June 26, 2017

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 Source: The constitutional amendment

What emotion does this poster tap into? Why do you think that? Who is the audience for this primary source? How do you know? Do  you think this poster was effective with its target audience? Why or why not? What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know! … [Read more...]

Featured Source: condition of the descendants of former African slaves

Why is the information provided in both English and French? The pie graph gives statistics for which group of people? Using the information provided in this text as well as the bibliographic record to determine one or more purposes of this text. What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know! More items from this W.E.B. collection Georgia Negro charts created by W.E.B. Du Bois Primary Source Spotlight: W.E.B. Du Bois … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Harriet Tubman

From America's Library Born: c. 1820, Dorchester County, Maryland Died: March 10, 1913, Auburn, New York Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who became known as the "Moses of her people." Over the course of 10 years, and at great personal risk, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, and during … [Read more...]

Today in History: Nullification Crisis

Today in History–January 13–the Library of Congress features the Nullification Crisis. On this date in 1833, President Andrew Jackson wrote his new president Vice President Martin Van Buren affirming his commitment to preventing South Carolina's defiance of federal authority by nullifying national tariff laws. The Nullification Crisis began in November, 1832 when South Carolina nullified a federal tariff. On December 10, 1832 Jackson issued a proclamation promising to uphold the federal tariff … [Read more...]

Today in History: George Gershwin & Gullah Culture

Today in History–September 2–the Library of Congress features George Gershwin, who completed the orchestral score of the opera—Porgy and Bess—based on the DuBose Heyward novel on this date in 1935. The opera, like the novel, depicted the African-American Gullah culture of South Carolina. Learn more about this remarkable man and his collaborators on the internationally known opera by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. George Gershwin portraits Porgy and … [Read more...]

Today in History: Booker T. Washington

Today in History–September 18–the Library of Congress features Booker T. Washington, who delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" or Atlanta Exposition speech on this day in 1895. The speech delivered by this prominent African American leader advocated for advocate a moderate approach to race relations in the New South. Learn more about the founder and president of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University) by visiting the Today in History section, then click the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Frederick Douglass

Today in History–September 03–the Library of Congress features the escape from slavery of Frederick Douglass on this day in 1838. Born into slavery, Douglass became a renowned abolitionist, journalist, author, and human rights advocate. Learn more about this remarkable man who never ceased advocating for freedom by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources and primary source learning activities related to Frederick Douglass. You may also … [Read more...]

Featured Source: An airship with a “Jim Crow” trailer

Explain what you think this political cartoon is trying to say, using details from the illustration to support your conclusions. Jim Crow is the name often used to refer to segregation laws and customs following the U.S. Civil War. Do you think this cartoon is a good argument for or against African American rights? Why? Jump this cartoon into the future. Create a similar cartoon that represents southern segregation laws and customs in the 1950s-60s America. What other observations, … [Read more...]

Today in History: Plessy v. Ferguson

Today in History–May 18–the Library of Congress features the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled on this day in 1896 that separate-but-equal facilities on intrastate railroads were constitutional. The decision gave legal sanction to Jim Crow segregation laws and the decision was not reversed until May 17, 1954 when the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that segregation was unconstitutional in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education. Unfortunately, it would take even longer to … [Read more...]