HS – Connecticut Prepares for War, 1917


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Politics and Goverment
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, World War I, WWI, Great War, Preparedness, Military Census, Role of Government, How Connecticut Changed, How We Documented the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Propelled by the slogan “he kept us out of war,” President Woodrow Wilson won reelection in 1916. In Connecticut, however, it was Governor Marcus Holcomb’s “preparedness” platform that won him reelection that same year. In February 1917, the Connecticut General Assembly directed Governor Holcomb to “procure certain information relative to the resources of the State,” especially about “men and materials available for use in the event of war.” The result was the nation’s most thorough pre-war military census. It included a survey of men ages 16 and up, industries in the state, doctors and nurses, motor transport (including boats), and newspapers. Much of the census was completed in March 1917, before the United States entered World War I. The original forms were deposited at the Connecticut State Library for safe keeping and to make them accessible to appropriate officials.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does the role of government change in a time of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What did the State of Connecticut do to prepare for war prior to April 1917?
  • What were the goals of the Connecticut military census?
  • How did the government and/or the census committee deal with (or plan to deal with) resistance to the census?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

page Download the Notes regarding the Connecticut military census. Walter Clark military census papers, 1917. mss 70774. Connecticut Historical Society.
page Download the Sample military census form. Connecticut State Library.
Note that Oscar E. Sandell listed “chauffeur” as his current occupation and responded “Yes” to the question about whether he could drive an automobile. He later served in the Army Ambulance Corps.
page Download the Minutes from the meeting of the military census committee, February 20, 1917. Walter Clark military census papers, 1917. mss 70774. Connecticut Historical Society.
page Download the Letter to Mrs. Harriet Tallmadge regarding two men who refused to respond to the military census. Walter Clark military census papers, 1917. mss 70774. Connecticut Historical Society.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Introduce the compelling question that will drive the inquiry and share/distribute the four primary sources. You may wish to have students work on their inquiry with a partner or in a small group.
  2. Using the Library of Congress primary source analysis approach, have students examine each source and OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION. You may want to use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis worksheet to help students organize and record their thoughts about each document.
    OBSERVE: What kind of document is this? What is the subject of this document? What people are identified with it? Is it dated? What can you know based on this document?
    REFLECT: Why do you think this document was created? Who was the intended audience? What is the historical context for the document? What can you guess or infer based on this document?
    QUESTION: What questions do you have based on this document?
  3. In work groups or as a class, discuss the students’ observations, reflections, and questions. You may also want to discuss some of the supporting questions listed above, if they have not yet come up in discussion.
  4. Discuss the extent to which these documents have helped students develop a response to the compelling question. Discuss possible avenues for further inquiry to help answer additional student-generated questions and develop a more complete response to the compelling question.

Note: For links to some of the 1917 newspaper coverage of the military census, see the “Things to Do” section below.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Using what they have learned through this activity (or elsewhere) about the 1917 military census and Connecticut during World War I, students will write a letter to Walter Clark of the Military Census Committee from the perspective of Toy Quong or Chung Quong (the men mentioned in Source #4) explaining why they chose not to complete the military census and responding to Mr. Clark’s arguments in favor of complying.
  • Students will investigate some of the reasons why certain populations are hesitant to participate in the federal census today and why some groups are regularly underrepresented in the United States census. Students will then discuss possible responses or solutions.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Articles & Books to READ

HS – “Saved.” Theodate Pope and the Sinking of the Lusitania


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Transportation
Women
World War I
Theme
The Role of the United States in World Affairs
Town
Farmington
Related Search Terms
Lusitania, Theodate Pope, Hill-Stead, neutrality, submarine, torpedo, World War One, World War I, First World War, WWI, Great War, How We Documented the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
On April 22, 1915, the German government issued a warning to passengers intending to travel across the Atlantic on any British ship. On May 1, 1915, the warning was published in various U.S. newspapers. Despite the warning, over 1,200 passengers set sail from New York that day aboard the Cunard ocean liner Lusitania. On May 7, a German submarine torpedoed the ship off the Irish coast. The ship sank completely within eighteen minutes, killing 1,195 of the 1,959 passengers and crew on board, including 128 Americans. Public outcry followed, threatening the neutrality of the United States in the war raging in Europe. One of the few Connecticut survivors of the Lusitania was Theodate Pope, the pioneering woman architect from Farmington. Neither her maid, Jessie Robinson, nor her traveling companion, Edwin Friend, survived.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

