Beyond Bed Pans: The Life of a Late 19th-century Young Nurse
In this autobiographical account of the life that awaited new nursing recruits in 1893, former nurse Mary Roberts Rinehart painted a vivid portrait of the daily obstacles that stood between nurses and the professional status they hoped to attain. Rinehart described the "simple, plain hell" faced by the young nurse, a description that challenged conventional expectations about professional work.
Booker T. Washington Delivers the 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech
On September 18, 1895, African-American spokesman and leader Booker T. Washington spoke before a predominantly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. His "Atlanta Compromise" address, as it came to be called, was one of the most important and influential speeches in American history. Although the organizers of the exposition worried that "public sentiment was not prepared for such an advanced step," they decided that inviting a black speaker would impress No
"We Didn't Have Flies Until the White Man Came": A Yankton Sioux Remembers Life on the Plains in the
In the era before the U. S. Army conquered the Great Plains Indians the region's giant buffalo herds provided the primary food and clothing source for the Indians who lived there. Indeed, in 19th century America buffalo were more numerous than people. The various Lakota Sioux tribes who lived in the area that became South Dakota and Nebraska depended largely on the buffalo hunt according to Paul Picotte, a Yankton Sioux born in 1880. In this transcript of a 1968 interview with historian Joseph C
A Mule Spinner Tells the U.S. Senate about Late 19th century Unemployment
Fall River, Massachusetts, mill worker Thomas O'Donnell (who had immigrated to the U.S. from England eleven years earlier) appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor on October 18, 1883, to answer the panel's questions about working-class economic conditions. An unemployed mule spinner for more than half of the year, he described the introduction of new production methods at the Fall River, Massachusetts, textile factory where he worked as a mule spinner (a worker who tende
American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War
During the U.S. war in the Philippines between 1899 and 1904 (which grew out of the Spanish-American War that had erupted in 1898), ordinary American soldiers shared the nationalist zeal of their commanders and pursued the Filipino "enemy" with brutality and sometimes outright lawlessness. Racism, which flourished in the United States in this period, led American soldiers to repeatedly assert their desire "to get at the niggers." An anti-imperialist movement, which rejected annexation by the Uni
"Everything Was Lively": David Hickman Describes the Prosperity Late Nineteenth-Century Railroads Br
The availability of rail connections often determined whether a western community would survive or die. The rails fostered prosperity by bringing both goods and people. This trade, and the local service industries that sprouted up to capitalize on the movement of people and goods, drove many local economies. Here, David Hickman talked about the boom years that followed the arrival of the railroad in the Latah County, Idaho town of Genesee in the 1880s.
"Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are": Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Compromise Speech
In 1895, Booker T. Washington gave what later came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech before the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. His address was one of the most important and influential speeches in American history, guiding African-American resistance to white discrimination and establishing Washington as one of the leading black spokesmen in America. Washington's speech stressed accommodation rather than resistance to the racist order under which Southern Afric
"It Didn't Pan Out as We Thought It Was Going To"Amos Owen on the Indian Reorganization Act
The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which became known as the Indian New Deal, dramatically changed the federal government's Indian policy. Although John Collier, the commissioner of Indian affairs who was responsible for the new policy, may have viewed Indians with great sympathy, not all Native Americans viewed the Indian New Deal in equally positive terms. In this 1970 interview with historian Herbert T. Hoover, Amos Owen, Mdewakanton Sioux tribal chairman, gave a mixed verdict on the Indi
"We Ought to Have the Right to Belong to the Union": Frank Smith Speaks on the 1919 Steel Strike
In the dramatic 1919 steel strike, 350,000 workers walked off their jobs and crippled the industry. The U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor set out to investigate the strike while it was still in progress. In his testimony before the committee, Hungarian-born Frank Smith, a Clairton worker, used his support for the war effort as evidence of his Americanism. "This is the United States," he argued, "and we ought to have the right to belong to the union."
