Teacher Guide Student Information Source Evaluation
Glossary Resources Evaluation - Grade Rubric
Learning Advice Reflection Conclusion

Communism and Containment


In May, a researcher in the Pentagon was conducting routine work to declassify military documents. The worker was astounded to find a file detailing a research experiment begun in 1945. Reading the documents sent a chill through the young man even as he quickly notified his superior. The lights in the Pentagon were on late that night as level after level of admirals, generals and assorted brass were brought into the picture. At eleven o’clock the president of the United States was called and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were summoned to inform the President on the details of the situation.

The following documents provide some basic information.

To: General Nathan Blake, United States Army

From: George Marshall, Chief of the Army

Date: March 2, 1945

Subject: Code-named "Patriot"


You are directed to immediately begin a program to insure that the American way of life will be maintained in case of a threat to the established government of the United States. Should any event (for example war) overtake and change our present form of authority, this program must be in place to provide a means to re-establish the American system. All funds necessary to implement this program will be made available.

In the interest of national security, this program will be considered "Top Secret" and information will be available on a need to know basis only.


George Marshall

To: George Marshall, Army Chief of Staff

From: General Nathan Blake

Date: September 6, 1954

Subject: "Patriot" program


As per your directions, I have used the funds from Congress to implement a program that meets the parameters mentioned in your orders of March 2, 1945.

There is now a running operation that will insure the continuation of the American way of life in the event of a hostile situation with any communist country. This operation has been code named "Patriot".

This operation is now self-sufficient and will continue until terminated by the office of the president.


Nathan Blake

Additional documents detailed that General Blake was responsible for the "Patriot" program Working in secret, as did his friend, General Leslie Groves, (who was in charge of the Manhattan Project) Blake coordinated a research program that used advanced technology to place one thousand men and women in stasis. For their safety all technology was automated using prototype atomics to power the systems. The volunteers were then placed deep within mineshafts in the mountains of Utah.

The program was to have been monitored by a special office in the Department of War. However, after World War II this department was merged with others and a new Department of Defense was formed. Key information was lost in the change over and the Patriot project was forgotten. Now, these "Rip Van Winkles" have been found.

The Problem

You and your team have been selected by the presidential task force to educate the newly awakened people. When they went to sleep the United States had just won the war and alone controlled the use of atomic weapons. The Soviet Union was a major competitor of the United States and there was much concern that the Soviets were trying to take over the world with their communist system of government. They were perceived as a serious threat to America.

One important thing to consider: When the volunteers were buried a number of experimental weapons developed for possible war use were placed in sealed caves. These weapons pose a real threat to the current world situation should they fall into the wrong hands or worst yet, be made operational. It is imperative that your team presents a comprehensive, complete and informative reeducation plan to the "sleepers". Failure to successfully do so could endanger the world if the "sleepers" decide to act on their own.

The Task

Your team is to provide a brief but complete history of the past 50 years for the sleepers, emphasizing the Truman Doctrine.

The Process

Your team is to cover the key points of the Truman Doctrine from 1945 to 1990. These points should include but are not limited to:

You must present these points in a clear manner and explain their success and/or failures in the years since 1945. Detail is essential. Remember these "new" Americans are bright and will challenge what you say unless you can support your information with facts. In many ways the future rests with the ability of your team to bring these people into the 1990’s.

It will be essential to work as a team to complete your objectives successfully on this assignment. Your team may work in whatever way you feel is most effective, but organization is very important. Without organization you will overlook areas of study that are necessary to brief the "sleepers".

Your group will need to be divided into selected areas of investigation for each member. Individuals will need to study: what the Truman doctrine was, the Marshall Plan and who it effected, the creation of NATO and its purpose, how containment was put into practice, the question of the Berlin/Germany situation, the arms race and the Cuban missile crisis, and finally, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the status of Russia today.

These areas will need to be researched in depth using whatever sources are necessary. A variety of Internet sources are listed below.

To be successful in this project your team must research the questions from a variety of sources. It is recommenced that extensive use is made of the Internet and its resources. Suggested links are given below. Before you will be allowed to work directly with the "Sleepers" you will first have to present your completed program to all the other teams involved in the reeducation program. Your presentation should include written, visual, and audio sources. Each member of your team must be a part of the formal presentation to the evaluation committee.

Your team should consist of from 5 to 7 students. Each student should select an area to investigate. These areas may include:

Be sure to keep good notes as you work. List resources used and identify what you will need to use in your presentation. Begin your investigation with the resources listed below. You are not limited to these, but they are a good place to start.

It is not necessary to reinvent everything you will use in your team presentation. When you find a useful item in your investigation, borrow it.

Remember that the success of your team is critical to the future! 

Student Objectives

To be successful your team must complete the following:


Last Revised: 07/11/03