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Pocket Guides
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Pocket Guides: Navigating New Cultures Abroad

Imagine being a young American soldier who has never left home before, and finding yourself in a faraway country. Millions of US servicemen and women experienced this culture shock when they were stationed overseas during World War II. To assist in making the transition easier, the United States military issued pocket guides, which taught soldiers about the customs, geography, language and other cultural details of each country. Additionally, these details were instrumental for the war effort. By learning about the terrain, language and customs, soldiers were better equipped to recognize and win against an enemy combatant. Knowing basic phrases could be the difference between life and death. Each guide was designed to fit in a soldier's back pocket and could be read during down time.

Let's take a closer look at these pocket guides from the Education Department's collection.

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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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