February 24, 2017

Featured Source: The Solar System Displayed

This map was published in 1789. Zoom into the map online or using this map document (.pdf) and review "A Table of the Diameters, Periods & of the several Planets in the Solar System". Compare the information in that table to the data scientists have today. Make a new table with the same column headers and fill it in with today's data; identify your data source and make sure it is a reliable one. This map mentions a comet. What information does it provide about the comet? Do some research … [Read more...]

Today in History: Manhattan Island

Today in History–May 4–the Library of Congress features Manhattan Island. On this date in 1626, Dutch colonist Peter Minuit arrived on the wooded island at the behest of the Dutch West India Company. Minuit later "purchased" the island from resident Algonquin Indians for the equivalent of $24.  The town of New Amsterdam, located at the southern end of the island, was renamed New York City after it was seized by the British in 1664. Find out more about Manhattan Island by visiting the Today in … [Read more...]

Featured Source: A coldness between them

Look at a more detailed image of this cartoon. Without conducting any further research, what can you infer about these two men just by looking closing at the cartoon's details? Collaborate with others to find out more about the controversy surrounding the two men depicted in this cartoon. What details, if any, from the cartoon are referenced in the historical newspaper articles? Relay what else you learned. Now investigate other primary sources related to Cook and Peary. Explain your view … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Frederick A. Cook

How I reached the Pole audio recording by Frederick Albert Cook Frederick A. Cook primary source set Cook polar diary Frederick A. Cook & the North Pole front-page newspaper coverage More newspaper articles about Frederick A. Cook & the North Pole Topics in Chronicling America - The Race to the North Pole Today in History: Robert E. Peary Featured Source: A coldness between them guided primary source analysis activities Who Discovered the North Pole? Smithsonian … [Read more...]

Today in History: Captain John Smith

Today in History–September 10–the Library of Congress features Captain John Smith, who assumed the presidency of the Jamestown governing council on this date in 1608. Smith helped the colony to survive and thrive during its early years by fortifying the settlement, exploring and documenting the Chesapeake region, and establishing relations with area Native Americans. Learn more about this explorer, writer, and cartographer by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [Read more...]

Today in History: Los Angeles

Today in History–September 04–the Library of Congress features El Pueblo de la Reyna de Los Angeles (The Town of the Queen of the Angels) founded on this day in 1781. Located between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles remained independent until it was taken in a bloodless effort by U.S. forces during the Mexican American War. Originally focused on agriculture, Los Angeles is now known as a center for tourism and the entertainment industry as well as trade, … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: The Places You’ll Go with Maps

The Library of Congress has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world and there are so many places you can visit with the Library of Congress' fabulous digitized map collections. Take a look at the wide variety of maps you can explore in incredible detail and discover engaging primary source lessons and activities. Zoom in now! Map Collections American Revolution Maps & Charts of North America & the West Indies 1750-1789 an important … [Read more...]

Today in History: Juan Ponce de León

Today in History–September 27–the Library of Congress features Juan Ponce de León, who was granted permission to settle Bimini Island and Florida on this day in 1514.  Seven years later, in 1521, Ponce de León sailed from Puerto Rico to Florida with two ships, two hundred men, fifty horses, as well as other domestic animals and agricultural tools. Unfortunately, the party was attacked by Seminole Indians and Ponce de León was wounded; an infection resulted and he died later that year … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jacques Cartier

Today in History–June 9–the Library of Congress features French navigator Jacques Cartier, who sailed into the St. Lawrence River on this date in 1534. The explorer was commissioned by King Francis I of France to explore the area in hopes of finding gold, spices, and a northern passage to Asia. Find out more about Cartier's three visits to Canada by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Images Cartier ascending the St. … [Read more...]

Today in History: New Mexico

Today in History–September 21–the Library of Congress features New Mexico. On this day in 1595, Don Juan de Oñate's petition and contract for the conquest of New Mexico was presented to Luís de Velasco, the viceroy of Nueva Vizcaya. The petition was ultimately granted and Oñate's expedition set out in 1598. A brutal leader, Oñate was later stripped of his position, fined, and banned in perpetuity from New Mexico. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below … [Read more...]