Circus in America: 1793-1940
This archive traces the history of the American circus since 1793, when British equestrian John Rickets presented the first circus in America. Learn about the acts, animals, people, music, and marketing of circuses -- and the impact of the circus on popular culture in America. Get an in depth look at six major circuses, including P.T. Barnum and the Ringling Brothers. A timeline and video clips are provided. The site contains artifacts from private collections, museums, archives, brought togethe
Gilded Age and Visual Arts
Examining an artwork in depth fosters observation and critical thinking skills. Looking closely also stimulates conversation about the artistic, cultural, and historical context in which a work of art was made. In this session, students focus on two paintings by the American artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing. ...
A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
This activity “Becoming aware of the Japanese American Internment Camp Experience” is intended to help students become aware of, and sensitive to, the Japanese American interment camp experience. They will develop a sense of empathy by simulating the situations which Japanese American children faced.
North American Mammals
Welcome to the National Museum of Natural History's North American Mammals Web site. This is a searchable database of all living mammals of North America.
Tracking the Buffalo: Stories From a Buffalo Hide Painting
This site puts students in the role of historians as they examine a buffalo hide painting and click on areas that reveal clues to the painting's story. The story helps students understand the role of the buffalo in the lives of the American Indians of the northern plains. Grades 4-12
You Be the Historian
This site invites students to examine clues and determine what life was like for a family that lived in New Castle, Delaware, during the 1700s. Students also discover what historians in the next century might learn about us if they found our homes the way they are today.
Leadership Past and Present
Studying leadership qualities is highly important for students of all ages so that they can identify and develop their own. In this lesson, students will be introduced to several Native American leaders, both past and present, and will be asked to examine their different styles of leadership. Catlin painted Indians who were famous in American Indian history—men such as Black Hawk, the Sac and Fox chief, and vanquished leader of the so-called Black Hawk War; Kee-o-kúk, who replaced Black Hawk
"A Sweepstakes Attracts Attention": Corporate Executives Defend Sweepstakes Promotions
In the 1960s, lottery-like contests designed to publicize products through sweepstakes competitions spread rapidly. In the 19th century, every state banned lotteries--defined as competitions in which chances to win prizes were sold÷to protect citizens. In 1868, Congress prohibited the distribution of lottery materials through the mail. The mid-20th century sweepstakes, however, did not require contestants to purchase tickets or products to win prizes and were thus considered legal. In 1966, the
"A Traitor to the Movement"?: A Former SDS and Women's Liberation Activist Testifies before Congress
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was founded in 1962 to change the world by fostering participatory democracy and personal authenticity. Heavily influenced by civil rights organizations, SDS initially operated in inner cities and college campuses to combat racism and discrimination. By the mid-1960s, many activists focused on antiwar activities as American troop involvement in Vietnam escalated. Frustrated with male domination in SDS, leftist women formed feminist splinter groups that eve
"All These Mean Dykes Standing Around:"Shelley Ettinger Describes the Lesbian and Gay Community of t
The women's movement of the 1970's sent shock-waves through every corner of American life, transforming the way people thought about families, jobs, and every day interactions. By questioning traditional sex roles, feminism also encouraged the growth of the gay and lesbian rights movement. Previously, many gay men and lesbians had concealed their sexuality, but the 1970's witnessed the growth of assertive and visible gay and lesbian alternative cultures. As a college student at the University of
"And This Happened in Los Angeles:" Malcolm X Describes Police Brutality Against Members of the Nati
Malcolm X was a civil rights leader, a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, and a leading black nationalist during the early 1960's. Viewing integration as an illusory solution to the problems of black Americans, Malcolm X advocated self-reliance, black pride, and unity. Malcolm's message became popular among Northern blacks as the Civil Rights movement failed to alleviate problems such as poverty, joblessness, police brutality, and de facto segregation. Although many Northern whites felt uncom
Cal Noyce Describes Merging Union, Gay, and Lesbian Organizing
An officer of the Communications Workers of America Local 7704 in Salt Lake City and an out gay man, Cal Noyce began to raise issues of gay, lesbian, and bisexual equity within the union during the early 1990's. By forming an organization of gay trade unionists in Utah, as well as the national gay, lesbian, and bisexual group Pride at Work, Noyce joined a larger push to link the gay rights movement to the labor movement. Noyce and his associates won the support of Utah AFL-CIO president Ed Mayne
"Continued Employment after the War?": The Women's Bureau Studies Postwar Plans of Women Workers
During World War II, the defense industry expanded and American men mobilized for military service. Many women found jobs previously unavailable to them in aircraft plants, shipyards, manufacturing companies, and the chemical, rubber, and metals factories producing war materials. These jobs paid higher salaries than those traditionally categorized as "women's work," such as teaching, domestic service, clerical work, nursing, and library science. Married women were discouraged from working outsid
Cynthia Long Describes How the Women's Movement of the 1970s Changed Her Life
The women's movement of the 1970's sent shockwaves into every recess of American life. Women organized to seek enforcement of the ban on sex discrimination included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, demanded equal pay at work, and sought access to jobs from which they had previously been barred. Despite its educated, middle class origins, the movement had a deep impact on the experience of working class women. Cynthia Long, one of the first women to gain access to the New York electrician's union, f
Nikos Valence on Organizing Against the North American Free Trade Agreement
During the 1980's and 1990's international free trade agreements encouraged by the United States government increased the power and global reach of multinational corporations. The most controversial of these agreements, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), made it easier for U.S. companies to buy low cost goods from Mexico, which were often produced by U.S. subsidiaries that migrated to take advantage of low-cost labor. Organized labor and most liberal Democrats opposed NAFTA because
Serious Questions of Fairness, Ethics, and Legality: Congress Investigates Sweepstakes Promotions
In the 1960s, lottery-like contests designed to publicize products through sweepstakes competitions spread rapidly. In the 19th century, every state banned lotteries--defined as competitions in which chances to win prizes were sold--to protect citizens. In 1868, Congress prohibited the distribution of lottery materials through the mail. The mid-20th century sweepstakes, however, did not require contestants to purchase tickets or products to win prizes and were thus considered legal. In 1966, the
We are Told that the Americans have 13 Councils Compos'd of Chiefs and Warriors: The Chickasaws Send
The Chickasaw Indians occupied a key region of northern Mississippi. They held in check the French and Choctaws with their allies and trading partners the British. The American Revolution ended that balance of power. The Chickasaws sought neutrality but also felt allegiance to the British due to their long-held ties. In 1779, the Virginians sent threatening messages warning them of dire consequences if they did not make peace. The Chickasaw chiefs replied in a bold manner. The Mississippi River
The pre-history of Bathampton Down - Bath's Sacred Landscape - Rod Thomas
Dr Rod Thomas talks about a newly-discovered Iron-Age settlement and other findings in Bathampton Down.
Tobacco bag stringing: Life and labor in the Depression
Throughout the tobacco-growing regions of the American South during the Great Depression, individuals and families earned much-needed income by sewing drawstrings into small cotton tobacco bags. This website presents images and text from a report in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill documenting tobacco bag stringing work in North Carolina and Virginia in 1939.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Historians teaching medieval history surveys almost always want to combine a textbook, a sourcebook, and additional readings. Textbooks, as an ever-evolving form, are probably worth the cost, but sourcebooks are often unnecessarily expensive. Unlike some modern history texts, the sources used for medieval history have been around a long time. Very many were translated in the 19th century, and, as a rapid review of any commercial source book will show, it is these 19th century translations which