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Grant number: BH-50576-13

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BH-50576-13

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
Mark Brilliant (Project Director: 03/07/2013 to present)

The San Francisco Bay Area Home Front in World War II

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on the social, economic, and cultural impact of World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on the social, economic, and cultural impact of World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area. This workshop explores social, economic, and cultural change in California's Bay Area as a case study for understanding how World War II altered American society. Three themes structure the program: 1) the movement of populations to and within California, with changes to the cultural landscape of the state and the nation; 2) mobilization for war, and its effects on social roles, the economy, and industrial work; and 3) the legacy of militarization for technology, industry, and civil rights. Project leaders are civil rights historian Mark Brilliant and Rachel Reinhard, director of the History-Social Science Project (University of California, Berkeley), which works with K-12 teachers. Monday's overview of the World War II home front includes a visit to artillery stations in the Marin Headlands. Participants read sections of Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940-1950, and Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government by Kevin Starr and James Sparrow, respectively, in addition to primary sources. On Tuesday, teachers travel to Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond, meeting with real-life "Rosies" and learning from oral historian Heather McCarty (Ohlone College) about the role of female and African-American labor, a subject also explored in their reading of Chester Himes's 1945 novel, If He Hollers, Let Him Go. On board the U.S.S. Red Oak Victory, the last ship completed in Richmond's Kaiser shipyards, they meet with veterans who served on the ship during World War II. Wednesday features a session with Karen Korematsu, whose father led the federal legal challenge against Japanese internment, and visits to the National Japanese American Society and Angel Island Immigration Station. On Thursday, participants take up the "Double Victory" campaign against segregation and discuss its civil rights legacy. They discuss readings from Maya Angelou's autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Ronald Takaki's Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II. Documentaries on Japanese-American internment, "Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted," and the San Francisco African-American community, "Fillmore," are shown in the evenings. On Friday, a visit to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is coupled with a lecture by nuclear history expert Cathryn Carson (University of California, Berkeley) and readings on the "Atomic West." The week concludes on board the U.S.S. Potomac Presidential Yacht, which served as Roosevelt's "Floating White House" and is now a working museum vessel moored in Oakland.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Landmarks of American History

Division:
Education Programs

Total amounts:
$178,734 (approved)
$177,136 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2013 – 12/31/2014