To what extent has the United States succeeded in remaining neutral in times of war or global conflict?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why did so many people take the risk of sailing aboard the Lusitania on May 1, 1915?
  • Did the sinking of the Lusitania make it inevitable that the United States would enter World War I?
  • How did people in Connecticut receive information about the sinking of the Lusitania? What kind of information did they receive?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

page Download the articles “Notice,” “Bernstorff Warns U.S. Citizens Not to Travel on Ships of the Allies,” and “Lusitania’s Passengers Warned of Ship’s Doom.” the Washington Times. May 1, 1915. 1:5-6. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Cunarder Lusitania Sunk by Torpedo off Coast of Ireland; Passengers Safe.” the Bridgeport Evening Farmer. May 7, 1915. 1:1-7. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the telegram sent by Theodate Pope to her mother, May 8, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum.
page Download the articles “Farmington Woman Safe,” “List of First Cabin Passengers on Board Ill-Fated Lusitania,” and “Passengers Scoff at ‘Warnings’ as Huge Liner Sails.” the Bridgeport Evening Farmer. May 8, 1915. 4:1,4-5,6-7 Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download an excerpt of the letter sent by Theodate Pope to her mother, June 28, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum. (Download the full transcription.)
page Download a Portrait of Theodate Pope, taken shortly after her survival of the sinking of the Lusitania, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Introduce the compelling and supporting questions for the activity.
  2. Students will read three short articles from the front page of the Washington Times from May 1, 1915. (Source #1: “Notice,” “Bernstorff Warns U.S. Citizens Not to Travel on Ships of the Allies,” and “Lusitania’s Passengers Warned of Ship’s Doom.”) Ask students to:
    OBSERVE: What information can they gather from the articles?
    REFLECT: What do they think based on what they have read? What can they guess or infer?
    QUESTION: What do these articles make them wonder?
    You may want to use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis worksheet to help students organize and record their thoughts.
  3. Compile a list of new student-generated questions that arise from your discussion.
  4. Students will read some or all of the front page coverage of the attack on the Lusitania from the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, May 7, 1915 (Source #2). Students will compile a list of “facts” recorded in the newspaper on the day of the event, which can then be checked against later sources.
  5. Students will look at Theodate Pope’s telegram to her mother from the day following the sinking of the Lusitania (Source #3). What information does Pope provide?
  6. Students will explore the coverage of the Lusitania from page 4 of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, May 8, 1915 (Source #4). You may wish to assign different articles or page columns to different individuals or pairs. Ask students to analyze the source using the same Library of Congress OBSERVE, REFLECT, QUESTION method as above and then share their results with their classmates.
  7. Add additional student-generated questions to your list and look back to see if any information has emerged to help answer the earlier questions.
  8. Share the portrait of Theodate Pope (Source #6) and the letter she wrote to her mother (Source #5). Using the Library of Congress worksheet or another analysis method of your choice, have students examine the letter. What “facts” does Pope record, and how does it fit in with other information available relating to the event? What emotions, feelings, or personal reflections does she share? What questions do students still have after reading the letter?
  9. Circle back to your list of questions and the compelling question and discuss possible approaches for additional inquiry.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Using the sources provided in the toolkit as background (along with any other related primary or secondary sources you wish to use,) students will imagine themselves as a Connecticut relative of one of the Lusitania victims and will write a letter to President Woodrow Wilson arguing for or against U.S. entry into the war in the days following the event.
  • Students will explore media coverage of other large-scale disasters or acts of war throughout American history and will seek out other examples of initially reported “facts” that proved incorrect. Students will then reflect on media coverage of current events and discuss the importance of media literacy in our contemporary world.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

HS – “Women of Connecticut: Are You Helping?” The Reaction to Emergency Food Measures During World War I

Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project,
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Food and Drink, Women, World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, World War I, First World War, WWI, Great War, Food Administration, Women, Immigrants, Voluntarism, Home front, Conservation, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
By the time the United States entered WWI, farming in Europe had been devastated. U.S. allies were starving. Washington initiated a patriotic program to increase food production and to induce the people to voluntarily conserve food on the household level. Five billion dollars in food was delivered to Europe. As part of the effort to provide this food to the Allies, the federal government set out to get 22 million households to sign a food conservation pledge. Robert Scoville, head of the Connecticut Food Administration, and George M. Landers, chairman of the Connecticut Committee of Food Supply, organized the drive in this state. In November 1917, their goal for Connecticut was 200,000 signed pledge cards.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Do government campaigns to promote “voluntary” patriotic efforts in a time of war strengthen or weaken American democracy?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What did the U.S. Food Administration and the Connecticut Committee on Food Supply hope to accomplish with the food pledge campaign?
  • What methods were employed to achieve these goals, who employed these methods, and to whom did they appeal?
  • How did gender, income level, religion, and place of national origin affect how residents experienced or evaluated the food pledge campaign?
  • What opposition, if any, was there to home front mobilization campaigns?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

