SALEM HISTORY: Searchable database offering the complete content of Salem Press's Decades in America (1950s - 1990s) reference series. You can search the database by keyword or browse by category. If you're using SALEM HISTORY on your home computer, you'll have to enter your library card barcode to begin.
FACTS ON FILE REFERENCE DATABASES: Login to FACTS ON FILE to access a great collection of history reference databases. If you're using FACTS ON FILE on your home computer, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN.
American Culture E-Texts - Dozens of online electronic texts for the study of American history and culture, including influential essays, novels, poetry, biography, slave narratives, and more; some include related background materials. High school and up. (University of Virginia).
American Experience AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - A wealth of information on American history, including Presidents, biographies, war & politics, technology, popular culture, and the American landscape. Includes online documentaries, primary sources, timelines, bibliographies, text, interactives, maps, images, teacher's guides, and other special features. Search by topic and/or media type or browse by time period; for middle school and high school students. (WGBH / PBS; site includes advertisements)
American History Biographies - Biographies of historical and literary figures from John Adams to Robert Yates. (1994 - 2012, University of Groningen, Netherlands)
American Journeys: Columbus to Kerouac - 'The voyage of Christopher Columbus unleashed forces of unprecedented speed, scope, and impact. Driven by choice or coercion, Europeans, Africans, and Asians crossed the oceans to make their way in this New World, with catastrophic consequences for Native Americans. The interactions of these diverse peoples created the conflicts and innovations that shaped American history, literature, and culture.' This site 'traces some of the remarkable journeys that brought us from 1492 to the mid-twentieth-century era of social protest.' (University of Virginia)
American Memory AUDIO VIDEO - Photographs, newspapers, oral histories, maps, and other primary sources on many aspects of American history such as African-Americans, Native Americans, women, Presidents, sports, advertising, war, religion, arts, and more. Browse by subject, time period, region, or type of material. (Library of Congress)
American Presidents VIDEO - Pick a president from the drop down menu at the top to see background info and related materials, including biographical facts, key events, presidential places, portraits, and video from the American Presidents: Life Portraits series (C-Span). See also POTUS: Presidents of the United States (1996 - 2008, Internet Public Library), American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (Smithsonian Institution), and Biographies of the First Ladies (2009, National First Ladies Library); the above sites are suitable for students of all ages. College or advanced high school students will find more information on the Presidents at American President: An Online Reference Resource AUDIO VIDEO (University of Virginia); American Presidency Project AUDIO VIDEO, which offers a complete searchable database of Presidential messages, papers, and other documents, with audio or video of some speeches, beginning with Herbert Hoover (University of California); and Our Presidents NEW! VIDEO & Presidential Libraries, covering Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush (National Archives & Records Administration).
American Rhetoric AUDIO VIDEO - Text, audio, and/or video of thousands of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, and interviews; also includes famous speeches from the movies. (2001 - 2011, by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Associate Professor of Speech Communication, University of Texas; site includes advertisements)
Americans At War AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - This interactive exhibit 'examines how wars have shaped the nations history and transformed American society,' from the War of Independence to the present. You can view the whole exhibit or select a specific conflict to study (Smithsonian Institution). See also Veterans' Stories, below.
America's Story AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Entertaining tales of America's past told through letters, diaries, records & tapes, films, sheet music, maps, prints, photographs and digital materials. 'Here, you can discover what Abraham Lincoln had in his pockets on the night he was assassinated... Or you can read about other 'Amazing Americans' such as Buffalo Bill Cody and his 'Wild West' show; the heroism of Harriet Tubman, who helped many slaves escape bondage; the music of jazz great Duke Ellington; or the inventions of Thomas Edison (You will even be able to see his first motion picture!)'. Includes a useful Jump Back in Time timeline. (2009, Library of Congress)
Backstory Radio AUDIO - An entertaining and informative radio show / podcast 'that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, three renowned U.S. historians tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what's going on today. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and disconnections) between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, BackStory is fun and essential listening no matter who you are.' (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities)
Biography of America VIDEO - A video series and companion website on the forces that have shaped America. 'First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history — how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens' lives.' 26 half-hour videos for high school and up. (2000; WGBH, Annenberg Media et al.)
Charters of Freedom - Describes the founding and growth of the United States from the first stirrings of rebellion against British rule through the Revolution, Constitutional Convention, Civil War, and expansion of rights & liberties to women & minorities, with a focus on the creation and impact of the 'Charters of Freedom': the Declaration of Indepence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Includes key documents, photos, articles, and more. (National Archives & Records Administration)
Civilian Public Service - Describes the history of conscientious objectors (citizens who resist compulsory military service for religious or ethical reasons) from the U.S. colonial era to World War II, with a focus on nearly 12,000 conscientious objectors who chose Civilian Public Service in World War II. (Mennonite Central Committee et al.)
Digital History AUDIO VIDEO - A mega-site covering the entire span of American history from pre-European culture to the present. Includes an online textbook, primary documents, ethnic histories, biographies, maps, speeches, images, multimedia content, interactive timeline, and just about anything else you can think of; for all ages. Digital History Explorations are interactive modules designed to give students the opportunity to do history: to conduct research, analyze primary sources, and draw their own conclusions; includes teacher resources for each topic. (University of Houston)
Documents for the Study of American History AUDIO - Letters, journals, speeches, proclamations, and many other primary documents from the 9th century to the 21st. Arranged by time period. (2005 - 2010, by George Laughead; WWW Virtual Library / University of Kansas)
Eyewitness - Primary materials including first-person accounts, documents and images. Covers a variety of events in the U.S. and abroad, including the Fall of the Bastille in 1789, the American Revolution, the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, the assasinations of Abraham Lincoln & John F. Kennedy, the meeting of Truman and Stalin, the re-unification of Germany, and more. High school and up. (National Archives)
Facing Freedom AUDIO VIDEO - 'Explores conflicts over freedom through four themes which highlight moments when Americans have struggled over the meaning of freedom.' Looks at labor problems, the Civil War & slavery, American Indian Rights, Japanese Internment, school segregation, and votes for women. Includes primary and secondary sources, including photographs, objects, documents, audio and video. For middle school and high school. (2013, Chicago History Museum)
Fast Facts from U.S. History - A collection of brief historical facts from 1790 to 2010, in culture, science & technology, politics, 'firsts', disasters, and more; arranged by decades. (U.S. Census Bureau).
First Measured Century Timeline - An interactive timeline of U.S. history from 1870-2000, with links to analyses of statistical data and trends on dozens of subjects. High school and up (PBS).
