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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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The Fifteenth Infantry Regiment (Colored) of the New York National Guard—popularly known as the "Harlem Hellfighters"—was formed in Harlem in 1916 to help the U.S. war effort during World War I. One of its members, James Reese Europe, was charged…

With the passage of the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917, Puerto Ricans became citizens of the United States. At the same time, penetration of the island by American-backed sugar interests displaced thousands of rural inhabitants, pushing them into a wage…

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During World War I, the U.S. government needed to raise money to pay for the soldiers, tanks, airplanes, and other equipment it needed to fight the war. To do this, it sold war bonds, which citizens could buy and then be paid back after the war. This…

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"True Sons of Freedom," by Charles Gustrine, is a poster depicting African-American soldiers fighting against the German army. Three hundred and fifty thousand African Americans participated in the segregated U.S. army during WWI, but they were often…

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In the years after World War I, American workers sought to consolidate and expand the gains they had achieved during the war years. In September 1919, some 350,000 steelworkers went on strike, seeking higher wages, shorter hours and better working…

Reproduced below are the lyrics to America's best-known World War I song, "Over There." Written by George M. Cohan, the song was widely performed by various artists (initially by Charles King) from its publication in 1917. Cohan later recalled that…

By 1915, Americans began debating the need for military and economic preparations for war. Strong opposition to “preparedness” came from isolationists, socialists, pacifists, many Protestant ministers, German Americans, and Irish Americans (who…
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