Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
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The interwar peace movement was arguably the largest mass movement of the 1920s and 1930s, a mobilization often overlooked in the wake of the broad popular consensus that ultimately supported the U.S. involvement in World War II. The destruction wrought in World War I (known in the 1920s and 1930s as the "Great War") and the cynical nationalist…

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Item Type: Website
Date: Circa 2000

The U.S. government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes and businesses on the West Coast and report to one of fifteen assembly centers. At these centers they were first processed and then transported by train to one of ten permanent relocation centers, or camps, hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes. The…

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Item Type: Quantitative Data
Date: 1999

The U.S. government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes and businesses on the West Coast and report to one of fifteen assembly centers. At these centers they were first processed and then transported by train to one of ten permanent relocation centers, or camps, hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes. A…

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Item Type: Map
Date: 1999

This text highlights the growth of political activism that took place in Harlem during the Great Depression. Discriminatory hiring practices and widespread unemployment triggered job campaigns focused on increasing black employment in the largely white-owned business sector of Harlem and creating more opportunities for qualified blacks in…

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Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Date: 1991

When Los Angeles resident Beatrice Morales Clifton went to work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, California, she was a married mother of four children. In this excerpt from a longer interview, Morales Clifton, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, describes how the experience of wartime work gave her a new independence. She returned to…

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Item Type: Oral History
Date: Circa 1987

Large numbers of American college students expressed increasing activism against war in the early 1930s, connecting international war with issues like labor, minority rights, and economic injustice at home. The rise of fascism in Europe, however, forced many young Americans to reconsider their total anti-war position, as Hitler and Mussolini helped…

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Item Type: Biography/Autobiography
Date: 1986

While government planners and factory owners assumed that women’s industrial work during World War II would last only as long as the war lasted, many of the women had other ideas. After the war ended, despite their new skills, they found themselves forced to accept the same low-paying positions that had been the only jobs available to them…

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Item Type: Oral History
Date: 1980

The unemployment rate rose sharply during the Great Depression and reached its peak at the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. As New Deal programs were enacted, the unemployment rate gradually lowered. Virtually full employment was achieved during World War II. This graph does not indicate the numbers of people were…

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Item Type: Quantitative Data
Date: 1975

Braceros traveled to a country where they did not know the language or the customs. In order to help them understand their new surroundings, local committees prepared Spanish-English phrasebooks such as the one pictured below. This handbook instructs braceros to walk on the left side of the street, not to stand in the back of the trucks, and to…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: Circa 1953

When World War II ended, the large numbers of women who had taken industrial jobs during the war were forced out. Employers sought not only to give their jobs to returning veterans, but also to reassert the division of labor that had operated before wartime mobilization. While women workers staged few organized protests, the Women's Committee of…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: Circa 1945