Freedom: A History of US INTERACTIVE [NOTE: Audio and video on this site do not work!] - An exploration of Americans' quest for freedom, from the struggle for independence through the beginnings of the 21st century (2002, Picture History and Educational Broadcasting Corporation [PBS]; site includes advertisements).
Growing a Nation: the Story of American Agriculture AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - 'An interactive multimedia program that tells the story of American agriculture and its influence on important events and issues in American history.' Includes classroom resources, links to related sites, and a timeline covering the 17th through the 20th centuries. Multimedia program may be slow to load (Utah State University and LetterPress Software, Inc.). For more on American agricultural history in the 20th century, see Wessels Living History Farm, below. For more on general agricultural history, see our Food & Farming Links.
History Matters AUDIO - A gateway to web resources and other useful materials on U.S. history, including 1000 primary documents, images, & audio interviews, and hundreds of reviewed & annotated websites, as well as materials specifically for teachers. High school and up. (1998 - 2014, American Social History Productions, Inc. / George Mason University, CUNY)
Indian Tribes & Native Peoples Links - Our selected links to information about Native Americans and other native peoples. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Interactive Map of U.S. History INTERACTIVE - 'Discover how the continent was irrevocably changed by European colonization, the events that caused the wholesale displacement and decimation of the land's original inhabitants, and how the 50 states came to be formed.' High school and up.(Annenberg Media). Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States INTERACTIVE reproduces one of the greatest historical atlases, first published in 1932, now digitally enhanced with twenty-first century functionality (University of Richmond).
Labor History VIDEO - A history of the labor union movement in the U.S., with biographies of prominent labor leaders of the past, descriptions of key events in labor history, plus a timeline, links, and more; use the left-hand menu to navigate. (AFL-CIO, a federation of 57 national and international labor unions)
Major Topics in American History [NOTE: Free registration required.] - Materials for teaching / learning about more than twenty topics that correspond to the major periods in American history, from the Revolutionary War to the end of the 20th century. Provides a succinct historical overview for each topic, with learning tools including lesson plans, quizzes, and activities, as well as recommended documents (primary sources), films, and historic images. For high school students. (Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)
National Archives: American History Reference - Selected links to research tools covering many topics of historical relevance, such as biography, black history, exploration, the Holocaust, Native Americans, space exploration, war crimes, women, and more. Also includes a selection of links to additional resources in American History. (National Archives and Records Administration)
National Museum of American History INTERACTIVE - More than 50 online exhibits covering a wide range of American history topics, including presidents, civil rights movements, music, war, science, technology, and inventions, and others. Smithsonian's History Explorer is a collection of 'innovative, standards-based online resources for teaching and learning American history', searchable by subject, grade level, resource type, and historical era. For K-12 students & teachers (Smithsonian Institution). See also Online American History Exhibits (National Archives & Records Administration).
Our Documents - Historical background and text for 100 key documents voted by Americans of all ages to be the most influential documents in American history (National Archives & Records Administration). See also Primary Documents in American History (Library of Congress) and Charters of Freedom, above.
Railroads and the Making of Modern America - Examines various episodes in U.S. History 'where technology and social change correlate.' Covers topics such as Slavery & Southern Railroads, Railroad Work & Workers, Civil War & Strategy, The Great Railway Strike of 1877, Politics & Corruption, The Origins of Segregation, and more. Each topic provides a brief summary plus related documents - personal letters, diaries, newspaper articles, images, and others. High school and up. (William G. Thomas, III et al.; University of Nebraska)
Talking History AUDIO - An interesting collection of radio programs and shorter audio clips on a wide assortment of topics in history, mostly American history. There is no subject index, but you can search the collection by keyword. (State University of New York, Albany)
Teaching History - U.S. history education resources for teachers and students, K-12. Includes website reviews, quizzes, multimedia links, 'Ask a Historian' feature, and quick links for elementary, middle, and high school. (National History Education Clearinghouse, Center for History & New Media, Stanford University History Education Group, and U.S. Department of Education)
Teaching with Historic Places - Maps, images, and background readings exploring more than 25 topics in (mostly American) history, covering various events and the sites associated with them. Includes African American history, Women's history, Hispanic heritage, Asian Pacific heritage, American Indian history, Civil War, World War II, and more. See also Discover History pages. (National Park Service)
Turns of the Centuries - Explore the periods of 1680-1720, 1780-1820, and 1880-1920 in New England history. For each era, you can learn about Family Life, Native Americans, African Americans, Newcomers, and the Land. (2001 - 2011, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts)
U.S. Diplomatic Milestones - Short essays on many important events in U.S. diplomatic history between 1750 and 2000. Arranged by time period. High school and up. (U.S. State Department)
USA: Outline of American History - Good, well-organized essays on topics of each period from pre-Colonial America through the 1990s; few links. Also offers speeches, bios, and other documents of the Presidents. (1994 - 2012; University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Veterans' Stories AUDIO VIDEO - This site offers videos of interviews with U.S. veterans of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. You can also access stories by themes such as courage, buddies, patriotism, POWs, and more. Women at War AUDIO VIDEO offers video and audio interviews with American women veterans (2009 - 2010, Library of Congress). See also From the Home Front and the Front Lines for letters, photos, diaries, and related documents from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the 1991 Persian Gulf War (2010, Library of Congress), War Letters from the Revolution through the 1991 Persian Gulf War (1999 - 2001; PBS; site includes advertisements), and Battle Lines: Letters from America's Wars AUDIO (2009 - 2011, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History). U. S. Navy Diversity UPDATED LINK! includes articles, photos, and oral histories from the early 19th century through the present on how African Americans, Asians Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and women have served in the U. S. Navy. For more on African Americans' military service, see Tuskegee Airmen and related links, below.
The Way We Worked - A collection of photographs documenting American workers and their work, from the mid 19th to the late 20th centuries. These historical photographs show different types of work, work clothing, locales, working conditions, and workplace conflict. (National Archives & Records Administration)
Web Rangers: History Activities INTERACTIVE [Click on 'Visit' to choose activities; cookies must be enabled to use this site.] - A collection of interactive games and activities on many different historic topics. Each activity has a rating of Easy, Medium, or Hard; for elementary through high school. (National Park Service)
Whaling: Laura Jernegan, Girl on a Whaleship INTERACTIVE - 'In October, 1868, Laura Jernegan, a six year old girl from Edgartown, Massachusetts set out on a three year whaling voyage with her father, mother, brother and the ship's crew to the whaling grounds of the Pacific Ocean. This website tells the story of Laura Jernegan and the journal she kept on her voyage. It also tells the adventurous history of whaling. Middle school and up. (2010, Martha's Vineyard Museum)
Within These Walls - Tells the stories of five families who lived in a single house over two centuries (1757-1945), and made history in their kitchens and parlors through everyday choices and personal acts of courage and sacrifice. (Smithsonian Institution)
Women's History Links - Our selected links to websites on women's history in the U.S. and throughout the world. (South Plainfield Public Library)
See LOCAL INFORMATION for links on New Jersey History and related topics.
