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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945) (x)

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Flyer Calls for Student Opposition to World War II

American college students in the early 1930s increasingly protested U.S. involvement in the war in Europe. They organized campus strikes around the nation and encouraged students to pledge non-cooperation in any war. This flyer is from the National [...]

President Roosevelt Defines Freedom at Home and Abroad

In his 1941 State of the Union address to Congress, excerpted below, President Franklin Roosevelt outlines his plan for how the United States will combat worldwide threats to democracy. Known as the "Four Freedoms" speech, this strong plea for [...]

An Aviation Hero Advocates Isolationism

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 [...]

Didactic Dramas: Antiwar Plays of the 1930s

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 [...]

Young Mexican and African-American Men Answer the Call for Farm Workers

The scale of the United States' war production effort during World War II touched every corner of the nation and millions of people. When traditional farm workers left for military service or higher paying jobs in war industries, the U.S. government [...]

"Corrido of the Uprooted Ones"

Between 1942 and 1964, 4.6 million Mexicans came to the United States to perform the much needed but incredibly difficult "stoop work" of planting, tending, and harvesting crops. These men, called braceros, were initially invited by the United [...]

Themes and Formulas of Corridos

This handout describes the themes and formulas of corridos, Mexican and Mexican-American folk songs.

African American Workers: Conflict on the Homefront

In this lesson students analyze a propaganda poster, a photograph, and a poem to understand the tensions unleashed by the entry of African Americans into the industrial workforce during World War II.

Spanish for Farmers

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 [...]

Active Viewing: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

In this activity, students watch film clips from the documentary The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, decode a propaganda poster, and analyze statistics about working women during World War II.  Parts of this activity can be completed without [...]

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