Thursday, April 15, 2021

Battle of the Superpowers

If Superman is a metaphor for the United States post World War II then who is Lex Luther?  The Warsaw Pact?  NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into outside of the Western Hemisphere. After the destruction of the Second World War, the nations of Europe struggled to rebuild their economies and ensure their security. The former required a massive influx of aid to help the war-torn landscapes re-establish industries and produce food, and the latter required assurances against a resurgent Germany or incursions from the Soviet Union. The United States viewed an economically strong, rearmed, and integrated Europe as vital to the prevention of communist expansion across the continent. As a result, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed a program of large-scale economic aid to Europe. The resulting European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan, not only facilitated European economic integration but promoted the idea of shared interests and cooperation between the United States and Europe. Soviet refusal either to participate in the Marshall Plan or to allow its satellite states in Eastern Europe to accept the economic assistance helped to reinforce the growing division between east and west in Europe.

1) What are the similarities/ differences between NATO & Wilson's failed League of Nations?
2) What are the benefits of being part of NATO?  Risks?
3) Has NATO been effective?  Give examples?
4) How has NATO evolved & changed over the decades?
5) In your opinion should the United States continue to lead NATO? Why/ Not?

Read More

Is This Tomorrow?  America Under Communism!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Silver Parachute

We are probably all familiar with the Silver Parachutes from Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games.

The parachutes bearing meds or food float down, courtesy of Panem sponsors, and they are considered last-minute, unforeseen gifts.

What would your 'Silver Parachute' bring?  Who would sponsor you?

Post War Germany was divided into three sections--the Allied part was controlled by the United States, Great Britain and France, and another part by the Soviet Union. The city of Berlin, although located in the eastern Soviet half, was also divided into four sectors --West Berlin occupied by Allied interests and East Berlin occupied by Soviets. In June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to control all of Berlin by cutting surface traffic to and from the city of West Berlin. Starving out the population and cutting off their business was their method of gaining control. As part of the Marshall Plan the Truman administration reacted with a continual daily airlift which brought much needed food and supplies into the city of West Berlin. The Berlin Airlift lasted until the end of September of 1949---although on May 12, 1949, the Soviet government yielded and lifted the blockade.

How did the airlift affect West German attitudes toward the United States and 'contain' the spread of Communism?

Imagine you are a child in Postwar West Berlin.  Write a 'Thank You' like the ones in the story to "Uncle Wiggly Wings."

Monday, April 12, 2021

Mother Do You Think They'll Drop the Bomb?

The United States government secretly spent billions of dollars on a program code-named the Manhattan Project.  Its highest national priority: developing an atomic bomb.  The project was encouraged by Albert Einstein himself and led by J Robert Oppenheimer.   In a barren desert in New Mexico, on the morning of July 16, 1945,  the bomb was tested.  The flash of light could be seen 180 miles away.

President Truman did not agonize over the decision to drop the atomic bomb against Japan. For the President abstract ethical issues did not outweigh very real American lives and an opportunity to end the war. Later some historians would condemn Truman's decision. What would you have done?

"Little Boy" was the codename for the type of atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., commander of the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare. TheHiroshima bombing was the second artificial nuclear explosion in history, after the Trinity test, and the first uranium-based detonation. It exploded with an energy of approximately 15 kilotons of TNT (63 TJ). The bomb caused significant destruction to the city of Hiroshima.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Kelly's Killers

Mike Kelly's Reds team, whose known today as the Cincinnati Kelly's Killers, was born under rather strange circumstances. The west side Cincinnati Reds had played in the American Association from 1882 to 1889 before moving into the National League for the 1890 season.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame enshrined King Kelly in their halls way back in 1945. Their online bio reads in part, "Not only was Mike 'King' Kelly one of the premier players of his day, he was also one of the most flamboyant. His daring baserunning prompted fans to coin the battle cry, Slide, Kelly, Slide!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"Wise Up:" 1920's Slang

The twenties were the first decade to emphasize youth culture over the older generations, and the flapper sub-culture had a tremendous influence on main stream America. Many new words and phrases were coined by these liberated women and are still used today!

Find the words in the puzzle and then write a sentence using each word correctly. If Mr. Kelly hears you using these words in the hall you may get extra credit.

1) What conclusions can we draw about the 'Roaring '20s' from this list?

2) What can we learn about a Generation from their slang?

3) What will historians think about you 100 years from now based on your slang?

How has the Evolution of Dance also reflected the 'Generation Gap?'

Learn how to do the 'Charleston!'

Listen to 1920's radio.

Monday, March 15, 2021


I had a little bird, 
Its name was Enza, 
I opened the window, 

True or False: You are more likely to die from the flu than you were in the trenches of WWI.

In the spring of 1918, as the nation mobilized for war, Private Albert Gitchell reported to an army hospital in Kansas. He was diagnosed with the flu, a disease doctors knew little about. Before the year was out, America would be ravaged by a flu epidemic that killed 675,000 — more than in all the wars of this century combined — before disappearing as mysteriously as it began.

The 1918 pandemic had profound impacts on life in the United States. Thousands of children were orphaned. So dire was the situation that many cities including Boston, Richmond, St. Louis and others mandated quarantines and social-distancing measures. In San Francisco and Seattle, laws were passed forcing people to wear masks covering their mouths and noses while in public. The public health commissioner in Chicago told police to arrest anyone seen sneezing without covering their face in public.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Don't Fight Club

Imagine you are creating a new club. What kind of club would it be? Would it be an athletic club or team? Would it be intellectual? What would the purpose or goal of your club be? How would you recruit new members? What are the membership requirements or rules?

Following WWI President Wilson sought to create a 'League of Nations,' or club, where countries could gather peacefully and resolve their quarrels. At the Treaty of Versailles in France he outlined his '14 points' promoting openness, encouraging independence, and supporting freedom. At it's heart was his idea of 'peace without victory;' a peace inspired by noble ideals, not greed and vengeance.

What is Fight Club? What are the '8 Rules of Fight Club?' How was Wilson's club different? What did critics think of his ideas?