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  1. Credits & acknowledgments
  2. Introduction
  3. About this "digital textbook"
  1. 1 Understanding the Great Depression
    1. 1.1
      The Great Depression: An overview
      An overview of the economic causes of the Great Depression and why it grew from a downturn into a catastrophe.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1929–1939
    2. 1.2
      The economics of the Great Depression
      A timeline of events and economic trends, 1914–1933, that led to and worsened the Great Depression.
      • Format: timeline
      • Relevant dates: 1920–1933
    3. 1.3
      The Depression for farmers
      Farmer's troubles began in the early 1920s, and helped cause the Great Depression -- which only worsened them.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1919–1945
    4. 1.4
      Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression
      Article about Herbert Hoover's unsuccessful attempts as President to stop the country's slide into economic catastrophe.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1928–1933
    5. 1.5
      The Bonus Army
      In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, thousands of World War I veterans set up camp in Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress to pay them their army bonus early. The Army dispersed them violently, and the public outcry contributed to President Hoover's failure to win reelection that year.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1932
    6. 1.6
      Roosevelt and the New Deal
      Article summarizes Franklin Roosevelt's economic policies, the programs of the New Deal, and their effects on the economy and the nation, as well as Roosevelt's impact on politics.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1932–1940
    7. 1.7
      The banking crisis
      "Fireside chat" radio address by President Franklin Roosevelt, March 1933, explaining the banking crisis of that year and what his new administration was doing about it. Includes historical background and an explanation of bank runs and the banking crisis.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1933
    8. 1.8
      The economics of recovery and reform
      Timeline of events, federal programs, and economic trends, 1933–1940, leading to the U.S. recovery from the Great Depression.
      • Format: timeline
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
  2. 2 Relief, recovery, and reform
    1. 2.1
      Ending child labor in North Carolina
      The movement to ban child labor began in the early 1900s and slowly turned the tide of public opinion. As mill work changed in the 1920s, mills employed fewer children. North Carolina finally regulated child labor in 1933.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1888–1933
    2. 2.2
      Child labor laws in North Carolina
      Excerpt of North Carolina's 1933 law regulating child labor. Includes historical background.
      • Format: legislation
      • Relevant dates: 1933
    3. 2.3
      Workplace safety
      Excerpt of legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1933 to protect the health and safety of industrial workers. Includes historical background.
      • Format: legislation
      • Relevant dates: 1933
    4. 2.4
      The Fair Labor Standards Act
      The Fair Labor Standards Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1938, revolutionized the federal government's oversight of industry. Although it directly impacted only about a quarter of American workers, in affected industries, it banned oppressive child labor, limited the workweek to 44 hours, and established a minimum wage of 25 cents an hour.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1938
    5. 2.5
      Tobacco bag stringing: Life and labor in the Depression
      In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, families throughout the tobacco-growing regions of North Carolina and Virginia earned much-needed income by sewing drawstrings into cotton tobacco bags. New Deal legislation intended to protect workers threatened to disrupt the livelihood of home workers, whose activities were largely unregulated. This article introduces a collection of primary sources about women who worked as tobacco bag stringers in the 1930s.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1937–1941
    6. 2.6
      Rural electrification
      Excerpts from three oral history interviews with people affected by the extension of electricity to rural areas in the 1930s and 1940s. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1930–1945
    7. 2.7
      The Live at Home Program
      The Live At Home program, established during the Great Depression, helped North Carolinians to grow food to support themselves and to sell surplus food at local farmers markets. This 1936 report includes historical background and commentary.
      • Format: book
      • Relevant dates: 1932–1935
    8. 2.8
      4-H and Home Demonstration during the Great Depression
      4-H and Home Demonstration, dating from the early twentieth century, were established to instruct children and women in agricultural practice and home economics.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1930–1942
    9. 2.9
      Eugenics in North Carolina
      Between 1933 and 1974, the state of North Carolina's Eugenics Board had the power to order sterilization of mentally ill, feeble-minded, or epileptic persons.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1974
    10. 2.10
      Records of eugenical sterilization in North Carolina
      Data from North Carolina's state-run eugenics program, from the 1930s. Includes historical background.