American History Myths Debunked - 'Every day, stories about people or objects are told in museums that are not true. Some are outright fabrications. Others contain a kernel of truth that has been embellished over the years.' This site debunks (or confirms) common myths about American history, mostly covering the colonial period. (By historian / author Mary Miley Theobald)
American Revolution - 'Have you ever wondered: How fewer than three million colonists defeated the greatest military and naval power of the late 18th century? How good a general George Washington was? What women were doing during the Revolution? What effects the Revolution had on Indian tribes? What the best books on the period are? Here's the place to start getting some answers. Available here are a timeline, revolutionary stories, biographies, and suggestions for further reading.' (2008, National Park Service)
American Revolution for Kids UPDATED LINK! - Created by a class of elementary school students, this site includes a timeline of the American Revolution, important battles, leaders, women, uniforms, ships, and more. Last updated in 2005. (Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, NY)
Arms & Armor: American Revolution - Learn about the swords, rifles, and gunpowder used by American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. (Metropolitan Museum)
Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words - A review of Franklin's public, professional, and scientific achievements - as a printer & writer, an inventor & scientist, and a politician & statesman. Includes important documents, letters, books, broadsides, and cartoons (primary sources). (2006, Library of Congress). See also Benjamin Franklin AUDIO INTERACTIVE (2002, Twin Cities Public Television Inc.; site includes advertisements), Benjamin Franklin FAQ (2006, Franklin Institute), and Benjamin Franklin 300 VIDEO INTERACTIVE (2006, Franklin & Marshall College et al.)
Coming of the American Revolution - Essays on 15 topics, such as the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill, examine events leading up to the American Revolution; supplemented by letters, diary entries, maps, portraits, news accounts and other primary sources. High school and up. (2008, Massachusetts Historical Society)
Indian Converts - 'This website contains study guides with information about life on Martha's Vineyard for both Wampanoags and white settlers as well as an accompanying online archive with over 600 images and documents.' (2008, Reed College and Laura Arnold Leibman)
Jefferson Encyclopedia - 'Trustworthy information on Thomas Jefferson and his world by Monticello researchers and respected Jefferson scholars.' Arrranged by topic; high school and up. (Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
John Smith's Voyage VIDEO - In 1608, Captain John Smith and fourteen other English colonists set out from Jamestown by boat to explore and map the Chesapeake Bay, observing the Chesapeake's vibrant ecosystem and a multitude of American Indian cultures thriving along its shores. This website offers an in-depth account of their historic voyage, Smith's map and journals, and videos from a 2007 expedition to re-trace Smith's trip. High school and up. (2008, Sultana Projects)
Life in 18th Century America AUDIO VIDEO - A look at many different aspects of life in Colonial times, such as family, manners, politics, religion, tools, trades, and the African-American experience. Includes multimedia presentations, online exhibits NEW! INTERACTIVE, and podcast. (Colonial Williamsburg)
Meet George Washington VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Explores the life and influence of George Washington. Includes a timeline, digital encyclopedia, and other resources (Mount Vernon Ladies Association). See also George Washington's Life (A Chronology) (Smithsonian).
New York City in Early America: A Guided Tour [Click on 'START TOUR', on the right side below the menu to begin] - A brief overview of the history of New York City during the colonial and revolutionary periods. Each page displays a relevant primary document. Includes additional Teaching & Learning Resources on 'The American Revolution: An Everyday Life Perspective'. (2007 - 2013, New York University Libraries et al.)
Raid on Deerfield, 1704 AUDIO INTERACTIVE - 'In the pre-dawn hours of February 29, 1704, a force of about 300 French and Native allies launched a daring raid on the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts... Was this dramatic pre-dawn assault in contested lands an unprovoked, brutal attack on an innocent village of English settlers? Was it a justified military action against a stockaded settlement in a Native homeland? Or was it something else? Explore this website and hear all sides of the story — then you decide.' Includes images, biographies, artifacts & documents, maps, timeline, and period music. Middle and high school students. (2004, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association / Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA)
Shays' Rebellion AUDIO INTERACTIVE - 'Only three years after the American Revolution ended, thousands of Massachusetts citizens took up arms against their new state government. This site tells the story of Shays' Rebellion, and a crucial period in our nation's founding when the survival of the republican experiment in government was neither destined nor assured.' Includes images, biographies, artifacts & documents, maps, timeline, and period music. High school and up. (2008, Springfield Technical Community College and Memorial Hall Museum)
USHistory.org - Feature articles on historic places, people, and events of early U.S. history, including Betsy Ross, the Declaration of Independence, Liberty Bell, Thomas Paine, Valley Forge, and more. Focus is on Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. (1995 - 2011, Independence Hall Association; site includes advertisements)
War of 1812 - A collection of brief stories and biographical sketches related to the War of 1812, with images and links to many additional resources (National Park Service). The War of 1812: Which One Was That? NEW! AUDIO is a radio program that 'sets out to answer the most fundamental questions about the War of 1812: What did we win, what did we lose, and why should we care?' (2014, Backstory Radio; Virginia Foundation for the Humanities).
Witchcraft in Salem Village - Original documents, maps, and other information (primary sources) about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692; start with the Overview of the Salem Witch Trials (2002 by Benjamin Ray and University of Virginia). See also Salem Witchcraft (2011, Richard B. Latner, Emeritus Professor of History, Tulane University).
You Be the Historian INTERACTIVE - 'Historians study the everyday lives of people who lived in the past by looking at clues: the objects and documents that people left behind and that have somehow survived.' View the objects and documents on the website and 'see if you can figure out what life was like 200 years ago for Thomas and Elizabeth Springer's family in New Castle, Delaware.' Middle school. (2000 - 2006, Smithsonian Institution)
INDIAN TRIBES & NATIVE PEOPLES
Buffalo Soldiers - See Buffalo Soldiers: African Americans in the Frontier Army, below.
Exploration and Expansion - Links to resources documenting explorers of the North American continent, government & railroad surveys, and Westward Expansion. (National Archives & Records Administration)
Gold Rush INTERACTIVE - Explores the people and events of the mid-nineteenth century California gold rush, plus special features, map, and timeline (middle school and up; 1997 - 2006, WGBH / PBS. Site includes video advertisements). See also Gold Rush Chronicles, a virtual book about the Gold Rush (middle school and up; 1998 - 2003 by ComSpark, a web design firm), Gold Rush Sesquicentennial (middle school and up; The Sacramento Bee newspaper), and 1848-1865: The Gold Rush Era (high school and up; University of California).
