Jerky Turkey, 1945

This homefront cartoon short released in 1945 plays on several themes that would offer a great discussion in class.

Sometimes it is just fun to show students something outside of the box in order to get them engaged.

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Wartime Nutrition, 1943

This film was made by the U.S. Office of War Information in 1943 and it highlights the importance of rationing as well as eating properly.

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WWII Dr. Seuss cartoon

Dr Seuss blk wht labor

Dr. Seuss was a true American treasure. As teachers we are very lucky that most students are familiar with his work, because it gives them a higher level of comfort when examining his political cartoons.

We have included this cartoon which is a commentary on segregation in war industries at the beginning of the war.

Here are questions and answers ready for your classroom use.

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Image Libraries

Film Library

Historic Film Collection, Part 3

World War II homefront images

The Office of War Information, created in the US during WWII, was an agency designed to aid in the war effort on the homefront.

Among other things, they employed civilians, especially women, to build items needed; these photos show B-52 bombers being constructed.

These particular images were taken by Alfred Palmer between 1940-43 from several plants in California and Texas.

We have gathered close to 20 images and put them into a PDF to use in your classroom.

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US History PowerPoints

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WWII US Homefront film, 1942

This film shows the daily life of Henry Browne and family, farmers from Georgia. The film links his daily activities on the peanut farm to victory in the war.

We are highlighting this film in celebration of Black History month.

For more Black History resources see our PowerPoint specials.

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Guest Post: The Changing Role of Women during WWII

When discussing the changing role of women in the U.S. in a social studies or history class, it’s important to thoroughly explain the catalysts for these changes that predate the social movements of the 1960s. Among them is the women’s suffrage movement leading to a woman’s right to vote in 1920. Another prime example, of course, was the necessity of women taking up men’s work in the 1940s during World War II, when most able-bodied men were called to war leaving thousands of job vacancies in their wake. The circumstances of World War II forced women out of a traditional subordinate role as homemakers and stay-at-home mothers and into traditional man’s work in factories and in the war industry building ships, aircraft, vehicles and weaponry.

An excellent video available on YouTube chronicles the changing role of women during WWII. After showing this video to your class, you can ask the following discussion questions:

Q: From the Great Depression up until WWII, what was the primary role of women in society?

A: A woman’s work was mostly in the home, where she was responsible for cooking, cleaning and raising the children. Women did not frequently work outside the home.

Q: When was the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and what was its relevance to WWII?

A: December 7, 1941. The attack induced the U.S. to declare war on Japan and enter WWII.

Q: Why did women enter the workforce during WWII?

A: Men left the civilian workforce in droves to join the war effort, and women were needed to work in factories and other traditionally male occupations.

Q: What did women on the home front do to support the troops?

A: Women collected cans, conserved rubber and even gave up their pantyhose for use as war materials.

Q: Name two military organizations that were put together specifically for women during the war.

A: The Woman’s Army Corps (WAC) and the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots).

Q: Name two occupations for women in the Women’s Army Corps that were mentioned in the video.

A: Nurses and secretaries.

Q: Who were the WASPs and what did they do?

A: Women pilots who served in non-combat roles for the Air Force. They flew planes to the battle front and brought supplies to the troops during transport missions.

Q: Did women continue to work in men’s roles after the war?

A: No, women returned to more traditional roles in the home after the war and in the 1950s.



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Loretta Young during World War II

Loretta Young announces the “Women at War Week” in this 2 minute video.

She urges women to join the war effort in honor of all of the women struggling in the war around the world, and to prevent the war from entering US soil.

Can your students think of any contemporary examples of celebrities getting involved in issues facing the world today, war or otherwise?

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Historic Film Collection from the 1940s:

Historic Film Collection, Part 4

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Superman during WWII

This 1942 cartoon finds Lois and Clark trapped at Yokohama Navy Yard in Japan.

Superman comes to the rescue by sabotaging ships and wreaking havoc upon the Japanese military.

Since this was made during the war, it could be used as an example of propaganda, with a conversation about the portrayal of the Japanese (since it is obviously unfavorable).

For more WWII era materials please see our US History PowerPoints:

  • Causes of World War II
  • World War II
  • World History:

  • Europe Between The Wars
  • World War II
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    The Arm Behind the Army, 1942

    This Signal Corps WWII propaganda film details the importance of the worker to the victory of American armies.

    It clearly shows the link between the work on the homefront and success against the Axis powers abroad.

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    US homefront WWII film: Three Cities, 1941

    This US Office of War Information shows how citizens on the homefront helped prepare the nation for the war effort.

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    Causes of WWII Parts 1, 2, 3