This medal was chosen as the 19th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1939.
The obverse bears kneeling mother with child cowering before Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in sky above; serpent-like gas mask at her knee, castle and ancient ruin in background. In exergue, THE OLD WORLD / 1939; in lower field, E. McCARTAN / ©
The reverse bears mother in 1930s dress with book and child, basket of flowers by her knee, skyscrapers left, forst right, under radiant sun. In exergue, THE NEW WORLD / 1939
At the time this medal was being designed the situation on the European continent had deteriorated so much that all-out war seemed likely. America seemed far-removed from the insecurities and problems that the old world was facing. Americans looked over the Atlantic and were very much disinclined to get involved in yet another Great War. As McCartan wrote in his "From the Artist":
"The broad Atlantic Ocean thankfully isolates is from forces which destroy life and liberty and which impede the normal pursuit of happiness."
Of course, it did not turn out quite the way McCartan and many fellow Americans had hoped. America officially entered World War II in 1941 after already having provided substantial material assistance to its European Allies.
This medal measures 73mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The reported production quantity of this medal is 943 pieces in bronze and 100 in silver.