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An Irish Emigrant Writes to Relatives in County Donegal

In this letter to relatives back home in County Donegal, William Dever describes some of the obstacles faced by Irish immigrants in the antebellum period. In contrast to German and Dutch immigrants, who were often able to purchase farms, the Irish [...]

Union Soldiers Condemn Slavery

Although the attitudes of many white Union soldiers toward slavery and emancipation ranged from indifference to outright racial hostility, others viewed the issue as central to their participation in the war. The following quotations, taken from [...]

A Sorority Sister Volunteers for the Peace Corps

Before launching the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, President Kennedy already had received over 25,000 letters from American volunteers. Their offers came in response to a campaign speech Kennedy delivered on the campus of the [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
Kennedy Responds to Krushchev's Condemnation of the Bay of Pigs Invasion

President Kennedy wrote this letter to Soviet Chairman Krushchev on the day of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation, in which 1,400 U.S.-trained Cuban exiles attempted to invade the island and overthrow Fidel Castro. Responding to an indignant letter [...]

Virginia Freedmen Resolve to Be "Efficient Citizens of these United States"

After emancipation, former slaves throughout the South articulated their hopes and expectations for full citizenship. In this letter to the newly created Freedmen's Bureau, a group of African-Americans in Virginia list the economic and social needs [...]

Freedpeople Describe the Meanings of Freedom

At the end of the Civil War, Northern officials were not yet sure what exactly freedom would entail for the millions of freedpeople in the South. The following first-person accounts by former slaves and free blacks describe their expectations, [...]

A Utah Observer Praises the CCC

In this letter to a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) recruitment center in Salt Lake City, Utah, a local official describes the positive impact of the program on enrolled youth. The CCC, enacted during the first 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's [...]

New York Girls Ask the President for a CCC of Their Own

The Civilian Conservation Corps, established in 1933, employed a quarter of a million young men annually who lived in military-style camps and carried out conservation and construction projects. It proved to be one of the most popular New Deal [...]

A Citizen Reports How the New Deal Has Impacted His Life (with text supports)

This letter was written to FDR after his Fireside Chat radio broadcast of June 28, 1934, in which he explained the "Three R's" of the New Deal: relief, recovery, and reform. While economic data showed that the nation was beginning to recover from [...]

A Citizen Objects to New Deal Relief Programs (with text supports)

This letter was written to Harry Hopkins, the head of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Between 1933 and 1935, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration gave the states $3.1 billion to distribute directly to the poor in the form of [...]

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