Throughout the 1800s, homegrown American scientists and inventors were a source of pride for the fledgling republic, which was rapidly surpassing Great Britain and the rest of Europe as a hotbed of industrial activity. The period also coincided with the peak of the Romantic Period in art, music,
In this episode of the History Explorer podcast series, Curator Shannon Perich discusses how portraiture can be used in historical research. Shannon presents three historical portraits (including Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother), describing the historical context of each, while also providin
In this episode of the History Explorer podcast, curator Deborah Warner discusses the role of sugar and various sweeteners in American history. In addition to being a staple in the American diet, sugar's role in our nation's history touches on subjects of science and technology, labor and ca
In this activity, children will watch a short silent film recorded in 1930 and get a sense of a Harlem club during the Jazz Age. Part of an OurStory module entitled Duke Ellington and Jazz, this activity includes a link to a newsreel video from the Smithsonian Archives Center, discussion
Learn more about First Lady Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and her work to protect the environment and bring beauty to every community. This module from the OurStory program includes active reading suggestions and discussion questions for the illustrated biog
See one of America's earliest steam locomotives, the John Bull, come to life while riding the rails. Part of an OurStory module entitled All Aboard the Train!, this activity includes strategies that will help adults and children actively view a 4-minute video of the John Bull in
In this activity, children will examine pictures of a Congressional Gold Medal for Japanese American soldiers, investigate the symbols on both sides, and design their own medal for kids who lived in the camps. Part of an OurStory module from entitled Life in a WWII Japanese American Internmen
In this activity, students will match clues with images of children who lived in the White House in order to learn about their lives as they lived in the presidential mansion. As part of the online exhibition, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, this activity will help stude
Although many children are already familiar with what money looks like and with how and when their families use money, it is important that they also understand how money itself works. The money we use, coins and currency, has very little value on its own. Coins and bills only h
There was a time when young people were the most passionate participants in American democracy. In the second half of the nineteenth century--as voter turnout reached unprecedented peaks--young people led the way, hollering, fighting, and flirting at massive midnight rallies. Paren
Fritz maintains her reputation for fresh and lively historical writing with this biography of the 19th-century American feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), imparting to her readers not just a sense of Stanton's accomplishments but a picture of the greater society Stanton strove to change
Dynamic portrayal of two boys longing for something they no longer have and finding the resources to face the future. This story offers a fresh perspective on the thousands of children who moved west via the Orphan Trains in the late 19th century.
Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the patriots, readers meet George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other historical figures, and learn about the documents and battles that kept the fight for freedom alive. Each striking illustration introduces readers to the people, places, and events
Author Ann Bausum peels back the layers of the story of the women's suffrage movement, exposing grit, fiery determination, and radical tactics. After covering the importance of familiar names, she devotes the bulk of the book to the events of 1906 to 1920, when a new group of young women emerged
Triple Olympic medal winning Mia Hamm tells a story inspired by her own experience as a very young athlete in this story for the youngest of readers. Little Mia overcomes her frustration by learning an important lesson in sportsmanship.
After contracting polio at the age of 4, Wilma Rudolph was told she would never walk again. This book tells the inspiring tale of how Wilma battled disease, her leg brace, and segregation to become the fastest woman in the world at the 1960 Olympics.