Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Korean War- Changing the Face of Our Military

The Korean War- Changing the Face of Our Military

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

1. The students will analyze various sources about the desegregation of the United States military in the Korean War.
2. The students will organize their analysis and synthesize that research in an informative essay that answers the following questions:
What were the reasons given for the desegregation of the military?
Predict the effect of desegregation of the military on the civilian population.

1. This lesson should be part of a larger unit that is a study of the Korea War.
2. Read the introduction quotes and discuss as a class.
3. Have students use the National Archives Document Analysis worksheet to analyze the Executive Order 9981.
4. Discuss their analysis and what that tells them about the United States at the time. Use this time to discuss the issues of Civil Rights, maybe add reference to the Tuskegee Airmen.
5. Read the telegram from A. Philip Randolph, give students background information about this labor union and civil rights activities. Use the National Archives Document Analysis for the telegram.
6. Show the Newspaper articles about the desegregation of the military and the reactions of the soldiers.
7. Display the photo of the desegregated troops and have the students use the National Archives Photo Analysis worksheet. Students should then:
1. Choose a soldier from the photograph
2. Rewind his life-5 years, Fast forward his life 5 years-what can they predict it was like and where do they predict it will be
8. FINAL ASSESSMENT: Essay question.

Teacher model the use of the Document Analysis worksheets, use highlighters for the analysis and complete other activities as a co-op group.

Have students research specific African American soldiers from this war. Students can also interview Korean War Veterans and discuss the Executive Order 9981.

https://www.history.army.mil/books/korea/24TH.HTM
– history of African American soldiers
https://www.koreanwar60.com/african-americans-korean-war-1
-photo of de segregated soldiers
https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/topic_display.cfm?tcid=100
– History of Military Integration with mention of Fort Dix, New Jersey
https://archive.defense.gov/home/features/2013/0713_integration/
– The US Department of Defense website dedicated to the integration of the armed forces.
https://www.trumanlibrary.org/9981.htm
The executive order that desegregated the military.

Author
  • Victoria Scarpa
  • Passaic County Technical Institute
Related History Institute

If you have any questions about this lesson plan, or if you wish to contact the author, please email us at [email protected]