October 20, 2019

Today in History: Lusitania Lost

Today in History–May 7–the Library of Congress features the British ocean liner Lusitania, sunk by a German submarine on this day in 1915.  Public outrage at the sinking of the civilian ship—though it was also carrying ammunition manufactured in the U.S.—was tremendous and helped to hasten U.S. entry into World War I. Learn more about this tragic day in world history by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources. Topics in Chronicling … [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...]

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...]

Primary Source Learning: Expansion & Reform Primary Source Set

Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about the period 1815-1860, when the United States expanded dramatically geographically, displacing native peoples. But this time was also one of striving for social reforms (promoting temperance, creating public school systems, improving the treatment of prisoners, the insane, and the poor, abolishing slavery, and gaining equal rights for women). The story may focus on one aspect of this time period or both and may be in digital … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner K-2

Overview The flag is one of the United States’ most important symbols and the central character of the country’s national anthem. This project introduces students to the key historical events that led to the creation of this patriotic song, helping them to learn the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner and expand their overall understanding of U.S. history and their personal connections to this country. To complete this project, students will . . . learn about key historical events that … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner 3-5

Overview The flag is one of the United States’ most important symbols and the central character of the country’s national anthem. This project introduces students to key historical events that led to the creation of this patriotic song, helping them to learn the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner, and expands their overall understanding of U.S. history and their personal connections to this country. To complete this project, students will . . . learn about key historical events that led … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: The Young Nation Primary Source Set

Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about the early years of the United States as a young, new nation. 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). Be sure to take a look at the New Nation lesson plans (see below). For more primary source sets and … [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: Flag Day

Today in History–June 14–the Library of Congress features Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of the first design of the United States flag by the Continental Congress on this date in 1777. Did you know that there have been 27 official versions of the flag? Get more fascinating flag facts by visiting the Today in History section (see the April 13 entry on the Grand Old Flag as well), then follow the links below to access flag-related primary sources and teaching resources. Flag Day image … [Read more...]

Today in History: Cherry Blossoms

Today in History–March 27–the Library of Congress features Washington D.C.'s cherry trees. On this day in 1912 two Yoshino cherry trees were planted on the northern bank of the Potomac River Tidal Basin by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, the Japanese ambassador's wife, to celebrate the Japanese government's gift of 3,000 trees to the United States (the Japanese gave 3,800 more trees in 1965). In addition to the Tidal Basin, trees were planted near the site of the … [Read more...]