Lewis and Clark AUDIO INTERACTIVE - Explores the history of the Lewis & Clark expedition, with articles, maps, timelines, journals, and more (PBS; site includes advertisements). See also Discovering Lewis & Clark which includes a synopsis of the expedition from preparation through return, with selections from the journals, photographs, maps, animated graphics, and other related materials (Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation). Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition AUDIO VIDEO offers complete text of the journals, with maps and multimedia content (University of Nebraska).
New Perspectives on the West - A fresh look at the people, places, and events that shaped the American West; includes dozens of biographies, a timeline, and links to more information. (2001 The West Film Project and WETA / PBS)
Westward Ho! for Kids UPDATED LINK! - Created by a class of fifth grade students, this site covers the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark Expedition, the War of 1812, Indian Removal, and more. Last updated in 2005. (Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, NY)
African-American Experience - Includes links on slavery and other topics relevant to the Civil War. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Boston Abolitionists - In the decades leading to the Civil War, Boston became a center of the national antislavery movement. This website includes important manuscripts, photographs and artifacts related to the abolitionist movement in Boston, as well as The Case for Ending Slavery, offering 'curricular resources and more than 50 primary sources that reveal how slavery, and debates about slavery, contributed to the formation of the United States.' (2013, Massachusetts Historical Society)
Civil War, 150 Years Later AUDIO - A special three-part radio series on the war's causes and consequences; three hour-long episodes from Backstory Radio: The Road to War, Why They Fought, and Questions & Answers about the Civil War. (2011, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities)
Civil War Battles UPDATED LINK! - Brief summaries of two dozen campaigns of the United States Army, from Fort Sumter in 1861 to Appomattox in 1865. Arranged in a timeline format. (2013, U.S. Army Center of Military History)
Civil War Classroom Resources AUDIO - A collection of downloadable teacher and student materials on topics related to the Civil War, including Slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Black Soldiers, Abolitionist Movement & Northern Racism, and the Soldiers' Experience. (2012, Chicago History Museum)
Civil War for Kids - Created by a class of elementary school students, this site includes a timeline of important events from 1860 to 1865, drawings of Civil War uniforms, short biographies of Civil War leaders, images of other leaders, activity sheets, and more. Last updated in 2005; expect broken links. (Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, NY)
Civil War in Art - Explores 'a wide range of images and objects that depict or relate to the most deadly war in the history of the United States... People living through the Civil War valued works of art as ways to understand the conflict, celebrate victories and heroes, and grieve their dead and losses. Today, as the works of art collected here show so movingly, these pieces continue to remind us of the power and significance of this momentous time in American history.' (2012 - 2013, Terra Foundation for American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, et al.)
Civil War Overview - A brief summary of the Civil War's major causes, events, and outcomes (2011, Louisiana State University, Leah W. Jewett et al.).
Civil War @ Smithsonian [Use the 'thumbnail icon' to see items in each category; click on images for larger picture and description.] - Pictures of artifacts and portraits relating to the Civil war, with descriptions. Some pages also have a 'See more' option. The site also includes a Civil War Timeline. (2002 - 2004, Smithsonian Institution)
Civil War Stories - Illustrates the social, economic, political, and military aspects of the Civil War by recounting the stories of specific people, places and events. The same site offers a Civil War Timeline of Events 1854-1877. See also The Civil War: 150 Years (2009 - 2011, National Park Service).
Crisis at Fort Sumter - Clearly explains the events and decisions which led to the Civil War. (1996 - 2011, Richard B. Latner et al., Tulane University)
Diary of a Civil War Nurse INTERACTIVE - The diaries and letters of Amanda Akin, who served as a nurse at Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C. for 15 months during the war, providing a glimpse into the lives of those who served and a touching record of the challenges of hospital life. Includes text, interactive primary documents, maps, and images. (2011, Smithsonian)
Discovering the Civil War VIDEO - This online exhibit takes 'a fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen documents, and unusual perspectives.' Includes articles, primary documents, & other resources, and suggestions for classroom study. (2008 - 2011, National Archives & Records Administration)
Ethnicity, Race, and the Military in the Civil War - Learn about the important role that racial and ethnic groups - including African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Irish soldiers - played in both armies during the Civil War (National Park Service). See also African-American Experience and Irish in the American Civil War, below, and Native Americans and the U.S. Military.
First Person Narratives of the South - Online texts (primary sources) from the Civil War and later. Includes accounts by soldiers and slaves. Part of Documenting the American South, a large collection of primary sources on southern history covering the period before the Civil War as well as the more recent past (2004, University of North Carolina). See also Slavery links, below.
Hearts at Home: Southern Women in the Civil War - 'Through letters and diaries, photographs, newspaper accounts, and personal mementos, Hearts at Home examines different aspects of southern women's experiences at home and on the battlefield during the Civil War.' (1997, University of Virginia)
Irish in the American Civil War - 'In 1860 there were 1.6 million Irish-born people living in the United States... During the war, at least 150,000 Irish-born fought for the Union, 20,000 for the Confederacy.' This blog explores Irish involvement in the Civil War. (2015; by military archaeologist Damian Shiels)
John Brown's Raid VIDEO - 'In October 1859, John Brown and twenty-one followers gained armed possession of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Their intent was to confiscate rifles stored there and with those weapons initiate a massive slave insurrection that would spread throughout the South and eventually free all of the nation's four million slaves.' Learn more about the raid and its aftermath on this website. (2010 - 2011, Virginia Historical Society)
Torn in Two - Maps, photographs, prints, diaries, songs and letters from before, during, and after the Civil War help illuminate some of the people & places of the era in this multimedia tour. (2011, Boston Public Library)
Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture AUDIO VIDEO - Explores Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, in relation to American culture, including the slavery debate, minstrel shows, books, songs, poems, and movies. (1998 - 2012 by Stephen Railton and The University of Virginia)
Underground Railroad - See Underground Railroad links, below.
Valley of the Shadow - Details life in two American towns, one in the North and one in the South, during the Civil War era. Includes letters, diaries, newspapers, maps and images. (1993-2007, Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia)
Voices of the Civil War VIDEO - A film series 'dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War... covering pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans 150 years ago.' High school and up. (2012; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit MI)
Age of Imperialism - 'During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States pursued an aggressive policy of expansionism, extending its political and economic influence around the globe. That pivotal era in the history of our nation is the subject of this on-line history.' Covers Expansion in the Pacific, the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Panama Canal, and U.S. Intervention in Latin America. Includes images, lesson plan, and bibliography (2013, Small Planet Communications, Inc.; educational publisher & development service). Some other relevant sites on Puerto Rico and the Spanish-American War are listed among our Latin America links.
