May 19, 2019

Today in History: New Mexico

Today in History–September 21–the Library of Congress features New Mexico. On this day in 1595, Don Juan de Oñate's petition and contract for the conquest of New Mexico was presented to Luís de Velasco, the viceroy of Nueva Vizcaya. The petition was ultimately granted and Oñate's expedition set out in 1598. A brutal leader, Oñate was later stripped of his position, fined, and banned in perpetuity from New Mexico. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Virginia by Capt. John Smith

Use the zoom feature online or access a larger image of this map (zoomable map | enlarged map). What details do you notice first? What else strikes you as interesting? Why do you think John Smith made this map? What scale is used for this map? What scale is typically used for maps today? The map identifies the Virginian Sea. Does this sea exist? If so, where is it? If not, what is this body of water called? What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Settlement Primary Source Set

  Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about European settlement of present-day United States. The story may be in digital or print form and could be nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or even a song. Click on each thumbnail image below to access the full size primary source. You may also use this primary set for a found poetry activity (click the previous link for instructions). For more primary source sets and other teaching and learning resources look below … [Read more...]

Today in History: Brigham Young & the Mormon Pioneers

Today in History–July 24–the Library of Congress features Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers, who arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on this day in 1847. The weary group was happy to find their "promised land" after traveling some 1,000 miles from the Mormon settlement in Nauvoo, Illinois. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to this religious group and its founder. Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers … [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: Jamestown

Today in History–May 14–the Library of Congress features Jamestown, Virginia, established on this day in 1607. The first winter was harsh and after eight months, only 60 of the 214 pioneers were still alive. By September of 1608, John Smith became a leader of Jamestown and the colony began to flourish. Learn more about the ups and downs of the Jamestown settlers by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to the first permanent … [Read more...]

Today in History: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today in History–February 7–the Library of Congress features writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, born on this date in 1867. Ingalls Wilder became well known for her semi-autobiographical stories collectively known as the Little House on the Prairie series. Learn more this iconic writer of American pioneer life and discover primary sources that will help illuminate her stories by visiting the Today in History section and then clicking the links below. Laura Ingalls Wilder Born from America's … [Read more...]