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Interactives -- Historical and Cultural Contexts Image of a Newspaper Pick another Interactive:


Newspaper Articles

A newspaper article is considered a primary source if it reports an event as it happened without commenting on it or offering an opinion about it. In the interactive below you will see three newspaper articles, one at a time, about events of historical significance. Identify the region and era particular to each newspaper article, and answer additional questions about the information it contains.

(Note: Region selections are based on using a current-day map for all stories. The location of publication and the location where the event took place might be different. In that case, identify the location where the event took place.)

Steinbeck Wins Nobel Prize For His "Realistic" Writing

He is the Sixth American to Receive Literature Award Since 1900

John Steinbeck has won [this year's] Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually to an author from any country.

The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, _______. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually to an author from any counrty.

The 60-year-old author is the sixth American to be chosen for the award since the first Nobel prizes were awarded in 1900.

Dr. Anders Osterling, secretary of the ... Academy, which makes the annual award, made it clear in a radio broadcast that Mr. Steinbeck had been chosen principally because of his novel "The Winter of Our Discontent." The novel, published last year by Viking Press, is a story of the temptation of an honest man.

In its official announcement today, the academy said Mr. Steinbeck "more than holds his own" in the company of the previous American winners.

These were Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O'Neill, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. The academy said that it was honoring Mr. Steinbeck for his "at one and the same time realistic and imaginative writings, distinguished as THEY are by a sympathetic humor and a social perception."

Mr. Steinbeck will receive $49,656 in prize money. Last year's winner of the literature prize was Ivo Andric, the Yugoslav novelist. He was honored for his book "The Bridge on the Drina," published in 1945. It is a sweeping chronicle of three and a half centuries of life and violent death in Visegrad, Dr. Andric's boyhood home in Bosnia. ...

"Towering Standard" Hailed

Buried machinery in barn lot during the Dust Bowl. Steinbeck used the Dust Bowl as the setting for both Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

Credit: USDA, photo by Sloan

Buried machinery in barn lot during the Dust Bowl. Steinbeck used the Dust Bowl as the setting for both Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

Dr. Osterling said "The Winter of Our Discontent" marked a return after more than two decades to the "towering standard" Mr. Steinbeck had set with "The Grapes of Wrath" in 1939. That chronicle of the "Okies," or victims of the Dust Bowl, and their migration to California, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Of Mr. Steinbeck's writings in the nineteen-forties, Dr. Osterling said that literary critics seemed at times to "note certain signs of flagging powers." But with "The Winter of Our Discontent," he declared, Mr. Steinbeck "has resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American, be it good or bad."

"His sympathies always go out to the oppressed, the misfits and the distressed," Dr. Osterling went on.

"He likes to contrast the simple joy of life with the brutal and cynical craving for money. But in him we find the American temperament also expressed in his great feeling for nature, for the tilled soil, the wasteland, the mountains and the ocean coasts."

"Of Mice and Men" Praised

Dr. Osterling also singled out for praise "Of Mice and Men," that "little masterpiece" of 1937.

And he hailed as "incomparable" the 1938 collection of short stories entitled "The Long Valley."

Mr. Steinbeck was one of sixty-five nominees considered by the academy for this year's prize. The will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite who set up the awards, charges the academy with selecting each year "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency."

Santa Fe New Mexican

Workers Stick to Jobs on "the Hill" in Face of Disclosure of Project's Terrible Secret

Workers at Los Alamos, many of them with their children and spouses, lived for two years under the peril of sudden death from the laboratories where scientists were concocting the greatest destructive force ever conceived by man.

Aerial view of the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Aerial view of the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Revelation of the atomic bomb and its fantastic power gave Santa Fe its first knowledge of the real war role of the silent neighbors from "the Hill"...

Col. Gerald R. Tyler, military commander at Los Alamos, said only a few of the 6,000 in the community knew the exact nature of the project, but the impression was general that some deadly force was housed in the laboratories behind the high wires of "Tech Area."

Safety Measures Taken

Tyler, probably as relieved as any that the long kept secret was out, said that civilian and military personnel went about their work with out indication of anxiety for their safety. Extreme safety measures were practiced, he said.

Workers, now that they know the secret, have gone about their work calmly and, an official of the project revealed, none has asked to be relieved.

Although laboratory methods used in the work have not been disclosed, scientists unattached to the project are of the opinion that the entire area was under the constant threat of destruction. A physicist from a nearby institution compared the work of delving into the little known field of nuclear physics to that of a blindfolded person walking on the edge of a precipice.

