Our Job in Japan

Our Job in Japan, a training film for American soldiers assigned to occupation forces in Japan, begins with a description of the Japanese brain that has been duped by military leaders. The film details Japanese barbarity during the war and advises taking no chances...

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Potsdam Conference

In July 1945, USSR Premier Joseph Stalin, the new American president Harry S. Truman, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain met in Potsdam Germany in the last Big Three meeting of WWII .   At Potsdam, the Big Three leaders demanded unconditional...

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FDR Re-Elected

First elected in 1933 during the Great Depression, the Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted successful "New Deal” programs designed to stabilize the economy and provide jobs and relief for the unemployed (e.g., the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National...

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Tojo Resigns

Hideki Tojo , known as kamisori (the razor) for his sharp, decisive and impatient qualities, rose rapidly through the Imperial Japan's military hierarchy. As War Minister in 1940, he promoted the righteous cause of casting off imperialist colonialization of East...

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FDR’s Disability

In the summer of 1921, at the age of 39, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) had the sudden onset of low back pain, muscle weakness and the inability to bear his own weight. After several misdiagnoses (blood clot, tumor) and ineffective therapies (massage, hot baths), he...

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Il Duce Rises

Born in 1883 into a passionate socialist blacksmith's family, Benito Mussolini was named after the Mexican revolutionary Benito Juarez.  Although expelled from several schools for bullying and defying authority, he obtained a teaching certificate at age 18 and worked...

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Hitler’s Rise to Power

Born in Austria in 1889, Adolf Hitler, moved to Germany when he was three years old. Following the early death of his father, with whom he had frequent conflict, he dropped out of school at age 16 and moved to Vienna where he worked as a laborer and a watercolor...

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WWII Pacifism

In the 1930s, the Great Depression and bitter memory of losses in WWI shifted American public opinion toward isolationism. However, support for isolationist groups such as the America First Committee rapidly declined with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,...

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United States Presidential Election

  FDR’s  run for a third term was a major issue in the 1940 Presidential campaign. The Republican candidate Wendell Willkie claimed FDR failed to end the Depression and was leading the USA into another war. Roosevelt promised not to involve the USA in foreign wars if...

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Imperial Japan Allies with Nazi Germany

Yōsuke Matsuoka, Imperial Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs 1940-41 under Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe, was a strong advocate of the Tripartite Alliance with Germany and Italy, but not Nazi anti-semitism: "...nowhere have I promised that we would carry out...

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Town Meeting of the Air

From 1935-1956, NBC's  America's Town Meeting of the Air reached ~ 3 million listeners and more than 1,000 discussion groups debating the issues across the nation. Listen here  ...

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America First Committee

    Merging with the pacifist Keep America Out of War Committee in 1940, the America First Committee vigorously opposed U.S. entry into world conflict. Among the 800,000 members were Walt Disney, Gerald Ford, Sinclair Lewis, Charles Lindbergh, Sargent Shriver, Norman...

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Daniel Inouye

Born in Hawaii of Japanese immigrants,  Daniel Inouye joined the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team in 1943. He lost an arm in Italy while leading an assault on German machine gun positions.  After receiving  the Medal of Honor,  Inouye completed law school and...

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Inside Asia – John Gunther

In the late 1930s, John Gunther's popular "Inside" series described the national characteristics of Europe and Asian nations through personal anecdote, biography of important individuals and overall...

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American Antisemitism

In a 1938 public opinion poll, 60 percent of  American respondents held a low opinion of Jews, labeling them “greedy,” “dishonest,” and “pushy.” Right-wing demagogues linked the Great Depression, the New Deal, President Roosevelt and the threat of war in Europe to the...

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America’s Road Toward War

In January 1937, President Roosevelt directed the Navy Department to proceed with the construction of two replacement battleships, the first such construction since the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. From 1935 to 1937, the United States Army grew from 118,000 to...

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Japanese General Election

In the 1937 general elections, with 73% voter participation, the  Constitutional Democratic Party Rikken Minseitō (RMK in the graph) won a slight majority of parliamentary seats over its major rival, the conservative  Friends of Constitutional Government (Rikken...

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American Isolationism

Throughout the 1930s, strong opposition from diverse groups kept the USA out of international conflicts.  Needing support for his New Deal policies, FDR accepted this fact until 1937 when the threats to world peace  from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan became more...

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Communist Convention in Madison Square Garden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx4QNmjMQGA Established in 1919, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) soon had 60,000 members. Extensively involved in labor movements in the 1920s-40s, and promoting racial integration, the CPUSA also created an intelligence network with...

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Roosevelt v. Landon

  Despite Republican attacks on the New Deal and claims that the country was moving toward dictatorship, their candidate Alf Landon was easily defeated in the 1936 Presidential election as FDR won 98.49% of the electoral vote and carried every state except Maine and...

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War Clouds -America and Japan

  In 1935, many worried about the threat of war between the USA and Japan. Others, such as the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, thought it unlikely: "I feel that the menace is almost non-existent, that it has been a scare engineered by unscrupulous newspapers and by...

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Gallup Poll 1935

George Gallup, Ph.D. taught journalism at Drake University, Northwestern University, and Columbia University where he devised research techniques for a variety of fields. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, resolving to perform independent...

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The Road to War

In the 1930s, the revisionist movement sought to alter the prevalent view that Germany was the major instigator of WWI and therefore the Treaty of Versailles was just punishment. The revisionists believed that an accurate historical understanding of the roots of the...

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Father Charles Edward Coughlin

With a rich mellifluous voice, Father James E. Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest in Michigan, broadcast a weekly radio show that was followed by millions during the Depression.  Staunchly anti-Communist, he warned of the "Bolshevism of America." Although he supported...

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