December 7, 2016, was the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the United States entering World War II. The sneak attack is a topic that offers many research paper topics, from how the U.S. missed the signs of the attack to how the U.S.’s entry into the war changed the course of events for that global conflict.
As fewer and fewer survivors of the attack are left to help others remember that day, new technologies are offering new ways of honoring historic events by creating a virtual reality world, including a Time Inc. VR experience, Remembering Pearl Harbor.
Remembering Pearl Harbor virtual reality world
Produced by Time Inc.’s LIFE VR, Remembering Pearl Harbor followed the events of “the day that will live in infamy” as President Roosevelt famously declared. “‘Remembering Pearl Harbor,’ The Newest Virtual Reality Experience From Time Inc.’s LIFE VR, To Be Screened On Capitol Hill And Showcased By The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum” posted on December 7, 2016, offered details of the virtual reality world the experience created. “The experience is told from the perspective of Lt. Jim Downing, an American veteran who served on USS West Virginia. Users hear from Downing, now 103 years old, and interact with realistic virtual versions of artifacts, iconic photography and archival video to get a unique understanding of one of American history’s defining moments,” the release shared.
This is not the first virtual reality world that Time Inc. has created to recapture a specific event in history. In January, the company will release Capturing Everest, a documentary of a climb of the peak. A research paper could explore the ways VR technology could shape the study of historical events.
Studying World War II
Technology is already changing how middle and high school students learn about significant historical events such as Pearl Harbor and World War II. Leo Doran posted, “Free Electronic Field Trip to Transport Students to Pearl Harbor” on November 8, 2016, on edweek.com with information on an electronic field trip that was offered for the 75th anniversary of the sneak attack on U.S. soil.
Doran reported that the “field trip” featured “live student reporting with attack survivors, opportunities for live Q&A’s, instant polling and virtual visits to the USS Arizona Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and The National WWII Museum.” A research paper for an education class could examine how today’s teachers can make distant historical events relevant for young people, including providing a truer sense of what life was like during past time periods.
Future sneak attacks
What continues to make Pearl Harbor relevant today is that the potential for similar sneak attacks still exists in our world. In the May 13, 2016, edition of Newsweek, “Why the Next Pearl Harbor Could Happen in Space; Forget ISIS-A Chinese or Russian Attack on U.S. Satellites Could Cripple American Forces before Anyone Fires a Shot” by Jonathan Broder addressed how our military is prepping for modern threats.
Broder wrote, “The threat of what military experts call a “space Pearl Harbor”–a sneak attack on U.S. satellites that cripples American forces before a shot has been fired–has Pentagon planners seriously worried.” A war in space could have far reaching and crippling effects on the entire planet—knocking out cell phone networks and ATMs, among other things. Basically much of modern life as we know it would be affected. A research paper could delve into the history of the threat of war in space, such as the 1957 launch of Sputnik by the Soviets, comparing past threats with potential problems.
How can technology help us to continue to remember important historical events like Pearl Harbor? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.