July 23, 2019

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...]

Today in History: James Polk

Today in History–November 5–the Library of Congress features James K. Polk, elected president of the United States on this day in 1844. Not so well known, Polk's victory by a narrow margin over Whig candidate Henry Clay was a surprise. A proponent of western expansion, Polk oversaw the addition of Texas and the acquisition of territory from Mexico, which included modern-day California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Find out more by visiting … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jesse James

Today in History–September 05–the Library of Congress features infamous outlaw Jesse James, born on this day in 1847. James left his home in Missouri at age 17 to fight as a Confederate guerilla in the Civil War. Later he and his gang of outlaws, which included his brother Frank and several other ex-Confederates, robbed banks, trains, stagecoaches, and stores across the western frontier from Iowa to Texas. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [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...]

Today in History: Custer’s Last Stand

Today in History–June 25–the Library of Congress features Custer’s Last Stand, which occurred on this date in 1876. General George Armstrong Custer and 265 men under his command lost their lives in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Find out more about this battle in the Today in History section and access resources related to Little Bighorn and those who fought there through the links below.  You might also be interested in more Native American resources. Custer’s Last Stand from America's … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Indian Territory Resettlement

In his article, "Thinking Like an Historian", from the TPS Quarterly archive (now the TPS Journal), Sam Wineburg points out how many students' view of history—memorization—diverges from that of historians—investigation—and offers advice for using primary sources to engage students in the "historical approach". Doing so will help students make more authentic and lasting connections to important historical themes and events as well as give them practice in key Common Core State Standards in … [Read more...]

Today in History: Transcontinental Railroad Completed

Today in History–May 10–the Library of Congress features the U.S. transcontinental railroad, celebrated on this day in 1869 when a symbolic golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory—approximately thirty-five miles away from Promontory Point, the site where the rails of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were joined. This railroad connected the United States from coast to coast, reducing a four-month journey to just one week. Learn more by visiting … [Read more...]

Today in History: Alaska Purchase

Today in History–March 30–the Library of Congress features the United States purchase of Alaska from Russia, which Secretary of State William Seward agreed to on this day in 1867. Opponents of the $7.2 million purchase called it "Seward's Folly" but opinions changed following the discovery of gold and, later, oil. Learn more by reviewing the Today in History section, then clicking the links below. Alaska Purchase from America's Library Meeting of Frontiers: Alaska - The Alaska … [Read more...]

Today in History: Franklin Pierce

Today in History–November 23–the Library of Congress features Franklin Pierce, born on this date in 1804. Learn more about our nation's 14th president (1853-57) by visiting the Today in History section then click the links below to access more stories and primary sources about Franklin Pierce. Franklin Pierce inauguration primary source set Democratic ticket. For President, Gen. Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire. 1852 Democratic festival in honor of election of Pierce and King, bill of … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Transcontinental Telegraph & the End of the Pony Express

Today in History–October 24–the Library of Congress features the transcontinental telegraph system was completed on this day in 1861, which signaled the rapid demise of the short-lived Pony Express. Learn more about these methods of long-distance communication by visiting the Today in History section then click the links below to access more related primary sources. First Transcontinental Telegraph System Was Completed from America's Library Pacific telegraph primary source set Overland … [Read more...]