June 2, 2020

Today in History: Clarence Darrow

Today in History–April 18–TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus features legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow, born on this day in 1857. Darrow first gained notoriety as a labor lawyer defending union leaders in Chicago. He later went on to become one of the most well-known and well-respected criminal defense attorneys in the United States. Darrow is particularly remembered for his roles in the Haywood Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder trial, and the Scopes "monkey" trial. Learn more about this articulate … [Read more...]

Today in History: Grant’s Army Attacks Confederate Lines at Petersburg

Today in History–April 2–the Library of Congress features the attack of Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia on this day in 1865. Led by U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant, the battle lasted less than a day and helped hasten the capture of Richmond about a month later. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources about Petersburg, Virginia and the Civil War. Grant Attacked Petersburg, Virginia from America's … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Destruction of the Snake of South Carolina

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Today in History: William T. Sherman

Today in History–March 11–the Library of Congress features General William T. Sherman, who destroyed the Confederate arsenal upon capturing the town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, on this date in 1865. Just about one month later, the Confederacy surrendered, ending the Civil War. Learn more about Sherman as well as war-time work carried out by women by visiting the Today in History section. For more primary sources related to General Sherman, click the links below. Sherman Captured … [Read more...]

Today in History: Julia Ward Howe

Today in History–January 28–the Library of Congress features Julia Ward Howe, who became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters on this date in 1908. Howe and her husband were active in the abolitionist movement. Later, time spent with Union troops inspired Howe to write the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to the tune of the popular Union soldier marching song "John Brown's Body". Learn more about this author and activist by visiting the Today in History section, then … [Read more...]

Today in History: Battle of Chattanooga

Today in History–November 23–the Library of Congress features the Battle of Chattanooga, which commenced on this day in 1863. During this three-day Civil War battle, Union forces drove Confederate troops into Georgia, setting the stage for Union General William T. Sherman's triumphant march to the sea a year later. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources. Battle of Chattanooga images Battle of Chattanooga … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Civil War & Reconstruction Primary Source Set

Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about a timeframe from the period 1861-1877 when the United States was wracked by civil war, fighting to preserve the Union and end slavery. This costly war (recent research puts the death toll at 750,000) raged for four years but putting the country back together took much longer. The story may focus on either aspect of this time period and may be in digital or print form. It could be nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or even a song. … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Admiral Farragut Enters Mobile Bay

Zoom into this map (online | .pdf) and use the primary source analysis tool (digital | paper) to analyze this source. Read "Damn the Torpedoes!" from the New York Times Disunion series, then take another look at this map. Explain new insights into this map that you gained. Analyze another primary source related to the 1864 Battle of Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. Explain new insights that you now have into this military event. What other observations, reflections or questions does this … [Read more...]

Today in History: Union Captures Fort Morgan

Today in History–August 23–the Library of Congress features the capture of Fort Morgan, Alabama by the Union navy on this day in 1864. Earlier in the month (August 5), when Admiral David Farragut was warned of mines (referred to as torpedoes) in Mobile Bay, he reportedly replied, "Damn the torpedoes!" and ordered the ship to continue its course. Although the flagship Hartford scraped the mines, none exploded and the rest of the Union fleet was able to follow. The capture of Fort Morgan enabled … [Read more...]

Today in History: Battle of Gettysburg

Today in History–July 3–the Library of Congress features the Battle of Gettysburg, which ended on this date in 1863. This three-day battle was won by the Union, but at tremendous cost to both sides--over 51,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. Find out more about this battle in the Today in History section (see July 1 and July 2 as well), then click the links below to access more primary sources related to this Civil War battle. Letter, Gen. James Longstreet to Col. Edward P. Alexander; and … [Read more...]