"We Had to Be So Careful" A German Farmer's Recollections of Anti-German Sentiment in World War I
German Americans had a complex response to the attacks on their loyalty that emerged when the United States went to war against Germany in 1917. During and after the war, many German Americans began to conceal their ethnic identity--some changed their names; others stopped speaking German; still others quit German-American organizations. Many, like Frank Brocke, son of a German-American farmer, tried to keep a low profile. In this interview, Frank Brocke discussed his own assimilation (he later
"We Do Not Understand the Foreigners": John J. Martin Testifies on the 1919 Steel Strike
In the dramatic 1919 steel strike, 350,000 workers walked off their jobs and crippled the industry. The U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor set out to investigate the strike while it was still in progress. In his testimony before the committee, Youngstown steelworker John J. Martin expressed puzzlement over the grievances of the striking steelworkers and maintains that "the foreigners brought the strike on."
Ice Core Gateway: Vostok Ice Core CO2 Data
The Vostok ice core has a long record of global carbon dioxide concentrations, with variations caused by factors other than photosynthesis and human activity. Ice core data sets from three different authors are available for download. Users can also link to other NOAA paleoclimate projects and information.
Phases of the Moon
This site contains a series of visualizations of the sun, moon and Earth System and how they relate to the changing face of the moon. Animations are in the form of Java applets, forms for field observation of the moon, and a collection of exercises and PDF versions of background material. There are practice questions and quizzes that discuss the animations.
Human Impacts on Sharks: Developing an Essay Through Peer-Review on a Discussion Board
Through computer technology (WebCT, Blackboard), students develop a paper topic (in this case, the human impacts on sharks) that is peer reviewed by additional students answering guided questions. This Starting Point page details the learning goals, context of use, teaching materials, and assessment method for this activity. Also included are useful references and resources and topics discussed.
Planetary Climate Exercise
This MS Word document explains roles for a Planetary Climate role-playing exercise dealing with the atmospheres of Venus and the Earth. Roles include experts on coal, carbon dioxide, heat balance, spectroscopy, atmospheric transmission and the water cycle.
Starting Out With Earth History
This activity asks students to place 6-10 events in Earth history on a timeline, first working in small groups and then as a class. Then, through questions, important points such as how certain events are dated, where humanity fits in, and so forth, can be brought up. The Starting Point website builds a context for the exercise by detailing the learning goals, teaching notes and materials (downloadable), and additional resources.
Japan's Nuclear Policy
Ambassador Ryukichi Imai-journalist, nuclear engineer, and general manager at Japan Atomic Power Company-was Japanese ambassador to the United Nations Disarmament Conference from 1982 to 1987. In this video segment, Imai explains why he believes that Japan will never embark on a nuclear-weapons program. He also predicts that, while Japan stands alone in its reliance on nuclear energy, rising energy prices-even post-Chernobyl-will revive worldwide interest in nuclear power. In the interview he co
From Mutual Assured Destruction to Star Wars
Caspar Weinberger served as U.S. president Ronald Reagan's secretary of defense from 1981 to 1987. In this video segment, Weinberger explains how deployment of the MX missile stopped the Soviet Union from believing it could successfully launch a first strike, which he feels is 'the essence of deterrence.' A better alternative to 'mutual assured destruction,' he argues, is the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Reagan administration's hotly contested proposal to design space-based weapons that cou
Bruce Kent, ordained a Catholic minister in 1958, became general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1980 and chairman in 1987, the year he resigned from the ministry. In this video segment, he challenges the damaging spin that secretary for defense Lord Michael Heseltine used to undermine CND rather than engage in public debate about nuclear policy. Kent also refutes accusations that CND was in support of 'one-sided,' full unilateral disarmament. Instead, he argues for 's
'City Archives' was written and directed by Richard Foreman, founder and director of the Ontological Hysteric Theater. He serves as the narrator for this work, discussing the power of 'the foreign' and images, talking directly into a microphone in a purposely stilted manner and addressing questions to the viewer. A sort of classroom overpopulated by adults sets the stage for the work. Phrases are written and erased on a blackboard, and women gaze out a window, physically supporting planks of woo