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Public Enemy #1

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Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions

1a. Dillinger blamed the prison sentence he received for robbing Frank Morgan.

1b. On the issue of Dillinger, the group arguing that criminals are "born" might note that Dillinger was constantly getting into trouble even as a boy and that he went AWOL from the navy after only five months. The group arguing that criminals are "made" might note that Dillinger was beaten as a child by his father and that he learned much about crime from other inmates in the Michigan City, Indiana prison.

2a. The FBI's success in fighting crime made it respected and popular among the public.

2b. Students should take information from the FBI Web site. They might suggest that public support for the fight against terrorism is likely to lead to increased support for, and interest in, the FBI.

2c. Some students may suggest that in the absence of prominent totalitarian countries such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Americans today might be less concerned about the likelihood of anti-terrorist measures leading to the creation of a police state and thus might be more likely to encourage intensive anti-terrorist efforts by the FBI. Other students may suggest that Americans remain concerned about the danger of a police state and would not support such intensive efforts against terrorism.

1. You might wish to use these reviews as a springboard for a class discussion on how Hollywood should portray crime.

2. Mobsters generally were urban immigrants and belonged to hierarchical organizations that survived the Depression. Outlaws generally were rural, native-born Americans, were fairly democratic, and mostly were killed or captured during the Depression. Capone is an example of a mobster; Dillinger is an example of an outlaw.

1. Following the presentations, you might ask students why it is important for the stability of the economy and of society generally that people have confidence in banks.

2. Students' calculations should reflect an accurate use of the Inflation Calculator.

1. On theWeb site for the American Experience program Surviving the Dust Bowl students can find maps and other information about the Dust Bowl. The Library of Congress's American Memory project also contains a large number of Depression-era photographs.

2. Possible places include: Indianapolis, where Dillinger was born; Pendleton (Indiana), where he served the first part of his prison sentence for the robbery of Frank Morgan; East Chicago (Indiana), where he murdered a police officer while robbing a bank; Crown Point (Indiana), where he escaped from prison using a wooden gun; and Chicago, where he was killed by federal agents.

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