To answer this assessment correctly, students must identify the event depicted in an iconic historical photograph and explain why the event is historically significant. For the first question, successful students will explain that the photograph shows six marines raising the American flag atop a hill during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima. For Question 2, successful students might elaborate on one of the following:
- The photograph, which won a Pulitzer Prize, became a national symbol of patriotism and bravery, and it was the basis for myriad tributes to American soldiers, including the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
- The photograph of the event brought attention to the service of Ira Hayes, a Native American soldier pictured on the far left of the photo. Hayes’ service—and the racist and cruel treatment he experienced as a Native American in the United States—were memorialized in popular culture (including the major Hollywood film The Outsider and the popular Johnny Cash song “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.”)
- Iwo Jima was the penultimate battle in the United States’ island-hopping campaign in the Pacific, and the victory at Iwo Jima provided the United States military some strategic advantages as it prepared to attack the Japanese mainland. (However, some historians argue that the deadly fighting actually provided minimal strategic advantages.)
Student clearly and specifically identifies the event depicted in the photograph.
Student clearly and specifically explains why the event was historically significant.
Student provides correct information related to the event but does not clearly identify the significant event.
Student correctly elaborates on the event but does not clearly explain why the event is historically significant.
Student does not correctly identify the event.
Student does not provide a correct or relevant explanation for why the event was historically significant.