Timeline of Events
October 1929 The Great Depression arrives, leading to high unemployment rates and social unrest; over the next few years the Depression spreads worldwide, hitting Germany particularly hard.
September 18, 1931 Japan invades and occupies Manchuria to gain access to its natural resources, beginning Japan's military expansion in the Far East through the next decade.
January 30, 1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Germany's head of government.
March 4, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the thirty-second president.
1935 Germany introduces a military draft and begins mobilizing its industries to produce military materials, including tanks and war planes.
October 3, 1935 Italy invades Ethiopia and gains control by May 1936.
July 7, 1937 Japan invades China, capturing many of its major cities including its capital, Peking (Beijing).
March 12, 1938 Germany announces a union with Austria.
October 15, 1938 Germany gains control of part of Czechoslovakia, beginning its military expansion in Europe.
1939 Pocket Book Company introduces the paperback book, which will become highly popular through the war, selling 40 million in 1943 alone....
(The entire section is 2468 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Words to Know
aliens: Immigrants who hold citizenship in a foreign country.
Allies: Over thirty nations, including the United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Union, who united in the fight against Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II.
appeasement: Giving in to the demands of another nation in order to maintain peace.
atomic bomb: A bomb whose massive explosive force comes from the nuclear fission of uranium or plutonium.
Authoritarian: A political system in which authority is centered in a ruling party that demands complete obedience of its citizens and is not legally accountable to the people.
auxiliary: Volunteers who provide additional or supplementary assistance, or an organization that is supplemental to a larger one, such as the auxiliary police or firemen.
Axis powers: Nations who fought against the Allies in World War II including Germany, Italy, and Japan.
baby boomers: The population of 76 million children born after World War II, between 1946 and 1964.
barrage balloons: A network of balloons, steel cables, and nets placed over a town or city to protect against attacking enemy aircraft....
(The entire section is 1489 words.)
Research and Activity Ideas
The following ideas and projects are intended to offer suggestions for complementing your classroom work on understanding various aspects of the American home front during World War II:
Wartime Government Posters: During the war years, colorful and informative posters printed by various U.S. government agencies appeared in home front work places, schools, recreation centers, and most all public areas of towns and cities across America. Messages on the posters shaped and directed the public's perception of the war effort and called Americans to action. Common themes included recruitment for the military, recruitment of men and women for war industries, volunteering, patriotism, war bonds, rationing for victory, doing your part for the war effort, and being careful not to let spies overhear your conversations.
Go to the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs Online Catalogue at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/pphome.html. Select "search ALL RECORDS in this catalogue." Type in the words "world war 1939-1945 posters." Go past the posters of foreign origin to find more than 450 U.S. government World War II posters. Carefully scan through the titles and images of the posters. Choose one of the interesting themes and create an original poster around that theme. Be sure your poster is clear, direct, forceful, and lists where to...
(The entire section is 2011 words.)
Where to Learn More
Bailey, Ronald H. The Home Front, U.S.A. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1977.
Bernstein, Mark, and Alex Lubertozzi. World War II on the Air: Edward R. Murrow and the Voices That Carried the War Home. Naperville, IL: Source-books, 2003.
Carl, Ann B. A Wasp Among Eagles. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999.
Cooper, Michael L. Remembering Manzanar: Life in a Japanese Relocation Camp. New York: Clarion Books, 2002.
Cooper, Michael L. Fighting For Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II. New York: Clarion Books, 2000.
Daniels, Roger. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.
Freidel, Frank. Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Rendezvous with Destiny. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1990.
Fremon, David K. Japanese-American Internment in American History. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1996.
Gilbert, Bill. They Also Served: Baseball and the Home Front, 1941-1945. New York: Crown Publishers, 1992.
Gluck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War, and Social Change. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.
(The entire section is 618 words.)