Boston's Arnold Arboretum: A Place for Study and Recreation
provides readings, maps, and lesson ideas about the first arboretum in the U.S., which opened to the public in the 1880s. This site, though focused on a place devoted to the study of trees, can help students learn how 19th-century urban conditions influenced the development of parks and how to research the history of parks in their own communities.
21H.224 Law and Society in US History (MIT)
As events of the last few years have shown, the Supreme Court has played a crucial role in American political life. There is practically no issue of social significance in the American past that did not at some point end up in the nation's courtrooms, yet much of the workings of the constitution remain obscure. This subject is designed to introduce students to the main themes and events of American constitutional law since 1787. It introduces terms and concepts of law and legal history, focusing
Let's Talk Politics: Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Acclaimed British playwright David Edgar takes aim at American politics with his two-play cycle, Continental Divide, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. This Educator Guide explores the history of political activism and political theatre in the UK and the US.
Legacies: Julia Parker
Julia Parker is one of the few remaining traditional Native American basket weavers in California. This Educator Guide traces the history of basket weaving in the West Coast Indian populations.
La Ciudad: The Immigration Experience
La Ciudad tells four separate but interconnected stories of Latin American immigrants struggling to survive in New York. This lesson plan includes activities inspired by the film including internet research, writing, and poetry analysis.
Penn Cinema Studies Professors' 2011 Oscar Picks
Recently a trio of University of Pennsylvania cinema studies professors gathered in Houston Hall for a faculty panel discussion about the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, "And the Oscar Goes to..." Before the discussion began, they revealed their predictions of who will win, and in some cases, who should win but won't.
"American Made" is a film about a Sikh American family whose car breaks down en route to the Grand Canyon, and their only hope for escape is the remote desert highway and the occasional passing car. When car after car fails to stop, family members are forced to confront their notions of faith, conformity, tradition, and sacrifice-and question what it means to be "American" today. This lesson plan includes discussion activities about the definition of family, cultural research activities, and wri
Indian Boarding Schools: Civilizing the Native Spirit
This activity invites students to explore the forced acculturation of American Indians through government-run boarding schools. In the late 1800s, thousands of Native American children were sent to live in these schools with the aim of changing their traditions and customs. Students examine that effort through photos, letters, reports, interviews, and other primary documents.
This site profiles Presidential inaugurations of the past using primary sources from the American Memory historical collections of the Library of Congress. Through images, film, and personal recollections users can view the pomp and circumstance of Inaugurations.
Early Congress Proclaims Holidays
One of the most lasting historical effects of Congressional decision-making is the establishment of national holidays. This lesson highlights early examples of Congress declaring special days of thanksgiving and remembrance.
Immigration/Migration: Today and During the Great Depression
This is a 4-week American history unit for high school. Students conduct oral history interviews, analyze photos, evaluate the relevance and accuracy of primary and secondary sources, discuss changes in immigration and migration over time, and more.
offers photos, diaries, and timelines for learning about women pioneers, women during the Civil War, women's suffrage in the Progressive Era, eight women who served on the front during World War II, First Ladies, literature about women and discrimination, African-American women in the sciences, women in Muslim societies, Native American women writers, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Mead, research in women's history, and more.
Great Depression: Dust Bowl Migration
includes photos, a teachers guide, and other resources for learning about the largest migration in American history. This migration occurred in the 1930s when poor soil conservation practices and extreme weather in the Great Plains exacerbated the existing misery of the Great Depression.
George Washington Papers
This site includes letters, diaries, financial accounts, military records, and other writings from Washington's youth and service as a surveyor and colonel, as delegate to the Continental Congress, as commander during the Revolutionary War, and as president (1789-97). His many interests and correspondents make these papers are a rich source for almost every aspect of early American history.
This site opens a window into the lives of American diplomats and U.S. foreign policy -- how it is formulated in Washington and implemented at our embassies abroad. Transcripts of more than 1,300 interviews with U.S. diplomatic personnel capture their experiences, motivations, personal analyses, and private thoughts.
From Slavery to Civil Rights
This is a timeline of African-American history. Photos, broadsides, maps, and other items are organized around time periods: slavery, abolition, antebellum, Civil War, reconstruction, progressive era, World War I, between the wars, World War II, and civil rights.
Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry
This site provides a selection of more than 500 letters, lectures, photos, articles, and sound recordings related to the birth of the recording industry. Hear auctioneers, animal calls, musical instruments, and Native American songs, Italian songs, Swedish songs, and more. Berliner (1851-1929), an immigrant and largely self-educated man, was responsible for the development of the microphone and the flat recording disc and gramophone player.
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian: Photographic Images
This is one of the most significant and controversial representations of American Indian culture ever produced. Issued in a limited edition from 1907-1930, the publication continues to influence the image of Indians in popular culture. In over 2000 photos and narrative, Curtis portrayed the traditional customs and lifeways of 80 Indian tribes.
Early Virginia Religious Petitions
Early Virginia Religious Petitions presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. Drawn from the Library of Virginia's Legislative Petitions collection, the petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established chu
Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention Broadsides
The Continental Congress Broadside Collection (256 titles) and the Constitutional Convention Broadside Collection (21 titles) contain 277 documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. Items include extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, proclamations, committee reports, treaties, and early printed versions of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Most broadsides are one page in length; others range from