December 16, 2017

Learning from the Source: Zooming into Documentary Photography

Zoom into the picture above and you will see a face recognizable to many. The mother in the photo is Florence Thompson, most famously known as the migrant mother. This photograph was one in a series taken in 1936 by Resettlement Administration photographer Dorothea Lange. In this primary source activity, students will examine photographs individually and as a set. They will then analyze a variety of primary sources and texts to use as evidence in an essay that defines documentary photography, … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Media & Migrant Laborer Perspectives

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. Todd and Sonkin, both of the City College of New York, traveled to Arvin, Bakersfield, El Rio, Firebaugh, Porterville, Shafter, Thornton, Visalia, Westley, and Yuba City, California and recorded … [Read more...]

Today in History: Great Depression

Today in History–July 8–the Library of Congress features the Great Depression, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest point on this day in 1932. During the Great Depression many families lost their homes because they could not pay their mortgages so they sought alternative forms of shelter. Groups of these makeshift houses were often referred to as Hoovervilles (see image above), named after President Hoover, who was blamed for the problems that led to the depression. Learn more … [Read more...]