Meet Thaddeus Adolphus Watson, a 100 year-old WWII Veteran
Grades: 6 - 12

Video Description: Adolphus Thaddeus Watson, 100 Year old WWII Veteran, who served in the U.S. Army all black 351st artillery unit during the Battle of the Bulge is featured. His story takes us on a historical journey from being raised on a plantation by his Aunt Fannie who was born into slavery, the Jim Crow era, serving in the segregated U.S. Military, experiencing freedom for the first time in Scotland, enduring the Battle of the Bulge, post-war Jim Crow segregation, enjoying a successful career in construction for 31 years, while raising his six children with his wife Learlen. This is the inspirational story of a true American Hero, the last surviving WWII soldier of the U.S. Army 351st Artillery Unit, Adolphus Thaddeus Watson.

Type of Video: Profile*
Unique Video ID: DUS History-185**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • In the first 90 seconds of the video, we learn that Mr. Watson moved north as part of the “Great Migration.” Have students research this topic more and learn about why it happened and the effects it caused.
  • Use the video as an example of a “biography” video for students to use as a template for a “biography” video they will create as part of their study of history, primary sources, video creation, or any number of related topics. Have students select an individual in their community to create a video about, conduct the research, and create the video.
  • After viewing the video, have students discuss the life events and societal changes that Mr. Watson experienced. What do those events help them understand about American history in the 20th century?


*Profile videos use a first-person/first-hand approach to highlight interesting people doing interesting things in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.