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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Clergyman Encourages a Bolder New Deal (with text supports)

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 [...]

The Movement Before the Movement: Civil Rights Activism in the 1940s

In this activity, students read cards about various civil rights protests and events during the 1940s. For each event, students match the issue (voting rights, fair employment, fair housing, or segregation in public places) at stake, identify the [...]

Nicaragua's President Challenges U.S. Intervention in His Country

Daniel Ortega was the leader of the Sandinistas, a Marxist political party in Nicaragua that ousted the corrupt regime of Anastasio Somoza in 1979 and won national elections in 1984. Beginning in 1981, the Reagan Administration supported the [...]

"Du Bist Front (You Are the Front)"

Like many Allied propaganda images from the same period, this Nazi World War II poster focuses on the importance of the role played by civilians in the war effort. Workers in munitions factories and other war-production-related industries were [...]

A North Dakota Newspaper Proposes War Against Native Americans

White settlers found all sorts of ways to defend the destruction of Native American communities. The Manifest Destiny ideology held that Americans' westward march was sanctioned by God. Social Darwinists adopted the idea of "survival of the [...]

Native Americans Describe Traditional Views of Land Ownership

The Dawes Act of 1887 sought to assimilate Native Americans by, among other things, transforming their traditional uses and attitudes about land and land ownership to more mainstream American values of private ownership and settled farming. Some [...]

An Anti-Communist Comic Book Warns of "The Red Iceberg"

This 1960 comic book warns young readers of the dangers ahead should Uncle Sam fail to steer clear of the "Red Iceberg." Published by Impact, an imprint of the anti-communist Catholic Catechetical Guild, the comic was distributed to thousands of [...]

Item Type: Cartoon
The Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo: Indian-Settler Conflict on the Great Plains

In this activity, students read a series of primary source documents, including the 1872 print "American Progress," that depict the social, political and cultural conflicts between settlers and Native Americans during the 19th century. Then, working [...]

Picketers Demand More from the New Deal

African Americans recognized that New Deal programs offered the best opportunity since Reconstruction to improve the incomes, skills, education and housing conditions for the black community. However, as organizations like the National Urban League [...]

The Battle of Lexington

On the night of April 18, 1775, British troops marched out of Boston with orders to seize the guns and ammunition stored by local militia companies in Concord, Massachusetts. Paul Revere and other riders set out to warn the communities outside [...]

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