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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Contemporary US (1976 to the present) (x)

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Flyer for WTO Protest in Seattle

The grassroots organization, People for Fair Trade, sought to mobilize a mass turnout to protest the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle, WA. This flyer, "No Globalization Without Representation" was part of their efforts.

The Deputy Director of the CIA Advises on the Situation in Nicaragua

In a memorandum to Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, CIA Deputy Director Robert Gates offers "straight talk" about Nicaragua. In the memo, Gates concedes that the CIA-backed Contras cannot overthrow the Sandinista government. He [...]

Teamsters Protest the World Trade Organization

Over the course of four hours on November 30, 1999, Seattle witnessed the results of months of organizing by organized labor. As many as 35,000 people filled a football stadium and took over miles of downtown Seattle streets. The event sent an [...]

A Group of "Boat People" Arrive by Plane

This photograph from the Detroit News, December 16, 1978, shows a Vietnamese family arriving in the United States. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands of refugees fled Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in search of new lives in the United [...]

A Native American Activist Charges the United States with Genocide

Russell Means, who was born on the Ogalala Sioux reservation in South Dakota, became a leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the late 1960s. In often dramatic ways, AIM protested the government and society's treatment of Native Americans. [...]

A Vietnamese Refugee Tells Her Story

In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands of so-called "boat people" fled Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, often in small overcrowded ships that were barely seaworthy. The story of Linda Thong, while horrific, is not unusual. Refugees often [...]

A Laotian Refugee Tells His Story

The small nation of Laos, along Vietnam's western border, became entangled in the Vietnam War. Laos was invaded by the North Vietnamese Army and covertly bombed by the U.S. After the Communist Pathet Lao emerged victorious in 1975, the country [...]

"Newcomers Help Massachusetts Economy"

While immigrants have long been portrayed as representing unfair competition for American-born workers and maligned as a burden on social services, data shows that their presence is beneficial, even essential, to the economy. As these statistics [...]

"Our Challenge is to Keep Willie's Memory Alive"

William (Willie) Velásquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) in 1974. The son of a butcher from San Antonio, Texas, he spent his adult life as a community organizer and political activist.  Inspired by the [...]

Reagan Administration Officials Debate How to Support the Contras

Democrats in Congress strongly disagreed with Reagan's support of the rightwing Contras in Nicaragua. To prevent further U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, they passed the Boland Amendments that outlawed federal spending on the conflict. Reagan and [...]