November 1941 edition of PM, published just days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Alamy

2. Dr. Seuss worked for the liberal newspaper PM for two years

PM was a New York daily newspaper which began publication in 1940 with a liberal slant to its news coverage and editorial content. It supported FDR, Lend-Lease, the New Deal, and other programs seen by the conservatives of the day as being so far left that they were socialist. In order to avoid pressure from businessmen who were most often conservative in nature it refused to accept advertising, a business model which doomed the paper from the start. It ceased to exist after only eight years of publication, but for two of those years Dr. Seuss published editorial cartoons in the newspaper, which were critical of Hitler, Mussolini, conservative members of the American congress, Republican Party leaders, and others critical of America’s growing support of the British and Soviets in Europe. Some of his work in this period was among the most scathing of his career.

Many of the cartoons he drew during this period would be considered racist in a later day, though they were socially acceptable for the time. He resorted to the stereotypes of the time in his drawings of Japanese, presenting them with slitted eyes, round goggles for glasses, and buck teeth. In November of 1941, less than three weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor, he produced a cartoon condemning American labor unrest, showing Hitler happily sharing the news of labor strife with the German people. On December 9, 1941 his cartoon presented Uncle Sam (in the form of one of his fantastically drawn birds) being jolted out of its rocking chair by a swarm of Japanese attacking him with clubs and slingshots. The caption read “The End of the Nap”.