Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

German Surrender: Radio address and teaching activity
Judy O'Neil
U.S. History
Time Frame:
One Class
World War II

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Students will listen to the American radio broadcast of Germany's surrender and answer questions relating to the broadcast.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

Missouri Standards

2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)


Kansas Standards

Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).

1. (K) explains why the United States emerged as a superpower as the result of World War II.

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Broadcast to the American People Announcing the
Surrender of Germany
May 8, 1945
[Delivered from the Radio Room at the White House at 9 a. m.]

Listen to speech | Read text transcript

Full description of activity or assignment.

1. What was the purpose of the speech?


2. List three important things President Truman said in his address.


3. List three things the President said the American people need to do.


4. What was the significance of May 13, 1945? What national symbol did President Truman
use to mark the significance of this date?


5. What does this speech reveal about the impact of World War II on the lives of people?


6. What question would you have asked of the President after listening to his address?


7. When President Truman delivered a radio address, there was an audience that included
reporters, photographers, and special guests. What guests do you think were invited to
this broadcast?
Check your answer by visiting: www.trumanlibrary.org


8. President Truman's announcement of the German surrender on May 8th had a personal
significance for the President. What do you think was so special about the 8th of May?
Check you answer by visiting: www.trumanlibrary.org