Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden, 1899
Poem that directly appeals to American men to join the British in the global imperial project
Theodore Roosevelt, the Strenuous Life, 1899
Roosevelt promoting imperialism as a way to develop oneself, connects back to the idea that men used imperialism as a way to enhance their masculinity
Robert La Follette, Antiwar Speech, 1917
La Follete strongly opposed America entering WWI, this is his speech urging Congress to deny
Wilson's request for declaration of war because the US was hypocritical when attacking Germany's government
African Americans and the War: Two Views*,
The first document is W.E.B DuBois encouraging black soldiers to join the army and fight in WWI in 1918. The second document is DuBois a year later talking about the soldiers returning from war and how horribly they are treated, crucifying America's treatment of blacks
The Hawaiian Memorial, 1897
This is a political petition to the US government to remove their provisional government from the islands of Hawaii because it was illegitimate. This is an example of imperialism and how the US govt was hypocritical in its expansion
Albert Beveridge, The March of the Flag, 1898
Beveridge was running for Senator, said that there was an American obligation for expansion and imperializing because people could not govern themselves- connects back to bigger idea of american control of indians, blacks, etc.
"There's Plenty of Room at the Table", 1906
Cartoon that supported McKinley and the Republican party and painted Imperialism as good for both America and the colonized nations
Anti-Imperalism Letter, 1899
This letter questioned the motives and methods of Imperialism because of the brutality of the fighting in the Philippines
"Civilization Begins at Home"" 1898
Cartoon that depicts President McKinely contemplating a map of the world and looking what to imperialize, while Lady Justice opens a curtain that reveals racial problems in the background
General Electric Refrigerator Advertisement, 1928
Ad for refrigerator, showed how there was a new twist to consumerism that was directed at women and the surge in household products
Claude McKay, If We Must Die, 1919
Harlem Renaissance writer, this is a poem that focuses on race relations and lives of African Americans during the Red Scare
Men and Women of the KKK: Two Views* 1924 and 1927
The first document describes a typical KKK member and how they think of themselves as the voice of God, but they're just thugs. The second document expresses the idea that the KKK is devoted to maintaining traditional womanhood.
Mollie Steimer, Trial Testimony, 1918
Testimony from the Abrams case, Mollie Steimer was the youngest defendant who joined the anarchist movement. This document is her explaining anarchy.
Workers- Wake Up!, 1918
Document that the prosecution used against defendants in the Abrams case, leaflet that paints defendants as violent and explosive
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Abrams v. United States Dissent, 1919
Supreme Court decision, written by Justice John Clarke, clear and present danger argument called for a tougher standard to restrict free speech in government
Zechariah Chafee Jr, Freedom of Speech in Wartime, 1919
Chafee arguing for the importance of protecting freedom of speech even during wartime
Billy Ireland, We Can't Digest the Scum, 1919
Cartoon that goes against the idea that the melting pot would dissolve cultural differences, suggesting that not all people/ideas should be assimilated into the melting plot
A. Mitchell Palmer, The Case against the Reds, 1920
Palmer was a leading figure in the Red Scare, organized the Palmer raids in 1920 against communists and radicals. this document is an article defending his actions saying that communists were criminals and threats to society. In the raids more than 6,000 people were arrested.
Andry Wright, Plea from One of the Scottsboro Nine, 1937
Andy Wright was one of the blacks charge with raping two whites in the Scottsboro Nine Case, this is a letter he wrote pleading to a magazine after his second condition,. Contends that he was framed and explains the misconduct of the police and trial.
Minnie Hardin, Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, 1937
Letter to the first lady expressing frustration with New Deal programs, saying it makes people just live off the government
Packing the Supreme Court: Two Views*
Two cartoons that show the opposing reactions to Roosevelt's threatening to pack the supreme court. one shows it as roosevelt reorganizing the judicial system for the benefit of publics welfare, the other showing it as an ultimatum idea for the highest court in the land
Ann Marie Low, Dust Bowl Diary, 1934
diary entry that describes difficult of life during the dust bowl
The Life of a White Sharecropper, 1938
Interview of a share cropping family that came about as the result of one of the New Deals programs which went around interviewing ordinary individuals in order to get an idea on their home life, work, education, etc. Depicts life as not great, but ok and managing
Sharecropping Family in Washington County, Arkansas, 1935
photo that depicts wife and daughters of a poor sharecropper; shows how the resettlement administration documented plight of poor farmers and sharecroppers.
John Steinbeck, the Harvest Gypsies, 1936
Steinbeck's article on Dust Bowl migrants after he toured farm sites and shantytowns
Frank Stokes, Let the Mexicans Organize, 1936
Document that argues in favor of allowing Mexican farm laborers to unionize
Report of the Great Plains Committee, 1937
Great Plains Committee was set up by Roosevelt to investigate cause of Great Plains, led to things like controlling overproduction and helping out poor farmers
American Reactions to Pearl Harbor: Two Views*, 1941
The first document is a US army nurse in a letter to her parents describing what happened at Pearl Harbor, depicts the goriness of what happened and all of the bloodiness and darkness following the attack. The next document tells about a Nisei woman who was studying at the University of Washington when Pearl Harbor happened and how she was discriminated against and eventually put in an internment camp.
