Across from the main lobby in Geppi’s Entertainment Museum’s (GEM) is the exhibit, “When Heroes Unite”. This gallery showcases America during 1928-1945. It is during this era that we were introduced to many of the most recognizable American pop culture icons in the world.
As the previous gallery ended with Charles Lindbergh’s historic journey, the inspiration and hope from that flight continues into the next gallery. America launched into a movement to help entertain, lift the spirits of its people, and give moments of escape from a hard life during one of the nations most difficult times. The great depression was setting in and World War II was becoming a reality. “When Heroes Unite”, will show the visitor how important pop culture was to the survival of the American people and the American spirit.
A good handful of Americans know who Lindbergh is by the time they are adults, but everyone, even babies, can recognize Mickey Mouse. Steamboat Willie burst onto the scene in 1928 and never looked back. “When Heroes Unite” displays a wonderful variety of Mickey Mouse toys from this era in American history. Visitors will see the evolution of Mickey from his early years to the character everyone knows today.
GEM states on its website, “When America Faced its darkest hour, comic characters led the way to victory.” For many Americans, this was true. Imagine Americans during these times the world was in chaos or so it seemed. Taking a few moments to read the latest comic was a great escape and gave many people something to look forward too. Comic books would excel in popularity. From down in the trenches of war to playing in a backyard in suburban America, comic books would bring hope to a nation. Great icons such as Superman, Captain Marvel, Gene Autry, and The Lone Ranger would come out of this period in American pop culture.
“When Heroes Unite” exhibits a wonderful mix of the many pop culture icons that were created from 1928 to 1945. The gallery illustrates through these icons how Americans were able to cope with hard times and find inspiration to move forward. Icons from this era usually had two sides to them, the everyday American and the American hero. Americans were able to identify with these characters and transcend into the real heroes that helped save a nation.