September 24, 2019

Today in History: Cinco de Mayo

Today in History–May 5–the Library of Congress features Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, 1862, Mexican troops successfully defended the town of Puebla against French forces. In the spring of 1863, the city was recaptured by the French and a European was crowned Emperor of Mexico. Emperor Maximillian remained in power until 1867 when Napoleon III withdrew troops and abandoned Mexico. Today, Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico and is marked as a celebration of Mexican culture in the United … [Read more...]

Today in History: Saint-Mihiel Offensive

Today in History–September 12–the Library of Congress features the Saint-Mihiel offensive, launched in France on this day in 1918. The offensive liberated a strategic area that Germany had held for four years. Just two months later, World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more related primary sources. St. Mihiel images Map showing position of German Army geologic … [Read more...]

Featured Source: American Expeditionary Force map

The Americans who participated in the liberation of France were shocked by the devastation and the suffering of French civilians who had lost their homes, their livelihood, and their lives during the war. The compassion of the soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces for the French people generated many popular songs such as "The Tale the Church Bell Told". In the shattered part of France, In the very heart of France, A soldier from a Yankee shore, Lay dreaming by an old church … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jacques Cartier

Today in History–June 9–the Library of Congress features French navigator Jacques Cartier, who sailed into the St. Lawrence River on this date in 1534. The explorer was commissioned by King Francis I of France to explore the area in hopes of finding gold, spices, and a northern passage to Asia. Find out more about Cartier's three visits to Canada by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Images Cartier ascending the St. Lawrence … [Read more...]

Today in History: Franco-American Alliance

Today in History–February 6–the Library of Congress features the Franco-American alliance, solidified  on this date in 1778 when France and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The former recognized the United States as an independent nation and promoted trade between the two countries and the latter created a military alliance against Great Britain so long as America remained independent. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Statue of Liberty

Today in History–June 19–the Library of Congress features the Statue of Liberty, which arrived in in New York Harbor on this day in 1885. The 151-foot-tall statue was a gift from France to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to this symbol of freedom and democracy. You might also be interested in checking out these statue-related PSN … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Hitting the trail to Normandy

Using details from the cover of this sheet music, describe what you think this song is about. Use the Primary Source Nexus search box to find out about Normandy. Where is it? What was happening there in 1917? Look inside at the song lyrics and music notation. What is the tone of the song? Does the tone of the song match the description you made based on the cover of the sheet music? If you can, play the song on the piano or find someone who can play the song on the piano. Do you think the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Paris Peace Conference

Today in History–January 18–the Library of Congress features the Paris Peace Conference, begun on this day in 1919. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, and Italian Premier Vittorio Orlando—became known as the big four for their role in settling issues stemming from World War I. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and the clicking the links to related resources below. Paris Peace Conference from America's … [Read more...]

Today in History: World War I

Today in History–June 28–the Library of Congress features World War I. Two events bracketing this global conflict happened on June 28. The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sofia in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, set off a chain of events leading to the first world war. Five years later, on June 28, 1919, Germany and the Allies signed the Treaty of Versailles, formally ending World War I. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links … [Read more...]