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Category: Science & Technology, Military conflict

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Peace and War in the 20th Century Welcome The twentieth century has been a century of war. It began with the Boer War in South Africa and ended with the Gulf War in Kuwait and Iraq. This tragic legacy suggests that citizens of the twenty-first century have a shared responsibility to attempt to understand how and why these conflicts occurred and to discover how peace efforts contributed to the resolution of international conflicts. The work of understanding, conscientiously conducted, must draw on primary sources of many kinds, including oral histories, newspapers, contemporary journals, government documents, regimental histories, and archives. Archival resources provide us with a direct link to the past.

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Rt. Hon. Arthur Meighen, address to the Senate, September 10, 1939. In September 1939, Canadians prepared for another war with memories of the Great War still fresh in their minds. It was determined that Canada’s war effort would be concentrated in financial and industrial support, and the first priority would be to secure the nation’s borders. By the spring of 1940, the progress of the war in Europe had changed dramatically. With the German invasion of Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Holland, and the fall of France, Canadians reassessed their own vulnerability. The spectre of a German victory became real.

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This exhibit highlights the contributions of the thousands of Americans, both military and civilian, who served their country during World War II. Documents from the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis form the core of the exhibit. For those who lived through the Second World War, this exhibit may help them recall their experiences. For those who did not, it is hoped they will gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifice and commitment of those Americans who, after almost four years, were "A People at War."

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National Archives and Records Administraton Eyewitness American Originals from the National Archives Introduction Out of the stacks and vaults of the National Archives comes this selection of eyewitness accounts. They are vivid and intensely personal, transporting us to a deeper understanding of the events described.

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