Apr 22 2013
Apr 22 2013
Apr 22 2013
Feb 27 2013
“We are anonymous. If people ask you what you do here, tell ‘em you are file clerks. People aren’t interested in file clerks — not enough to ask questions.” Women and men who served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) were instructed to keep their service secret. As spies, soldiers, and scientists, many of the women who had contributed to the war effort during World War II remained silent even after those wars had ended. The tasks that women were asked to perform went beyond the homefront and into the front lines.” -Gwen Perkins
BTW, the iconic Rosie the Riveter poster is based on a real person.
What is the difference between the two images? Do a google image search for “Rosie the Riveter.” What other images do you see?
During the war, the role of women in war production had entered all parts of the culture. Rosie the Riveter even had a song. Today, there is even a Rosie the Riviter Trust with its own website. This group records stories and images. Fun fact, Rockwell’s painting sold in 2002 for just under five million dollars!
Talk to older women in your life and ask them about “Rosie.” Ask them what types of jobs either they or their moms had during the war.
Feb 26 2013
“World War II is the story of the 20th Century. The war officially lasted from 1939 until 1945, but the causes of the conflict and its horrible aftermath echoed for decades in both directions. While feats of bravery and technological breakthroughs still inspire awe today, the majority of the war was dominated by unimaginable misery and destruction. In the late 1930s, the global population stood at approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths — killing off about 4 percent of the whole world.This series of entries was published weekly on TheAtlantic.com from June 19 through October 30, 2011, running every Sunday morning for 20 weeks. In this collection of 900 photos spread over 20 essays, I tried to explore the events of the war, the lives of the people fighting at the front and working back home, and the effects of the trauma on everyday activity. These images still give us glimpses into the experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, moments that shaped the world as it is today.”
via World War II – The Atlantic. (Click to access this series)
There are some fantastic photographs in this series, and the captions explain the background of it photo. I read through the comment sections and survivors of this war have added their own thoughts. I thought it was interesting that within the comments in the 20th and final series, there is a discussion on how many communists are in our current congress. The accuser was asked by several people who they are. He finally said they were the “Progressive Caucus.” Hmmmm. (The Crucible came to mind….)
Feb 24 2013
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” When Roosevelt said that he had no idea of how much World War II would make his prophecy ring true. More than fifty years later, Americans are remembering the sacrifices of that generation, which took up arms in defense of the nation. Part of that generation was a neglected minority, Native American Indians, who flocked to the colors in defense of their country. No group that participated in World War II made a greater per capita contribution, and no group was changed more by the war. As part of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, it is fitting for the nation to recall the contributions of its own “first citizens.” (note, this was published in 1995)
The Navy also published a book “Indians in the War” with a pretty stereotyped cover. It is online. It shows major contributions of various nations, and a list of sailors wounded during the war. In that list is Antonio Rogers, Chehalis Indian, wounded in Germany.
Both of these publications mention the great number of young men and women who left the reservation for either military service or to work in war related industries. That migration will greatly change the nature of the reservation. Another article I read noted that these veterans will return home and begin to fight for Indian civil rights. In fact, of the leading Indian activists during the 60′s and 70′s, most of the leadership will be WWII vets.
One of the now-famous stories of Native American contributions during WWII was that of the Navajo Code Talkers. Their involvement was top secret until recently when their files were declassified. There is a lot of info on the internet now about them, and perhaps as a sign of how most people now use the internet, they have their own domain name http://www.navajocodetalkers.org/
Here is a short video that provides a great deal of information. It includes clips from the movie Windtalker.
Feb 20 2013
In September 1940, the United States implemented its first peacetime draft, requiring that all male citizens and resident aliens between 21 and 36 register for compulsory military service. Fifteen months later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war on the Axis Powers (chiefly Germany, Austria, Italy, and Japan). Americans quickly mobilized in support of a total war effort.
Washington, a comparatively small and undeveloped state, played a disproportionately important role in the country’s efforts to gear up for war.
