May 30, 2017

Featured Source: A Preacher Tries Farming

The page shown above comes from a transcript of a 1930s oral history interview with George Strester who remembers a memorable Thanksgiving time when his father, a preacher, tried farming in Nebraska in 1873. Click the links below to browse through some related images, then read Strester's whole story. Describe how the images enhanced your understanding of the story. young family, near Woods Park, Custer County, Nebraska sod house near Woods Park, Custer County, Nebraska Mrs. Debusk, … [Read more...]

Featured Source: The whole story (election 1888) in a nutshell!

Zoom into this 1888 presidential election document online or in a .pdf document. Look closely at the graphical elements of the complete document and compare and contrast the presentation of information in the Harrison and Cleveland maps. Which is more pleasing visually and why? How does the visual presentation affect the tone of each map? Describe your findings using specific details from the maps to support your conclusions. Now compare and contrast the textual information presented on each … [Read more...]

Today in History: Billy the Kid

Today in History–April 28–the Library of Congress features Billy the Kid, who killed two guards while making his escape from a New Mexico jail on this date in 1881. But was he a folk villain or hero? Find out more by visiting the Today in History April 28 section, then follow the primary source trail to uncover more perspectives on this infamous Wild West character. Billy the Kid Escaped from Jail from America's Library Young Gun Library of Congress blog April 20, 2015 The Authentic … [Read more...]

Today in History: Committee of Vigilance & Vigilantes

Today in History–May 15–the Library of Congress features San Francisco's second Committee of Vigilance organized on this day in 1856 to combat crime in the boomtown. Committee members were overwhelming Republicans and Democrat "crooks" were often the target of the vigilance. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources related to San Francisco's Vigilance committees and vigilantes from all over. Letter, California vigilante … [Read more...]

Today in History: Keeping Time

Today in History–November 18–the Library of Congress features time. On this day in 1883, precisely at noon, North American railroads switched to Standard Railway Time (SRT). SRT was quickly adopted throughout the United States, resulting in the creation of four national time zones: eastern, central, mountain and Pacific. A year later, at an international conference in Washington D.C., the meridian passing through Greenwich was adopted as the initial or prime meridian for longitude and … [Read more...]

Today in History: Carl Schurz

Today in History–October 29–the Library of Congress features journalist and politician Carl Schurz. On this date in 1855, the recent German immigrant wrote his wife, Margarethe Meyer Schurz, about his hope for their future in America. Exactly five years later Schurz sent his wife another letter, this time from Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign trail. Schurz served as a U.S. senator and worked with several presidents, most notably as secretary of the interior under Rutherford B. Hayes. In … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Nicknames of the States

Which states/territories were not given nicknames? How many states are represented on this? Are there any U.S. states not found on this map? How much would it have cost for you to buy this map in 1884? Why is there an image of one or more pigs on every state? Use these state primary source collections to find out more about one of these states and its nickname. What did you learn? What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know! … [Read more...]

Today in History: Holmes Reaches Pikes Peak

Today in History–August 5–the Library of Congress features Julia Archibald Holmes, who summited Pikes Peak on this date in 1858. She did so wearing her "American costume" of a hat, moccasins, short dress, and bloomers, the latter leading to the moniker bloomer girl. Learn more about this adventurous lady and the famous Colorado mountain peak by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. "The First Woman on Pike's Peak" newspaper article Pike's Peak historical … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Rough Riders

Today in History–July 1–the Library of Congress features the rough riders. On this day in 1898 these voluntary cavalrymen, led by Theodore Roosevelt, helped to secure a U.S. victory in the Battle of Santiago, the decisive battle of the short-lived Spanish-American War. The rough riders stormed Kettle Hill, then joined in the capture of the San Juan Hill complex in Cuba. Find out more about these soldiers who captured the attention of the American public by visiting the Today in History section, … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Perspectives on U.S. Expansion

At the turn of the 20th century Admiral George Dewey, Pacific naval commander, became a veritable American hero for his role in the Spanish-American war. While United States foreign policy was focused on global expansion, not everyone believed it was a good idea. The Philippines, certainly, were not keen on U.S. imperialism and continued to fight for control of the country until 1902 (Spain "awarded" the Philippines to the United States for $20 million under the 1898 Treaty of Paris). Use the … [Read more...]