H US HistoryPalmatier

Assignment:Interview with a Baby BoomerDue:_____

Thinking Skill: Examine information from more than one point of view

Our study of US history for the entire second half of the school year will focus on the years from 1945 to the present. These are the years during which a generation of Americans known as the “baby boomers” (a term used for those who were born between the years 1945-1965) came of age. To a large extent, the world we now live in is shaped by that generation and their experiences. This assignment will afford you the chance to make a personal connection with one or two baby boomers, perhaps even in your own family, as we continue to learn about the exciting and pivotal events of America in the 20th century.

Directions: Find someone born during this time period and conduct an interview probing their memories and experiences related to the years in which they lived and are currently living. If you wish, you may try to develop questions that reveal the thoughts, emotions, feelings, and general experience of what it was like to have lived through the second half of the 20th century. Several sample questions and topics of discussion are listed below, you are not limited to those choices and need not cover every item on these two pages. You may wish to start by having them walk you through a day in their life in the year 19___. Please note: if you are having difficulty with this assignment, you may want to find an alternative person to interview. You are even welcome to interview more than one person for this assignment.

  1. During what years did you attend elementary/middle/high school? Who were the Presidents? Where did you live? What were your fondest memories of growing up in the second half of the 20th century?
  1. The Cold War is a major focus for the second half of this course. What were some major Cold War events that occurred while you were in school? What were your reactions to them? What are some of your lasting memories from having lived during the Cold War? Do you remember having to practice drills? If so, please explain the process. Ask if they recall any specific Cold War events and have them describe their reactions at the time. Several events follow; see your textbook for more.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Senator McCarthy hearings
  • The Berlin Wall and eventual fall in 1989
  • 1980 Olympics
  • Reagan and Gorbachev, Nixon visits to China and USSR
  • The Space Race
  • The Cold War as reflected in pop culture (TV shows, Hollywood movies, comics, advertising, etc.)
  • Other:______
  1. Another major focus for the second half of the year is the Civil Rights movement.

Ask them if they remember and can describe their reactions to having lived through any of the following:

  • Little Rock 9 and school desegregation
  • Emmett Till
  • Martin Luther King, life, works, assassination
  • Freedom Riders
  • Selma
  • March on Washington
  • Malcolm X
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Other:______
  1. Ask them to describe and give their reaction to any number of the following events that they may remember having lived through including and not limited to the following:
  • Elvis and the rock and roll era
  • Early television
  • Cars and highways in the 1950s
  • The Kennedy presidency and assassination
  • Vietnam
  • Woodstock
  • Moon landing
  • 1960s music
  • Watergate
  • Nixon, Ford, Carter presidencies
  • Early computer technology
  • OPEC crisis, Iran Hostage crisis
  • The Reagan years
  • The 1990s
  • Other:______

Take notes during the interview and record their answers. Compile all information into a typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins, one/two page reflection in which you discuss your findings and what you learned from this interview. Your reflection will be evaluated based on the following:

Appropriateness of Interview Questions

Depth/Detail of Interview Questions