Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

Depression & War


Woman working in an aircraft plant

North Carolina Digital History

The Great Depression and World War II

North Carolina, along with the rest of the nation and much of the world, was plunged quickly from the promise of the 1920s into back-to-back catastrophes: the greatest economic collapse in modern history and the bloodiest war humans have ever fought. Yet both events inspired a kind of progress. The Great Depression brought the opportunity for reform. World War II brought jobs, industries, new technologies, and opportunities for women and minorities.

Designed for secondary students, part nine of our web-based “digital textbook” combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the years between 1929 and 1945:

  • why the Great Depression occurred, and why it was so deep
  • how governments used the Depression as an opportunity for new programs, regulations, and reforms, including the New Deal
  • what life was like during the Depression
  • how World War II began and how it was fought
  • the experiences of soldiers, sailors, and aviators
  • the impact of the war on the homefront

Get started: Table of Contents


More than just a linear narrative, our “digital textbook” is modular and fully searchable. If you need a primary source, a map, some background reading, or a lesson plan, this is the place to start!