September 12, 2022

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & the Emancipation Memorial

Amid calls for removal of the Emancipation Memorial, also called the Freedmen’s Monument, in Washington D.C. and a replica of it in Boston, Washington Post reporter DaNeen L. Brown considers the statue and takes a look back at a speech made by Frederick Douglass at the D.C. unveiling ceremony on April 14, 1876. In the speech, Douglass recognizes the dichotomy of Lincoln's views on slavery while ultimately celebrating the proclamation. If Harriet Hosmer's design for the memorial—four … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & Scientific Racism

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Eric Herschthal, a fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, suggests that we remember Frederick Douglass "as someone whose insights about scientific theories of race are every bit as relevant in our era as they were when he wrote them." Take a look at the examples Herschthal provides about Douglass'  efforts to challenge scientific racism, including ethnology or, as it was sometimes referred to, "the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Today in History–June 5–the Library of Congress features Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This iconic American novel originally appeared in serial form, the first installment published on this day in 1851 in the abolitionist weekly the Washington National Era. The following year Stowe's book was published and became an instant bestseller and later became a theatrical hit. Find out more Stowe and this American tale by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [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...]

Today in History: The Brewer & Baseball

Today in History–March 28–the Library of Congress features brewing magnate and baseball team owner August Anheuser Busch Jr., born on this day in 1899. As CEO of the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Busch convinced the company board of directors to purchase the St. Louis Cardinals team, halting the team’s move to another city. Learn more about Busch and baseball by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below. August Anheuser Busch Jr. Was Born from America's … [Read more...]

Today in History: Raymond Loewy

Today in History–March 22–the Library of Congress features industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who presented his designs for a sleek roadster he called the Avanti to the Studebaker Corporation on this day in 1961. Loewy designed cars for other companies too as well as locomotives and a wide assortment of both industrial and consumer products. Learn more about "father of industrial design" by visiting the Today in History section, then take a look at this Exxon company logo and the sources … [Read more...]

Today in History: Rosa Parks Arrested

Today in History–December 1–the Library of Congress features Rosa Parks, arrested for civil disobedience on this day in 1955. Find out more about this brave woman who helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more related primary sources and resources. Rosa Parks Papers documents & photos Rosa Parks Collection: Telling Her Story at the Library of Congress video Rosa Parks in Her Own Words online … [Read more...]

Today in History: First American Automobile Race

Today in History–November 28–the Library of Congress features the first American automobile race, run on this day in 1895. Inventor J. Frank Duryea, battled snow and breakdowns to win the 54-mile race from Chicago's Jackson Park to Evanston, Illinois in just over 10 hours. Learn more about early automobiles and the sport of auto racing by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more resources from across the Library. For a race map and photos of the top two … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Amateur Night at the Apollo & Race Relations

Read an oral history excerpt or the full oral history account by an audience member who attended amateur night at the Apollo Theater in November, 1938. In this account from American Life Histories, 1936-1940, Federal Writer Dorothy West describes an event that happened [there]. What does this event suggest about race relations in the late 1930s? What is West's view of the actions of the audience and the emcee? What would you have done if you were the emcee? In the audience? What can … [Read more...]