Assignment 1: The Past is Prologue

"I'm going to fight with the hate in my heart.  What's in me, what's in my veins, I'm going to kill, slaughter those.... If I come across a wounded one, it wouldn't interest me.  I'd kill my own father if he dare to fight against this country."
-- man on the street, Washington, D.C.
1)  Your first task is to post a response to the discussion board and tell us about your initial reactions to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  You’ve obviously had time to reflect on the events, but I want you to put yourself in the “wayback” machine and attempt to recreate your life, your feelings, and your thoughts on that day.  Try to forget about what has transpired globally since September 11, 2001, during America’s “campaign” against terrorism, and tell us what your first “raw” reaction was when you saw or heard about the attacks.

2)  Your second task is to assume that you’ve been asked to conduct some field work the day after the attacks on the World Trade Center (or Pearl Harbor) and that your goal is to chronicle the reactions of ordinary “people on the street” to the incident(s).

3)  Before we actually listen to flesh-and-blood Americans commenting on the attack of Pearl Harbor, I want you to post a response to the discussion board detailing what you think you’re likely to find and hear in this archive.  Use your knowledge of “official” American history and culture to inform your answer, and be as specific as possible.

4)  Okay, now it’s time to check out the archive.  If possible, spend at least an hour exploring the various features of the “After the Day of Infamy” archive:

I want you to get a feel for the archive, and it’s not necessary to post any observations yet, but if you feel compelled to do so, there will be a forum available on the discussion board.  Tomorrow we’ll do some more focused exploring, and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to comment then.
"I hope to God that hemispheric isolation and other such queer ideas have now been relegated to the ash heap of scrap treaties."
-- student at Univ. of Wisconsin