Click on the link to get a pretty good idea of how important Washington was to the war effort. From planes to powdered eggs, from battleships to atomic bombs, Washington provided Allies with needed supplies for the war. All those jobs meant our population grew, and all those people need housing and their own supplies.
Although it isn’t mentioned in this article, a former students did an oral history on a lady who told about a Boeing plant in Chehalis during the war.
Talk to your family elders. Ask what they did during the war. Ask about rationing, about family members who may have fought. Ask about war brides in the family. Somewhere in your family stash of “old things” you might even have a blue star.
Feb 20 2013
Richland’s unique “alphabet houses” were designed by Spokane, Washington, architect G. Albin Pherson to accommodate the tremendous growth in population at the Hanford site during World War II. He was given less than 90 days to completely design the entire new Richland community, including streets, utilities, and commercial and residential building plans. Each housing design was assigned an alphabet letter designation and included single-family homes, duplexes, apartments, and dormitories. As Richland was a “company town” until 1958, these homes maintained a distinct uniformity for many years. One neighborhood of 162 alphabet houses that have largely maintained their original appearance, designated the “Gold Coast Historic District,” was named to the National Register of Historic Places in April 2005.
via Alphabet houses.
This extreme growth was experienced all over the United States, but coastal cities and the west coast grew the fastest. Once small towns were unable to handle the number of people flocking to war industries for jobs.
In the case of Richland, it became home to the thousands of worker on the Hanford Nuclear Plant, part of the Manhattan Project. Workers at this plant never knew they were helping to make the atomic bomb.
These homes, BTW, will also be seen in Seattle, the small little town that was Bellvue, Bremerton, Aberdeen…anywhere were workers flocked. Do any of these houses look familiar?
Feb 19 2013
Many of the earliest knitters for World War II had knit for Victory as children or young adults during World War I. Knitting was for them a natural and immediate response to war. “The men hardly have time to grab their guns before their wives and sweethearts grab their needles and yarn,” claimed Time on July 21, 1940. Knitting provided warmth and comfort for the soldier and therapeutic distraction for the knitter.
Even if you don’t knit, you will find the article interesting. This was taken very seriously and was for many women, a hands on way to show support for the ones they loved overseas. There are also references to women kitting to keep our “local” protectors warm. These would be the home guard who stayed up nights, searching the skies for Japanese attack.
I am thinking that when we look through the 1940s Life magazines and RHS annuals, we should see some signs of “the knitting”.
Feb 18 2013
In this series of paintings, Japanese-American Roger Shimomura combined aspects of his Pop Art and cartoon-based imagery with reminiscences of his family’s internment during World War II. An American Diary is based on a personal diary written by his grandmother, Toku Shimomura, while the Shimomura family was interned at Camp Minidoka in Hunt, Idaho. Shimomura has commemorated the experience by combining the Japanese literary tradition with flat comic-book style characters, outlined in black.
Click on the link to see his artistic interpretations of his grandmother’s diary. I think you will like his style. (On one of his links I found a painting he did of himself box-kicking a political pundit that I have also fantasized about kicking, too.) He is very talented. See how many signs of the 1940s are in the painting below.
Feb 18 2013
I can’t believe I missed finding this awesome website on the Great Depression and our state. I just spent easily two hours clicking through links.
There is a google map showing the location of the CCC camps. I found out there was a Camp Doty (near PeEll), a Camp Elma and a Camp Millersylvania.
I found out that the 6th Street bridge in Centralia (the viaduct) was a WPA project.
There is a map of the urban Hoovervilles, photographs and stories from the residents.
On the front page is actual film footage of a timber/logger strike in Tacoma. I didn’t even know that happened.
The site is definitely worth checking out! I know I have added to my list of “things to find out about.”
Feb 18 2013
One wouldn’t know it today, but the Puyallup Fairgrounds took on a whole new look during WWII when it became the “assembly center” Camp Harmony. The only way to go there, though, was to be guilty of the “crime” of being Japanese.
In class we will be going through a presentation made up of primary source footage and oral interviews of people who experienced the camps. We will be able to contrast their memories with the government’s version shown in the 1943 newsreel Japanese Relocation.