“Food will win the war. You came here seeking Freedom. You must now help to preserve it. WHEAT is needed for the allies.” United States Food Administration, ca. 1917. National Archives.
“‘Eat Plenty, Wisely, Without Waste,’ Says Hoover: Work of the Food Administration Under Herbert C. Hoover—A War Emergency Measure—America’s Food Problems—Woman’s Part.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 17, 1917, 12:1-7. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
“Women of Connecticut: Are You Helping?” Poster from the Committee of Food Supply, Connecticut State Council of Defense, 1917-1918, Connecticut Historical Society.
U.S. Food Administration Window Card. Fairfield Museum and History Center.
page Download the article “Hoover, How Can You?” Four Lights: An Adventure in Internationalism, July 14, 1917, p. 2. Published by the Women’s Peace Party, New York.
page Download the article “State Food Conservation Committee Save Quantity Food Through Girls Army.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 20, 1917, 9:1-2. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Thousands Working in Campaign: Canvassers Explaining Food Pledge Movement to Housewives Throughout the Country—Those Who Refuse to Sign Are Pro-German—Norwich Expected to Net 4,500 Pledges.” Norwich Bulletin, November 3, 1917, 3: 3-4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “German Agents Hindering Food Savings Plans.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 31, 1917, 1:1-2. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Housewives in This City Are Being Fleeced.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, November 1, 1917, 1:3-4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Pacifist Pastor Refuses to Sign a Food Pledge.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, November 2, 1917, 1:4-5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Letters to the Editor: But Few Slackers.” Norwich Bulletin, August 11, 1917, 4:6. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Introduce the compelling question and the initial supporting questions that will drive the inquiry.
  2. Together as a class, examine Source #1 (“Food will Win the War” poster.) Track students’ observations and questions about the source. What clues does the poster provide about the goals and methods of the U.S. Food Administration?
  3. Next, break the class into smaller work groups/pairs.
  4. Assign 1-3 primary sources from Part 2 of the toolkit to each group/pair. Allow the small groups time to develop responses to the initial supporting questions based on the primary sources and generate additional supporting questions.
  5. Ask each work group to briefly share their source(s), findings, and questions with the rest of the group.
  6. Discuss responses to the compelling question based on the evidence from the primary sources provided.
  7. Have the class (as a whole) propose avenues for further research that interest them, explaining why they think such research might be important.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will write a response to either the original compelling question or another student-generated question, citing the primary sources they relied upon. Students will include thoughts about what kind of further research would be needed if they were to pursue the question further. Students will then gather with their work groups, share their answers, and gently critique each others’ work, choosing one response to share with the class as a whole, if desired.
  • Imagining themselves as a Connecticut resident in 1917, students will write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper in response to the question: “Should the names of those families who do not sign the Food Pledge be published in our newspaper?” Students may select or be assigned different perspectives from which to respond, such as a struggling immigrant housewife, the mother of a soldier fighting in France, a local pacifist, etc.
  • Students will investigate the dietary/food conservation recommendations made by the United States Food Administration and Connecticut Committee of Food Supply. What kinds of foods/meals were recommended to help with the war effort? What would nutritionists/dietary specialists think of these recommendations today? To get started, students could look at these resources:
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

Grade 3 – Connecticut Heroes of World War I


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Health and Medicine, Social Movements, WomenWorld War I
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Hartford,
New Haven,
Wallingford, Washington
Related Search Terms
World War One, World War I, WWI, Great War, Home Front, Hero, Nurse, Flying Ace, Pilot, Stubby, Dog, Soldier, Monument, Memorial, Biography, Non-fiction, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed, How We Documented the War, How We Moved On
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History

Historical Background
What makes someone a hero? How do we remember people who have made important contributions to our communities, our state, and our nation? What can you do to make a contribution? This activity explores these questions through the lens of five World War I “heroes” from Connecticut—four human and one canine! The heroes featured are:
Raoul Lufbery, Flying Ace
Ruth Hovey, Nurse
William Service Bell, Corporal, U.S. Army Engineers
Stubby, Mascot of the 102nd Infantry
Edith Rossiter, War Relief Volunteer

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What is the significance of Connecticut’s contribution to America’s story?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What role have Connecticut people played in major events in American (or world) history?
  • What has Connecticut’s contribution to the nation been during wartime?
  • What makes someone a “hero”?
  • What characteristics do heroes have in common?
  • How do we remember people who have made contributions to our community, our state, or our nation?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Start with a class discussion:
    • What makes someone a “hero”?
    • What characteristics do heroes have in common?
    • Who are heroes in our community, state, or nation today?
    • Record students’ responses to these questions.
  2. Explain that you will be looking at five individuals who lived in Connecticut about 100 years ago, around the time of World War I.
  3. Give students time to examine each of the portraits from the toolkit. You may look at them all on one day or break them up, studying a different individual (portrait and biography) each day. Ask students what they:
    OBSERVE—“what details can you notice about each portrait?”
    REFLECT—“what do you think about the individual based on what you see?” QUESTION—“what does this picture make you wonder?” Remind students of your initial discussion and ask, “Based on what you see, do you think this is a hero? Why or why not?”
  4. Distribute the mini-biographies. Again, you may want to break them up, studying a different individual each day. As students read, ask them to circle, underline, or highlight words or phrases that they think describe a “hero.”
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will use the “Connecticut Heroes of World War I” chart in the toolkit to organize their information about the individuals studied and indicate whether or not they feel each one qualifies as a “hero.”
  • Students will complete a graphic organizer of your choice (Venn diagram, double bubble, etc.) comparing and contrasting two or more of the individuals studied.
  • Students will select one of the individuals studied that they feel qualifies as a hero and design a monument to that person (or dog.)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

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