Constant Threat

The gadget in the Trinity Test Site tower awaiting detonation. Built in the early 21st century at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos.

The gadget in the Trinity Test Site tower awaiting detonation. Built in the mid 20th century at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos.

The threat of sabotage or suicide bombing by the enemy was also constantly over the mountain community. The enemy doubtless knew of the existence of the project and the very precautions practiced to safeguard its secret were proof of the importance of the work being done there. Had the enemy been able to penetrate the nation's boundaries with agents or forays of force, the laboratories of Los Alamos would doubtless have been a prime target.

Suffrage Wins in Senate; Now Goes to States

Constitutional Amendment Is Passed, 56 to 25, or Two More Than Two-thirds

Women May Vote

Leaders Start Fight to Get Ratification by Three-fourths of States in Time

Debate Precedes Vote

Wadsworth Explains His Attitude In Opposition - Resolution Signed with Ceremony

After a long and persistent fight advocates of woman suffrage won a victory in the Senate today when that body, by a vote of 56 to 25, adopted the Susan Anthony amendment to the Constitution. The suffrage supporters had two more than the necessary two-thirds vote of Senators present. Had all the Senators known to be in favor of suffrage been present the amendment would have had 66 votes, or two more than a two-thirds vote of the entire Senate.

An illustration of the Women's Suffrage Procession on March 3, 1913.

Credit: Library of Congress

An illustration of the Women's Suffrage Procession on March 3, early 20th century.

The amendment, having already been passed by the House, where the vote was 304 to 89, now goes to the States for ratification, where it will be passed upon in the form in which it has been adopted by Congress, as follows:

"Article-, Section 1. - The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

"Section 2. - Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article."

Leaders of the National Woman's Party announced tonight that they would at once embark upon a campaign to obtain ratification of the amendment by the necessary three-fourths of the States so that women might have the vote in the next Presidential election. To achieve this ratification it will be necessary to hold special sessions of some Legislatures which otherwise would not convene until after the Presidential election. Miss Alice Paul, Chairman of the Woman's Party, predicted that the campaign for ratification would succeed and that women would vote for the next President.

Suffragists thronged the Senate galleries in anticipation of the final vote, and when the outcome was announced by President Pro Tem. Cummins they broke into deafening applause. For two minutes the demonstration went on, Senator Cummins making no effort to check it.

Changes Defeated.

Before the final vote was taken Senator Underwood of Alabama, called for a vote on his amendment to submit the suffrage amendment to Constitutional conventions of the various States, instead of to the Legislatures, for ratification. This was defeated by a vote of 45 against to 28 in favor.

During debate, Senator Wadsworth of New York, who has been an uncompromising opponent of woman suffrage, explained his attitude as being actuated by the motive of preserving to the States the right to determine the question, each State for itself.

"No vote of mine cast upon this amendment would deprive any of the electors of my State of any privilege they now enjoy," said the Senator. "I feel so strongly that the people of the several States should be permitted to decide for themselves, that I am frank to say that, if this amendment, instead of being drafted to extend woman suffrage all over the country, were drafted to forbid the extension of the franchise to women in the States, I would vote against it. Even though one might be opposed on general principles to the extension of the franchise to women, one cannot logically object to the people of a State settling that question for themselves.

"It seems to me that it is incumbent upon a Senator in considering his attitude on this matter to regard the nation as a whole and to give consideration to the wishes of the people of the various States which have expressed themselves from time to time."

Prospects of Ratification

Suffrage leaders say quick ratification is assured in twenty-eight States in which women now have full or Presidential suffrage. These States are Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas.

Today's victory for suffrage ends a fight that really dates from the American Revolution. Women voted under several of the Colonial Governments. During the Revolution women demanded to be included in the Government. Abigail Adams wrote her husband, John Adams, "If women are not represented in this new republic there will be another revolution." From the time of the Revolution women agitated for suffrage by means of meetings and petitions. In 1848 a woman's rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, N. Y., arranged by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as the first big suffrage demonstration. From 1848 to the civil war efforts were made to have State laws altered to include women, and Susan B. Anthony became leader of the movement.

Foreign countries or divisions of countries in which women have suffrage are: Isle of Man, granted 1881; New Zealand, 1893; Australia, 1902; Finland, 1906; Norway, 1907; Iceland, 1913; Denmark, 1915; Russia, 1917; Canada, Austria, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, and Wales, 1918; Holland and Sweden, 1919.




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