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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Renaissance Englishman Describes the New World

Thomas Hariot, cartographer, mathematician, and astronomer, accompanied Sir Walter Raleigh on a 1584-86 expedition of America's eastern coast. The English explored the area of the Carolina Outer Banks, calling it Virginia in honor of Queen [...]

A Diplomat Calls for Aid to Latin America

Milton Eisenhower, the younger brother of President Dwight E. Eisenhower, served as a special ambassador to Latin America during the Eisenhower administration. He came to see poverty as the major obstacle to economic development and political [...]

Tags: Cold War
Item Type: Book (excerpt)
A Reformer Deplores the Poverty Caused by Industrial Progress

Henry George was a reformer and utopian whose 1886 New York City mayoral campaign as the Workingman's Party candidate had the makings of a popular uprising. Although George finished second, behind Democrat Abram S. Hewitt and ahead of Republican [...]

I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (Excerpt)

In this excerpt from a history of civil rights organizing in Mississippi during the 1960s, author Charles Payne describes the curriculum of the Freedom Schools established by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Reverend Abernathy Recalls the Montgomery Improvement Association's First Meeting

In the following excerpt, Reverend Ralph Abernathy remembers the first mass meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) at a local Baptist church on the first day of the boycott. After this, the MIA held regular weekly meetings until the [...]

Tags: Boycotts
Item Type: Book (excerpt)
An African-American Artist Tells His Life's Story

Multi-media artist Horace Pippin, in an appendix to a book of his works published one year after his death in 1946, details his early years as a young African-American artist, his subsequent tour with the U.S. Army in France as a corporal during [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
New York City Police Respond to the Draft Riots

This account, originally published as a series of articles for the New York Times, details the activities of police in the 6th precinct during the 1863 Draft Riots. The 6th precinct was in the northern part of the 6th Ward, home of New York's "Five [...]

An Irishman Encourages His Countrymen to "Go South"

The vast majority of nineteenth-century Irish emigrants to the United States settled in cities in the Northeast.  A smaller percentage headed for the western territories.  Some Irishmen were encouraged to go South instead.   After the Civil War, [...]

An Early Expedition Describes a Peaceful Encounter with the Carolina Algonquians

In the 1500s, European powers raced to claim lands in North and South America and establish permanent settlements in the "New World." In 1584, a group of English explorers traveled the southeastern coast of North America to find a suitable location [...]

An Early Colonist Describes the Indian Town of Secota

In Thomas Hariot's account A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1590), he describes the Algonquian village of Secota, accompanied by Theodor de Bry's engraving. After noting the village's impressive agriculture and observing [...]