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Poster Warning about Harming Homing Pigeons, Early 20th Century

Poster warning against unlawful killing or harming of homing pigeons

Poster warning against unlawful killing or harming of homing pigeons

Other, Fragnoli_Pigeon_Poster
Document Description
Poster warning against unlawful killing or harming of homing pigeons, early 20th century.
Using the information in the poster, determine after which date this poster would have been produced.
What is the purpose of this poster?
Who is the intended audience for this poster?
What does the term “loft” refer to?
Historical Challenges
What role did the Army Signal Corp play in World War II? How did the changing technology impact that role?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Art: Design a poster advocating the protection of a current endangered species.
English Language Arts: Write an article describing the “faithful service” of homing pigeons during World War II.
Math: Using an average speed of 50 miles per hour and a maximum distance of 1,000 miles, create a graph showing the time it would take for a homing pigeon from your hometown to travel to various cities throughout the country.
Science: What is the scientific explanation for the homing pigeon’s unique capability to find its way home?

Historical Context
Pigeons have been used to carry messages and perform reconnaissance during war since ancient times. Homing pigeons are able to return to a home base from anywhere. These pigeons were extremely useful as message carriers during both World War I and World War II. European armies were already relying heavily upon carrier pigeons at the start of the First World War in 1914. The United States, however, did not have a carrier pigeon program. General John Pershing ordered the Army Signal Corps to develop such a program and begin use of the pigeons to carry messages. More homing pigeons were utilized during World War I than in any other time in military history because of the lack of radio technology.

During World War II, armies used homing pigeons to deliver messages and take pictures of enemy territory. Even though the radio served as the major means of communication, carrier pigeons allowed armies to send messages with less chance of enemy interception or interference. Spies also used carrier pigeons to send messages from behind enemy lines. The United States ended the homing pigeon division of the Army Signal Corps in 1956.

Essential Question
How do people utilize their environment to solve a problem?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the importance of homing pigeons based on the evidence in this poster.