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During the Great Depression, migrant farmworkers from Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico poured into California's rich, agricultural valleys in search of jobs. They worked long hours, were paid only a pittance, and lived in squalid conditions often without electricity or running water. Photographer Dorothea Lange, who lived in California,…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1937

This article, from a popular food magazine, describes the terrible conditions facing tomato pickers in southern Florida. In some cases, workers were being held illegally against their will in virtual slavery by crew bosses. Labor activists, increased law enforcement, and also public outcry from this article, have helped to improve conditions and…

Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 2009

In 1966, Mexican and Filipino grape pickers in California joined together to strike for better working conditions. Farm workers were excluded from federal laws passed during the 1930s that protected other kinds of workers. As the strike continued with no end in sight, the workers sought public support for "la causa." They organized a national grape…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1969

This worksheet is part of the Jim Crow on Wheels activity about bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2013

This short reading can help students and teachers understand the experience of riding segregated public transportation.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2000

This worksheet helps students take notes as they watch the Dr. Toer's documentary on the progress and problems experienced by freed slaves during Reconstruction.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2013

In the last months of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman of the Union Army issued Special Field Order Number 15, which set aside more than 400,000 acres of abandoned coastal plantations from South Carolina to Florida for settlement exclusively by ex-slaves. In May of 1865, President Andrew Johnson offered an amnesty plan to former…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: Circa 1866

In September 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to clergyman across the United States, asking them whether conditions in their communities had improved since the start of the New Deal. He was particularly interested in people's thoughts on Social Security, the new program passed in August 1935 to provide guaranteed payments for the…

Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1935

As the Great Depression dragged on for months, and then years, after the stock market crash of 1929, Americans grew increasingly hungry and desperate. Long lines outside soup kitchens and other private charities that distributed free or low cost food became a common sight in American cities.

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1931

On June 27, 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt accepted the Democratic party's nomination to run for a second term as President of the U.S. In this excerpt from his speech to the Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt compares the struggle to gain economic equality to the American Revolution's fight for political equality and defends the role of…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1936