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Call to Action timeline: 1941 - 1945
"From my earliest years, I had thought of myself as a student, an observer, pleasantly detached from the mainstream of the world's action. From that point (the start of World War II) on, my life was to be governed by constant conflict between the life of action and the life of reflection."
John Gardner in "There Was Light" (by Irving Shaw), 1970.

John Gardner was enjoying the quiet life of a college professor when the United States entered World War II. It was then that Gardner began his first foray into public service, moving to Washington, DC, to analyze enemy propaganda broadcast to Latin America. Gardner quickly became an expert on Latin American politics. That posting did not last long as in 1943, Gardner entered the Marine Corps and the Office of Strategic Services, the intelligence arm of the American war effort.

more information  Learn more about World War II

Like so many of his generation, World War II shaped the rest of Gardner's life. It was while serving in Europe that he took an interest in world affairs and began to realize that he enjoyed a life of action as much as a life of reflection. When he came home from the war, life would be very different for John Gardner.

more information  Learn more about Postwar Rebuilding



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timeline legend
1941 United States enters World War II
1942 John Gardner serves with the Federal Communications Commission analyzing enemy propaganda
1943 John Gardner joins the Marine Corps and the OSS
1944 Allied invasion of Normandy
1945 First nuclear bomb dropped on Japan
  World War II ends
  ENIAC, first computer built