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What is the significance of a collection of signatures on four yellowing pieces of paper?  When the signatures belong to the major leaders who successfully fought and won World War II, then the answer is easy.  Some one hundred and fifty Palo Alto High School History students are undertaking a research project in 2010 to determine who these signatures belonged to as a means of better understanding how their leadership led to the Allies winning World War II.  They will be selecting areas of interest to explore, including biographical information on the signators, their military records, their deployment, and social and political events of the time period which may be directly or indirectly connected to the generals, major generals and lieutenant generals whose names appear on these documents.  Needless to say, there are important implications behind what these men did to protect the world from fascism.  Also on this site, you will find documentation of how students undertook this research, which began in January, 2010 and will run until June.


The Research Process

The instructor  evaluated applications for research positions similar to the kind of proposals to conduct research that are often seen in higher education.  These applications consisted of interest-based responses to the artifact itself and ranged from artistic interpretations of the men and events of the War, to moral arguments touching on the work that these men undertook.  For example, one student's appraisal of General Leslie Groves efforts (his signature appears at the top of one of the pages) might stand in contrast to an artistic representation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  Both are important responses to the artifact coming from the unique perspective of different students.

Important Research Dates

* Project Begins January 8, 2010
* Web development ends June 10, 2010