American Popular Music Responds to Pearl Harbor

» 10 May 2016 » In History / DBQ's » No Comments

Remember Pearl HarborMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook - Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Seventh of 13)

A date of Infamy by Mollie Carter
Download lesson as 1.4MB pdf

It's Dec 10, 1941 you are listening to the radio and hear a song about Pearl Harbor.

Imagine that you were in Hawaii at the time of the attack. Hawaii is not yet a state but America is dazzled by its island beauty; you might even think of it as part of America, your home.

Now picture that you are seeing these images in person, maybe you even saw and heard the planes flying overhead as the attack commenced.

What about the images sticks out to you that might leave a lasting impression? What are you feeling as you see the smoke billowing over the battleships? As the bomb explodes when it hits the ship? You know there is a war going on in Europe and in Asia, but now it’s come to you. What might your thoughts be about the people who attacked you? What ideas or values lead you to these thoughts?   

 

Reflection by Mollie Carter

I have rather enjoyed creating this lesson. The idea was something I became interested in while in college and have not had the space to develop since then. When this project was introduced to me I knew immediately what I would do.

It became more interesting, unfortunately, in the middle of November as Paris was attacked and hateful rhetoric began to come from the republican presidential candidates. It reminded me of some of the rhetoric after the attacks on the twin towers, which as a 12 year old then I clearly remember. As I started my venture into teaching, I realized that many of my students would be born near or after this day that so scarred my memory. I was reminded of my own age as well as my place in the greater timeline of history. It is this realization that directed me to think of another generations “day of infamy” and the ways we teach it to students who have little context for it.

I also find myself wanting to emphasize on historical empathy, or perspective taking. Often times when looking at history, we may look at it with our modern day perspectives and judge the people of the past without seeing things through their eyes. The purpose of this is not to justify their actions but realize that it could still happen to us; that if we forget the past or believe we are above it, we are bound to repeat it.

Creating this document based lesson allowed me to combine both of these ideas of mine into one, ideally powerful, lesson. I am not a Mac person so learning to use the book design software was a bit of a learning curve but in the end I found it worth it to create this easy to access lesson. I hope that whoever may find this will have some deep discussions both about our history and the nature of humans themselves.

Image credit: "Remember Pearl Harbor"
Words by Don Reid. Music by Don Reid and Sammy Kaye. Republic Music Corp., NYC, 1941.
From the Popular American Sheet Music Collection, Department of Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leo Frank: Anti-Semitism, Class Warfare, Media Hysteria

Leo-Frank

This student-designed DBQ uses multimedia primary sources to explore the 1915 trial and lynching of Leo Frank. A case study in media hysteria

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mitch McConnell Flunks US History

featured-online_Privacy_and_the_Founding_Fathers

The central argument being raised by Republican Senators who refuse to even consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court is “Let the people have a voice.” So I have to keep Mitch after class to review how the Founding Fathers designed the Supreme Court

Tags: , , , , , ,

Portland to March for Civil Rights Hero – Minoru Yasui

Minoru Yasui-featured

Join us in retracing Minoru Yasui’s 1942 walk for civil rights and social justice protesting Executive Order 9066 (which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.) Portland Oregon March 28, 2016

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Cultural Imperialism: Who Stole Cleopatra’s Needles?

featured-Cleopatras.needle.from.thames.london.arp

Interactive DBQ explores the debate over art plunder of cultural property through the case of Cleopatra’s Needles.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Samurai: Sources of Warrior Identity in Medieval Japan

featured-Watanabe-Tsuna-fighting-the-demond-at-the-Rashomon

Student designed interactive DBQ explores Medieval depictions of the Samurai to answer the question of what it means to be a warrior in Japan and the place of the warrior in society.

Tags: , , , , ,

Strange Fruit: Media Coverage of the Waco Horror

Bryan-Daily-Eagle-and-Pilot-featured

Student designed interactive DBQ explores the media coverage of the 1916 lynching of Jesse Washington, a 17 year old African American man from Waco, Texas – one of the most heinous acts of government sanctioned mob “justice” in American society.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Uprooted: Russell Lee FSA Photo Exhibit

Uprooted-Exhibit-02

During the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans, some 33,000 Nikkei left concentration camps to work as seasonal farm laborers, often in the sugar beet industry. UPROOTED introduces their story. This traveling exhibit features a selection of images from federal photographer Russell Lee’s documentation of farm labor camps in Oregon and Idaho. Through Lee’s photographs, new research, and firsthand accounts from farm laborers themselves, the exhibit uncovers the rarely told story of life in the camps.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Harlem Renaissance: Rebirth of Cultural Identity

Barbecue-by-Archibald-Motley-featured

Student designed interactive DBQ explores the theme “How did the Harlem Renaissance allow African Americans to express their experiences within American society?”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Close Reading Political Cartoons: Reconstruction

Northern-coat-of-arms-featured

In this lesson, students will examine various political cartoons and other images from around the United States printed during Reconstruction. They will be asked questions of each image which will help them perform close reading skills and help them come to a conclusion about how the different types of American citizens experienced Reconstruction.

Tags: , , , , , ,