Following World War II, many Americans kept souvenirs of lost loved ones or their time in the war. Many of these articles were stored in boxes or trunks and then tucked away in attics, basements, and garages for decades. In this program, students critically evaluate images, documents, and a variety of artifacts from the 101st Airborne's part in the D-Day invasion and liberation of Western Europe.
Extreme planning was required to coordinate the 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, over 150,000 soldiers, and all the supplies required for the D-Day invasion. General Eisenhower relied on information from weather forecasters and other scientists to determine the best time to successfully invade. Students examine the weather technology of 1944 and contemplate if they would have made the same risky decision.
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down the unanimous, landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that rocked the nation to its core by proclaiming "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." The established doctrine of "separate but equal" in public education was rejected, ending 60 years of legal separation of the races in public schools. The ramifications for the Jim Crow South were staggering and, for some, unthinkable.
The best deception is attained by feeding an opponent with falsehoods which he wants to believe. Using code names such as Fortitude, Bodyguard, Quicksilver, and Double-Cross, General Eisenhower commanded a series of covert operations that played a crucial role in the victorious Allied invasion of Europe. Students examine primary sources to gain an understanding of D-Day deception plans.
It is said that the defeat of Nazi Germany was sealed on Omaha Beach. One hundred and sixty-thousand troops landed within 24 hours on a 50-mile front. Students are introduced to the overall objective of D-Day and how its story is preserved through primary sources. They then apply that knowledge through examination of documents and artifacts from Omaha Beach.
Julius and Ether Rosenberg, members of the Communist Party living in the U.S., were convicted of passing secrets to the Soviet Union in 1945 and sentenced to death. Controversy surrounded the case, as many claimed the decision was the result of Cold War hysteria, not facts. In this program, students examine primary documents from persons both inside and outside of the Intelligence Community, as well as stepping into President Eisenhower's position to decide whether or not to grant executive clemency to the Rosenbergs.
Race for the Double Helix
A month after President Eisenhower was inaugurated, one of the most important discoveries in the scientific field occurred. The discovery of DNA's chemical structure -- the double helix -- by Francis Crick and James Watson altered molecular biology forever. In this program, students will be introduced to scientists racing towards this discovery, as well as problem-solve to recreate the structure of DNA just as Watson and Crick did.