      • Format: data set
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1935
    11. 2.11
      The Blue Ridge Parkway
      The Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles between the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, has offered visitors breathtaking vistas, wilderness access, and a reprieve from fast-paced commercialism since the mid-1930s.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    12. 2.12
      Roads taken and not taken: Images and the story of the Blue Ridge Parkway “missing link”
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1950–1987
    13. 2.13
      The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
      The Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened in 1940 and has proved to be one of the most popular parks in the country.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1040
  3. 3 Life during the Depression
    1. 3.1
      Self-Sufficiency on the farm: Gardening, picking, canning, cracklings, and sewing
      Oral history interview with Louella Odessa Saunders Amar, born 1930, who spent her first seven years living on a sharecropping farm near Roanoke, Virginia. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1930–1937
    2. 3.2
      A textile mill worker's family
      WPA interview with a mill worker in Wake Forest, North Carolina, about her experiences during the Great Depression. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    3. 3.3
      "The mill don't need him tonight"
      WPA interview with a Durham, North Carolina, girl about her family's experiences during the Great Depression. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    4. 3.4
      "Begging reduced to a system"
      WPA life history of a North Carolina family living on welfare during the Great Depression. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    5. 3.5
      A waitress
      WPA interview with a woman working as a waitress in western North Carolina during the Great Depression. She describes how she has moved around frequently looking for work. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    6. 3.6
      A Sampson County farm family
      WPA life history interview with a couple in Sampson County, North Carolina, about their experiences during the Great Depression. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    7. 3.7
      "He never wanted land till now"
      WPA interview with an elderly African American man about his experiences during the Great Depression. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1933–1940
    8. 3.8
      Health and beauty in the 1930s
      Pamphlet produced by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service in 1939, explaining rules and guidelines for grooming for teenage girls. Includes reading questions.
      • Format: pamphlet
      • Relevant dates: 1939
    9. 3.9
      Paul Green
      Biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.
      • Format: biography
      • Relevant dates: 1894–1981
    10. 3.10
      Paul Green's The Lost Colony
      On the Fourth of July, 1937, a new form of American drama was born on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, as a part of the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first English settlers in North America.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1937
    11. 3.11
      Krispy Kreme
      On July 13, 1937, the first Krispy Kreme store opened for business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company's success and quick rise to popularity were due both to the personal history of Vernon Rudolph, its owner, and the larger cultural history of doughnuts in America (and more specifically, the American South).
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1937
    12. 3.12
      The lasting impact of the Great Depression
      Oral history interview with a Madison County, North Carolina, man about how the Great Depression affected his family and community long after the economic downturn ended. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1930–1960
  4. 4 War begins
    1. 4.1
      The coming of war
      Overview of the events leading up to the United States' involvement in World War II. Includes an excerpt from a film produced by the U.S. Government to convince Americans of the need to fight.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1941
    2. 4.2
      Timeline of World War II, 1931–1941
      Timeline of global events leading up to World War II and in the first two years of the conflict in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
      • Format: timeline
      • Relevant dates: 1931–1941
    3. 4.3
      Pearl Harbor
      Explanation of the Japanese attack on U.S. naval forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Page includes audio, video, maps, and photographs.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1941
    4. 4.4
      "A date which will live in infamy"
      Speech by President Franklin Roosevelt asking Congress for a declaration of war on Japan, December 8, 1941. Includes audio, transcript, and historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1941
    5. 4.5
      Americans react to Pearl Harbor
      Interviews recorded in early 1942 giving the reactions of ordinary Americans to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of war by the United States. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    6. 4.6
      Mobilizing for war
      The U.S. entry into World War II required rapid and massive buildup of the armed forces and industrial production to supply the war effort. this page includes a clip from a documentary produced by the U.S. Government in 1942 showing scenes of wartime production.
      • Format: documentary
      • Relevant dates: 1942
  5. 5 Fighting the war
    1. 5.1
      The United States in World War II
      Article summarizes U.S. involvement in World War II from 1945 to 1945.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    2. 5.2
      Timeline of World War II: 1942–1945
      Timeline of World War II after U.S. entry into the war, divided by European theater, Pacific theater, and home front.
