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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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"A monthly check to you"

The Social Security Act of 1935 started a national old-age pension for workers who earned wages. This meant that at age 65 these workers could retire and receive monthly payments from the government. To pay for this program, workers and employers [...]

"Gift for the Grangers"

This 1873 promotional poster for the Grangers features an idealized portrait of the yeoman farmer, with accompanying scenes of social, civic, and domestic life. The Grange (also known as the Patrons of Husbandry) was a coalition of independent [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
New York City−A tramp's ablutions−An early morning scene in Madison Square.

From 1873 to 1878, the U.S. experienced its first nationwide economic depression of the industrial era. It affected Americans across the country. Families watched their children go hungry. Nationally, millions were out of work. During the winter of [...]

Seal of the National Women’s Trade Union League

Founded in 1903, the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) was an organization that brought together working-class women, reformers, and women from wealthy and prominent families. League members believed that working women needed help to gain better [...]

The Lowell Offering

Beginning in the 1820s, a group of Boston businessmen built textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. These young women, far from home, lived in rows of boardinghouses [...]

Tags: Lowell
Item Type: Poster/Print
"Colored Troops under General Wild, liberating slaves in North Carolina"

In this journalistic sketch, a group of African American soldiers liberates a plantation in eastern North Carolina. The troops were the so-called "African Brigade" composed of black recruits from Massachusetts and newly freed contraband slaves from [...]

Americans All! Victory Liberty Loan

During World War I, the U.S. government needed to raise money to pay for the soldiers, tanks, airplanes, and other equipment it needed to fight the war. To do this, it sold war bonds, which citizens could buy and then be paid back after the war. [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
Comparing the Cuban and Puerto Rican Flags

The similarities between the Cuban (top) and Puerto Rican (bottom) flags are not accidental. The Cuban flag was designed in 1849 by Narciso López, a pro-independence exile living in New York City. The design for the Puerto Rican flag was adopted by [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

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