Vocabulary:
minorities: refers to "non-white" segments of the populations

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More Notes:
This war required participation from ALL groups of people- minorities played a very significant role in our victory!

Vocabulary:
reform agendas: plans to make social progress- like the Civil Rights Movement

public discourse: the discussion of the position of society and what should be done

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More Notes:
Minority groups, who were typically discriminated against, participated in the victory over the Axis Powers. Experiencing equality in Europe, these same men returned home to find discrimination. They had fought for freedoms of others, and now they held America accountable to guarantee freedoms of our own people!

Extra Links:
This site and its links look at African-American experience in World War 2.

Vocabulary:
desegregation: an end to racial separation, or integration

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More Notes:
The U.S. Military mirrored U.S. society- Jim Crow. It was not that FDR was opposed to Civil Rights- he feared retaliation and opposition to the war effort if he tried to impose integration.

Even on the home front, discrimination could be found. African-Americans were regularly paid less than white workers, were denied jobs and advancement. Roosevelt finally realized that ALL workers were needed, and he issued an order to integrate all war production factories and offer equal pay. This was a big step- but it was just a beginning

Extra Links:
Here is a site with photos celebrating the role of African-Americans in World War 2!

More Notes:
Millions of men were needed in the army to fight this war, which left many jobs open. Further, production needed to increase because we use a lot of stuff to fight a war! This demand for production and labor resulted in women joining the workforce in record numbers. As it turns out, women- like the one pictured above- were able to do the job every bit as well as any man!

Women were even encouraged to join the Armed Forces! Women were not going to the front lines to fight- but they could help by filling "support" roles. Women filled traditional roles of nurses, but now they were used in administrative positions, shipping positions, and were even used as transport managers. Some women even flew transport planes for the Air Force and captained transport ships for the Navy!

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Extra Links:
Check out these pictures of women workers during WW2!

Vocabulary:
segregated: separated groups of people, usually by race

non-combat: away from the front line of fighting

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More Notes:
The segregation of the Armed Forces was an extension of the Jim Crow South. Military leaders feared that integration would cause white soldiers to oppose serving in the army. Prejudice by officers kept these soldiers out of combat- there was a fear that these guys were not "good" enough to fight.

Now, these black forces demanded the right to go to the front to fight. WHY? Wasn't it safer to serve away from the fighting? Well, there was no "glory" in loading a transport ship with ammunition. There was no honor serving as a cook. There was much more pride on the front lines- and these men felt the need to prove their worth in hopes of winning EQUALITY!
Extra Links:
This was not the first time African-Americans served in the military - click here to learn more.

More Notes:
There was a belief that black men were simply incapable of doing anything as complicated as flying an airplane- let alone doing it in combat. Against all odds of prejudice and discrimination, this segregated unit became part of the Air Force- but were still not considered equal. When finally given the opportunity- these guys went above and beyond any escort fighters. How good were they? You can read the long list of medals above, but the true bottom line is that they never lost a single bomber that they escorted!

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The Tuskegee Airmen

Extra Links:
Check out more on the Tuskegee Airmen!

More Notes:
Most Americans felt a strong hatred towards Japan after Pearl Harbor. As the war in the Pacific intensified, even more resentment mounted. This prejudice was the projected on Japanese-Americans (American citizens of Japanese ancestry). Feeling the need to prove that they were loyal American citizens, these men volunteered for service. They were only allowed to serve in Europe- the military thought they might "turn" and support the Emperor...

As it turns out, the Nisei became the most decorated unit in Europe!

Video Clip:

The Nisei Regiments

Extra Links:
Learn more about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (a Nisei regiment).

More Notes:
Radio communication was essential to plan and execute battle. The problem with this type of communication was that the enemy could listen to the communications, they only needed to tune in to the right frequency. So, radio communication needed to be done by codes. Codes almost always have some mathematical base- so eventually the enemy could break the codes... Here's where the Navajo came in.

The Navajo language had never been written down, they had no alphabet! These guys could get on the radio and communicate with ease, and the Japanese never figured out what they were saying! These code-talkers saved countless American lives in the Pacific, and were essential to our victories!

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Extra Links:
This link gives more info on these code talkers-

More Notes:
Winning this war required the complete dedication of all segments of the population. Check out that poster shown above- it specifically is asking women to join the military!

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Extra Links:
Here's a site with links to posters for women during World War 2.

Vocabulary:
citations: official awards

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More Notes:
Why did these units suffer higher casualty rates? Was it because they were untrained? Were they given inadequate equipment? Did commanding officers send them into the more difficult situations based on prejudice ("looks dangerous- send in the brothers")? These all seem like they could have been reasons- but NOT REALLY!

These men believed they had more to prove- more to fight for- more to gain. Often times, they were willing to take more risks and sacrifices to gain the glory- ultimately seeking equality which had been denied for centuries.

By proving their equality and abilities beyond any doubt- they returned home and demanded recognition! These men would become a driving force in the Civil Rights Movement!

Extra Links:
Here are some cartoons by Dr. Seuss about racism during World War 2!

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Extra Links:
"A Better Day Coming" - looks at Civil Rights launch from World War 2.

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