      • Format: timeline
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    3. 5.3
      The science and technology of World War II
      For all the role of science, mathematics, and new inventions in earlier wars, no war had as profound an effect on the technologies of our current lives than World War II. And no war was as profoundly affected by science, math, and technology than World War II. This article looks at some of the key technologies developed.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1940–1945
    4. 5.4
      The USS North Carolina
      Story of the USS North Carolina and its participation in World War II.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1940–1947
    5. 5.5
      Midway
      In the Battle of Midway, fought near Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean in June 1942, the U.S. Navy stopped the Japanese advance across the Pacific. Includes John Ford's documentary featuring live footage of the battle.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    6. 5.6
      D-Day
      Article about the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in 1944 includes audio, maps, photographs, and documents.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1944
    7. 5.7
      Landing in Europe
      Oral history interviews with veterans of World War II who participated in the D-Day landings in France in 1944. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1944
    8. 5.8
      Liberating France
      Maps, photographs, and contemporary magazine articles explore the Allied liberation of German-occupied Paris in 1944.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1944
    9. 5.9
      The Battle of the Bulge
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina World War II veteran about his experiences in the Battle of the Bulge, fought in France between December 1944 and January 1945. Includes historical background and contemporary newsreel footage.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1944–1945
    10. 5.10
      Iwo Jima
      A contemporary radio broadcast and maps help tell the story of this epic battle between American and Japanese forces in the Pacific in 1945.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1945
    11. 5.11
      The Holocaust
      • Format:
      • Relevant dates: 0
  6. 6 The soldier's experience
    1. 6.1
      Enlisting
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina man about his experience enlisting in the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    2. 6.2
      Basic training
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina man about his experiences after being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    3. 6.3
      Face to face with segregation: African American marines at Camp Lejune
      Service in the Marine Corps during World War II brought African Americans to North Carolina's Camp Lejune, where they faced discrimination that many from the North were unfamiliar with.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1943
    4. 6.4
      The experiences of black soldiers
      This UNC-TV documentary looks at the experiences of black North Carolinians in World War II.
      • Format: documentary
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    5. 6.5
      Racial discrimination in the Army
      Interviews with African American veterans of World War II about their experiences as soldiers. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    6. 6.6
      Music and morale
      The military recognized early on that music could keep soldiers' and sailors' morale up, and popular music became a way to entertain servicemen. The government pressed special records, called V-Discs (V for Victory), featuring popular artists. The recordings on this page include the song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and a German-language propaganda broadcast of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood."
      • Format: music
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    7. 6.7
      The story of a B-17 crew
      Speech, given as part of a 1944 war bonds drive, by a flight engineer about his experiences on a B-17 bomber in Europe. Includes historical background and commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1944
    8. 6.8
      Surviving the Blitz
      Oral history interview with a U.S. soldier who experienced the German bombing of England during World War II. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1943
    9. 6.9
      Serving in the Air Force
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force about his experiences in the European Theater of World War II. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1941–1945
    10. 6.10
      Serving in the Pacific
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina veteran of World War II about her experiences serving in non-combat roles in the Pacific Theater. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1943–1945
  7. 7 The war at home
    1. 7.1
      Calling for sacrifice
      In this "fireside chat" radio address, delivered in April 1942, President Roosevelt asked Americans to make sacrifices for the war effort. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    2. 7.2
      The manpower problem
      "Fireside chat" radio address by President Franklin Roosevelt, 1942, in which he explained to the American people why it was important to organize and ration manpower and how they must change the way they worked. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    3. 7.3
      North Carolina's wartime miracle: Defending the nation
      After the United States entered World War II, North Carolina became one of the leading states in the nation's growing military efforts. This article looks at the state's contributions and the war's impact on North Carolina.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1940–1945
    4. 7.4
      The Japanese-American Internment
      Announcement of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and orders to Japanese Americans in San Francisco. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: poster
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    5. 7.5
      Rosie the Riveter
      With men needed in the armed forces during World War II, women took over jobs traditionally reserved for men, including heavy industrial work. Includes a recording of the song "Rosie the Riveter."
