Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

https://youtu.be/pxTWb38NERg In December 1955 an African-American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusal to surrender her seat to a white person on a Montgomery Alabama public bus. The subsequent Montgomery bus boycott lasted from December 1955 to...

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US Supreme Court Orders End to Racial Segregation

US Supreme Court Orders End to Racial Segregation

https://youtu.be/TTGHLdr-iak With its 1954  Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka unanimous (9–0) decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional, even if the...

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Marian Anderson Sings at the Met

Marian Anderson Sings at the Met

https://youtu.be/J-Q8MbUsWac In 1955, at the age of 58, Marian Anderson became the first African-American soloist to sing at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Singing the role of the sorceress Ulrica in Verdi's Un ballo en maschera, Anderson later said: "I was...

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Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education

In the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.  The case became one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement,...

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Al Jolson

Al Jolson

https://youtu.be/KD_YRnuuKyY Al Jolson, born Asa Yoelson, was an American singer, comedian, and actor who lived from 1886-1950. In the 1920s, Jolson was immensely popular as America's highest-paid entertainer. In 1927  Jolson starred in  The Jazz Singer, the...

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First Black NBA Player

First Black NBA Player

https://youtu.be/08IK0FjcPss In 1950 Chuck Cooper an All-American basketball player from Duquesne University (a private Catholic school in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania) was selected in the second round by the Boston Celtics. Cooper thus became the first...

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God Bless America

God Bless America

Kate Smith' s version of Irving Berlin's song God Bless America has been part of American sports tradition for decades. https://youtu.be/-BIoN9bWTMo However, a recent revelation that she also recorded two songs with racist content in the 1930s (That's Why Darkies Were...

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Civil Rights 1949

Civil Rights 1949

The Law of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: A Handbook of Your Basic Rights, by Edwin S. Newman, Oceana Publications 1949.  In 1949, racism was still firmly rooted in the laws of many individual statest in the United States of America. States without stripes or...

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U.S. Armed Forces Desegregated

U.S. Armed Forces Desegregated

  During WWII, the U.S. Army had become the nation's largest minority employer.  More than one million of 2.5 million African-American males were inducted into the armed forces by 1945. African Americans, ~11% of all registrants liable for military service,...

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Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

 Joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in major league baseball. CAREER BATTING STATISTICS YEAR TEAM GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS WAR 1947 BKN 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 74 36 29 0 .297 .383 .427...

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Don’t Be a Sucker

Don’t Be a Sucker

  This interesting War Department film from 1947, with anti-racist and anti-fascist themes, warns Americans not to let let fanaticism and hatred turn them into suckers.     However, with the emerging Cold War, this rhetoric seems oddly out of synch.. In August...

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Mexican-Americans in WWII

Mexican-Americans in WWII

Ethnic and racial discrimination in WWII-era America was a powerful social force. Just as the civil rights of African-Americans were restricted in the South, similar discrimination weighed heavily against many "Tejanos" of Mexican descent in the Southwest. Breaking...

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Race-Based Education USA

Race-Based Education USA

In 1946 A US district court case in Orange County, Ca., Mendez vs. Westminster, ruled that race-based public school enrollment was illegal. During the trial, the Mendez family's attorney presented social science evidence that segregation resulted in feelings of...

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Interstate Bus Segregation

Interstate Bus Segregation

In June 1946 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law requiring racial segregation on commercial interstate buses as a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The appellant Irene Morgan, riding an interstate Greyhound bus in 1944 had been...

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Buchenwald Liberated

Buchenwald Liberated

https://youtu.be/ZBBY8ngkY3I   The motto "Jedem das Seine"  displayed over the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp, is an old German proverb derived from the Latin phrase "suum cuique"  meaning "to each his own" or  "to each what he deserves." Built in the...

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My Japan

My Japan

This propaganda film was produced by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1945 in an effort to promote War Bond sales. My Japan might be described as a heavy-handed attempt to elicit angry responses from American citizens regarding Japan's audacity as well as contempt for...

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Anne Frank Dies

Anne Frank Dies

Anne Frank was a teenage writer who hid in Amsterdam with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of Holland. She chronicled her feelings and experiences in a diary that became renowned after the war. She was 15 years old when the...

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Race Riot Guam

Race Riot Guam

  Montford Point Marines In July 1944, the U.S. Army and Marines recaptured Guam from the Japanese at a cost of 1,783 Americans killed and ~6000  men wounded. ~18,000 Japanese died. After the battle, the Allies developed five airfields on Guam to attack targets...

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The German War

The German War

Using German archival records and letters and diaries of both civilians and soldiers during WWII, The German War - A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945  by Nicholas Stargardt is a fascinating book that illustrates the strong civilian support for Germany's armed forces right...

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Fort Lawton Riot

Fort Lawton Riot

In August 1944, a riot broke out at Fort Lawton, Washington between Italian POWs and U.S. African-American soldiers. Dozens of men were injured before military police intervened. The next morning, an Italian POW was found hanged. Interpretation of the riot and...

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Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips

Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips

Unfortunately, this cartoon, released in April 1944, can no longer be found online in its entirety. Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips, portrayed classical Western racist stereotypes of the Japanese - short, buck-toothed people wearing thick eyeglasses and talking jibberish. At...

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Port Chicago Disaster

Port Chicago Disaster

In 1944, segregated African-American Navy units were assigned dangerous loading operations. Most of these men were not trained in munitions handling, and safety standards were apparently often overlooked under heavy pressure to complete loading schedules. In July...

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Vichy France

Vichy France

Vichy France propaganda cartoon about the allied bombings of France. A Jewish radio announcer in London broadcasts the imminent arrival over France of Allied Liberator aircraft. US planes, flown by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat, drop bombs...

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Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge

  This film, about a conscientious objector who actually saved 75 lives as a medic in the midst of a terrible battle on Okinawa, was directed by Mel Gibson. As might be expected, it's a little corny and extremely violent. But the WWII verisimilitude, both on the...

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Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot suit attire consisted of baggy legged, narrow- cuffed, waist-high pants, a short tie over a buttoned shirt, suspenders, a long coat with wide lapels and padded shoulders, wide-legged, pegged trousers, flashy shoes and either a fedora or a tando hat with a feather...

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