Lecture and analysis of Primary Documents
It will be beneficial for students to learn more about the Cold War by studying Harry's personal feelings through his letters and diary entries.
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.
National American History Standards
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) Consider multiple perspectives. 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 4 (A) Identify problems and issues in the past.
SHOW ME STANDARDS
6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions
7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)
Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).
2.(A) analyzes the origins of the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the Soviet Bloc, Mao’s victory in China, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade, Iron Curtain).
3. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Truman and Eisenhower during the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the United Nations, containment, NATO, Truman Doctrine, Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Iron Curtain, U-2 incident).
Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.
1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.
2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.
Ferrell, Robert H. Dear Bess. W.W. Norton Co., New York, 1983. Ferrell, Robert H. Off the Record. Harper and Row, New York. 1980. Truman Presidential Library.
Letter excerpts found on slides in this presentation or complete letters found in sources identified on the bibliography slide.
PowerPoint Program Pencils/Pens
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. If time permits, an examination of the man, Harry S. Truman would benefit. 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. The amount of letters available in the sources listed in the bibliography are limitless and one could choose any event from Truman’s 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.