Four Minute Men
The Four Minute Men were also sometimes referred to as Flying Squadrons.
The role of the Four Minute Men was to get out a unified message that the government wanted people to hear, in an effort to manufacture support for the war.
The Four Minute Men were local volunteers who spoke at public gatherings, fairs, vaudevilles and motion picture houses for four minutes. Speakers received material from which to prepare speeches. Speeches combated adverse publicity and German propaganda, supported fund drives, called for support of the Red Cross and the YMCA, and promoted Liberty Loans, food conservation, and victory gardens. They also urged citizens to purchase Liberty Bonds and Thrift Stamps.
The program ended a few weeks after the war ended in 1918, having enrolled 75 thousand men in its program. In 18 months they had given 1,555,000 speeches to 134,000,000 people at a cost to the government of only $140,000.
However, that morale boost may have come with a cost. George Creel, CPI chairman, cynically believed that "catch-phrases constitute a staple article of diet, especially in a democracy", leading to the creation of both the Four Minute Men and what would develop into the universally condemned Sound bite.
- Charlie Chaplin
- Mary Pickford
- Douglas Fairbanks
- William S. Hart
- William McCormick Blair, Director until August 1918.
- William H. Ingersoll, Director
- Jeanne Graham, "The Four Minute Men: Volunteers for Propaganda." Southern Speech Journal 1966 32(1): 49-57
- Carol Oukrop, "The Four Minute Men Became National Network during World War I" Journalism Quarterly 1975 52(4): 632-637
- Four Minute Men news
- The Four Minute Men of Chicago, Page 24-25
- The American Year Book: A Record of Events and Progress, Volume 1918
- The Untold History of the United States, Volume 1: Young Readers Edition, 1898-1945
- The Public School Journal, Volume 38
- Bulletin, Issues 40-41; Issue 46
- The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia
- The War, the World and Wilson, by George Creel
- Breaking the Heart of the World: Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations
- Four Minute Men: Volunteer Speeches During World War I
- Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence, Volume II: Since 1865
- Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast
- Philadelphia in the world war 1914-1919
- The Four Minute Men of Chicago, Page 13
- A History of Wayne County in the World War and in the Wars of the Past
- BAR "HYMNS OF HATE."; Instructions to Four-Minute Men Urge Emphasizing of War Facts, The New York Times
- General Bulletin, Issues 1-2, General Suggestions to Speakers; Division of Four Minute Men, Committee on Public Information, 1917 - May 22nd, 1917