Don't Let It Happen

Don't let it happen over here The Don't Let It Happen Over Here card set was released by the International Chewing Gum Co. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1938. There were 24 cards in the set.

This violent and brutal little trading card set resembled a classic piece of propaganda for the time. The 'It' referred to in the title was the anarchy in foreign countries that American citizens were reading about in the newspaper every day, in the form of fascist, Communist, and other forces that were causing much death and destruction around the world. Of course, America would soon enough by touched personally by these happenings, which would precipitate our entry into World War II.

For kids, though, it was just an excuse to get their hands on some cool, ultra-violent imagery, and the company that issued these cards almost certainly had this more down-to-earth economic concern in mind.

The card fronts feature color artwork depicting a shocking scene of violence or other mayhem, captionless and with only a thin white border around the edge. The backs offer the card title followed by a large block of small text, below which is the set title, and the line 'Do your bit - get all the cards and show them to everyone'. This is followed by the copyright line and a very large card number at the lower right.

For various reasons, this card set is difficult to find and very expensive when located. First, the cards are obviously old - they predate the Second World War. Secondly, due to their graphic imagery, a whole lot of mothers over the years, upon discovering their children's grisly artifacts, almost certainly threw them straight into the garbage, probably ripping them in half first. Thirdly, this set was released around the same time as Gum Inc.'s Horrors of War series, which was terrifically successul, so that sales of this set were almost certainly low, leading to fewer cards hitting the public in the first place.

Value: Individual cards in this set, in Excellent condition, can command as much as $50.00 to $60.00 each, ungraded. A full set of cards might bring up to $1,200.00 to $1,800.00.