros centered around the phrasal template “Keep Calm and X.”

“Keep Calm and Carry On”--suddenly, the slogan, printed on a colored background and topped with a royal crown, has cropped up everywhere, emblazoned on everything from totes and T-shirts to coffee mugs and throw pillows. Where did all of this come from and why has it become the meme of the moment?

Some back history: The Keep Calm and Carry On poster was commissioned in 1939 by the temporary Ministry of Information in England, following the printing of two other inspirational posters stating “Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory.” It was intended to be used to strengthen morale in the event of a large-scale attack or occupation, which many considered inevitable at the time. The posters were printed using a “special and handsome” typeface, which would be difficult for Germany to counterfeit, and featured the crown of King George VI. The other two were distributed, but “Keep Calm” was placed on reserve, for use only in times of crisis, and actually never saw the light of day. 
That is, until one of the 2.5 million posters turned up more than 50 years later in a box of used books at a lovely secondhand bookstore called Barter Books in the northeast town of Alnwick England.
As of 2012, Barter is not the only place that houses original copies of the poster. The Imperial War Museum in England has approximately six and fifteen additional copies were found in February 2012, where they were appraised on the television show Antiques Roadshow.
The website was registered in February 2007, with an online shop selling a variety of related merchandise featuring the slogan, ranging from T-shirts and bags to deck chairs and chocolate bars. 
Of course it wasn't too hard to find this poster for Halloween 
In case you are anticipating a "sugar overload on Halloween I'd like to recommend these two healthy snacks.
Carrots Cucumbers  Broccoli and Dip
Blackberries and Cubed Cheese

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