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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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John Lewis, the 23-year-old chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) drafted the speech excerpted below for the 1963 March on Washington. When copies of the speech were circulated in advance, march organizers, as well as…

In 1965 the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, were signed by President Johnson, ending the quota system which had guided U.S. immigration policy since the 1920s and which had given overwhelming preference…

Restrictions on immigration, largely aimed at would-be migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, gained considerable popular support during the 1920s. Anti-immigrant sentiment culminated in the Quota Act of 1921, which effectively reduced…

In this "Workingmen's Address," published in 1878, Dennis Kearney of the Workingman's Party of California appeals to racist arguments against Chinese immigrants. After excoriating the fraud, corruption, and monopolization of land by the "moneyed men"…

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (as it was originally called) was founded in Oakland by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. The group's focus on "armed defense" often overshadowed their community activities, which included a free-breakfast…

Henry A. Wallace, Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president and Secretary of Commerce under Harry Truman, delivered this speech to a gathering of leftist and liberal groups in New York's Madison Square Garden in 1946. In it, he urges taking a more…

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President Harry S. Truman proclaimed the Truman Doctrine in a speech addressed to Congress on March 12, 1947. In addition to drawing a stark contrast between the two different "ways of life" represented by the United States and the Soviet Union, the…

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In this stirring speech delivered to the Congregational and Presbyterian Anti-Slavery Society in New Hampshire in 1842, a Revolutionary war veteran known only as "Dr. Harris" recalls the valor of a regiment African-American soldiers who fought in…

In this address to Jonathan Trumbull, the Governor of the Colony of Connecticut who sided with the Revolutionary cause, the chief of the Oneida Indians declares his tribe's intention to remain neutral in the impending conflict. The Oneidas express…

America's reputation as a land of welcome for immigrants has often been compromised by periodic calls to "shut the door" on immigration. At the turn of the twentieth century, the arrival of unprecedented numbers of immigrants from Southern and…
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