(CBS) - In the build-up to World War II, the British government knew its people were on edge. War was imminent, several European countries had already fallen to Nazi Germany, and the UK knew it was only a matter of time before bombs started dropping over London. The government commissioned several posters designed to reassure the populous and keep moral up. One of those posters has seen a renaissance in recent years, the iconic "Keep calm and carry on." This charming and educational video tells the story of that famous poster.
Incredibly, Britons of the 1940's never saw the poster. Even though 2.5 million were produced, "Keep calm and carry on" was shelved by the government and moldered in boxes until a bookstore owner found one in 2000. The rest, of course, is history. "Keep calm and carry on" has become a ubiquitous phrase, Barter Books has sold thousands of copies - with far more produced and sold by imitators.
The fact that a wartime slogan dreamed up in the 1930's carries so much weight in the 21st century is a testament to the simple power and reassurance that "Keep calm and carry on" offers.