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The Cold War: A Family Perspective Letters from Harry to Bess.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cold War: A Family Perspective Letters from Harry to Bess."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cold War: A Family Perspective Letters from Harry to Bess

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3 Grade Level This lesson(s) can be used, applied and adapted for grades 7-12 depending on choice of depth and discussion desired. This lesson(s) can be used, applied and adapted for grades 7-12 depending on choice of depth and discussion desired.

4 Time Frame Depending on the number of slides used and the depth of discussion, the lesson(s) can range from one day to five lessons. Depending on the number of slides used and the depth of discussion, the lesson(s) can range from one day to five lessons.

5 Goals/Objectives After an examination and reading of letters from President Harry S. Truman to his wife, Bess, students will be able to come to a consensus as to the true feelings President Harry S. Truman had regarding specific Cold War events such as the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, the Korean War, the creation of the state of Israel, and several other events. After an examination and reading of letters from President Harry S. Truman to his wife, Bess, students will be able to come to a consensus as to the true feelings President Harry S. Truman had regarding specific Cold War events such as the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, the Korean War, the creation of the state of Israel, and several other events.

6 National American History Standards Standard 1 (B) Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story. Standard 1 (B) Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story. Standard 3 (D) Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story. Standard 3 (D) Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story. Standard 3 (D) Consider multiple perspectives. Standard 3 (D) Consider multiple perspectives.

7 National American History Standards Standard 3 (J) Hypothesize the influence of the past. Standard 3 (J) Hypothesize the influence of the past. Standard 3 (B) Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions. Standard 3 (B) Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions. Standard 4 (A) Identify problems and issues in the past. Standard 4 (A) Identify problems and issues in the past.

8 Materials Required PowerPoint Program PowerPoint Program Copies of letters from PowerPoint Slides Copies of letters from PowerPoint Slides Pencils/Pens Pencils/Pens

9 Teacher Directions/Background Information The teacher should prepare students with the definition and origin of the term Cold War. The teacher should prepare students with the definition and origin of the term Cold War. The teacher should identify and discuss the presidency of Harry S. Truman in relation to WWII and today. The teacher should identify and discuss the presidency of Harry S. Truman in relation to WWII and today. If time permits, an examination of the man, Harry S. Truman would benefit. If time permits, an examination of the man, Harry S. Truman would benefit.

10 Lesson Activity/Description After a discussion of the Cold War and Harry S. Truman, students will examine the personal letters the President wrote to his wife Bess to glean insight and interpret meaning to the event being discussed in the letter. Students can hypothesize and argue as well as interpret if the excerpt encourages them to dig deeper. After a discussion of the Cold War and Harry S. Truman, students will examine the personal letters the President wrote to his wife Bess to glean insight and interpret meaning to the event being discussed in the letter. Students can hypothesize and argue as well as interpret if the excerpt encourages them to dig deeper.

11 Primary Sources Letter excerpts found on slides in this presentation or complete letters found in sources identified on the bibliography slide. Letter excerpts found on slides in this presentation or complete letters found in sources identified on the bibliography slide.

12 Vocabulary List Cold War Potsdam Cold War Potsdam Korean War Democrat Korean War Democrat Iron Curtain Republican Iron Curtain Republican Reparations Missouri Reparations Missouri Warsaw Pact Independence Warsaw Pact Independence Marshall Plan Washington, DC Marshall Plan Washington, DC Israel Vice-President Israel Vice-President Truman Doctrine USSR Truman Doctrine USSR

13 Important People Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman Franklin Delano Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bess Truman Bess Truman Margaret Truman Margaret Truman Joseph Stalin Joseph Stalin Winston Churchill Winston Churchill George VI George VI General Douglas MacArthur General Douglas MacArthur

14 Suggestions for Additional Activities The amount of letters available in the sources listed in the bibliography are limitless and one could choose any event from Trumans presidency to investigate. The amount of letters available in the sources listed in the bibliography are limitless and one could choose any event from Trumans presidency to investigate. Students could seek out the letters from other prominent individuals from this period and compare their thoughts and feelings to those of Harry S. Truman. Students could seek out the letters from other prominent individuals from this period and compare their thoughts and feelings to those of Harry S. Truman.

