July 5, 2015

Today in History: Montana

See America Welcome to Montana

Today in History–May 26–the Library of Congress features Montana, which first became a territory on this date in 1864 approximately four years after gold was discovered. Twenty-five years later, in 1889, Montana became the forty-first state. Numerous Native American tribes called Montana home and many still do. Learn more about big sky country by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary source treasures related to this mountainous … [Read more...]

State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Massachusetts: Frederick Douglass

Massachusetts stories from America’s Library Massachusetts primary source set Massachusetts maps Pictorial Americana: Selected images of Massachusetts More Massachusetts images Featured Image: Massachusetts Did It Photographs of the sea floor of western Massachusetts Bay July 1999 Massachusetts historic films Massachusetts oral histories Massachusetts song recordings Whaling song Young Johhny Massachusetts sheet music & song sheets Massachusetts books … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois

From America's Library: Born: February 23, 1868 Died: August 27, 1963 William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was a noted scholar, editor, and African American activist. Du Bois was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP -- the largest and oldest civil rights organization in America). Throughout his life Du Bois fought discrimination and racism. He made significant contributions to debates about race, politics, and history in the United States in the … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Tyler

johntyler

From America’s Library: Born: March 29, 1790 Died: January 18, 1862 John Tyler, 10th president of the United States, was called "His Accidency" by his foes because he was the first president to get the job without being elected to it. He took the helm when President Harrison died after only one month in office. Tyler had other "firsts" as president: His first wife was the first wife to die while her husband was still president, and he was the first president to marry while in … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Teddy Bears

Theodore Roosevelt as Rough Rider with Clifford Berryman's bear

Teddy bears got their name from Theodore Roosevelt. He had a soft heart for animals in general and in particular for a bear that his aides cornered and thought he would like as a hunting trophy. The incident inspired the cartoon illustration above which, in turn, inspired a New York toy store owner to create a toy stuffed bear he called "Teddy's bear".  Below you can find out more of the story and then explore teddy bear resources from the Library of Congress. The teddy bear story from … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

From America's Library: Born: July 11, 1767 Died: Feb. 23, 1848 John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States and the first son of a former president who himself became president. (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are the only other father-son presidents.) John Quincy Adams was well known for his diplomatic success and most of all for his role as secretary of state under James Monroe. Adams had previously served as an ambassador to several European countries and as a … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: King Kamehameha

King Kamehameha [statue], Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

From America's Library: Born: Between 1740 and 1758 Died: May 8, 1819 King Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, was the head of a dynasty (a succession of rulers from the same family) that ruled the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. Legend has it that he was born at the time of the appearance of Halley's comet and that this was a sign that he would rise to greatness. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means "the one set apart." More King … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Adams

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

From America's Library: Born: October 30 (October 19, Old Style), 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts Died: July 4, 1826, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts John Adams worked as a teacher and lawyer before dedicating himself to a life of patriotism and politics. He was America's second president. Adams was well known for his extreme political independence, brilliant mind and passionate patriotism. He was a leader in the Continental Congress and an important diplomatic … [Read more...]

State Spotlight: Alabama

Alabama lullaby

Alabama stories from America’s Library Alabama primary source set Alabama image set Alabama maps Alabama sheet music Songs & oral histories related to Alabama Alabama veterans oral histories Alabama personal narratives Alabama books & other texts Alabama historical newspapers The Scottsboro Nine newspaper articles Alabama related webcasts Alabama related legislation Alabama Guide to Law Online Alabama-related posts on PSN More U.S. state … [Read more...]

Today in History: Duke Ellington

Through the Looking Glass Down Beat magazine (Sept. 23, 1946)

Today in History–April 29–the Library of Congress features jazz great Duke Ellington, born on this date in 1899. Ellington started to play piano at age 7 and wrote his first song–Soda Fountain Rag–at age 15. By his late teens, he was earning enough money to help his parents move into a better house. Ellington's musical versatility was astounding and not limited to jazz; he also wrote oratorios, suites, concertos, and even opera, as well as for the Broadway stage, movies, television, nightclubs, … [Read more...]