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Jan 29, 2022

Did you know the official "pin-up girl" of the U.S. Army during World War II was a native Hoosier? Selected because of her wholesome image, Margie Stewart, who grew up in Wabash, Ind., appeared on 12 different posters with a combined distribution of more than 90 million copies to soldiers (both overseas and in this country), potential recruits and civilians in the homeland.

Margie Stewart, who was an Indiana University student and a model before her selection as the official pin-up girl (that's the phrase used then for her designation), also had other distinctions. In addition to touring in World War II bond drives and USO shows, she became one of the first American civilians to enter Berlin after Germany's surrender. Stewart (1919-2012) also had small roles in Hollywood movies.

She is among the World War II connections to Wabash County in northeastern Indiana that we will explore during our show. Others will include an engineer who got his start at an early truck assembly plant in Wabash before being hired by the Chinese government to launch their auto and truck industry in the late 1920s. During World War II, he remained in China, which then was an ally of the U.S., before returning to Wabash.