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1942
    6. 7.6
      When World War II was fought off North Carolina's beaches
      In 1942, German U-boats -- submarines -- prowled the waters off North Carolina, where they sank merchant ships carrying supplies to the Allies in Europe.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1940–1945
    7. 7.7
      Wartime Wilmington
      Oral history interview with a native of Wilmington and World War II veteran, describing the transformation of his home town during World War II. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1941–1945
    8. 7.8
      Prisoners of war in North Carolina
      Oral history interview with a woman who grew up in North Carolina during World War II. German prisoners of war were held in her community and sent to work on nearby farms. Includes historical background.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    9. 7.9
      Rationing
      Feeding and supplying 3.5 million soldiers and sailors on active duty strained the nation's farms and factories to the limit -- at a time when fewer workers were available. In 1942, the government began rationing food and consumer goods for the duration of the war.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1947
    10. 7.10
      War bonds
      The United States Government spent some $300 billion during World War II -- more than $4 trillion in today's money. Most of that money had to be borrowed. To finance the war, the government issued savings bonds.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    11. 7.11
      Covering the beat: The University in the WWII Era
      • Format: essay
      • Relevant dates: 1940–1945
  8. 8 Feed a Fighter
    1. 8.1
      Food for fighters
      To feed the 3.5 million men in active service by the end of World War II, the military needed massive quantities of food in small, lightweight, durable packages. The government spent millions of dollars developing various types of rations for soldiers and sailors. This article includes a U.S. Government film about the science and technology behind military rations.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1941–1945
    2. 8.2
      Victory Gardens
      During World War II, with fresh and canned food in short supply, Americans planted "victory gardens" and canned fruits and vegetables at home. This page includes a government film, an excerpt from an instructional booklet, promotional posters, and links to contemporary magazine articles about victory gardens.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    3. 8.3
      4-H and Home Demonstration Work during World War II
      During the years of World War II, North Carolina women were led by Home Demonstration and extension agents in programs to increase food production and preservation. 4-H clubs also aided the war effort, primarily through the "Food for Victory" program and the "Feed a Fighter" campaign.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1941–1945
    4. 8.4
      4-H mobilization for victory (1943)
      In this letter to local extension agents, the North Carolina Director of Extension, J. O. Shaub, explained what 4-H clubs needed to do to mobilize youth to aid the war effort during World War II. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: pamphlet
      • Relevant dates: 1943
    5. 8.5
      Enlistment for Victory (1943)
      This "Enlistment for Victory" letter was given to boys and girls as part of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service's "Mobilization for Victory" campaign during World War II. The first part introduces the program; the second is a list of projects that kids could take on. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1943
    6. 8.6
      Feed a Fighter in Forty-Four
      This pamphlet was sent by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service to 4-H members and other interested youth in the spring of 1944 as part of the ongoing "Feed a Fighter" campaign to mobilize youth to aid the war effort during World War II. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: pamphlet
      • Relevant dates: 1943–1945
    7. 8.7
      4-H club contributions to the war effort
      This page includes three reports sent by county agents of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service after the war ended. Each county agent outlined the contributions of 4-H club members in his or her county to the war effort. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: report
      • Relevant dates: 1942–1945
    8. 8.8
      Winners in North Carolina's Feed a Fighter Program
      This letter from the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service announced the winners in North Carolina's "Feed a Fighter" program -- the 4-H members who grew the most food for the war effort. The winners were Sullivan Fisher and Edna Vann Lewis, both of Nash County. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: report
      • Relevant dates: 1943–1944
  9. 9 Victory — and after
    1. 9.1
      Victory in Europe
      On May 7, 1945, German generals, recognizing that they had no hope left of victory, surrendered to Allied forces, ending World War II in Europe. This page includes a battle map, a radio report of the surrender, the surrender instrument, and the recollection of a Maltese woman.
      • Format: exhibit
      • Relevant dates: 1945
    2. 9.2
      The atomic bomb
      This article describes the use and effects of the atomic bomb by the U.S. Army on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1945
    3. 9.3
      Statement by the President announcing the use of the A-Bomb at Hiroshima
      Public statement by President Harry Truman announcing the use of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, Japan, and explaining the new weapon to the American people and to the world. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1945
    4. 9.4
      A Tale of Two Cities
      Film produced by the U.S. War Department in 1946 about the atomic bomb and its use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Includes footage of the explosions, a tour of the cities afterward, and discussions of the weapons' impact. Historical commentary and viewing questions are provided.
      • Format: video
      • Relevant dates: 1945–1946
    5. 9.5
      Victory over Japan
      Article about Japan's surrender to Allied forces, ending World War II. Includes a radio news broadcast.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1945
    6. 9.6
      Occupying Japan
      Oral history interview with a North Carolina veteran of World War II who was with the first U.S. forces to go ashore in Japan after V-J Day in 1945. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: interview
      • Relevant dates: 1945–1946
    7. 9.7
      World War II dead and missing from North Carolina
      More than 8,500 North Carolinians who served in World War II did not return. The National Archives has made available the complete lists of war casualties published in 1946.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1941–1945
    8. 9.8
      Into the postwar era
      This newsreel, released December 10, 1945, shows happy Americans preparing for Christmas -- mainly, by shopping. But in the segment that follows, General Dwight Eisenhower, now Army Chief of Staff, warns viewers that the United States still has military commitments around the world.
      • Format: newsreel
      • Relevant dates: 1945
  1. Appendix A. Reading Primary Sources: An Introduction for Students
  2. Appendix B. North Carolina's Governors, 1929-1945
  3. Appendix C. Pilot Training Manual for the B-17 Flying Fortress
  4. Glossary
  5. Index