America in the 1930s AUDIO VIDEO - A fascinating view of the Depression era through films, radio programs, literature, journalism, museums, exhibitions, architecture, art, and other forms of cultural expression (2004, University of Virginia). The 1930s VIDEO examines different aspects of the 1930s and the Great Depression, including the 1929 crash, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Dust Bowl, and more; scroll down the page to 'Films in this Collection' for the list of videos and preview clips you can view online. Related resources are posted on the pages for each video topic (1996 - 2010 WGBH / PBS; site includes advertisements). See also The Great Depression, New Deal Network, and Wall Street Crash (1929), below. Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 is a gallery of color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations (2010, Denver Post). More color photos from this era may be found at America from the Great Depression to WWII (1998, Library of Congress).
American Advertising History - 'This guide offers an overview of advertisements as historical sources and how historians use them, a brief history of advertising, questions to ask when interpreting ads as historical evidence, an annotated bibliography, and a guide to finding advertisements online' (2003, by history professor Daniel Pope; part of the History Matters website, CUNY and George Mason University). Ad Views VIDEO is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s (2009, Duke University).
Atomic Archive - 'Explores the complex history surrounding the invention of the atomic bomb - a crucial turning point for all mankind.' Includes original texts, eyewitness accounts, photographs, videos and full color maps (1998 - 2011, AJ Software & Multimedia, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation; site includes advertisements). Atomic Energy & Nuclear History 'traces the development of the atomic age from the discovery of radioactivity in the late 1800s to the close of the Cold War near the end of the twentieth century... [and] discusses the scientific, political and cultural ramifications of nuclear energy.' Includes primary sources; high school and up (Oregon State University Libraries). See also The Race to Build the Atomic Bomb (2010; by Doug Prouty, Contra Costa County [CA] Office of Education). For more on nuclear weapons policy, nuclear crises, treaties, and related topics, see the National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault; high school and up (2014, George Washington University). Nuke Pop examines how the atomic bomb was reflected in popular culture of the era, with lots of images from comics, magazines, and other primary sources. High school and up (1999 - 2001, Paul Brians, Professor of English, Washington State University). The Bomb for My Pillow is one man's reminiscence of 'growing up in the shadow of nuclear annihilation' (1980 - 2003 by Gregg Nathan Ainsworth and Betty de Losada). See also Hiroshima: Ground Zero and related links.
Automobile in American Life & Society - Explores the automobile's impact on American life. The site is divided into five sections: Design, Environment, Gender, Labor, and Race. Includes essays, archival materials from the Henry Ford collection & other depositories, plus classroom resources for students and teachers. Middle school and up. (2004 - 2010, University of Michigan)
Building the Suburban Dream - Text and images chronicle the construction, marketing, and lifestyle of Levittown, Pennsylvania, a housing development which represented the dream of suburban life in the 1950s. (2003, State Museum of Pennsylvania)
Civil Rights Movement - See African-American Experience, below.
Cold War [CAUTION: This site includes links to Wikipedia articles and pre-formed Google searches.] - A timeline of events in the Cold War, from the 1940s through the 1990s, with a brief description of each event and links to additional information. Also includes stories and a trivia game (Cold War Museum; site includes advertisements). See also Cold War: A Brief History (1998 - 2011, AJ Software & Multimedia, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation; site includes advertisements). See also Cuban Missile Crisis, below.
Conversations with America AUDIO - 'Man-on-the-street' interviews recorded by Studs Terkel over several decades, covering the Great Depression, World War II, race relations, and more. Choose a section, then scroll down to get to the recordings. High school and up. (2002, Chicago Historical Society et al.)
Cuban Missile Crisis: Armageddon Letters - 'In October 1962, human civilization came close to being destroyed. During the Cuban missile crisis... Armageddon might have occurred if leaders in Washington and Moscow hadn't stopped in their tracks, turned around 180 degrees and raced away from the brink in a panic at the foreshadowed doomsday.' This site presents the events of the Cuban missile crisis in the form of a graphic novel. For high school students (2012, Professor James Blight et al., Balsillie School of International Affairs). See also World on the Brink NEW! & To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis NEW! (2002 - 2012, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum), and Cold War, above.
Days of Infamy AUDIO - 'Within the living memory of Americans are two deadly surprise attacks against the United States: Japan's assault on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Both times, the Library of Congress sent people out to record the voices of ordinary Americans as they reacted to a changed world.' Includes audio (primary source material), slideshow, and links (2002, American Radio Works; site includes advertisements). See also Remembering Pearl Harbor NEW! INTERACTIVE (2001, National Geographic). After the Day of Infamy AUDIO presents 'man-on-the-street' reactions of ordinary Americans to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of war by the United States, with 'a wide diversity of opinion concerning the war and other social and political issues of the day, such as racial prejudice and labor disputes. The result is a portrait of everyday life in America as the United States entered World War II' (2003, Library of Congress). See also September 11, 2001, below.
Eisenhower Presidental Library (1950s) - Offers brief overviews plus related primary documents for a number of important subjects from the 1950s and WWII, including various aspects of the Civil Rights struggle, Korean War, Interstate Highway System, McCarthyism, Sputnik & the Space Race, Atoms for Peace, Rosenberg Trial, Salk Polio Vaccine, U-2 Spy Plane Incident, D-Day, The Invasion of Normandy, Holocaust, Jacqueline Cochran & the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs), Women in the 1950s, and more.
The Great Depression - Answers basic questions about the Great Depression, such as What was the Great Depression? How high was unemployment during the Great Depression? What was FDR's program to end the Great Depression? Did the New Deal end the Great Depression? and more. High school and up (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum). See also America in the 1930s, above.
Living Room Candidate VIDEO - Extensive video archive of Presidential campaign television and web commercials from 1952 to the present. Includes commentary, historical background, and election results; organized by year, type of commercial, and issue. (2012, American Museum of the Moving Image)
National Archives Videos VIDEO - Historic video from United Newsreel, NASA, and the Department of Interior, covering World War II, the space program, national parks, and more. (National Archives online videos are now hosted on YouTube; site includes advertisements).
