The second World War reared its ugly head in Europe in 1939 when Poland fell victim of Germany's blitzkrieg and the Soviet war machine simultaneously. While shocked, the American public largely maintained their isolationist viewpoint for some 2 years following this unexpected invasion. This, of course, changed dramatically when the United States was the target of a surprise attack by the Imperial forces of Japan in December of 1941. Almost overnight, the United States went from being 68% in favor of sending aid, to being 91% in favor of direct military involvement.
Imagine the dramatic shift to go from a standard college student to having to legitimately consider direct personal involvement in a distant war with threats looming on two fronts. This change is exactly what we as a group have set out to examine through our research of Ursinus documents. Specifically, we are observing general attitudes about the war, how rationing effected campus life, how residence life shifted, a summation of who from the community served, and how the news of the war was reported through the school's newspapers.
Through this project, we are looking to answer how specifically the Ursinus community during World War II changed. We believe that the shifts are most noticeably see through the five categories of research presented in the tabs on the right.
"Promise/Anthem" on display on the upper floor of the Wismer dining hall on campus at Ursinus College.
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Jack Psenicksa, Jordan Casseus, Alex Wineburg, Ethan Harris, Justin Mitchell