Incarceration of Portland’s Japanese Americans in WWII

Two children in camp c 1943 Minidoka concentration camp Idaho Two children in camp c. 1943 Minidoka concentration camp Idaho

What was the impact of President Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Order 9066 on Portland Oregon’s Japanese-American community? The following presentation uses video interviews of camp internees, archived photographs, and historic documents to answer that question.

It was created by Kyle Stephens and Peter Gallagher in conjunction with the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Their thoughtful curation of historic content guides the reader through the experience of Japanese-Americans incarcerated during the War and the government’s justification for doing so. Engaging questions and points for discussion are placed throughout the presentation.

The lesson features reaction to Executive Order 9066, temporary incarceration at Portland Assembly Center (built on the grounds of a former stockyard on the banks of the Columbia River), and the final destination for most of Portland’s Japanese-American community – the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho.

Kyle and Peter were student in my social studies methods class at the University of Portland working on curriculum development for Portland’s Nikkei Legacy Center. Special thanks to the Densho Digital Archive for providing video and still images. 

Nikkei Classroom Presentation from Peter Gallagher

Image credit / Densho Encyclopedia: denshopd-i39-00044

The Power of Propaganda: A Student-Designed DBQ

white haired girl balletI assigned my preservice teachers at University of Portland the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.

I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is The Power of Propaganda designed by Kyle Stephens.

You can find Kyle’s posts on our class blog.

See Kyle’s chapter in our class-designed iBook – free at iTunes.

Kyle Stephens reflects on what he learned from the experience:

I wanted to somehow link the idea of propaganda to today’s society and challenge the students to think about how propaganda may be used today.

When I started my DBQ project I wanted to show how propaganda was used throughout history and see how propaganda evolved throughout the years. However, I decided to focus my attention at WWII and the Cold War Era. I was able to find some great documents showing the propaganda used during that time. I wanted to somehow link the idea of propaganda to today’s society and challenge the students to think about how propaganda may be used today. However, I didn’t come up with a great way to do that without making the project much larger in scope. I think I should have focused my attention to either WWII or the Cold War exclusively. I think I would have been able to dive in deeper with one of them, rather than trying to span over a long time and different conflicts. However, this DBQ could be used to try to connect the two events and show how propaganda played a part in both of these.

Image credit
The White-Haired Girl: Chinese film poster (1950)
British Library