Battle of Midway begins

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June 4, 1942

Internet Public Library: Presidents of the United States

In this resource you will find background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events, and some points of interest on each of the presidents. Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.

History of Jim Crow

The Jim Crow laws encompassed every part of American life, from politics to education to sports. This site provides a comprehensive look at the 80-year period of segregation in the U.S.

  • Dust Bowl Days

    Eighteen-year-old mother from Oklahoma, now a California migrant.

    Students will be introduced to this dramatic era in our nation's history through photographs, songs and interviews with people who lived through the Dust Bowl.

  • FDR's "Four Freedoms" Speech: Freedom by the Fireside

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945)

    One of the most famous political speeches on freedom in the twentieth century was delivered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his 1941 State of the Union message to Congress.This lesson examines some of the nuances  and ambiguities inherent in the rhetorical use of "freedom." The objective is to encourage students to glimpse the broad range of hopes and aspirations that are expressed in the call of—and for—freedom.

  • Lesson 5: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rise of Social Reform in the 1930s

    Eleanor Roosevelt in Arthurdale, West Virginia, 1933.

    This lesson asks students to explore the various roles that Eleanor Roosevelt a key figure in several of the most important social reform movements of the twentieth century took on, among them: First Lady, political activist for civil rights, newspaper columnist and author, and representative to the United Nations.

  • Esperanza Rising: Learning Not to Be Afraid to Start Over

    Mexican woman farm laborer picking tomatoes in a California field, 1938.

    In this lesson students will look behind the story at the historical, social, and cultural circumstances that help account for the great contrasts and contradictions that Esperanza experiences when she moves to California. The lesson also invites students to contemplate some of the changes Esperanza undergoes as she grows from a pampered child into a resourceful and responsible young woman.

  • Lesson 2: The Social Security Act

    Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act, August 14, 1935.

    This lesson engages students in the debate over the Social Security Act that engrossed the nation during the 1930s.

  • Lesson 3: Japan's "Southern Advance" and the March toward War, 1940–1941

    Ribbentrop, Kurusu, and Hitler negotiate the Tripartite Pact, 1940.

    For the Japanese leadership, events in Europe during the first half of 1940 offered new opportunities for resolving the war in China. In this lesson students will examine primary documents and maps to discover why Japan embarked on its "southern advance."

  • Lesson 2: America and the Sino-Japanese Conflict, 1933–1939

    Japanese soldiers in combat in China, 1937.

    The Japanese conquest of Manchuria in 1931 was only the first step in what became a much larger campaign to create a pro-Japanese "buffer state" in North China. This lesson will examine the overall principles which underlay both Japanese and American foreign policy in the mid- to late-1930s.