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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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FDR's Tree Army: The Civilian Conservation Corps

This short documentary overviews the Civilian Conservation Corps, the New Deal's first relief program. It focuses on the experiences, both positive and negative, of the nearly 3,000,000 "soil soldiers" who labored in CCC camps.

Childhood Lost: An Overview of the Great Depression

The Great Depression cut childhoods short as poverty and unemployment soared. Young people struggled to stay healthy. Millions moved--sometimes with their families, sometimes on their own--in search of jobs. Many found relief in New Deal programs [...]

Savage Acts excerpt

This short excerpt is from ASHP/CML's 30-minute documentary Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904. Savage Acts links the pageantry of world's fairs to the story of the Philippine War, America’s first attempt to claim an [...]

A Union Army Captain Testifies Before the Freedmen’s Commission (with text supports)

In May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler offered military protection to runaway slaves in Virginia, declaring them wartime "contraband." In every region touched by the war, African-American men, women, and children flocked to the protection [...]

Harriet Tubman Warns "Kill the Snake Before It Kills You" (with text supports)

Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her [...]

A Runaway Slave Predicts "Freedom Will Reign" (with text supports)

During the Civil War, John Boston took advantage of the nearby presence of Union troops to runaway. But in this case, Boston had run into a Union camp in Maryland, a slave state fighting on the side of the Union. This meant that the regiment from [...]

Lessons in Looking: Imperialism Cartoons

This activity teaches students how to break down different elements of a political cartoon. Students examine how different symbols and images can be combined to convey meaning. Then students analyze a 1902 political cartoon about U.S. expansion [...]

Who Freed the Slaves: Weighing the Evidence worksheet

This worksheet helps students evaluate different pieces of evidence to determine who freed the slaves, Abraham Lincoln or slaves themselves. The worksheet is part of the activity "Emancipation and "Contraband": Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil [...]

Analysis Worksheet: Before-and-After Photographs of a Union Recruit

This worksheet helps students analyze Civil War photographs of a former slave who joined the Union military.

Analysis Worksheet: "Colored Troops Under General Wild, liberating slaves in North Carolina"

This worksheet helps students analyze an 1864 sketch of African-American troops, many of whom were former slaves, liberating slaves on a North Carolina plantation.

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