Access the interactive map to get an idea how many thousands of Japanese-Americans were affected by this and where they were incarcerated.
From the Puyallup Fair website 1940-1949
* Even though the Puyallup Fair survived the first World War, the Fair directors had no choice but to close the Fair during World War II.
* Shortly after the 1941 Fair, the federal government took over the Fairgrounds.
* An army unit occupied the grounds from December 1942 to March 1943. During the month of May in 1943 the Fairgrounds became a relocation center for Japanese-Americans. Barbed wire fences and search lights surrounded the Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds were renamed the Puyallup Assembly Center and was a temporary shelter for 7,390 Japanese-Americans. In September of 1943, the Japanese-Americans were sent to other locations, and the camp was torn down. Then, the Fairgrounds were occupied by the U.S. Army 943rd Signal Service Battalion until they were transferred to Fort Lewis in December. From this time until the end of World War II, the Fairgrounds remained closed.
* It took a lot of patience, cleaning-up, and hard work to get the Fair ready to open again. The first postwar Fair took place in September of 1946. People were eager to get out and enjoy themselves again in the family atmosphere that the Fair provided. As a result, the Fair set the record for a single day’s attendance at 100,000 people in 1946.
Feb 12 2013
In 1968, season 2 of Star Trek showed an episode in which the crew of the Starship Enterprise checked in on a planet that had been last visited 100 years earlier. They were shocked to find a mobster society in the middle of gangster rivalry. The crew of the Enterprise was forced to play along and try to bring peace.
|from the official Star Trek episode guide:
The planet Sigma Iotia II’s last visit by the Federation was by the U.S.S. Horizon … a hundred years before. Realizing the lapse in monitoring the planet, the Federation sends the U.S.S. Enterprise to observe the progress of Iotia’s population. Beaming down to the planet’s surface, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are surprised to see a much different society — an Earth-like 1920s gangster culture — than was reported by the U.S.S. Horizon crew. Bodily seized, the landing crew are taken before one of the major planetary leaders, mobster Bela Oxmyx. Wishing to unite the population under his rule, Bela offers Kirk “a piece of the action” in exchange for the technologically advanced weapons of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Finally, Bela Oxmyx is given a display of the Federation’s power when he is beamed aboard the Enterprise and held hostage in the transporter room. Arranging a meeting between the two antagonists, Kirk is successful in uniting the two gangs in a loose system of government with the Federation as Godfather … for a piece of the action, of course. Furthermore, upon discovering a book — “Chicago Mobs of the Twenties” — the U.S.S. Horizon crew left behind 100 years before, Kirk and Spock finally understand how the highly imitative Iotians reinvented their entire society.
Back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Kirk notices McCoy unusually drawn and worried. When questioned, McCoy is forced to admit that he thinks he left his communicator on Sigma Iotia II, leaving him to wonder what type of planetary society the next Federation visit will find …
When I first learned about cargo cults in college, I thought of this episode. What does happen to a society that finds something new and re-creates a belief system based on it? While it may seem odd to outsiders, it is very real to those involved.As we study westward expansion in US, and cultures in APHG, we need to be mindful of the after effects of cultural contacts, especially when those contacts are brief and involve very different practices. We will look at some of those in both classes.
SSIP Read the article on John Frum followers. What do you think? Would you want to see their celebrations today? Is this still controversial? What other information can you find on cargo cults?
Sep 23 2012
Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous Shot | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine
Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous ShotFor 80 years, the 11 ironworkers in the iconic photo have remained unknown, and now, thanks to new research, two of them have been identified
On September 20, 1932, high above 41st Street in Manhattan, 11 ironworkers took part in a daring publicity stunt. The men were accustomed to walking along the girders of the RCA building now called the GE building they were constructing in Rockefeller Center. On this particular day, though, they humored a photographer, who was drumming up excitement about the project’s near completion. Some of the tradesmen tossed a football; a few pretended to nap. But, most famously, all 11 ate lunch on a steel beam, their feet dangling 850 feet above the city’s streets.
