"Keep Calm and Carry On" posters were never released to the public--until 50 years after World War II

In the last few years, the phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On" has found its way onto posters, tote bags, t-shirts and coffee mugs. Most people believe its history to begin in the U.K. as a motivational message delivered to the people of England as they lived through the Nazi seige of World War II.

While there is much truth to that tale, one fascinating tid-bit is generally left out of the story. You see, the 2.5 million copies of our poster were printed, but in the end they were kept back, intended for use only in "times of crisis or invasion", which happily never came. Yes, posters with that phrase were commissioned, and printed by the English government, however, it turns out the "Keep Calm" posters were never released during the war. It wasn't until 50 years later, when the owners of a UK bookstore found some of the posters in a box of books he'd bought at auction, and finally released the poster--and the phrase, to the public.

Here is a charming video which tells the tale:

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