Hispanic Americans and World War II by University of Texas2

Hispanic Americans and World War II by University of Texas (select a hero/ heroine and summarize their experience during the war)Here is a sample.Title:Source:Short quote:3 bullet points50 word summaryNote that the questions in the discussion board are not the summaries due. I hope this clears the format for you.

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Grade 5 and Up
Hispanic Americans
and World War II
This guide is a product of the
University of Texas at Austin
Grade 5 and Up
Hispanic Americans
World War II
September/October Hispanic Heritage Month —Educational Materials
The mission of the Voces Oral History Project is to recognize the contributions of men and women of
Latino heritage of the World War II generation. Through a variety of resources, such as a newspaper publication,
website, conferences and books, the project seeks to disseminate the remarkable stories of the World War II
generation. The Project will add to these various components by making these archives available to teachers
and students through educational materials such as these.
These kits include:
• 2 posters featuring WWII veterans and people on the home front
• 4 trading cards for each student
• a supplementary teacher’s guide, which includes classroom and take-home activities, as well as resources
on WWII and oral history for teachers.
The educational kit, created in recognition of September/October Hispanic Heritage Month, has been developed by elementary teachers and addresses the historical experiences and contributions of U.S. Latinos and
Latinas during the WWII era. Activities are designed to engage students and teachers in learning about the
WWII generation and what it was like to be a Latino during that era – both at war and on the home front. Activities relate to themes discussed in stories from the Project’s newspaper, Narratives, which is based on oral
history interviews.
Examples of themes include women’s work in wartime jobs on the home front, various positions Latinos held
in military service, Mexican nationals in the U.S. armed forces, use of Spanish language and military honors
bestowed upon Latinos and Latinas.
Central to this guide is the incorporation of primary source materials such as discharge papers and letters from
soldiers back to their homes.
Children will learn how the Project collects oral histories, and how they can do oral histories with their own
family members. Each lesson in this guide is aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and
note which objectives are met in the lesson.
Mailing Address
Voces Oral History Project
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station A1000
Austin, Texas 78712
Project Office: (512) 471-1924
About Latinos and Latinas in World War II
World War II
was a major turning point for U.S. Latinos, changing the world views of an entire
generation. Many Latino soldiers returned home to find the same discrimination they had left behind; they
began questioning a system that held Latinos to a lower status. Many veterans used the G.I. Bill to earn
a college education. Latinas who worked in military installations and in other jobs previously denied them
also questioned the status quo. Some Mexican citizens were brought in to fill jobs left vacant by departing
soldiers. Few lives were left untouched—even those men who were unable to join the fighting forces would
never be the same.
In the years following World War II, these men and women made astounding civil rights advancements for
Latinos —in school desegregation, in voting rights, in basic civil rights. Powerful organizations grew out of
this era, including the G.I. Forum and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
For Puerto Ricans, World War II brought new questions: the U.S. came to appreciate Puerto Rico’s military
importance in the Caribbean, especially as guardian to the Panama Canal. The U.S. said that it needed to
keep its sovereign power over the island for reasons of national security, and World War II strengthened
that position. Accordingly, the U.S. dramatically increased the number of military personnel in Puerto Rico,
a military presence that endures to this day. Even as soldiers from Puerto Rico came to the mainland, most
of them for the first time, to train before going to fight in the war overseas, Puerto Rico remained isolated in
the Caribbean. While the war created jobs in the U.S. mainland, unemployment rose in Puerto Rico. Later,
the post-war economic boom in the U.S. helped to finance the industrialization and modernization program
on the island, which led to the mass migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland.
Sadly, the stories of these men and women have been virtually untold, either in the mass media or in historical texts. This project has recorded interviews with over 900 of these men and women and worked hard to
share its work with the public, in particular, with future generations, so that they will know about the sacrifices and contributions that Latinos and Latinas made for this country as Americans.
Source: www.VocesOralHistoryProject.org
Lessons Sections
Edna Amador 8th grade Language Arts Teacher
Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso, Texas
Narratives Activities
Diana Garcia 5th grade History Teacher
Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas
Materials Coordinator
Brenda Sendejo
Associate Director/Education
Major Events of World War II
1939 – 1945
Germany invades Poland. World War II begins.
3rd Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
5th United States proclaims neutrality.
17th The Soviet Union invades Poland.
29th Germany and the Soviet Union divide up Poland.
The Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.
4th Although President Roosevelt has declared American neutrality in the war in Europe,
a Neutrality Act is signed that allows the U.S. to send arms and other aid to Britain
and France.
30th The USSR attacks Finland.
18th Mussolini and Hitler announce Italy’s formal alliance with Germany against England
and France.
7th British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin resigns in disgrace. He will be replaced by
Winston Churchill on May 10.
The German Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) begins, as Rotterdam and other Dutch cities are
attacked from the air. By the end of the month, the Dutch armies will have surrendered,
Belgium will have surrendered, and the evacuation of British and French troops from
Dunkirk will be underway.
Italy declares war on Britain and France, and U.S. President Roosevelt announces a
shift from neutrality to “non-belligerency,” meaning more active support for the Allies
against the Axis.
In the U.S., the Alien Registration Act (the Smith Act) passed by Congress requires
aliens to register and be fingerprinted; the Act makes it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the US government.
As German air attacks over Britain intensify, the British Royal Air Force begins night
bombing of German targets.
Germany, Italy and Japan enter into a 10-year military and economic alliance that
comes to be known as the “Axis”. Hungary and Romania will join the Axis in November.
Military draft, or conscription,begins in the U.S. It is the first military draft to occur
during peacetime in American history.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented third term as president, with
54 percent of the popular vote. He defeats Republican Wendell L. Wilke.
6th Contrary to widespread isolationist sentiment, President Roosevelt recommends
“Lend-Lease” program that will provide U.S. aid to the Allies.
Britain receives its first American “Lend-Lease” aid shipments of food. By December,
millions of tons of food will have arrived from the U.S.
German troops invade Soviet Russia, in what they call “Operation Barbarossa,” breaking the “nonaggression” pact signed in 1939. Two days later, President Roosevelt
promises U.S. aid to Russia.
Secret meetings between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill begin off
the coast of Newfoundland. They will result in the Atlantic Charter, which contains
eight points of agreement on the aims of the war.
President Roosevelt issues an order that German or Italian ships sighted in U.S. waters
will be attacked immediately.
Just before 8 a.m., Honolulu time, 360 Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor, the U.S.
military base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The attack cripples the U.S. Pacific fleet,
and kills more than 2,300 American soldiers, sailors, and civilians. The attack precedes Japan’s formal declaration of war, which is delivered by the Japanese foreign
minister to the U.S. embassy in Tokyo more than seven hours later.
8th President Roosevelt addresses the U.S. Congress, saying that December 7 is “a date
that will live in infamy.” After a vote of 82-0 in the U.S. Senate, and 388-1 in the House,
in favor of declaring war on Japan, Roosevelt signs the declaration of war.
Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S. President Roosevelt calls an end to official
U.S. neutrality in the war in Europe, declaring war on Germany and Italy.
An order from President Roosevelt requires all aliens to register with the government.
This is the beginning of a plan to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps
in the belief that these people might aid the enemy.
Executive Order 9066 is signed by President Roosevelt, authorizing the transfer of
more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to concentration camps in various inland states (and including inland areas of California). The interned Japanese-Americans lose an estimated 400 million dollars in property, as their
homes and possessions are taken from them.
Coastal “dim-outs” go into effect along a fifteen-mile strip on the Eastern Seaboard, in
response to German U-boat activity of the U.S. Atlantic coast.
The U.S. Congress establishes The Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), under
the direction of Oveta Culp Hobby, editor of the Houston Post.
15th Gasoline rationing goes into effect in the Eastern United States. Nationwide rationing will begin in September.
13th President Roosevelt authorizes the creation of the U.S. Office on War Information
(OWI). The first director is Elmer Holmes Davis, a CBS commentator and novelist.
The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES) is authorized by
the U.S. Congress.
The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) are established in the United States.
The armed forces will be supplied with more than 1000 auxiliary pilots through this
In the U.S., coffee joins the list of rationed items.
President Roosevelt submits his budget to the U.S. Congress. $100 billion of the
$109 billion budget is identified with the war effort.
In the U.S., shoe rationing begins, limiting civilians to three pairs of leather shoes per
year. The ration in Britain is one pair per year.
In the U.S., meat, fats, canned goods, and cheese are now all rationed. Attempting to stem inflation, President Roosevelt freezes wages, salaries, and prices.
In the U.S., President Roosevelt issues an executive order forbidding racial discrimination by government contractors.
In the U.S., an issue of The Saturday Evening Post is published with a cover illustration by Norman Rockwell that introduces an American icon known as “Rosie the
The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in West Virginia Board of Education v. Bernette, that
a West Virginia state law that requires school children to salute the flag, on penalty of
expulsion, is unconstitutional.
Although the Allies have announced the unconditional surrender of Italy, German forces
in Italy continue to oppose Allied troops. When the U.S. Fifth Army lands at Salerno,
they sustain heavy losses.
President Roosevelt repeals the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 and 1902, thus
allowing Chinese residents of the United States to be eligible for citizenship. The new
Chinese Act also allows for the immigration of up to 105 Chinese annually.
In the case of Smith v. Allwright, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that an American
cannot be denied the right to vote because of color.
In the U.S., meat rationing ends, except for certain select cuts.
6th “D-Day”: The Allied invasion of Europe commences just after midnight, as more than
175,000 troops land at Normandy, France. The largest invasion force in history, it
includes 4,000 invasion ships, 600 warships, and 10,000 planes.
In the U.S., President Roosevelt signs the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act that will
provide funds for housing and education after the war. It is better known as the GI
Bill of Rights.
An assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler, planned by some of Hitler’s generals, is
Soviet troops capture Lublin, Poland and liberate the Majdanek concentration
camp. Captured virtually intact, Majdanek was the first major camp to be liberated.
