Vote: The Machinery of Democracy
This site looks at the history and variety of voting methods in the U.S. -- the voice vote, party ticket (paper ballots listing candidates from just one party), Australian ballot, gear and lever machine, and others. Voting reforms of the early 1900s, when the U.S. electorate doubled, are described. Kinds of voting equipment used in counties across the U.S. are shown on a map. Innovative design improvements are discussed.
The Online Academy
The Online Academy highlights artifacts, scholars, collectors, and preservers of African American history. Features include the inventor of the multiple effect vacuum process for producing sugar, the first identified African American toolmaker, the autobiography of an African American cowboy, and Zora Neale Hurston's first novel.
Smithsonian: History and Culture
This site examines the history of transportation in America, early history of mail service, the Civil War, West Point, profiles of U.S. presidents, Lakota winter counts, Lewis and Clark as naturalists, Japanese Americans during World War II, Brown v. Board of Education, athletes who broke social barriers, how voting systems have evolved, September 11, and America's wars.
Smithsonian: Art and Design
This site features modern portrait drawings, historical portraits of famous Americans, African and Asian art, modern Japanese prints, works of Latino artists, illustrated manuscripts of Persian lyrical poetry, paintings by James Whistler and Gerhard Richter, lighthouse postcards, lunch containers, Tibetan healing mandalas, photos of famous 20th-century American women, and the Smithsonian's blog, Eye Level, which looks at how art reflects our history and culture.
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.
HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things
Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution's HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things. This experimental site introduces visitors to some of the three million objects held by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. With less than five percent of our vast and diverse collection on public display in our exhibit halls, we hope that Web sites like this will bring many more of our treasures into public view. The initial 450 objects, selected by curators from across the Museum, include
The English Renaissance in Context
These tutorials focusing on "Shakespeare in Context" present viewers with background and contextual material to particular plays and a series of challenges based on that material. Select a play; as the presentation unfolds, you may follow links to view facsimile texts, and from there navigate freely between the texts themselves and the tutorials. The tutorials treating "The Early Modern Material Text" introduce viewers to book production in the period, and suggest that how old books were made an
Establishing Borders: The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48
This site offers geography and history activities showing how two years in history had an indelible impact on American politics and culture. Students interpret historical maps, identify territories acquired by the U.S., identify states later formed from these territories, examine the territorial status of Texas, and identify political, social, and economic issues related to the expansion of the U.S. in the 1840s.
Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures
In this lesson students will learn about the varying attitudes and definitions of land ownership held by Native and European Americans by studying a variety of primary documents from the nineteenth century. They will learn about how various treaties—the Homestead Act and the Dawes Act—affected both Native and European Americans. Students will discuss these issues in the form of a debate, and will also write journal entries.
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.
Jazz in America: National Jazz Curriculum
The school offers lessons for teaching about jazz in American history or music class for Grades 5, 8, and 11. Learn about the evolution of jazz, different jazz styles, improvisation, basic musical elements, and how jazz influenced (and was influenced by) American culture. The mission of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is to offer public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world, helping students develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive s
Photographs of the 369th Infantry and African Americans During World War I
This site features an all-black regiment that rose to fame at a time when the Army, federal workers, and other parts of society were segregated. The 369th Infantry, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, was among the first regiments to arrive in France in 1917 after the U.S. declared war on Germany. Under the command of mostly white officers, the regiment spent 191 days in combat, longer than any other American unit, and emerged as one of the most highly decorated regiments during the Great War
Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors That Affected the Civil War
This site allows students to analyze a variety of documents to identify events, actions, and individuals who contributed to the Civil War's outcome. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences. It also has cross-curricular connections with your history, government, and American literature.
Alexander Graham Bell's Patent for the Telephone and Thomas Edison's Patent for the Electric Lamp
This lesson introduces students to significant inventions of the late 19th century and examines the power of Congress to pass laws related to the granting of patents. It correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences. It also has cross-curricular connections with history, government, language arts, and science.
1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii
This site recounts the struggle for control of Hawaii between native Hawaiians and American business interests in the late 1800s. This 1897 petition and a lobbying effort by native Hawaiians convinced the U.S. Congress not to annex the islands. But months later the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana and the Spanish-American War began. The U.S. needed a mid-Pacific fueling station and naval base. Primary source images, standards correlation, and teaching activities are included in this resource.
Islam, Secularisms and Law across Europe
'The first 3 minutes are missing due to a technical fault.' This lecture will draw on the understandings of Islam and secularism that have been explored in earlier talks to compare recent processes of social and legal adaptation across Europe, with a focus on the contrast between England and France and further comparisons of North American and German legal cases.
Historical skills : weights and measurements
Aims to identify and explain some common difficulties in deciphering units of weights, measurements, and money in historical documents. Explores English and Welsh measuring systems, predominantly those used from the late sixteenth and early 17th centuries onwards, and those in force after the Weights and Measures Act of 1824. The resource includes a glossary and bibliography. Illustrative images of items from our collections appear throughout.
The Time of the Lincolns
The film Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided and this companion Web site, The Time of the Lincolns, offer insights into topics in American history including women's rights, slavery, abolition, politics and partisanship, the growth of the industrial economy, and the Civil War. You can use part or all of the film, or delve into the rich resources available on this Web site to learn more, either in a classroom or on your own.
School: The Story of American Public Education
This is the companion website for a documentary that chronicles the development of public education in America from the late 1770s to the 21st century. It provides photos, stories of innovators, and more.
Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
That Jim Crow was a tremendously important period in United States history is undisputable. Less obvious is how to properly address the violence, politics, and complexities that mark the era. This site looks at the century of segregation following the Civil War (1863-1954). Jim Crow, a name taken from a popular 19th-century minstrel song, came to personify government-sanctioned racial oppression and segregation in the U.S. This website describes pivotal developments during that time – the Eman