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group discussion questions

Dear Readers:

My research about the war gave me pause to think. I hope you will take time to consider some of the questions that follow.
Reading Group discussion questions:

  1. Even before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, changes were taking place in Hampton, Virginia. When inland cities were shrinking, Hampton had a housing shortage. Why?
  2. In the Hampton National Cemetery there were some graves marked with the letters U.S.C.T. What did these letters indicate? Why was Thomas Washington so certain there would be no black men serving in this war? Blacks saw the war as an opportunity to prove themselves equal to the whites. Were things better for the blacks after the war?
  3. In the early months of 1942, there were reports daily of ships being sunk by u-boats off the East Coast of the United States. Civilian Defense was very active in Hampton. What were some of the things civilians had to do?
  4. What advantages did the u-boats have? What disadvantages did they have? Talk about the u-boat — their quarters and their food supply.
  5. What happened when the U.S.S. Roper discovered the U-85?
  6. Once the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, what became of isolationism? What were the arguments of Walter Lippmann and Charles Lindbergh?
  7. Julia Keegen had a habit of thinking out loud. She would talk to the moon, the cat, the gravestone of her "magnanimous" friend Lizzie and even to ghosts.
    Julia questioned what the world would be like for her child. Was the world a better place after the war? Did Americans feel safer? Did Americans have a better understanding of other nationalities?
  8. There were reports of enemy efforts to sabotage our bases and industry. There were massive explosions in the Hampton area. Were these the acts of the enemy?
  9. The letters from Kate were taken from letters written home by a Hampton girl during the war. What did you learn from her viewpoint of the war?
  10. Most of the men who trained at Tuskegee remained in the States for a very long time after they passed the pilot training course. Why was that? Talk about the black man's experience of the war years.
  11. People were aware of the "willing internment" of the Japanese who had been living on the West Coast, but little was known of others the FBI arrested. Do you think the average citizen of the US would have tried to speak on behalf of a neighbor who the FBI came to arrest in the middle of the night? Or would they have more likely believed their neighbor had been a spy - or the FBI wouldn't have come for him? Julia observed that both Eberhard Greger and Mike O'Neill said nothing could be done so long as the country (Germany and the US) was at war.
  12. Do you think our Free Press has ever been as free as we are led to believe? Students were told the US did not try to stir up hatred for the enemy peoples. Do you think that was true during the Second World War? Should governments use propaganda to manipulate public opinion? Could good men kill other men if they weren't taught to hate them? Could families willingly sacrifice their young people to a cause they didn't think was a moral cause?
  13. Talk about the Geneva Convention. Do warring countries abide by its rules? Can you find examples in Time Will Tell where the US didn't abide by the Geneva Convention?
  14. The US government said the bombs that were dropped over Japan saved lives? How did they explain that? Do you agree and, if so, does that make it right that we dropped the bombs? Was it necessary to drop the second one? If the US had another bomb ready at the time, do you think it would have been used also?
  15. What was learned from our experience in World War II ? Have we repeated mistakes because there were things we should have learned, but didn't? If so, why is it that we didn't learn these things?
  16. Why did Julia feel victory wasn't so great? Do you think more people felt this way? And do you think even more did after the immediate jubilation was over?

PDF version of questions


WWII Article


WWII Poppy




WWII Ration




WWII Article2




Cover Time Will Tell

Thanks for reading!