In Amsterdam, Otto Frank and his family (including his daughter Anne, then 15) are
captured by the Gestapo. Jewish, they have been in hiding for more than two years,
kept by Miep and Jan Gies, but have been betrayed by someone familiar with their
hiding place and are put on the last convoy of trucks to Auschwitz.
Paris is liberated by Allied French troops, after four years of German occupation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term as U.S. President, and Harry S. Truman becomes the Vice-President.
The Battle of the Bulge begins. It the last major German counteroffensive, as allied
troops are pushed back in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest. As Allied lines fall back, a
“bulge” is created in the center of the line, giving the battle its familiar name. Two
weeks of intense fighting in brutal winter weather follow before the German offensive
is stopped.
Soviet troops find fewer than 3,000 survivors when they liberate Auschwitz, the Nazi
death camp in Poland. The German S.S. has moved many of the remaining prisoners to camps inside Germany. From 1939 to 1945, one third of the Jews living in the
world will have died in German concentration and extermination camps.
On Iwo Jima, a month-long struggle comes to an end, as U.S. forces capture the
8-square-mile island. Possessing Japan’s last line of radar defense to warn against
American air attacks, Iwo Jima is a strategically significant prelude to the invasion of
After suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage, President Roosevelt dies at the age of
63. Vice-President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) is sworn in as President.
At Lake Como, in Italy, Benito Mussolini and 12 of his former Cabinet officers are executed. German forces in Italy will surrender unconditionally on the 29th.
With Russian shells falling on Berlin, Hitler marries Eva Braun in his bombproof Berlin
bunker. He then poisons her and kills himself. His remains are never recovered.
Germany surrenders unconditionally to General Eisenhower at Rheims, France, and to
the Soviets in Berlin. President Truman pronounces the following day, May 8, V-E Day.
The U.S., Russia, England, and France agree to split occupied Germany into eastern
and western halves.
Torpedoes sink the U.S.S. Indianapolis in the Indian Ocean.
The U.S. B-29 Superfortress, Enola Gay, drops an atomic bomb on the Japanese
industrial city of Hiroshima. The city is leveled, and an estimated 100,000 people are
killed immediately (another 100,000 will die later from radiation sickness and burns).
On August 9, a second bomb will be dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
The Japanese surrender after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and U.S.
President Truman declares that August 14th will be V-J (Victory over Japan) Day. To
date, nearly 55 million people have died in the Second World War, including 25 million
in the Soviet Union, nearly 8 million in China, and more than 6 million in Poland.
In the U.S., rationing of gasoline and fuel oil comes to an end.
2nd General MacArthur accepts the formal, unconditional surrender of Japan in a ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Butter rationing comes to an end, and sugar is the only item that continues to be
rationed in the U.S.
A new election law is passed in Japan, at the urgency of the occupying Allied forces,
which gives Japanese women voting rights.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is created. Of the more
than $7 billion contributed by 21 countries, the U.S. has subscribed more than $3
billion to the World Bank.
Adapted from: eHistory at The Department of History at Ohio State University website, http://ehistory.osu.edu.
Latinos and World War II
Sources: Handbook of Texas Online and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition by Merriam-Webster
American G.I. Forum American G. I. Forum is a civil-rights organization devoted to securing equal
rights for Hispanic Americans and addressed veteran concern such as hospital care. The G.I. Forum was
organized on March 26, 1948 in Corpus Christi, Texas and led by Hector P. Garcia. The first issue they
dealt with was the failure of the Veterans Administration to deliver earned benefits to Mexican American
veterans. The G.I. Forum became known nationally for its role in the Felix Longoria Affair. In this incident,
the body of a soldier who had been killed in action in the last days of the war was being returned to his
hometown of Three Rivers, Texas. The local funeral home refused to let Pvt. Longoria’s family use its
facilities for the wake because he was Mexican American and the funeral director worried that white customers would object. Through support of G.I. Forum and help by LBJ, Longoria was buried at Arlington
National Cemetery. This event established the Forum as a civil rights advocate for Hispanics.
Civilian Conservation Corps President Roosevelt called an emergency session of congress on
March 9, 1933 to hear and authorize his Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act, or more commonly
known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program. The President proposed to recruit thousands
of unemployed men into this program to do battle against the destruction and erosion of natural resources. CCC enrollees across the U.S. were credited with renewing the nation’s decimated forests by planting
an estimated 3 billion trees between 1933 and 1942. By the end of the program, over 3 million young
men engaged in a massive salvage operation.
Civil Service The Civil Service are government jobs that are prized because they provide a steady
paycheck and are generally well-paying. Examples: police officers, fire fighters, civilians who work on
military bases.
The Draft Government policies that require citizens to serve in their armed forces. It is also known as
mandatory military service, selective service or conscription.
D-Day June 6, 1944 is known as D-Day, the day 150,000 Allied forces invaded France on the beaches
of Normandy during World War II.
Discrimination Prejudice; treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than indi-
vidual merit. Examples: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.
Great Depression The economic crisis beginning with the stock market crash in 1929 and continu-
ing through the 1930s. With World War II came better economic times for Americans, as the war …
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