Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Korea and the Cold Warhomesitemap
Introduction -Link Before You Watch - link Lectures and Activities Classroom and Applications - Link

Workshop 8: Lectures & Activities

Activity One:
Should U.S. Military Forces Be Sent to Korea?

After viewing Lecture One, review the primary source documents and prepare a position statement for or against sending U.S. military forces to Korea. You can assume the role of one of the following people: President Harry Truman, General Douglas MacArthur, Senator Robert Taft, George Kennan, or journalist Walter Lippman. Consider the issues below to guide your statement. Facillitator's Note

Note: Teachers in the Primary Sources video did research beyond the required documents to prepare for the mock hearing. You may consider doing this as well.

Consider the following


U.S. military preparedness


U.S. policy of containing communism


U.S. role as defender of freedom


U.S. interests in Korea


U.S. image abroad


U.S. nuclear capabilities


The recent end of World War II

Image of Jonathan Chu

"The Cold War came to be seen as a process in which two rival powers were expanding, not by direct confrontation, but by subtle means, at different points, and... from the American perspective, in a way that was undemocratic, unfair, that was reflective of sinister, totalitarian governments.... If there was not going to be a hot war, there still needed to be a sense of vigilance."
— Jonathan Chu

  Primary Sources: Documents

(Click here for information on using primary source documents)


image of a generic historical documentLong Telegram to Washington, George F. Kennan, February 22, 1946

George F. Kennan, attaché in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, bolsters President Harry Truman's "get tough" policy with the Soviet Union in his "long telegram."

image of a generic historical documentThe Cold War, Walter Lippman

Walter Lippman, a widely read essayist and journalist, speaks out against the policy of containment in a series of articles called The Cold War.

image of a generic historical documentU.S. and Japan Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement, March 8, 1954

The United States and Japan sign the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement to allow for the presence of U.S. armed forces in Japan for the purpose of peace and security while encouraging Japan to take on more responsibility for its own defense.

image of a generic historical documentTruman Address on Korea, July 19, 1950

President Truman gives an address nearly a month into the Korean Conflict.

image of a generic historical documentChart of Defense Spending from 1945 to 1990

This is a historical table of the budget of the United States government for defense spending from 1945 to 1999.

image of a generic historical document"Capitol Report" No. 60, featuring Senator Robert F. Taft, June 29, 1950

Senator Robert F. Taft speaks out against the foreign policy of the Truman administration mostly regarding the handling of Korea and the Far East.

image of a generic historical documentGeneral Douglas MacArthur Writings, 1950-1951

Excerpts of General Douglas MacArthur's writings during the time of the Korean Conflict in which he discusses the decision to invade Inchon, Korea, and the general situation in the Far East.

image of a generic historical documentPresident John F. Kennedy's University of Washington Speech, November 16, 1961

President John F. Kennedy speaks about foreign policy at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis of Fall 1962.

image of a generic historical documentThe Marshall Plan, June 5, 1947

Secretary of State George C. Marshall announces the need for a coordinated plan of economic recovery for Western Europe in a speech at Harvard University.

image of a generic historical documentThe Truman Doctrine, March 12, 1947

President Truman requests military and financial assistance to Greece and Turkey in a speech before a joint session of Congress, which becomes known as the Truman Doctrine and becomes the guiding force in U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War.

Workshop 8: Introduction | Before You Watch | Lectures & Activities | Classroom Applications | Resources

Primary Sources Home | Map | About the Workshops


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy