John L. DeWitt

.       American military commander during World War II

.       Organized internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor

.       In May 1942, issued order to create military areas in the West for the detainment of all Japanese-Americans


Joe Lewis

.       African-American boxer nicknamed "The Brown Bomber"

.       In June 1938, knocked out German boxer Max Schmeling

.       American press cast Lewis as defender of democracy in Schmeling fight; blacks saw result as racial vindication

.       Forced to serve in an all-black Jim Crow regiment when he joined the army


Gunnar Myrdal

.       Swedish social scientist who published An American Dilemma, 1944

.       Used hundreds of interviews, statistics, and other data to describe growing conflict between American racial policies and American notion of justice for all

.       Predicted that World War II would be a catalyst for change in U.S. racial relations


A. Philip Randolph

.       Leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

.       Proposed March on Washington in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in war industries and in the military

.       Cancelled the March when President Franklin Roosevelt agreed to sign Executive Order 8802


Norman Rockwell

.       Artist best known for paintings of American life that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post

.       In May 1943, painting iconic image of "Rosie the Riveter," clad in blue workshirt and denim coveralls with a welder's face mask atop her head


Franklin D. Roosevelt

.       Democratic President, first elected in 1932 during the Great Depression

.       Reelected in 1936, 1940, and 1944; died in office in 1945

.       Served as President for all but 4 months of World War II


Max Schmeling

.       German boxer who fought African-American boxer Joe Louis twice in the 1930s

.       First defeated Louis in 1936, then lost in 1938 rematch

.       American press cast him as a Nazi villain, but he never officially pledged support for the Nazi regime


Harry S. Truman

.       Democratic Vice President under President Franklin D. Roosevelt

.       Became President after Roosevelt's death in April 1945, during last months of war

.       Under his command, U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan

.       Unpopular President in his own time; better regarded by historians today





1940 Selective Training and Service Act

.       Made all American men between ages of 18 and 45 eligible for military draft

.       Signed by President Franklin Roosevelt 1.5 years before the U.S. entered World War II


1941 Executive Order 8802

.       Issued by President Franklin Roosevelt before U.S. entered WWII

.       Result of pressure from black civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph

.       Banned racial discrimination in defense industries; increased job opportunities for minorities, especially blacks


1941 Pearl Harbor

.       Japanese surprise attack against U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 December

.       Attack killed thousands and destroyed much of U.S. Pacific fleet

.       One day after attack, U.S. declared war on Japan, then Germany and Italy (allied with Japan) declared war on U.S.


1942 Executive Order 9066

.       Issued by President Roosevelt two months after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

.       Allowed forced internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans

.       Gave U.S. military power to decide who should be removed from areas deemed vulnerable to enemy attack

.       By summer of 1942, whole communities were forced to move to internment camps


1943 Zoot Suit Riots

.       Race riot in Los Angeles County lasted a week

.       Triggered by sensational reports of gang violence and the "zoot-suiter menace"

.       Servicemen, police, and civilians attacked those wearing zoot suits; most of those attacked were Mexican-American men, but some women, blacks and Filipinos also targeted

.       Rioting ended when California's Attorney General and Governor established a curfew, blocked entrance into the city, and banned zoot suits





U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence

.       After Pearl Harbor, identified people who posed a threat to national security

.       Recommended internment of thousands of people during WWII, including Japanese, Italian, and German Americans


U.S. Office of War Information

.       Government propaganda organization

.       Helped orchestrate recruitment campaign to bring women into war industries

.       Promoted the "Rosie the Riveter" image




Allied Powers

.       During World War II, the alliance of nations that fought against the Axis powers

.       Included Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the U.S., and China

.       Also included France before it was defeated and occupied by Germany in 1940


Axis Powers

.       During World War II, the alliance of fascist nations that fought against the Allied powers

.       Included Germany, Italy, and Japan



.       Confinement or imprisonment, without trial, of people thought to pose a threat to the country in some way

.       Those interned were confined to one place, monitored, and prevented from communicating with others outside of the location

.       During WWII, U.S. interned Japanese and Americans of Japanese descent


New Deal

.       Set of experimental government programs enacted in response to Great Depression

.       Instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s

.       Did transform the nation in significant ways

.       Did not succeed in ending the Great Depression


Rosie the Riveter

.       Popular WWII-era image of female war-plant laborer

.       Cultural icon during the war, popularized by government propaganda and the popular press

.       Often depicted as clad in denim and with muscles, but still feminine

.       Helped inspire American women to seek jobs in factories, plants, and shipyards


Zoot Suit

.       Clothing style popular among black and Latino youth in the 1930s and 1940s

.       Characterized by high-waisted, loose-fitting pants, a long wide-shouldered coat, and a wide-rimmed felt hat

.       The 1940s press associated the style with youth crime





Los Angeles, California

.       Site of "Zoot Suit Riots," in which U.S. servicemen on shore leave attacked Mexican-American youths wearing flamboyant zoot suit attire, 1943


Manzanar, California

.       Remote location in the California desert of the first of ten large Japanese internment camps to be built in U.S. during WWII

.       Housed 10,000 Japanese and Japanese-American prisoners


Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

.       Location of primary naval base of U.S. Pacific fleet

.       Suffered devastating surprise attack by Japanese aircraft, 7 December 1941