Women Workers During Wartime: Two Views*
Two advertisements; the first depicts the importance of women working in society to contribute to the war (1942), the second urges women to return home after the war (1944)
Letter from Black Soldiers, 1943
Black soldiers writing to newspaper to raise awareness of discrimination in the armed forces. This letter describes a group's mistreatment at an army base in Colorado
Recommendations on the Immediate Use of Nuclear Weapons, June 16, 1945
Memorandum that recommends the use of atomic weapons, saying there's no other alternative that would make any progress
Petition to the President of the United States, July 17, 1945
Document arguing against the use of the bomb, saying instead to just threaten it for example by using it on an uninhabited island.
President Harry S. Truman, Press Release on the Atomic Bomb, August 6, 1945
Statement Truman made to the public following the dropping of first bomb. Explains the development, power and reasoning behind the use of the bomb.
Hiroshima, August 6, 1945
Photograph of a survivor standing among the destruction caused by the atomic bomb in what is left of Hiroshima
US Strategic Bombing Survey, 1946
President Truman had researchers conduct studies to see the effects of the bombs and strategic bombing campaigns. Concluded that the bombs were unnecessary and that Japan would have surrendered by fall without them.
Father Johannes Siemes, Eyewitness Account of the Hiroshima Bombing, 1945
Eyewitness account of the bombing, discussing the absolute destruction and horror that was left of Hiroshima.
Reactions to Soviet Policy in Europe: Two Views*
The first document is Churchill's Iron Curtain speech (1946) , where he condemns the Soviet's behavior. The second document is Henry Wallace's Way to Peace (1946) where he condemns aggressive actions against the Soviets, saying that battle is useless and argues for a diplomatic, containment approach.
Vyacgesav Molotov, Soviet Objections to the Marshall Plan, 1947
Soviet foreign minister rejects the Marshall Plan and suggests the US offer an alternative form of economic assistance to Europe
Helen Stevenson, Letter from Korea, 1951
Steven was a red cross worker who wrote a letter describing the work for the Red Cross in Korea mainly talking about how terribly Americans treated the South Koreans
To Secure These Rights, 1947
To Secure These Rights was a document published by a committee that investigated racial discrimination and segregation in the US which prompted Truman to segregate federal employment and military. This excerpt emphasizes the fact that America is an immigrant nation and that the world views America negatively because of the prejudices that it incorporates into law.
Ronald Reagan, Testimony before HUAC, 1947*
Reagan was president of Screen Actors Guild, and in this testimony he was asked his opinion of what should be done to strip the film making industry of communist influence. He responds that communism is not as big of a problem as everyone believes and that Hollywood does not incorporate it into its work. He also says it would be hypocritical and not very democratic to outlaw a political party.
John Howard Lawson, Testimony before HUAC, 1947
Lawson was a founder of the Screen Writer's Guild and a member of the communist party. In this testimony the committee hammers him on whether or not he is a member of the communist party, he says there is no basis for that question, and is very resistant to comply. Eventually he is imprisoned and black listed for refusing to answer the committee's questions.
Herblock, Fire!, 1949
Cartoon that depicted the hysteria of McCarthyism; McCarthy carrying up water to put out the flame on the Statue of Liberty
Lillian Hellman, Letter to HUAC, 1952
Hellman was a playwright who had leftist views, this document is her letter to the chairman of
HUAC before her testimony. She says that she will testify as long as the questions are about herself, but will not testify against other people. She is denied this and eventually blacklisted after she plead the fifth in her testimony.
Arthur Miller, Reflections on HUAC, 2000
Miller had to testify before HUAC in the 50s and answered questions about his own political activities but wouldn't implicate anyone else. As a result he was fined, jailed and blacklisted. This document is his description of the ridiculous paranoia of the Red Scare 45 years later.
Living the Suburban Dream: Two Views*
The first document is a Levittown ad, depicting the suburbs as a calm, wholesome place for blue collar workers. The second document, however, is the Restrictive Covenant for Innis Arden, Seattle, 1941 which shows the racist foundation of these suburbs.
Billy Graham, What's Wrong with Our World? 1958
Excerpt from a Billy Graham speech as he discusses people's unhappiness even though they are living well. He says the problem in the world is sin, and that people are unhappy because of their own personal sins.
Ella Baker, Bigger than a Hamburger, 1960
This is an address given by Ella Baker, an activist and coordinator for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This document is an article in which Baker summarizes the SNCC's goals: to remove superior views and gain equality.
Dick Clark, Your Happiest Years, 1959
Excerpt from Clark's advice book for teenagers. Talked about making friendships, the importance of parents, as well as makeup, manners and romance.
Richard Gehman, The Nine Billion Dollars in Hot Little Hands, 1957
Document that portrays teenagers as a new and distinct market. This is an article that discusses how teenagers influenced pop culture and markets.
Chevrolet Advertisement, 1954
Chevy ad that does not directly target teens, but appeals to them as it makes cars seem cool. Teenagers influenced the decisions their parent's made, which was Chevy's intent behind this ad.
Charlotte Jones, Letter on Elvis, 1957
Letter written by a teenage girl in response to a columnist's critique of Elvis. Paints Elvis as a leader of a new movement, a king in his own right. Shows the growing cultural gap between adults and teens during this generation.
Todd Gitlin, Reflections on the 1950s, 1987
Excerpt from a book on the 1960s where Gitlin reflects on his disillusionment with the political situation in America that he and other teenagers were feeling in the late 50s.
The Desegregation of Central High School, 1957
Photograph of one of the Little Rock Nine surrounded by an angry crows on the first day they attempted to go to school.