Sep 23 2012
For the past year I have become increasingly more interested in the Mexican-American War. A lot of it has to do with the fact the text has very little information. With so much history to cover in such a short amount of time, we really only get the basic facts. It almost comes across as an isolated incident.
One of the first stories “different” stories I heard about this war involved the St. Patrick’s Brigade. Rather than write about it here, why not just watch and listen. (Note his use of primary sources!)
another version of the song using different pictures.
As I checked out the YouTube videos, I was surprised how many Irish singers/musicians had teamed up with Mexican musicians. There are several different people singing the Chiefton’s tribute. There are versions with Spanish subtitles.
Since there are several sides to a story, I researched the American position. Hm-m-m. Check out Wikipedia’s take. (This is nicely sourced at the end.)
Here’s the story from the Catholic perspective. I found the comments at the end to also be interesting.
Sep 21 2012
‘A Wall of Separation’
FBI Helps Restore Jefferson’s Obliterated Draft
The first use of the “wall of separation between church and state” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. Since then, courts have used this letter to try to establish the religious intent of the 1st amendment. Of particular interest is not so much what he wrote, but what he crossed out. In 1998, the FBI agreed to use their technology to try to restore the “cross outs.” Click on the link to read what they found. I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say that John Adams and the Federalists would not have been pleased.
Sep 17 2012
James MacKay of the guardian.co.uk, posted this article on Saturday 17 September 2011.
Wow. Quite a bit of information to digest, and a lot of information that requires one to have a bit of US history as background. Luckily, you all have finished chapter one and did the readings on the Non-Intercourse Act/ Nation within a Nation worksheet. You have constructed a map showing regional differences and know where the majority of natives were located around 1820. You know where the majority of slaves were living. In chapter two, we look at further sectional and regional differences, along with the push for land (especially needed in the agrarian south.) We will look at President Jackson’s Indian policy and the state of Georgia, resulting in the Cherokee Trail of Tears and three Supreme Court rulings. We conclude chapter two with the Civil War, which is pretty much where the current controversy with the Cherokee nation starts.
The article refers to several historical incidents and policies that influence what is happening right now within the Cherokee nation. After chapter two, we will take a few days to specifically look at the 19th century policies that impacted our local native groups (combined to created the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis.)
Click on the link to read the article. It is an opinion piece which means the author will state his position, then try to back it up with examples and details. He provides links within the article for further information.
As I read the article, I couldn’t help but wonder how Rachel and Sen. Paul would discuss this issue. Politically, does the US government have the constitutional authority to be involved, especially considering the concept of “Nation within a Nation.” Can the Cherokee make their own decisions internally without US government approval or interference? Culturally, what does this say about being “Cherokee?” Is this really an economic issue over gov’t and casino money? Socially, can a group both decide who is “in” and who is “out” even if it doesn’t seem fair?
In 2007 the Cherokee passed an amendment to its constitution requiring members to have Cherokee blood. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
The idea that a 21st-century sovereign nation would expel a racial minority that had been part of it for a century and a half seems outrageous. Yet this is precisely what has happened in the last month in the Cherokee nation, the second largest American Indian tribe. The US government’s condemnatory response, however, may cause more problems than it solves.
Sep 14 2012
Map of the 2008 presidential election.
Map of the 2008 US presidential election results, adjusted for population.
Go to the 2008 Election maps website to see how else the data can be shown. When you look at the information at the county level, our country really does look purple.
How does this information compare to the text’s info on regional differences in national politics? (American Issues, Chapter 1)
Note for the Red State/Blue State assignment. Part of the “readings” selection dealt with “real” America. The first quote by Sarah Palin in 2008 talks of “real America being the small towns…” Dave Berry’s essay talks about a rural vs. urban feeling. On the 10th anniversary of Sept 11th, State Farm played this commercial. Hows does this compare to the readings?
Sep 03 2012
One of the first vacations I remember as a kid was going to the SW and standing at the Four Corners. How cool to be able to touch 4 states at one time. Even cooler, though, would be to go to a place where you can stand in three different time zones!
Check out the BBC website for more fascinating info on time zones.
Aug 30 2012