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America’s involvement in Vietnam was the most controversial issue of the 1960s and 70s, and the war created the most vocal and varied opposition of any war in our country’s history. What were the reasons for this opposition? Why did so many Americans oppose the American involvement in Vietnam? That’s your task in class today!
To begin, read and watch Vietnam War Protests from the History Channel
You will receive a SPECIFIC protest topic that you will share with your fellow protesters in class. Take a look at the resource(s) below and create SOMETHING that you would use to help spread the word about you reason for opposing the war in Vietnam. You can make a protest sign with a slogan, a leaflet or pamphlet to hand out, a protest button – you name it!
- Someone who doubts what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, A Somber Lesson
- A member of Congress at the Fullbright Hearings
- A member of Students for a Democratic Society
- Someone who just read about the Pentagon Papers
- A citizen shocked about the Credibility Gap / Credibility Gap
- A citizen who viewed a report about My Lai
- Someone opposing the Draft / Draft
- Someone evading the draft / dodging the draft
- A conscientious objector
- A supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr / MLK Beyond Vietnam
- An African American opposing the war
- An American opposed to the incursion into Cambodia
- A citizen reacting to the The Living Room War / The Living Room War
- A member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War / Vietnam Veterans Against the War
- Someone who just saw a report on The Tet Offensive / The Tet Offensive
- A college professor leading one of the Teach-Ins
- A participant in the May Day Protests
- A participant in the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam / Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
- Someone reacting to news about the Kent State shootings / May 4 Shootings at Kent State University
- Someone hearing about the Sterling Hall Bombing
- Someone opposed to the use of Agent Orange
You all know that the United States was involved in a major military conflict in Vietnam during the Cold War … but why? What was America’s “path to war”? Check out the video below and a few of the links if you have a chance. As you read and watch, SUMMARIZE the basic ideas and events that led to American involvement in Vietnam in a written paragraph.
USE THE FOLLOWING TERMS IN YOUR PARAGRAPH: WWII, Vietnam, France, Ho Chi Minh, communism,Eisenhower, domino theory, independence, division of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, NLF, Kennedy, military advisors, military coup, Johnson, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Rolling Thunder, ground troops
Throughout the year, we spent some time learning about and reflecting on the life, challenges, impact, and sacrifices of the men and women who served the United States in our various military conflict. While we do not have a great deal of time to spend on the soldiers in the Vietnam War, it is important to examine their experience to understand the conflict, their sacrifice, and the honor they deserve … especially with our trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in April, our March to the Memorials, and Memorial Day on Monday. If you have the chance (and desire) please spend some time this weekend examining some of the resources below. And, if you get the chance, read To Heal a Nation on Monday – it’s a perfect time to do so.
- Chasing Charlie from Bill Lacey at Interact- a great reading
- Videos from the History Channel – Vietnam’s Underground Warfare / Vietnam War Tactics
- Guerilla Tactics – An Overview from PBS’ Battlefield Vietnam
- Taft’s videos and photos from the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam – check them out!
- Letters Home from Vietnam – from the Wisconsin Historical Society
- Remember the Women’s Vietnam Memorial in DC? Here is some more info about women that served in the war, and even more from the History Channel.
If you are really interested, you can check out the series “Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam” It’s powerful (and mature) stuff .. but if you want to know what it was like to be a soldier in Vietnam, this is the best resource.
The stories of the Civil Rights movement are plentiful, and we only had time to dig into a few. Hopefully you are definitely pulling out some great lessons from the push for equality after WWII. You can also check out lessons from other groups pushing for civil rights with this Civil Rights for All doc from Doc last year.
Now, it’s time to apply that lesson the our society and your life – by completing “My Lesson from the Civil Rights Movement”. Check the assignment – I added some examples from past years!
What lessons have we learned so far? Take a look:
The civil rights movement is one of the defining events in American history, during which Americans fought to make real the ideals of justice and equality embedded in our founding documents. When students learn about the movement, they learn what it means to be active American citizens. They learn how to recognize injustice. They learn about the transformative role played by thousands of ordinary individuals, as well as the importance of organization for collective change. They see that people can come together to stand against oppression.
For one of our final topics of study this year, we will be surveying the Civil Rights Movement, one of the major turning points in America’s story … and one that is still being experienced and told. Unfortunately, we will not be able to dig extremely deep into the movement, but we will see many of the seminal moments from the push for equality and make connections to our current society and our own lives.
You will have two different assessments for this Civil Rights Movement – an online quiz (open web) and a small project about a lesson from the movement.
To learn about the movement, you must witness it – your first task is to examine the early events of the movement, find out what happened, and start to examine the the lessons we can learn. Get going on this!
The most important global event in the 20th century had a huge impact on the United States specifically and on the world in general. What was the legacy of the war? Complete “The Legacy of WWII” on Google Classroom and check out the resources below to come to class with an idea about the overall impact of the second World War. Take some notes on these materials as well!
- 70 years later: How World War II changed America
- World War II Aftermath: A Changed America
- The Postwar World: Legacy of World War II – Sage American History
- The Legacy of WWII and Post World War II America – from Sage American History
- Legacy of WWII: It was a ‘Woman’s War Too’x`
- World War II and the Shaping of Postwar America: Politics, Domestic Policy, and the Political Economy (a looooong one – wanna skim it?
Want to be blown away? Check out ‘The Fallen of WWII” – it’s big.