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A Guide to Primary Resources for U.S. History
World War II Back to History Unit

(b) describing the major battles and turning points of the war in North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific, including Midway, Stalingrad, the Normandy landing (D-Day), and Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb to force surrender of Japan;

Race for the Superbomb
PBS: The American Experience

Description: This project website presents one of PBS's highly-regarded "American Memory" films' companion websites providing a wealth of archival detail on the building of the atomic bomb. (Primary source material organized around secondary source commentary).

Teaching Tips:

"Do Now" Suggestion
  • There is a "Panic Test" on the website (under the Special Features), which was government-sponsored quiz that appeared in the August 21, 1953 issue of Collier's magazine as a supplement to an article about human behavior during nuclear attack. It was intended to help readers from becoming "victims of panic." Students could take the test on the computer to help them get a sense of the general mood of the American public after the power of the bomb was detonated in Japan.

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