5. D-Day

So many things could have gone wrong with the invasion of Normandy, but D-Day (June 6, 1944) proved to be the beginning of the end of the war in Europe, as Germany faced a full-scale assault on two fronts by the American, British, and Canadian military. 

To commemorate this pivotal moment in history, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to offer the following resources for further exploration:

Spotlight on a Primary Source



History Now issues

Veterans Legacy Program

Since 2021, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has partnered with the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP) to provide free resources that commemorate our nation’s veterans by examining their stories—both on site at America’s national cemeteries and via free professional development and online resources. This includes the following:

  • Lesson Plans: These units focusing on the service and sacrifice of military personnel help students learn and practice the skills to analyze visual and textual source materials.
  • World War II Veteran Research Guide: World War II Veteran Research Guide. This free, two-part guide walks shows how to find a Veteran interred in a cemetery and how to find a Veteran in the federal census, before and after the war. 
  • Professional Development: A mix of online and in-person PD sessions exploring American Veterans' and Service Members' lives on and off the battlefield.
  • Student Contest: The World War II: Portraits of Service Awards allowed students to submit an original essay, report, eulogy, poem, song, mini-podcast, or mini-documentary profiling the sacrifices, strengths, and legacies of a World War II veteran who was honorably laid to rest in an NCA national, state, territorial, or tribal veterans cemetery.