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


Speed Round

Now that you are familiar with the different writing styles, it's time to test your detective skills.

As in the previous excercises, you will see three random documents, perhaps one of each primary source, one-at-a-time. However, for added fun and challenge, let's time it. You will have 3 minutes (180 seconds) to look at each document and identify on the map where it took place and what time period it was written. Then you will answer three multiple-choice questions about the document. Each story will have seven questions, for a total of 21 questions at the end of the Speed Round. Your final score will be totaled from all 21 questions.

Good luck...Ready?

[A mid 19th century account]

When the famine had actually come, and all the country was aghast, when supplies from all parts were poured in, -- what was done with these supplies? Why, the best that these inefficient housekeepers could do. The rice and Indian meal, both of which are excellent articles of food, were cooked in such a manner that, in most cases, they were actually unhealthy, and in all cases unpalatable. So unused were they to the use of that common article, rice, that they steeped it the night before, then poured the water off, without rubbing, and for three and four hours they boiled, stirred, and simmered this, till it became a watery jelly, disgusting to the eye and unsavory to the taste, for they never salted it; besides unwholesome for the stomachs of those who had always used a dry potato for food. The poor complained that it made them sick; they were accused of being ungrateful, and sometimes told they should not have any more; and the difficulty, if possible, was increased, by giving it out uncooked, -- for the starving ones in the towns had no fuel and they could not keep up a fire to stew it for hours, and many of them ate it raw, which was certainly better, when they had good teeth, than cooked in this unsavory way.

A man had died from hunger, and his widow had gone into the plowed field of her landlord to try to pick a few potatoes in the ridges which might be remaining since the harvest; she found a few -- the landlord saw her -- sent a magistrate to the cabin, who found three children in a state of starvation, and nothing in the cabin but the pot, which was over the fire. He demanded of her to show him the potatoes -- she hesitated; he inquired what she had in the pot -- she was silent; he looked in, and saw a dog, with the handful of potatoes she had gathered from the field. The sight of the wretched cabin, and still more, the despairing looks of the poor silent mother and the famished children, crouched in fear in a dark corner, so touched the heart of the magistrate, that he took the pot from the fire, bade the woman to follow him, and they went to the court-room together. He presented the pot, containing the dog and the handful of potatoes, to the astonished judge. He called the woman -- interrogated her kindly. She told him they sat in their desolate cabin two entire days, without eating, before she killed the half-famished dog; that she did not think she was stealing, to glean after the harvest was gathered. The judge gave her three pounds from his own purse; told her when she had used that to come again to him.

This was a compassionate judge, -- and would to God ______ could boast of many such.

[An Excerpt from the Journal of Thomas S. Woodcock in the early 19th century]

". . . These Boats have three Horses, go at a quicker rate, and have the preference in going through the locks, carry no freight, are built extremely light, and have quite Genteel Men for their Captains, and use silver plate. The distance between Schenectady and Utica is 80 Miles, the passage is $3.50, which includes board. There are other Boats called Line Boats that carry at a cheaper rate, being found for 2/3 of the price mentioned. They are larger Boats, carry freight, have only two horses, and consequently do not go as quickly, and moreover have not so select a company. Some boats go as low as 1 cent per Mile, the passengers finding themselves.

The Bridges on the Canal are very low, particularly the old ones. Indeed they are so low as to scarcely allow the baggage to clear, and in some cases actually rubbing against it. Every Bridge makes us bend double if seated on anything, and in many cases you have to lie on your back. The Man at the helm gives the word to the passengers: "Bridge," "very low Bridge," "the lowest in the Canal," as the case may be. Some serious accidents have happened for want of caution. A young English Woman met with her death a short time since, she having fallen asleep with her head upon a box, had her head crushed to pieces. Such things however do not often occur, and in general it affords amusement to the passengers who soon imitate the cry, and vary it with a command, such as "All Jackson men bow down." After such commands we find few aristocrats."

Three more days to go until the elections.

Last night around 8 PM I went to DOS meeting in the center of ________where Vojislav Kostunica was speaking to the mass of people. Around 200,000 people were on the streets last night. The meeting was different then any other I used to go. Not many people held speeches and only Kostunica spoke from all the politicians who were there they all stood behind him showing that their presence is enough and that there is no more need for words. ACT is important now. 24th of September is important.

Each vote is important every individual should grasp that. Must understand that it came to that point when all of us must go to the elections. To realize that that is our main power, VOTING!

In the same time, last night Slobodan Milosevic held his meeting in the other part of the city...that is why there were not policemans around us last night, at least I didn't notice any of them. Probably they all went to guard Milosevic. I wonder from whom they keep him safe when "All the patriots are with him and his party?"

It is raining for couple of days, pouring rain with open clouds and lots of thunder. I like rain. Rain means change, I wait for change for 10 years. My people want change. They can't stand no more this so called living...better to say survival. Survival in _______from 1990 until one. We all are winners, we managed to keep our mind cool and a safe place from all the things we saw, heard, experienced.

Usually lot of people are scared of change, they get used to the things they have and think of change as a great unsure risk, but I say that is LIFE! When you act when you start to think that there is something better, something normal, something more of this life that I can have. I need change. Kostunica said last night that we just want to become a normal _______country, to live ordinary, nothing exceptional, nothing in extreme, just normal, sometime usual (even boring) life, but a good one.

I want to live in a country in which 10 year olds will not mention any of the politicians in their ordinary conversation, not any foreign currency, not any news about people disappearing, media closing, etc.

I just want to be free in my country, just want to start living and try to realize why it took us 10 years to begun our biggest resistance against this government?

I felt power last night, I felt the need for better night, I saw many old people last night, many high school kids, young parents with babies and small children. They all will get up in the morning on Sunday, go to elections and circle under FREEDOM FUTURE LIFE. They will circle under new life. On one piace of white paper they will chose between isolation and new beginning.

It will be a great day, September 24th.




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