I don’t know if most people could answer the question “How did the United States end up in World War 2?” I say that because most of my friends who aren’t history buffs can’t. That’s not really a good sampling though. So, do you know how or why?
It all starts with FDR. We last saw him selling guns to the Allies. Well, here’s the general problem. While FDR had some interesting ideas for domestic policy, which some were helpful, some were not. He wasn’t all that good at foreign policy.
Basically, Roosevelt set up foreign policy that kept Japan from being able to trade with anyone, steep tariffs, and a few other things. All of this was designed to get Japan stop the policies United States didn’t like. What he didn’t take into account (and the reason I say he botched his policy) is Japan’s cultural identity. When backed into a corner they don’t exactly back down, they attack. They are a proud culture, and they wouldn’t respond well his brow beating.
But, that’s a bunch of politics and things that my kids aren’t ready to delve into in that depth. So we listened to the Adventures in Odyssey, At Home and Abroad , East Winds Raining. This episode covers Pearl Harbor from the point of view of a survivor talking about his best friend. As we listened the kids colored Pearl Harbor coloring pages.
Afterwards we talked about what it might have felt like to be there and listened to “Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,” which there are a few versions of:
This first one is a much more militaristic song. I can see this being sung and listened to by the soldiers in the Pacific field of war.
I have this song on my Cole Porter CD, and as we listened to both of these songs the kids noticed they automatically started marching along with the music.
As we listened I asked them what did they feel? They said proud, like we can take anyone. That’s the point of this music, to inspire you, make you feel brave. It makes you want to do something.
Then we listened to FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech. It’s a great example of stirring the people to war, and inspiration.
And a final clip:
These are great for your kids to get a feel for how everyone felt and what was going on.
For more US history ideas check out my pinterest board:
We loved studying WWII, we had the privledge to visit Normandy in 2011 and visit all five of the beaches. I have a few post on my blog is you are interested look under the Month of June 2011:)
You kids are adorable marching around:)
Ooohhh, that would be a cool experience. I was blessed to be in France during the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and that was the souvenir t-shirt I got, one of D-Day.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
I wish we had treated Japanese Americans better after Pearl Harbor.
I know what you mean. I really enjoyed reading George Takei’s auto-biography talking about being in an internment camp.
I also understand the fear the government and many of the people had at that time, there were some (a small minority, just to make that clear) who were spies, and they didn’t have a clue how to solve the problem, so they just rounded everyone up. I do appreciate our government admitted wrong and did pay reparations to the surviving people interned. I think it’s only right to pay the people who were wronged.
I know nothing about modern day history, yet it probably is the most important history to know and understand. I’m really looking forward to digging in. Thanks for sharing all your great posts!
It’s funny – when my German husband, myself and our best friend (born and raised in US) are discussing WWII, it’s like there were three different wars, not one. The emphasis in history lessons was on completely different things!
I can just imagine! I bet your husband has some really interesting ideas on how WW2 started and what the war was like, and the same for you. I’ve never thought too much about the war from the Soviet perspective all that much, beyond a couple of movies I watched as an adult which were really interesting, but hard to watch.