National Security Archive - A collection of declassified national security documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Includes primary source materials (documents and audio) related to the 1953 coup against Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadeq, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra Affair, 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev Summit, Iraq War, and numerous other international policy subjects, covering more than 50 years up to the present. For college or advanced high school students. (1995 - 2015, George Washington University)
New Deal Network - Hundreds of letters, photos, speeches, advertisements, and other primary documents covering the Great Depression (2003 - 2011, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute). See also Works Progress Administration (WPA) (2008, New York Times; site includes advertisements). You can also listen to Fireside Chats and other FDR audio & video AUDIO VIDEO, or read the full text of Fireside Chats on the American Presidency Project website (1999 - 2011, Gerhard Peters / The American Presidency Project, University of California). See also America in the 1930s, above.
Old Magazine Articles - PDF images of actual magazine articles, reviews, poems, pictures and cartoons, mostly from the early- and mid-20th century; arranged by subject. (Site includes advertisements)
Red Scare - Describes the nationwide fear of communists, socialists, anarchists, and other dissidents which seized the nation from 1919-1921 (2004 by Paul Burnett, 2L, University of Missouri Law School). For the communist scare of the 1950s, see McCarthyism (2009, Eisenhower Presidential Library) and The Second Red Scare UPDATED LINK! (2006 by Kyle Wilkison, Professor of History, Collin County Community College) .
Route 66 - Route 66, stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, occupies a special place in the American imagination. It has been the subject or setting of novels, films, songs and stories. This website uses text and images to explore the history of Route 66, from its origins in ancient Native American footpaths to the iconic highway of the 20th century. High school and up. (2009 - 2010, Northern Arizona University)
September 11, 2001 - An overview of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, including historical background and aftermath. For more on the history of terrorism, see Terrorism in Historical Perspective (both from University of Houston). The September 11 Television Archive VIDEO contains television news programs recorded live from around September 11, 2001. The September 11 Digital Archive AUDIO VIDEO offers a collection of eyewitnesses accounts, images, and other resources related to September 11, as well as 9/11 FAQs UPDATED LINK! (City University of New York and the George Mason University). You can view the original, unedited Newspaper Front Pages, September 12, 2001 UPDATED LINK! from 147 newspapers in 19 countries on the day after the attacks (Newseum). You can read the reports of the 9/11 Commission on its archived site. The New York Times' Remembering September 11 AUDIO VIDEO is an archive of articles, photographs, oral histories, and video clips about 9/11 and its aftermath (site includes advertisements). The September 11 Documentary Project AUDIO VIDEO includes almost 200 audio and video interviews, 45 graphic items, and 21 written narratives capturing the reactions, opinions, and eyewitness accounts of Americans and others in the months that followed the terrorist attacks; use the left-hand menu to navigate (Library of Congress). See also Days of Infamy, above.
Sixties Project - Website dedicated to the history of the 1960s, contains articles, personal narratives (primary sources), humor, poetry, and more. Click on 'Exhibits' for pictures of buttons and posters. A related site, Psychedelic Sixties, covers all aspects of the 1960s, including social protest, rock music, hippies, drug use, and 19th- and 20th-century precursors. (1998 - 2009, University of Virginia). High school and up. Summer of Love VIDEO is an online documentary showing interviews with a broad range of individuals who lived through the summer of 1967 in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district, 'where thousands of young people from across the country came to join in the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing.' High school and up (2007, PBS; site includes advertisements). 1968: The Whole World Was Watching AUDIO contains transcripts, audio recordings, and edited stories of a series of interviews recollecting the year 1968, which include references to the Vietnam War, the struggle for Civil Rights, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy as well as many more personal memories; a living history of one of the most tumultuous years in United States history (created in 1998; South Kingstown [RI] High School and Brown University). Campaign '68 AUDIO is an audio program looking back at the 1968 presidential contest, a watershed event shaped by a controversial war, fractious race relations, and the rising power of television. Includes timeline, links, transcipt, and more; high school and up (2008, American Public Radio; site includes advertisements).
Space Program - See SCIENCE: Astronomy, Planets, and Space Flight.
Temperance & Prohibition - Explains the causes and effects of the movement to ban alcoholic beverages in the U.S., leading to the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment which was later repealed. Text and images/cartoons (2003 - 2011, Ohio State University). See also Wayne B. Wheeler: The Man Who Turned Off the Taps (2010, Smithsonian Magazine; site includes advertisements) and Temperance and Prohibition Era Propaganda (2004, Leah Rae Berk; Brown University). High school and up.
Wall Street Crash (1929) [Archived page] - Explains why the crash happened and how it affected people (BBC). See also The Crash of '29 (1999, New York Times) and After the Crash (2009, Library of Congress). See also America in the 1930s, above.
Watergate Papers - A brief overview of events leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974, with original notes, letters, and other documents (primary sources) from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story. (University of Texas)
Wessels Living History Farm VIDEO - Detailed exploration of farm life and farming in the 1920s through the 1960s, with photos, video, and oral histories (2010, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications). For more on agricultural history, see our Food & Farming Links.
White House Tapes AUDIO - Six American presidents from FDR through Nixon secretly recorded thousands of hours of their conversations. This site offers all the presidential recordings (primary sources), along with some transcripts and related research materials. High school and up. (University of Virginia)
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY ONLINE (Facts on File) Provides expansive and in-depth information on the people, events, and topics important to the study of African-American history. If you're logging on at home, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN to get started.
African American History and Culture AUDIO [NOTE: To find this material, you must check off 'AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE' in the list of TOPICS on the left side of the page, then click the 'SEARCH' button.] - Materials relating to civil rights, religion, biographies, and other aspects of black history and culture. Includes online exhibits and bibliographies. (Smithsonian Institution)
African American History Timeline - A chronological overview of African American history from before 1600 to the present, with links to additional information on key topics. (2007 - 2011, BlackPast.org / Quintard Taylor, Professor of American History, University of Washington)
African American History Web Guide - A selection of annotated links, arranged alphabetically. There is also a related guide to selected black history websites by state. Most pages have not been updated since 2007, so expect some broken links. (University of North Carolina)
African-American Migration Experience - Focuses on both voluntary and forced migrations of peoples of African descent, beginning with the transatlantic slave trade and, in the 1500s, the first Africans coming from Mexico and the Caribbean to the Spanish territories of the American South, followed by successive generations moving to the north, south, and west. Includes text, images, maps, and other materials. High school and up. (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library)
African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship - Explores black America's quest for equality from the early national period through the twentieth century, with text, documents, and images; arranged chronologically. (2008, Library of Congress)
African American Religion - An overview of history of the African-American religion, 'from the earliest African-European encounters along the west coast of Africa in the mid-fifteenth century to the present day.' Divided into three parts, with a bibliography of recommended resources. Companion site to a multi-volume book series; high school and up. (2000 - 2006, Amherst College)
Congressional Black Caucus - Traces the history of the participation and contribution of African Americans in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, with an in-depth look at how, when and why the CBC was formed, and an examination of its involvement in issues such as the creation of a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and the dismantling of the apartheid system in South Africa (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation). See also Black Americans in Congress, which offers information and images of past & current black Members of Congress, plus essays on historical events that have influenced African Americans in Congress, and includes African American Women in Congress, which gives brief biographies of past & current women in the Congressional Black Caucus and a record of their achievements (U.S. House of Representatives).
