The men and women who worked for the railroads had one thing in common with the soldiers who rode the troop trains during the war, a commitment to victory over the tyrants who threatened the United States and its allies. World War II was a watershed event in world history, and the results of the war continue to shape our world today.
The activities below are designed to enable students to see life during WWII through the eyes of those who experienced it.
Activity 1: Letter from the Front
Imagine that you are a soldier riding a troop train across the country on your way to board a ship that will take you half way around the world to fight for your country. Write a letter to your family in which you describe the conditions under which you are traveling and your thoughts about what you may face in the weeks and months to follow.
Activity 2: Letter to the Front
Imagine that you are a welder at the B&O Mt. Clare Shops during World War II (currently the site of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum). You are working twelve hour days helping to construct railroad cars for use in the movement of troops to military bases around the country. Your good friend has been in the army for over a year and is on his way to England to prepare for a rumored invasion of the European continent. Write a letter in which you tell him about your contribution to the war effort, as well as offer support for him as he prepares to fight for his country.