Download Lesson Plan 1 – Home Front Canteen

Introduction to the World War II Home Front and the Arsenal of Democracy

This first lesson plan has four themes/constructs. Those are:

1. World events leading to America becoming the Arsenal of Democracy (one, 45-60 minute class period)

2. Urban/Industrial growth, Arsenal of Democracy and the role of railroads (two, 45-60 minute class periods)

3. Civic engagement, civic ideals during WWII with a focus on the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum where women organized and opened a canteen for servicemen that operated 24/7 for four years from 1942-1946. The railroad depot was restored in the 1980s and is now a National Historic Landmark. (one, 45-60 minute class period plus option for a long-term service learning project)

4. Selective Service history from 1940 to the present (one, 45-60 minute class period to review its history and additional time for a debate)

Contact: Judy Miller:


LINKS in Lesson Plan 1

  1. p. 4: Audio recording (October 1940) of President Roosevelt’s remarks during the first draft authorized by the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
  2. p. 4: Audio recording of President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat #16 on Dec. 29, 1940 (Arsenal of Democracy)
  3. p.4: Transcript of the Lend-Lease Act (passed on March 11, 1941)
  4. p. 5: Audio recording and information on FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech (Dec. 8, 1941)
  5. p. 6: US Census (urban vs. rural population 1790-1990)
  6. p. 8: H.R. 1776 – the Lend-Lease Act
  7. p. 8: Transcript of FDR’s radio address announcing a national emergency (May 27, 1941): We Choose Human Freedom
  8. p. 11: Information on the Pennsylvania Railroad (the “Pennsy”) by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
  9. p. 13: US Census
  10. p. 12: Golden Spike National Historical Park (Utah – National Park Service)
  11. p. 15: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) statistics on veterans

– Lesson Plan 1: Home Front Canteen (will be back soon)–