Kristen D. Burton is the Teacher Programs and Curriculum Specialist at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA. She received her Ph.D. in Transatlantic History from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015 and taught history courses at universities in Texas and Louisiana, as well as online. Dr. Burton currently authors curricular resources featuring the Museum’s extensive collection from the era of World War II. She also works with teachers across the United States through professional development workshops designed to support teachers interested in expanding their knowledge and pedagogical approaches to the history of WWII.
Kristen D. Burton, PhD
Teacher Programs and Curriculum Specialist
More from the Contributor
How World War II Saved American Beer Brewing
Shortly removed from Prohibition and with a growing hatred of all things Germans, the United States began a relationship with beer and breweries that lasts still today.
War Crimes on Trial: The Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials
Following victory, the Allies turned to the legal system to hold Axis leaders accountable. In an unprecedented series of trials, a new meaning of justice emerged in response to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Germans and the Japanese throughout the war.
Great Responsibilities and New Global Power
World War II transformed the United States from a midlevel global power to the leader of the “free world.” With this rapid rise in power and influence, the United States had to take on new responsibilities, signaling the beginning of the "American era."
Occupying Germany and Japan
The end of World War II brought unexpected challenges for American servicemembers in both Europe and the Pacific. Fighting forces turned into forces of occupation, working to maintain a fragile peace while living amongst former enemies.
Beyond the Decision: Strategies to Teach the History of the Atomic Bombs and the End of World War II
A presentation of The National WWII Museum's curricular resources to help educators teach about the use of atomic bombs against Japan.
The Four Freedoms
In January of 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlined a vision of the future in which people the world over could enjoy four essential freedoms. This vision persisted throughout World War II and came to symbolize the ideals behind the rights of humanity and the pursuit of peace in a postwar world.
The United States was not the only leading power on the world stage after the end of World War II; it had a new competitor for this power in the Soviet Union. Tensions between the former allies quickly grew, leading to a new kind of conflict—one heightened with the threat of atomic weapons—that came to dominate global politics for the remainder of the twentieth century.
The Scientific and Technological Advances of World War II
The war effort demanded developments in the field of science and technology, developments that forever changed life in America and made present-day technology possible.
"Destroyer of Worlds": The Making of an Atomic Bomb
At 5:29 a.m. (MST), the world’s first atomic bomb detonated in the New Mexican desert, releasing a level of destructive power unknown in the existence of humanity. Emitting as much energy as 21,000 tons of TNT and creating a fireball that measured roughly 2,000 feet in diameter, the first successful test of an atomic bomb, known as the Trinity Test, forever changed the history of the world.
Siren of the Resistance: The Artistry and Espionage of Josephine Baker
Iconic entertainer of the Jazz Age, famous for her risqué performances, Josephine Baker responded to the start of World War II by becoming a spy for the French Resistance. Known as the “Creole Goddess” of France, Baker used her celebrity to gain access to high-ranking Axis officials.