November 24, 2017

NHD 2018 Conflict & Compromise Topic Ideas: U.S. History Mid-19th Century

These curated resource lists coincide with the topic ideas listed in the NHD 2018 Conflict & Compromise theme sample topics list. The links lead to resources accessed from the Library of Congress (LOC.gov) unless otherwise noted. Note: U.S. historic newspaper coverage is from 1789-1924 unless otherwise noted. Preventing Conflict: The Compromise of 1850 Today in History primary source collections Compromise of 1850 Daniel Webster Henry Clay John C. Calhoun Abolition … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Election Day

Read the lyrics to the song shown above, written by Sylvia Fine. What is the main message of the song? What is the tone of the song? Which words help set the tone? How does the tone influence the feeling you get from this song? Now compare these song lyrics to a draft of the lyrics (.pdf document). In what ways did the song change? For example, were the changes more about the overall content (i.e., the song's message) or more about word choice? Explain which version speaks to you more … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Presidential Elections

Guided primary source analysis activities Footrace, Pennsylvania Avenue 1844 The whole story (election 1888) in a nutshell! Taft About to Eclipse Bryan 1908 Goal! 1908 & 1912 Biggest Business in the World 1920 Massachusetts Did It 1920 Election Day contemporary More teaching resources American Memory Timeline: The Presidential Election of 1960 Analyzing Primary Sources: Identifying Bias in Presidential Election Newspaper Coverage Elections... the American … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Footrace, Pennsylvania Avenue

According to the summary of this political cartoon, who were the three candidates for president in 1844? What was the president's salary at this time? What is the president's salary now? According to the cartoon summary, who is the favored contender? What details in the cartoon—positioning, symbols, text labels—support this view? Use the Primary Source Nexus search box to find information about the candidates to learn who won the 1844 presidential election. What other observations, … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Biggest Business in the World

This campaign ad says the United States is the biggest business in the world. Do you think that statement is true today? Why or why not? This campaign ad lists 10 pledges Senator Warren G. Harding promises to uphold. Which 3 do you think are most important for a politician to keep? Explain the reasoning for your choices. What pledges would you make if you were running for political office? Explain the reasoning for your choices. What other observations, reflections or questions does … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Massachusetts Did It

What is the definition of radicalism? Do you agree with the cartoonist's choice to represent radicalism with a snake? Why or why not? Read the notes for this political cartoon. Do you think the elephant was a good choice to represent the G.O.P, or Republican party? Why or why not? Use the Primary Source Nexus search box to look for more information about Calvin Coolidge. What else did you learn about his political career? What other observations, reflections or questions does this … [Read more...]

Today in History: James A. Garfield

Today in History–July 2–the Library of Congress features James A. Garfield, who was shot on this day in 1881 not long after he became the 20th president of the United States. The gunshot didn't kill Garfield, however, infection caused by doctors probing the president's wound with unwashed hands did. Find out more the attempts to save President Garfield in the Today in History section, then click the links below to learn more . Primary source sets "They Saved Our Flag" James A. Garfield … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Taft About to Eclipse Bryan

What scientific event does this source facetiously mimic? Do you think the analogy works in this context? Why or why not? This source is referenced as a photographic print but is it a single image? How do you know? How do you think the postcard was made? Do some research to find out more about the 1908 contest between William Howard Taft and William Jennings Bryan. Describe at least three things that you discovered. William Howard Taft primary source collection William Jennings … [Read more...]

Today in History: William Jennings Bryan

Today in History–March 19–the Library of Congress features William Jennings Bryan, born on this day in 1860. Famous for his oratorical skills, Bryan served two terms as a U.S. representative then ran for president three times. Although unsuccessful, he did serve as President Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to discover more about this determined man known as the "Great Commoner". William Jennings Bryan … [Read more...]

Today in History: Richard Nixon Visits China

Today in History–February 21–the Library of Congress features Richard Nixon, who began an eight-day visit to China on this day in 1972. President Nixon was the first U.S. president to visit the People's Republic of China since its founding in 1949. Find out a bit more about U.S.-Chinese relations by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary sources to gain some interesting perspectives on the 37th president of the United States who resigned from … [Read more...]