Safeguarding Military Information 1941 US Signal Corps, Walter Huston World War II





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Published on Oct 31, 2012

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"Loose lips sink ships."

Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


Loose lips sink ships is an American English idiom meaning "beware of unguarded talk".
American WWII poster by Seymour L. Goff, also known as Ess-ar-gee

The phrase originated on propaganda posters during World War II. The phrase was used in posters made by the Seagram Distillers Corporation as part that corporation's contribution to the National Victory Effort and was used on posters by the United States Office of War Information.

The most famous poster that helped popularize the phrase (pictured at right) was created for the Seagram Distillers Corporation by the designer Seymour R. Goff (also known by the pseudonym "Ess-ar-gee" or Essargee) . This type of poster was part of a general campaign of American propaganda during World War II to advise servicemen and other citizens to avoid careless talk concerning secure information that might be of use to the enemy. The British equivalent used variations on the phrase "Keep mum," while in neutral Sweden the State Information Board promoted the wordplay "en svensk tiger."

The gist of this particular slogan was that one should avoid speaking of ship movements, as this talk (if directed at or overheard by covert enemy agents) might allow the enemy to intercept and destroy the ships.

There were many similar such slogans, but "Loose lips sink ships" remained in the American idiom for the remainder of the century and into the next, usually as an admonition to avoid careless talk in general...


Walter Thomas Huston (/ˈwɔːltər ˈhjuːstən/; April 5, 1883 -- April 7, 1950) was a Canadian-born American actor. He was the father of actor and director John Huston and the grandfather of actors Walter Anthony (Tony) Huston, Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston, and Allegra Huston. He is great-grandfather to actor Jack Huston...

Early life

Huston was born in Toronto, Ontario the son of Elizabeth (née McGibbon) and Robert Moore Huston, a provincial farmer who founded a construction company. He was of Scottish and Irish descent.

His family moved from Orangeville, Ontario before his birth where they were farmers. Huston was an engineer who moved to the United States to work and eventually changed careers to acting.


Huston began his Broadway career in 1924. Once talkies began in Hollywood, he achieved fame in character roles. His first major role was in 1929's The Virginian with Gary Cooper. He appeared in the Broadway theatrical adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's novel Dodsworth in 1934 and the play's film version two years later.

Huston remained busy throughout the 1930s and 1940s, both on stage and screen (becoming one of America's most distinguished actors); he performed "September Song" in the original Broadway production of Knickerbocker Holiday in 1938 (his granddaughter Anjelica Huston sang it on the May 7, 2012 episode of the NBC TV series "Smash"). Among his films are Abraham Lincoln (1930), Rain (1932), Gabriel Over the White House (1933), The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), and Mission to Moscow (1943), a pro-Soviet World War II propaganda film as Ambassador Joseph E. Davies. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1948 for his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was directed by his son, John Huston. His last film was The Furies in 1950 with Barbara Stanwyck.

Along with Anthony Veiller, he narrated the Why We Fight series of World War II documentaries directed by Frank Capra.


He died in Hollywood from an aortic aneurysm, two days after his 67th birthday. Huston has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6626 Hollywood Blvd...

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