Primary Sources in the Classroom


Flashbacks: Filling in the Blanks (with the Seattle Times historical archive)

Maybe you missed it, or perhaps you weren’t yet born. But imagine for just a moment that you’d made the trip from Seattle, Washington, to Max Yasgur’s Bethel, New York, farm in the late summer of 1969. You were one of the half-million people attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. One of your traveling companions embarked on the trip to protest the war in Vietnam. Another tagged along for the three-day party. You however came for the music. And moreover, you’d endured three hungry days of rain, long Porta-John lines, and National Guard rations for this singular moment. The opening riff to Jimi Hendrix’s “Message to Love” brings you out of your tent, and onto your feet. He’s your hometown hero. His white Fender Stratocaster, manufactured for a right-handed player, is strung upside-down for his deft left-handed manipulation. He’s working the fret-board furiously with long, spindly fingers. And just then, you flash back.
Flashbacks: Filling in the Blanks (with the Seattle Times historical archive)

Washington Crosses the Delaware River: A Unique Christmas Tradition

Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by American painter Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art)

No Christmas celebration would be complete without Santa Claus, carols and George Washington. Wait, George Washington? What does he have to do with Christmas, you might ask? Well, quite a bit if you live near the site where General George Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776. Each year at Pennsylvania’s Washington Crossing Historic Park, a group of dedicated Revolutionary War re-enactors and history enthusiasts gather to recreate Washington’s famous Christmas-night river crossing. The participants brave the cold dressed in authentic reproduction clothing and use replicas of the same kind of boats Washington and his men would have used. This year will mark the 234th anniversary of their daring crossing and pivotal victory the next day at the Battle of Trenton.

Washington Crosses the Delaware River: A Unique Christmas Tradition

An Undergraduate's Reflections on Original American History Research: How Online Access to Historical Newspapers Helped Prepare an Award-Winning Tea Party Study

 [This post by David Brooks, a recent graduate of Taylor University, first appeared in the November 2010 issue of The Readex Report.]

An Undergraduate's Reflections on Original American History Research: How Online Access to Historical Newspapers Helped Prepare an Award-Winning Tea Party Study

The End of an Era: The Final Voyage of Space Shuttle Discovery

The 1988 return to flight launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery (Source: NASA Images)

The highly anticipated launch of space shuttle Discovery later this month will mark the beginning of an end. The United States’ era of launching manned space vehicles is almost over, or, at least, nearing a lengthy pause.  Following the final Discovery launch, only one remaining shuttle mission is planned. After that, government funding looks likely—but not definite—for one more launch.  Once the space shuttles are retired, the U.S. will relinquish its position as one of three countries with manned flight capability; only China and Russia will continue to have the capability to launch manned space vehicles.  The shuttle program kicked off a novel concept in space flight: reusable space vehicles. No longer would single-use rockets carry man and machinery into the final frontier. Instead, a craft capable of take off (albeit propelled by external fuel tanks), maneuverability in space, and re-entry and landing would revolutionize the industry. 

The End of an Era: The Final Voyage of Space Shuttle Discovery

Newest Issue of The Readex Report Now Available: November 2010

In this issue: how digitized newspapers shine a brilliant light on past lives; the profound impact of religion on African-American identity; the Boston Tea Party as perceived by both Colonialists and those loyal to the Crown; and the humor, hype and horror behind the mysterious minced pie. A Light on Past Lives: The Illuminating Effects of Electronic Resources on Biographical Research By James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power (HarperCollins, 2010) American Mystery Meat: Unriddling the Mince Pie
Newest Issue of The Readex Report Now Available: November 2010

Meddlesome Medals?

What do the following seven people have in common: Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Peter Ayodele Curtis Joseph, Modibo Keita, Shafie Ahmed el-Sheikh, Samora Machel, Agostinho Neto, Sam Nujoma and Nelson Mandela?  Well surely many things indeed.  For example, if you said they were all important African leaders in the second half of the twentieth century, you would be correct.  Each, however, in addition to any other commonalities, received the Lenin Peace Prize—the Soviet Union’s counterpart to the Nobel Peace Prize. Articles and radio broadcasts monitored, translated, and published in the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports discuss the Lenin Peace Prize awards.  By searching on the phrase “Lenin Peace Prize” and limiting results to items from Africa, one gets 22 results in the Readex digital edition of FBIS Daily Reports and Annexes, 1941-1996. Searching for “Lenin Peace Prize” in the Readex database without limiting results by location retrieves some 268 results. Here is one example from the Accra Ghana Domestic Service on how the award was perceived in that country in 1962.
Meddlesome Medals?

The Short-Lived Republic of West Florida: A Tale of Deception and Intrigue

Map Credit: Courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of South Florida. Digitization provided by the USF Libraries Digitization Center.

The Short-Lived Republic of West Florida: A Tale of Deception and Intrigue

Halloween Happenings in Historical Newspapers

For nearly 200 years, American newspapers have chronicled the evolution of the eve of All Saints Day from religious observance into night of devilish doings. Articles brim with accounts of prayers and prognostications, banshees and bar hopping, parties and property damage, tasty confections and rumors of hidden pins, poison and razor blades. Depending on perspective, the darkening days of late autumn represent either a time of fear and dread or a chance for fun and frivolity.
Halloween Happenings in Historical Newspapers

Rare FBIS Annexes now available online

FBIS Daily Report Annexes, 1974-1996 is an essential complement to FBIS Daily Reportsthe fully searchable broadcast and news resource featuring first-hand reporting from around the globe. This new international archive offers an additional 7,500 items, each designated "For Official Use Only" and previously unavailable outside the intelligence community and other Federal agencies. The Annexes were not an item in the Federal Depository Library Program, which distributed the Daily Report in microfiche from 1978 to 1996. No institution other than the Central Intelligence Agency holds all of the Annexes.
Rare FBIS Annexes now available online

The Police in Revolt? The Jails Open? Four Views of Mexico on November 25th, 1911

“The Police, in Revolt; the Jails, Open; the Nation, in Riot; the Families, in Dismay” – Thus runs the headline of Mexico’s El Diario on November 25th, 1911, as the Mexican Revolution raged in the capital.  As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it is both sobering and edifying to look back at the Revolution that shook Mexico a century ago, the reverberations of which would be felt across the Americas for decades.

From Latin American Newspapers. Click to enlarge.

It is especially edifying to look back at this revolution from the many perspectives that can be found in the newspapers of both Mexico and the United States. On the same day, November 25th, 1911, El Imparcial took a very different view of the situation—not surprisingly, as it was a propaganda organ of Mexico’s embattled dictator, Porfirio Diaz.

The Police in Revolt? The Jails Open? Four Views of Mexico on November 25th, 1911

Pages


Back to top