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Welcome to the North Carolina Museum of History’s online teacher workshop “North Carolina in Battle and on the Homefront in World War II.” From wartime industries to training camps to heroic soldiers, North Carolina made tremendous contributions to the war effort. This six-week, self-paced program, combining historical information with interactive activities, will provide you with the resources to integrate North Carolina’s role in World War II into your curriculum. Log on anytime during the program dates and proceed through the sessions and activities at your own speed. Expect to spend approximately eight hours per week on the workshop and related assignments.

You will explore North Carolina’s role in World War II through
•    sessions on specific topics
•    links to related websites
•    interaction with the workshop coordinator

Submit assignments by e-mail individually or together. You will earn eight contact hours for each of five completed assignments (maximum of forty hours). After completing the workshop, you will receive a certificate of completion listing the contact hours you have earned. 


North Carolina played a significant role in World War II. Approximately 258,000 of its citizens served in the army, 90,000 in the navy, and 13,000 in the marines. Home to twenty-four military installations, North Carolina trained more soldiers than any other state. It also excelled in producing textiles, ships, food, and other goods for the war effort. Outer Banks inhabitants observed blackouts and watched as German U-boats sank Allied ships just offshore. And people across the state did their part by rationing, growing victory gardens, buying war bonds, and volunteering at USOs.
Focusing in the classroom on North Carolina’s role in World War II, whether the subject is history, language arts, or even the arts, will help students understand how world and national events affect state and local communities. It will also illustrate how average North Carolinians have influenced history, as students themselves can shape the future.
General background and teaching materials about World War II are plentiful. Resources specifically about North Carolina’s role in the war, however, are less abundant. The goal of this pathfinder is to provide teachers with those resources so that they can incorporate local and state history into national and world history, and even other subjects. Background information, field trip opportunities, and teaching resources are included.

Specific Resources

Everybody’s War: North Carolina and WWII, a History-in-a-Box kit, from the North Carolina Museum of History. Hands-on replica artifacts, background materials, lessons, and more. Free!
“Camp Davis/Burgaw/Fort Fisher.” Skylighters.
This page, part of the 225th AAA Searchlight Battalion Veterans Association’s Web site, contains a history of Camp Davis, an army antiaircraft artillery training center in Holly Ridge, and related military training facilities at Fort Fisher and Burgaw. It includes excellent slide shows of period postcards, photos, and pamphlets from the facilities and surrounding communities.

“The Home Front: Charlotte-Mecklenburg 1941–1946.” The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story.
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County offers this excellent look into life in Charlotte during World War II, which can be extrapolated to other large North Carolina cities during this period. The site uses short essays, oral histories, maps, and photos to tell its stories. It is divided into three sections: People, Places, and Winds of Change (the contributions that Mecklenburg County citizens made to the war effort). 

"Camp Lejeune History.” MCB Camp Lejeune, NC.
Learn about Camp Lejeune’s history on this Web page. The larger site also includes current news and activities as well as information for soldiers new to the base; this information could be used to compare base life and military activities today with what soldiers experienced during World War II.

“The Triple Nickles”: The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion.
In telling the story of a little-known World War II battalion, this site reveals larger lessons. The “Triple Nickels” was the country’s first African American parachute infantry battalion. While the site is overly busy and text heavy, it is worthwhile for highlighting this unique battalion and for its reflection on the discrimination African Americans faced in the military during World War II.

“The Women Veterans Historical Project: Women at War: An Online Exhibit.” Walter Clinton Jackson Library.
The Women Veterans Historical Project, which began at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1998, presents part of its collection in this on-line exhibit. Though the exhibit is national in focus, UNC-G alumni donated much of the collection, giving the artifacts and story a strong North Carolina tie. Posters and photos, coupled with short essays, tell the stories of women in the WAVES, SPARS, WASP, marines, WAC/WAAC, Red Cross, and AWVS during World War II.

World War II: Through the Eyes of the Cape Fear.
This Web site presents primary sources from the William M. Randall Library at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Cape Fear Museum. Included are transcripts of the oral histories (some with audio and video files) of soldiers and civilians, home front and battlefield maps, paintings by a soldier from Wilmington, and artifacts from daily life in the military and at home.

System Requirements

To fully access this workshop, you will need a computer with Internet access and Adobe Acrobat Reader software (available as a free download). Macromedia Flash Player 4 or later (available as a free download) is necessary to use the interactive timeline and scrapbook, but alternate versions are provided as well for those browsers that don't accept Flash.

Project History

The Division of State History Museums collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, regional, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present. The Division interprets the state’s history through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications available to the visitor on-site or through distance-learning technologies.

In 1998 the North Carolina Museum of History offered a pilot electronic teacher workshop, The Role of Women in North Carolina History, as a new way to serve educators across the state. Since that time, the museum has developed nine additional online workshops: Stories from the Civil War; American Indians in North Carolina, Past and Present; Legends of North Carolina; Civil Rights in North Carolina; North Carolina at Home and in Battle during World War II; Antebellum North Carolina; North Carolina Geography; Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The 1930s in North Carolina; and this latest course, African American Life and Culture in North Carolina History. Most of the workshops are offered annually, and new ones continue to be created.

Online workshops are not meant to replace the museum’s traditional programs, but will supplement ongoing programs for students and educators. Using evaluations from this project, the museum will develop other web-based programs for educators.


The North Carolina Museum of History thanks the following organizations and individuals for their assistance in producing this program:

Steven Massengill, North Carolina Division of Archives and History
North Carolina State Archives
Tom Belton, curator, NC Museum of History
Sheila Thomas-Ambat, design/programming, formerly from the NC Museum of History
Janice Jordan, editor, NC Museum of History
Dr. John Duvall, director, Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation
Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation
Greensboro Historical Museum
Bill Moore, Greensboro Historical Museum
The Raleigh News and Observer
U.S. Army
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Signal Corps 

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