NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED466430
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-18
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Memorandum Regarding the Enlistment of Navajo Indians. Teaching with Documents.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
On the battlefield during World War II, maintaining military secrecy went far beyond poster campaigns because it was essential for victory and breaking enemy codes was necessary to gain the advantage and shorten the war. The ability to send and receive codes without the risk of the enemy deciphering the transmission was the most desirable end result of military secrecy. The U.S. Marine Corps, in an effort to find quicker and more secure ways to send and receive code, enlisted Navajos as code talkers. Philip Johnston was the initiator of the program to enlist and train the Navajos as messengers. On February 28, 1942, four Navajos assisted Johnston in demonstrating his idea that, with proper training, Navajos who fit the age and education requirements for military service could be taught to transmit messages in their native language. It is estimated that between 375 to 420 Navajos eventually served as code talkers. This lesson plan uses Major General Clayton Vogel's letter of recommendation to enlist the Navajos in the military for this purpose as a primary source to study this aspect of World War II. The lesson plan correlates with the history and civics and government standards. It suggests six varied classroom activities for students to complete. In addition to General Vogel's letter, the lesson plan provides a Navajo dictionary (Figure 1) and a written document analysis worksheet. (BT)
National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Tel: 866-272-6272 (Toll Free); Fax: 301-837-0483; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.