Things I Don’t Have Time For

There’s so much involved in World War II that there’s no way to get to it all. I’ve said this to you all many times. But there are so many good/awful/hopeful/depressing/necessary stories to be told. Its by telling and hearing those stories that we can practice the sort of empathy that makes good historians and good people.

How else are we supposed to learn what is perhaps the highest historical virtue unless we know the stories of the people who have gone before us. Only then can we metaphorically try to put our feet in their shoes.

With this in mind here’s a list of stories in podcast form. These are some of the things I wish we had time to talk about in class.


  • Listen to at least two of these audio pieces. 
  • As always read  listen with a pencil in hand. Complete Notes and Quotes for the podcasts you listen to. Fill at least one entire sheet of paper.
  • Bring your completed notes to class tomorrow. You may not email your notes for this assignment.


[Warning: Some slightly objectionable language is used in a few of these. Please don’t listen in the presence of small children.]

Cookies and Monsters – The reason you don’t make fun of girl scouts; all that cheerfulness makes them tough as nails.

Double Blasted – The most unlucky man is in the most unlucky place/time of WWII… twice

Manzanar – The move to memorialize Japanese American concentration camps.

Itty Bitty Bombs – Crazy/deadly American scheme to bomb Japanese mainland.

Babysitting – Who kept an eye on the atomic bomb the night before its first test?

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Despite the dates you see in many history textbooks, wars are never really over. History is like that; messy. One event bleeds into another or dozen or a thousand others in un-quantifiable ways. Even when we can track a direct cause and effect sequence its hardly neat and tidy. Everything is tied up to everything else in history. An event or an idea you’ve never heard of can direct how you and your family and your children will live their lives.

You can’t control what stories came before yours just like the characters in a book can control what happens in the story. What happened in chapter one and chapter four and chapter 28 set the stage for what happens in the conclusion. We are all being subtly controlled by our past like it or not; know it or not.

So yeah, wars never really end. The past is never really dead. It gets a little creepy when you stop to think about it.

Speaking of frightening things. Listen to this episode of Radiolab. It has a lot to do with the lasting effects of war, on individuals and of societies.

Fu-Go – It might make you scared to go into the forest.

Assignment: As you listen keep a pencil in hand. Create a notes and quotes sheet to track your thoughts, questions, and important information. Pause if you need time to write and rewind if you need to hear something again. As you listen reflect on this: What are the connections between this stories and other aspects of WWII or modern day? What are the far reaching consequences of this little part of the war? 


Extra – Photo’s of the Fu-Go

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The Poison Cabinet

Image result for Mein kampf


There are some things I just don’t have a chance to cover in class. But when I listen to a podcast that references the banning of forbidden books by the Catholic church in the 1600’s as well as modern issues around restricted access literature, and Nazis… Well I wouldn’t feel alright with myself if I didn’t at least make it available to you all.

CAUTION: There is some mention of books banned because of sexual content. Nothing explicit but if you are around little kids (or you are one) then maybe talk to you parents first.

Here’s the link:

Listen to this 20+ minute piece of audio and answer the questions below.

Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper:

  1. Is it good or bad to make some knowledge off limits? Why or why not?
  2. Who is the intended audience for this?
  3. What is the main idea of this piece?
  4. Is it even possible to ban a piece of writing these days? Should it be?

This assignment is due tomorrow.

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World War II Secondary Sources

Okay, before I get to the secondary stuff I can’t resist one primary source.

Catholic church, Manzanar Relocation Center – Many Japanese-American citizens were forcibly removed from their homes on the west coast and required to stay in isolated camps for the duration of the war.  Photograph by Ansel Adams. [1943]

So, as you all have begun finding sources for a specific segment of World War II I’ve done something similar. In an attempt to give you all a broader view of the second World War I’ve pulled together a few articles which deal with very separate topics.

Your assignment is to read two of these and write an article report on one of them. Of course you can always read all of them, but that’s just showing off.


(If you want/need a hard-copy of any of these articles let me know.)

Don’t forget the essential parts of an article report 

  • Heading
    • Name
    • Date
    • Title
  • Summary (Including the Main Idea and supporting details)
  • Response (Opinions/thoughts/feelings/reactions on the content of the article)
  • Questions (2-3 things the article doesn’t answer)
  • Citation (Check out the OWL at Purdue U. if you’ve forgotten how)


This assignment is due on Tuesday, Oct 2. You can turn in a hard copy or email the assignment to me ( If you share the report via Google Drive make sure you allow me to edit the document.

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Not Quite Summer Break

As I’m writing this the teachers aren’t quite on summer break. One more day of meetings and such and then we can enjoy a little R & R.

Speaking of Renaissance and Reformation, I’ve posted the requirements for the summer assignment on the class assignments. If you need an extra copy click on it to download one. Remember to get started early.

Check back here soon for more interesting summer goings on.

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Rock and Roll Listening Assignment #7

The Rolling Stones ultimately made their mark as the nonconformist outlaws of Rock and Roll. But before they were bad boys, the Stones were missionaries of the Blues. The young Rolling Stones — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman — were white kids who hailed from working- and middle-class Britain and set out to play American music, primarily that of African Americans with roots in the South. In so doing, they helped bring this music to a new, largely white audience, both in Britain and the United States.

The young men who formed the Rolling Stones emerged from the club scene fostered by British Blues pioneers Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner. These two men and their band, Blues Incorporated, helped popularize the American Blues, whose raw intensity resonated with a generation of Britons who had grown up in the shadow of war, death, the Blitz, postwar rationing, and the hardening of the Cold War standoff. Much of the Stones’ early work consisted of faithful covers of American Blues artists that Davies, Korner, and the Stones venerated: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Jimmy Reed.

The early Stones in particular helped make the Blues wildly popular among young Britons. As the Stones’ fame grew and they became part of the mid-1960s British “invasion” of America, they also reintroduced the Blues to American listeners, most notably young, white audiences with limited exposure to the music.

But almost from day one, the Stones were more than a Blues cover band. If at first their Blues covers were somewhat imitative, in time they put an increasingly original spin on their Blues recordings. Additionally, they soon enough ventured beyond the Blues to other American genres, covering songs by R&B and Country artists.



Assignment – Imagine that you are visiting London during the period 1963-65, and use the series of primary source materials to guide you through your “travels.” Follow the instructions on the handouts and listen to the corresponding audio pieces.


Videos for Postcard 1

Videos for Postcard 2

Videos for Postcard 3

Videos for Postcard 4

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Rock and Roll Listening Assignment #5

Beatles First Appearance on Ed Sullivan Show

Beatles – I Want to Hold Your Hand

Hard Day’s Night Trailer 1

Hard Day’s Night Trailer 2


Brian Epstein and the Beatles

Watch the video interview linked below and fill out the note taking sheet I gave you.

Interview with Brian Epstein


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