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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Bracero's Identification Card Certifies He Is Ready to Work

Aaron Castañeda Gamez and thousands of other Mexican workers had to pass a series of examinations to enter the bracero program. Recruits reported to centers in Mexico where they were inspected for lice and disease. Braceros' hands were inspected to [...]

Staffordshire Teawares from Five Points Neighborhood

This tea set, manufactured in England, was uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, at the site of a former tenement building at 472 Pearl Street. While the neighborhood was known for its poverty and vice, this [...]

Item Type: Artifact
"Am I Not a Man and a Brother?"

This medallion was created by Josiah Wedgwood, a British ceramics maker and abolitionist, around 1787. The image of the kneeling slave in chains asking "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" became an international symbol of the abolitionist movement. The [...]

Artifacts from Irish Tenements and Saloon in Five Points

The archeological excavation of the Foley Square Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, located near the former intersection that once comprised the Five Points neighborhood, yielded over 850,000 artifacts, some of which are depicted below. The artifacts [...]

A Mexican Bracero's Identification Card

Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican agricultural workers entered the U.S. to work as surplus farm laborers during the government-sponsored Bracero Program. Working for lower wages than domestic farm workers, the Braceros were often victims of [...]

Appomattox Marker

This monument outside Appomattox Court House in Appomattox County, Virginia marks the site of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. It was erected in 1929 by a memorial [...]

Foreign Miner's License

With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, men seeking to make their fortunes streamed into the area from all over the world. In 1850, the California legislature passed a Foreign Miners' Tax that required miners who were not U.S. citizens to [...]

American Horse's Winter Count

American Horse (1840-1908) was an Oglala Lakota chief who participated in the Sioux Wars of the 1870s. He was also a "keeper," responsible for maintaining his band's "winter count," which had been passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to [...]

"Jailed for Freedom" Pin

In 1916, the National Women’s Party (NWP) began picketing the White House. NWP members criticized President Woodrow Wilson for going to war “to make the world safe for democracy” in World War I, while in the United States women were denied the [...]

Item Type: Artifact
"Father Mathew" Teacup from Five Points

Uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, this teacup depicts the Irish temperance reformer Father Theobold Mathew, who during the late 1830s and 1840s convinced Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to embrace [...]