Culture & Change: Black History in America AUDIO - Profiles of famous African Americans, inventors & inventions, an audio history of jazz music, and an interactive timeline. Elementary and middle school. (Scholastic Inc.; site includes advertisements)
Harlem Renaissance: Drop Me Off in Harlem AUDIO VIDEO - Explores the creative and intellectual voices of artists, musicians, actors, writers, and activists who flourished during the cultural flowering of Harlem between 1917 and 1935. Includes primary sources to read, listen to, and watch (2003, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts).
History Makers VIDEO - These video interviews, with thousands of both well-known and unsung African-Americans, offer messages of leadership, achievement and perseverance. Those interviewed are drawn from a wide variety of fields including arts, entertainment, media, politics, science, sports, business, and more. (The HistoryMakers, non-profit organization; site includes advertisements)
New Jersey History: Afro-Americans in New Jersey - This online report covers the colonial period through the 1980s. You must view each section separately - scroll down for the table of contents. PDF format (1989; by Giles R. Wright, New Jersey Historical Commission).
New York History: The African-American Experience in New York - Brief biographies, with pictures, of notable African-American New Yorkers, covering the early Civil Rights Movements, arts & letters, science & business, sports, and politics. (New York Hall of Governors)
Online Encyclopedia: African American History, People - Short articles (with images) about people, places, organizations, and events which have contributed to the shaping of African American history. Use the menu on the left to access additional material, including major speeches, media, museums, primary documents, timelines, and related links; formerly Vignettes of Significant People and Places in African American History (2007 - 2011, BlackPast.org / Quintard Taylor, Professor of American History, University of Washington).
Say It Plain: Great African American Speeches AUDIO - You can read and/or listen to an hour-long radio show to learn about the tradition of powerful black political orators in the United States, or click on the name of one of a dozen featured speakers (including Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hamer, Stokely Carmichael, Shirley Chisholm, and Barack Obama) to read their biographies and read or hear one of their speeches. (American Public Media; site includes advertisements)
Civil War - Includes links on the Underground Railroad and other topics related to the African-American experience. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Africans in America - Explores the history of slavery in America from 1450 to 1865; arranged chronologically (1998, WGBH Educational Foundation; PBS). Slavery and the Making of America AUDIO documents the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end, looking at slavery as an integral part of a developing nation while also focusing on the experiences of slaves. Examines the role of art, music, and education in the lives of slaves and recounts the remarkable stories of individual slaves (2004, PBS; site includes advertisements).
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives contains thousands of first-person accounts (primary sources) of slavery, collected in the 1930s (2001, Library of Congress). North American Slave Narratives 'collects books and articles that document the individual and collective story of African Americans struggling for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries' (2004, University of North Carolina). For smaller selections of narratives, see Voices from the Days of Slavery AUDIO (2009, Library of Congress) or American Slave Narratives (1998, University of Virginia).
Slave Voyages - Essays on the history of slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade, plus related resources. For teachers and students, grades 6-12 (2007 - 2009, Emory University). Captive Passage examines the Transatlantic slave trade and its legacies in the modern world. Includes maps and other images (2002, Mariners' Museum). Voyage of the Slave Ship Sally retraces the journey of a single 18th century Rhode Island slave ship, from its initial preparation through the long months on the African coast, to the auctioning of surviving captives on the West Indian island of Antigua; high school and up (Brown University). See also England and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Slavery in New York - Online slide show exploring the history of slaves and slavery in New York, from the city's role the Atlantic slave trade, through the Revolutionary War, to the end of slavery in New York in 1827. Website may be slow to load and navigate. (2005 - 2011, New York Historical Society)
Underground Railroad - Essays on slavery & the Underground Railroad, brief stories and information about the people & places associated with the Underground Railroad, plus research reports, timeline, maps, photos, terminology, web activities INTERACTIVE and lesson plans; scroll down the left-hand menu to the heading Discover Underground Railroad History to navigate (National Park Service). Underground Railroad: The Struggle Against Slavery VIDEO offers an extensive encyclopedia, interviews, and other learning resources which 'bring to life the great history of the Underground Railroad and those who traversed it.' High school and up (2012; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit MI). Underground Railroad Journey INTERACTIVE is an interactive site that takes you over the route travelled by escaping slaves on the Underground Railroad (1996, National Geographic Society; site includes advertisements).
Understanding Slavery - 'Few human practices have provoked such deep and widespread outrage as the practice of one human being enslaving another. So why has slavery survived for thousands of years? How did it become so important to civilization? Explore the ways that slavery has been woven into the fabric of societies in America and around the world.' Middle school and up (Discovery School; site includes advertisements). The Understanding Slavery Initiative NEW! offers a wealth of materials for teaching and learning about the transatlantic slavery and its legacies (2011, National Maritime Museum [UK] et al.).
Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings VIDEO - 'From the 1860s to the 1920s, towns across the U.S. violently expelled African American residents. Today, these communities remain virtually all white.' This companion website to an Independent Lens documentary examines the people and places involved in 'the hidden history of racial cleansing in America.' Includes video interviews. High school and up. (2007, Center for Investigative Reporting and Two Tone Productions / PBS; site includes advertisements)
Black Leadership UPDATED LINK! VIDEO - Interviews with dozens of leaders from the black community, exploring the early influences on their lives, along with 'issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America.' (2014, University of Virginia)
Brown v. Board of Education - Summary, oral history, court opinions, and other materials related to the historically significant Supreme Court case which denied the legal basis for segregation of public schools. Click on 'About Brown v. Board' from the top menu for related info (2010, Brown Foundation). With an Even Hand: Brown v. Board at 50 (2010, Library of Congress), Looking Back: Brown v. Board of Education AUDIO (2003 - 2004, NPR), and Separate is Not Equal (2009, Smithsonian Institution) offer additional resources on this topic. From Canterbury to Little Rock: The Struggle for Educational Equality for African Americans provides background readings, images, and educational activities that explore historic events in Canterbury, Connecticut, and Little Rock, Arkansas, which tested the prevailing assumptions of the time regarding racial integration of schools (2010, National Park Service).
