Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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America's History in the Making

Egalitarian America

In the Video

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Historical Perspectives

Historical Perspectives

The struggle for civil rights comprised many movements that emerged before and during World War II. Often overlooked in the civil rights movement was the landmark federal court case of Mendez v. Westminister (1945), which challenged the segregation of California public schools—and preceded the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education by eight years.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, individuals and other movements challenged authority by debating new ideas and issued a call for more democracy in education, religion, and work. Mass media reflected and influenced these movements by projecting images that engaged the public and drew attention to their causes.

Faces of America

Faces of America

Louis Armstrong, Tom Hayden, and Marlo Thomas used mainstream media to voice their dissent to the status quo and press for change in American society. Louis Armstrong participated in a series of State Department-sponsored music tours aimed at promoting a favorable image of the United States through jazz, but he continued to criticize the United States for its racism.

While attending the University of Michigan, Tom Hayden became a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, a student organized movement that sought a more "participatory democracy." He, along with other members of SDS, collaborated to write the Port Huron Statement, a "manifesto" criticizing the United States government for its failure to address economic and social problems, and to bring about world peace.

In the popular show That Girl, Marlo Thomas used the medium of television to unwittingly become a champion for women's rights. By playing the independent and liberated character of Marie, Thomas became a popular icon for American women.

Hands on History

Hands on History

Why are memorials important to the study of history?

Donovin Sprague is the director of education of the Crazy Horse Memorial in Black Hills, South Dakota. He tours the site and describes how the memorial serves as a primary and secondary source for interpreting the history and values of the Lakota and other Native American tribes. Read edited Hands on History interview with Donovin Sprague.

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