15 Bibliography Ferrell, Robert H. Dear Bess. W.W. Norton Co., New York, Ferrell, Robert H. Dear Bess. W.W. Norton Co., New York, Ferrell, Robert H. Off the Record. Harper and Row, New York Ferrell, Robert H. Off the Record. Harper and Row, New York Truman Presidential Library. Truman Presidential Library.

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17 (The White House) (The White House) June 7, 1945 June 7, 1945 Dear Bess: …Yesterday was a hectic day. Had both good news and bad. Stalin agreed to our interpretation of the veto at San Francisco and a reconsideration of the Polish question, but we lost the election in Montana and the Republicans are jubilant over it. … …Yesterday was a hectic day. Had both good news and bad. Stalin agreed to our interpretation of the veto at San Francisco and a reconsideration of the Polish question, but we lost the election in Montana and the Republicans are jubilant over it. …

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19 Berlin Berlin July 16, 1945 July 16, 1945 Dear Bess: We arrived in Berlin yesterday afternoon about three oclock. Were received with all the honors possible. The Russians, British and our own ambassadors and ministers met us at the airport. I reviewed the troops drawn up as a guard of honor and then we were taken to a house in Potsdam, where I am told the head of the movie colony lived before the Russians came in. He is not available for interview now. Most of us believe that he is somewhere between here and Siberia on probably special duty. …. We arrived in Berlin yesterday afternoon about three oclock. Were received with all the honors possible. The Russians, British and our own ambassadors and ministers met us at the airport. I reviewed the troops drawn up as a guard of honor and then we were taken to a house in Potsdam, where I am told the head of the movie colony lived before the Russians came in. He is not available for interview now. Most of us believe that he is somewhere between here and Siberia on probably special duty. ….

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21 Berlin Berlin July 18, 1945 July 18, 1945 Dear Bess: …The conference room is about forty by sixty and we sit at a large round table-fifteen of us. I have four and they each have four, then behind me are seven or eight helpers. Stalin moved to make me the presiding officer as soon as we sat down and Churchill agreed. …The conference room is about forty by sixty and we sit at a large round table-fifteen of us. I have four and they each have four, then behind me are seven or eight helpers. Stalin moved to make me the presiding officer as soon as we sat down and Churchill agreed. It makes looking over the Senate seem tame. … Anyway a start has been made and Ive got what I came for-Stalin goes to war August 15 with no strings on it. … Ill say we end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who wont be killed! That is the important thing. … It makes looking over the Senate seem tame. … Anyway a start has been made and Ive got what I came for-Stalin goes to war August 15 with no strings on it. … Ill say we end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who wont be killed! That is the important thing. …

22 Polish Marshall Zymirski

23 Berlin Berlin July 25, 1945 July 25, 1945 Dear Bess: … We have accomplished a very great deal in spite of it all. … We have a setup for the government of Germany and we hope we are in sight of agreement on reparations. So you see we have not wasted time. There are some things we cant agree to. Russia and Poland have gobbled up a big chunk of Germany and want Britain and us to agree. I have flatly refused. …

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25 Berlin Berlin July 31, 1945 July 31, 1945 Dear Bess: … The whole difficulty is reparations. Of course the Russians are naturally looters and they have been thoroughly looted by the Germans over and over again and you can hardly blame them for their attitude. The thing I have to watch is to keep our skirted clean and make no commitments. The Poles are the other headache. …

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27 Diary March 16, 1948 March 16, 1948 … I am still hopeful and working with everything I have to make the United Nations work. Our European Recovery program and the proper strengthening of our Military setup is the only hope we have for peace in the world. That I am asking from the Congress. … It is the most serious situation we have faced since I shall face it with everything I have. …

28 Truman Letters: A Cold War Family Perspective


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