Civil Rights Digital Library AUDIO VIDEO - Brief background essays with links to primary sources and other materials on a wide range of topics relating to the civil rights movement. You can browse the site by Events, Places, People, Topics, or media type, or search by keyword. High school and up (2013, Digital Library of Georgia). Finishing the Dream: Learning from the Civil Rights Era VIDEO is a collection of short videos on a variety of civil rights topics (2011, NBC-TV).
Freedom Riders VIDEO - This documentary film from the American Experience series tells the story of 'a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.' Includes background materials on historic context plus a timeline and biographies. You can view the entire film or selected clips. (2010, WGBH Educational Foundation / PBS; site includes advertisements)
Jim Crow History VIDEO - Explores the history of racial segration in the U.S. from the 1870s through the 1950s. Includes a timeline, maps, personal narratives, photos, video, documents, and more (2002 Educational Broadcasting Corporation / WNET NY; site includes advertisements). See also Remembering Jim Crow AUDIO (2013, American Public Media; site includes advertisements)
Lest We Forget - Original portraits (paintings and drawings) of civil rights leaders, with brief biographies and other background materials. [CAUTION: This site includes a significant number of links to Wikipedia articles.] (2009 - 2012, Robert Templeton Estate)
NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom - Examines the major personalities, events, and achievements of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) during its first 100 years. Covers the founding and early years of the NAACP, the 'New Negro Movement', the Great Depression, World War II & the Post War Years, and the Civil Rights Era. Includes photos, primary documents, and an interactive timeline. (2009, Library of Congress)
Oh Freedom AUDIO - Audio program recounting events surrounding the murders of three young civil rights workers in Mississippi during the summer of 1964. Includes story text and interviews. (2001, American Public Media; site includes advertisements)
Standing Up By Sitting Down NEW! INTERACTIVE - An online activity designed to help you learn about about the 1960 Sit-In Movement, and to give you a feel for what it was like to live in the USA, and in Greensboro, North Carolina, during that moment in history; middle school and up. (2014, National Civil Rights Museum)
Tuskegee Airmen - A brief overview of the World War II 'Tuskegee Airmen', who overcame many obstacles to be allowed to train and fight as the first black U.S. Army Air Corps pilots. Site includes many photos and links to additional resources (Commemorative Air Force; non-profit organization). See also Legends of Tuskegee (National Park Service). The Buffalo Soldiers examines the contributions of 'Buffalo Soldiers', African-American men who served in the military after the Civil War (National Park Service). To learn more about African-Americans in the military during the 19th century, see also Ethnicity, Race, and the Military in the Civil War, above. African Americans and the U. S. Navy UPDATED LINK! includes articles, photos, and documents from the early 19th century through the present (U. S. Navy).
Angel Island - Opened in California in 1910, Angel Island is sometimes called the 'Ellis Island of the West', but was mainly built to control the flow of Chinese into the country after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This page provides an overview of Chinese immigration since 1848, as well as Japanese, Koreans, and other groups who entered the U.S. through Angel Island, and a description of Life on Angel Island, as well as related resources (Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation). The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 offers short essays on verious aspects of the Chinese immigrant experience in California (2003, Library of Congress). Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion NEW! 'chronicles the complex history of the Chinese in America - the challenges of immigration, citizenship, and belonging that shaped both the Chinese American experience and the development of the United States as a nation' (2014, New York Historical Society).
Be a Historian: Immigration INTERACTIVE - This well-designed interactive site invites you to help in developing a museum display about immigration to America. Focus is on Iowa, but much of the material presented applies to American immigration generally. Middle school and up. (2005, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area / Grout Museum of History & Science)
Dear Miss Breed AUDIO VIDEO - A collection of letters and postcards written from internment camps by young Japanese-Americans, showing what life was like for the children and teenagers being held in the camps (2010, Japanese American National Museum). The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives NEW! depicts life inside the detention camps using primary sources such as personal & official photographs, letters & diaries, transcribed oral histories, art, and more. Also offers background, timeline, and lesson plans (Calisphere, University of California). For additional photographs, see Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar (2009, Library of Congress; photos by Ansel Adams).
Destination America - Background materials on the history of immigration to the U.S., including essays, personal stories, photos, timelines, quiz, and related resources; companion website for the PBS TV series. (2005, Educational Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements)
Ellis Island: Immigration Timeline UPDATED LINK! - Click a spot on the timeline for an infographic and description of any period in immigration history through 2000 (2001, Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation; site includes advertisements). See also Immigration: The Making of the American People [NOTE: Links to articles on various immigrant groups and issues are broken.], a timeline of immigration to the U.S. from 1607 to 2008 with brief descriptions and images (2013, U.S. Department of State). The Immigration to the United States Timeline, 1789-1930 presents key dates and landmarks in United States immigration history, from 1789 to 1940, with links to primary documents (Harvard University).
Ethnic & Multicultural Resources - Selected links to information about the history and culture of various ethnic, racial, and other population groups, including African & African-American, Arab-American & Muslim, Asian & Asian-American, Jewish, European-American (Irish, Italian, German), Hispanic-American & Latino, Indian Tribes & Native Peoples, women, people with disabilities, and more. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Immigration Stories INTERACTIVE - 'Find out what it means to come to the United States as an immigrant from the early 20th century through the early 21st century,' through personal stories, a virtual tour of Ellis Island, and more. For middle school students. (Scholastic Inc.; site includes advertisements)
Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 - A large searchable collection of selected historical materials, including many primary resources, concentrating heavily on the 19th century. Thousands of books and photographs, and 13,000 pages from manuscript and archival collections. 'By incorporating diaries, biographies, and other writings capturing diverse experiences, the collected material provides a window into the lives of ordinary immigrants.' High school and up. (Harvard University)
Jewish Life in America - A description of Jewish immigration, particularly during the period 1820-1924, and 350 years of Jewish life in America, with photographs of related documents and artifacts (2010, Library of Congress). See also The Jewish-Americans VIDEO, covering Jewish American history from the first Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam in 1654, to Jewish life in modern America. Includes special topics such as anti-semitism, responses to the Holocaust, Jews in sports and the arts, and more. With video clips. (PBS et al; site includes advertisements)
Statue of Liberty UPDATED LINK! - A short article about the statue's history, with links to fun facts, pictures, and more (Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation). See also Statue of Liberty History & Culture (National Park Service).
Triangle Factory Fire AUDIO - Primary documents, recorded interviews, photos, and a textual history of the 1911 fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers. (2011, Cornell University)
Virtual Tenement VIDEO - Visit two New York City apartments as they appeared in the 1870's and 1930's; requires QuickTime media player (PBS; site includes advertisements). The Tenement Museum VIDEO INTERACTIVE has additional apartment tours, plus related resources on tenements and how immigrants lived.