July 20, 2017

Teaching Now: Using Primary Sources with 21st-Century Learners

This is a guest post from veteran teacher Heather Klos, an 8th grade U.S. history teacher and the Social Studies department chair at Crownover Middle School in Corinth, Texas. As an early American history teacher, I know it is important to use primary sources effectively with my 8th grade students.  Analyzing primary sources can be very difficult for students, but it is usually my end-game when working with these documents.  I have found that breaking down the documents into manageable chunks … [Read more...]

Today in History: Fourteenth Amendment

Today in History–July 28–the Library of Congress features the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. On this date in 1868, Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation certifying the ratification of the amendment. The 14th amendment granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States", including former slaves freed after the Civil War. Referred to as one of the "Reconstruction Amendments", this amendment also prohibits states … [Read more...]

Featured Image: The first great Western empire

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Featured Source: Synopsis of the Fugitive Slave Law

Review this synopsis of the fugitive slave law. Choose one of the synopsis points and find which part(s) of the fugitive law text the author drew from to create the summary. Use the text from the fugitive slave law to create your own synopsis using modern-day language. In the objections, the author states that the fugitive slave law "violates the spirit and letter of the Constitution" and then lists several examples. Look for one of the examples in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. … [Read more...]

World Spotlight: Mexico

Mexico country profile Mexico country study The Mexican Revolution and the United States 1910-1920 online exhibition Mexican primary sources from the World Digital Library Mexico maps Mexico images from American Memory More Mexico images Mexico films & webcasts Mexico songs (audio recordings) Mexico sheet music Mexico books & documents Select newspaper articles: Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) More U.S. historical newspaper coverage of Mexico … [Read more...]

Today in History: U.S. Constitution

Today in History–September 17–the Library of Congress features the U.S. Constitution. After much debate and compromise, the members of the Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution on this day in 1787. It would take just over nine months to ratify this document that would become the supreme law of the land. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and by delving into the extensive list of U.S. Constitution teaching resources & primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: James Madison

Today in History–March 16–the Library of Congress features James Madison, born on this day in 1751. (Actually, he was born on March 5 under the Julian calendar but when Great Britain and its colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 his birthday, along with everyone else's, was shifted 11 days forward.) Learn more about the man known as the "Father of the Constitution" by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more stories and primary sources about … [Read more...]

Today in History: 24th Amendment Ends Poll Tax

Today in History–January 23–the Library of Congress features the 24th amendment, ratified on this day in 1964. This constitutional amendment barred the poll tax which, up until this time, required voters in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia to pay in order to vote in a national election. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links to related resources below. The 24th Amendment Ended the Poll Tax from America's Library Poll tax … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Bill of Rights

Today in History–December 15–the Library of Congress features the Bill of Rights, ratified on this day in 1791. Learn more about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution by reviewing the Today in History section, then click the links below for more Bill of Rights resources. The New United States of America Adopted the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791 from America's Library Creating the United States: Bill of Rights (interactive online exhibition) The need for a Bill of … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Articles of Confederation

Today in History–November 15–the Library of Congress features the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the Second Continental Congress on this day in 1777. Although Congress urged prompt action, it took more than three years for all thirteen states to ratify the articles that supported a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government. Find out more by visiting the  Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Draft of the Articles … [Read more...]