header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




World War II, 1939-1945

timeline of US foreign policy, 1928-1941; the US State Department and the Holocaust, from David Mayers, Dissenting Voices in America's Rise to Power

slideshow illustrating the course of the war in Europe; economic historian summarizes the US economy during WWII; interactive timeline of major events in Europe and Asia that allows viewers to choose actions by the US preceding the war; map of where the US bombed in the course of the war, and how much


John Dower, "The Failure of Imagination," from Cultures of War (2010): how the US failed to anticipate Pearl Harbor; Kathryn Olmsted, "Lying Us into War?", from Real Enemies (2008): the growth of conspiracy theories about Pearl Harbor; "The Truth of Pearl Harbor": 1944 op-ed demanding an inquiry into "what really happened"

brief excerpts from WWII memoirs and documentaries; Omaha Beach scene on D-Day from Saving Private Ryan; George Roeder, "Rationing Death," on what homefront viewers saw of the war, from The Censored War

Serge Schmemann, "The Anniversary of World War II is an Invitation to Continue Fighting" (New York Times, 2005); Adam Kirsch, Is World War II Still 'the Good War'"? (review essay on books on the subject, 2011)


A. Philip Randolph's Call to March on Washington, The Black Worker, 1941; poster for the march; overview of African-American participation and civil rights in the military; FDR's Executive Order 8802 desegregates the defense industry

residents in LA react to Pearl Harbor, Dec. 8, 1941; "How to Tell Japs from the Chinese," Life (Dec. 22, 1941)

letter from a "a loyal Negro soldier" to Truman Gibson, aide to the Secretary of War, on discrimination in the military (1943); letter to Thomas Jackson from Oakland resident Mildred Keith protesting discrimination in defense hiring, 1942; Joan Moore, "American Beauty," a page about women and the war from Harlem's Wadleigh HS yearbook, 1943

historian Charles Wesley, "The Negro Has Always Wanted the Four Freedoms" (1944); Christina Brown Fisher, "The Black Female Battalion that Stood up to a White Male Army," New York Times (June 2020)

love and marriage on the home front: Barbara Wooddall and Charles Taylor, "Letters to and From the Front" (1941-44); "Tips for Male Supervisors of Female Workers", Mass Transportation magazine, 1943 (many articles like this are made up; this one isn't); photos of women at work

"A Woman Remembers the War" (1943); Michael Bronski, "Sex in the Trenches," from A Queer History of the United States; Maureen Honey, "African-American Women in World War II," from the Gilder-Lehrman Center

Carlos Castañeda testifies about discrimination against Mexican-American workers in defense industries; The Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 (introduction to PBS's The American Experience [2002]); Ricardo Romo on Sleepy Lagoon and the Zoot Suit riots, from East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio (1983)

"Why Zoot Suits?": Psychiatrist Says Youth Unable to Get in Service Seek Attention (SF Chronicle, 1943); Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs Applauds the Mexican-American war effort (1943); Beatrice Morales Clifton Recalls Her Experiences at a California Lockheed Airplane Factory, Mexican Americans and World War II, 1944; "World War II and Mexican Americans," editorial by LULAC on discrimination in the US, 1945, from Fighting for the Four Freedoms

1944: the New York Times introduces readers to a weird new food, pizza

FDR pushes for an end to Chinese Exclusion (1943); "One Hundred and Seven Chinese": Journalist Gilbert Woo satirizes the debate over Magnuson Bill to repeal Chinese Exclusion (1943); organizing for the repeal of Exclusion, from Madeline Hsu, The Good Immigrants: From Yellow Peril to Model Minority (2017)

phrases used by Navajo code-talkers


FDR's Executive Order 9066, calling for Japanese internment

powerpoint explaining Japanese internment

"Journalist James Omura Condemns the Mass Exclusion of Japanese Americans," statement to House Select Committee Investigating Defense Migration, 1942; "Japanese American Mike Masaoka Vows to Cooperate with Government Removal Plans," testimony to House Select Committee Investigating Defense Migration, 1942

"Japanese Relocation," a video by the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry, provides the US government's official explanation for internment

John McCloy, memo about Japanese internment, about the rations allotted to internees (1942)

General J.L. DeWitt's posters requiring the assembly of all "persons of Japanese ancestry," May 1942

map of major relocation centers, from "The Experience of Japanese Americans in the United States"

photos of the camps: the Tanforan gathering center; Dorothea Lange; Ansel Adams; Hikaru Iwasaki; the Topaz camp in Utah

"Internment of San Francisco Japanese": extensive newspaper collection from the Virtual Museum of San Francisco

Input-Output Data for War Relocation Authority Centers, 1942 - 1946, provides brief statistics on fate of Japanese-American internees

Overview of classes at Tanforan Art School, with photos by Dorothea Lange, from Chiura Obata's Topaz Moon: Art of the Internment (2000); 1943 yearbook from Topaz high school; 1944 yearbook

"Memories of the Internment Camp," by Ben Morita and Philip Hayasaka, America Firsthand; Caroline Hatano, "The Loss of My Family's Farm is a Loss for California's Japanese Agricultural Legacy," Civil Eats (Aug. 2022)

Mitsuye Endo, "We Hereby Refuse" (graphic novel about internment)

analysis of Hirabayashi v. US, from Peter Irons, The Courage of Their Convictions

US President George H.W. Bush apologizes for internment on behalf of the United States, 1988

Essay on Black and Jewish responses to Japanese Internment by historian Cheryl Greenberg, Journal of American Ethnic History, 1995


Smithsonian Museum collection of US government's WWII propaganda posters

Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech and images by Norman Rockwell

National Archives Four Freedoms posters

Looney Tunes goes to war: "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips" cartoons; "Herr Meets Herr"; "Blitz Wolf" (Tex Avery-style wolf as Hitler)

Dr. Seuss Went to War: a catalog of political cartoons; the 3 Stooges take on Hitler, article and film

"A Phrase for Safety After 9/11 Goes Global": examines how the slogan "if you see something, say something," a post-9/11 slogan, echoes "loose lips sink ships" (2010)


Vietnam declares independence, from The Pentagon Papers (Sep. 1945)

economic comparison of the costs and participation of all of America's wars, New York Times (2010)