Primary Sources in the Classroom


You are what you eat? Maybe, maybe not

Source: Morning Oregonian, Feb. 5, 1910

Low-fat? Low-calorie? Low-carb? Headlines seem to grab the public’s interest every day with warnings about what and what not to eat. With food-related health issues and rising obesity rates getting so much attention in the United States and around the world, it is tempting to think that mankind’s struggles with diet are new. But of course they aren’t!

Source: Rising Sun (Kansas City, MO), May 26, 1905. Click to open in PDF.

You are what you eat? Maybe, maybe not

Robert Smalls: Contraband Captain and U.S. Congressman

Robert Smalls (April 5, 1839–February 23, 1915)

Robert Smalls: Contraband Captain and U.S. Congressman

The Bomarc Missile Plutonium Spill Crisis: Exercises in Propaganda and Containment in 1960 and Beyond

According to the Boeing Corporation’s history of its Bomarc missile,

Source: Boeing.com

The Bomarc Missile Plutonium Spill Crisis: Exercises in Propaganda and Containment in 1960 and Beyond

Law and Disorder: Urbana University Students Bring an 1857 Court Case to Life

 

Our guest blogger today is Julie Ann McDaniel, Librarian, Swedenborg Memorial Library,Urbana University 

Source: The Historical Marker DataBase

Mechanicsburg, Ohio is a really small place today—less than 2,000 people—so imagine what the population would have been in 1857. But this little community was the site of an event that lead to a federal court case to determine the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act.

 

Many local students knew vaguely of the story of Addison White, a runaway slave from Kentucky. His master tracked him to Mechanicsburg and sent slave catchers to bring him back. No one expected the townspeople of Mechanicsburg to arrive with pitchforks and carpet beaters to chase the slave catchers away.

Law and Disorder: Urbana University Students Bring an 1857 Court Case to Life

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire on its 100th Anniversary

Photo credit: Courtsey of Kheel Center

The Triangle Shirtwaist Company was a business that made shirtwaists, the common term of the day for women's blouses. The business, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, was located on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the Asch Building in New York City. Most of its employees were young women, mainly Italian and European Jewish immigrants. While the building was relatively modern and clean, the pay was low, the days were long, and working conditions were often dangerous. These factors combined to make the factory a classic example of a "sweatshop."  

Source: NYC 100 Years Ago

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire on its 100th Anniversary

Select historical newspapers published in cities, states, regions or any combination

From Maine to California, the most comprehensive collection of U.S. newspapers published in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is America’s Historical Newspapers. Continually expanding, this unique online resource features thousands of historical newspapers published in more than 450 cities from Alaska to Florida. And now, you can create your own customized collection from all available titles published in any U.S. region, state, or city. Easily build a custom collection that meets your institution's budget America's Historical Newspapers Select is an essential tool for many types of historical research. Students and faculty can easily search any combination of titles within a single, easy-to-use interface, and when your institution’s needs expand, titles from additional locations can be added at any time. Consider any custom configuration, including: • Appalachian states • Coastal Colonial cities • Confederate States of America • Deep South • Ghost Towns • Great Plains • Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. • New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia • New Orleans and Mobile • Rocky Mountain states • West Coast
Select historical newspapers published in cities, states, regions or any combination

Helen Keller—Child of Adversity, Woman of the World

From the Missouri Republican, Apr. 1, 1888. Click to open.

Helen Keller—Child of Adversity, Woman of the World

Writing the David Ruggles Biography: Newspapers Help Complete the Portrait of a Radical Black Abolitionist

 [This article by Graham Russell Gao Hodges, George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Africana & Latin American Studies, Colgate University first appeared in the February 2011 issue of The Readex Report.]

Writing the David Ruggles Biography: Newspapers Help Complete the Portrait of a Radical Black Abolitionist

100 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1911

One hundred years ago this month, Ronald Reagan was born in the Illinois village of Tampico. Other prominent Americans born in 1911 include Lucille Ball, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Bishop, Hank Greenberg, Spike Jones and Tennessee Williams. What else happened in 1911? Here’s a brief look at six memorable events from a century ago.

Amundsen reaches the South Pole.

Source: National Library of Australia

100 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1911

Valentine's Day in 19th-Century American Newspapers

Farmers' Register (14 May 1805)

An early mention of Valentine’s Day in an American newspaper comes from the Farmers' Register (Lansingburgh, NY). This article, reprinted from an unnamed British paper, notes the increase in Valentine’s Day letters passing through the London post office from 60,000 in 1804 to 80,000 in 1805. Clearly, the practice of sending notes to a lover was growing noticeably. 

Connecticut Herald (14 May 1811)

In May 1811, the Connecticut Herald (Hartford, CT) quoted a London paper reporting “the love stricken of both sexes thought fit to send to the respective objects of their passion…” not “less than 300,000 of these inflammatory packets…through the post office, within forty-eight hours.” Jumping ahead to February 1844, the Boston Evening Transcript printed a document from the New York Post Office indicating “that the Postmaster of Great Gotham does not intend to be beaten in his arrangements for distributing the missives suggested by the anniversary of St. Valentine, whatever may have been his ill fortune with the foreign mails.”

 

Valentine's Day in 19th-Century American Newspapers

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