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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945) (x)

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Nos creemos americanos: Braceros in History and Song

In this activity students write original corridos (a type of Mexican folk song) based on the oral histories of braceros. Before writing their own corridos, students learn about the formulas and themes of corridos and analyze a World War II-era [...]

Graphs of Cuban and Puerto Rican Immigration to the United States

The charts below measure the number of immigrants entering the United States from Cuba and Puerto Rico during the early twentieth century. Cuban immigration spikes during the earliest years of the twentieth century, when the U.S. repeatedly [...]

San Carlos Institute

The San Carlos Institute in Key West, Florida was established in 1871 by Cuban exiles who sought their country's independence from Spain. The Institute, which provided bilingual education and promoted Cuban independence, was largely supported and [...]

A "Great Cause for Better Citizens"? Attitudes Towards the New Deal

In this activity students read letters from ordinary people to government leaders in the Roosevelt Administration. Then they interpret the range of attitudes about the changing role of the federal government during the New Deal. The letters for [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]

"Workers leaving Pennsylvania shipyards, Beaumont, Texas"

Beaumont, Texas, like many U.S. cities, became a boomtown during World War II, as new residents flooded in to take jobs at the city's shipyards and petroleum production facilities. Between 1940 and 1943, population rose by 35% and the city suffered [...]

Propaganda and World War II

In this activity, students compare World War II propaganda posters from the United States, Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. Then students choose one of several creative or analytical writing assignments to demonstrate what they've [...]

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