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 Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.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.

  • "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.

  • 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 2: Turning the Tide in Europe, 1942–1944

    American tank crew in North Africa, 1942.

    Although it was the Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, U.S. military planners decided that Germany, not Japan, was to be the primary target of operations. This lesson plan will focus on the overall strategies pursued by the Americans and their British allies in the initial months of World War II in Europe.

  • Lesson 2: How to Win a World War

    "General Bernard L. Montgomery watches his tanks move up." North Africa,  November 1942.

    For most of 1942, the Grand Alliance between the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union was on the defensive. Whether it could hold together, or whether the Soviet Union would even remain in the conflict, was uncertain. This lesson plan examines the tensions and the sources of ultimate cohesion within the Grand Alliance during the period when eventual victory seemed uncertain.

  • Lesson 1: The Growth of U.S.–Japanese Hostility, 1915–1932

    Japanese forces enter Mukden, China, September 18, 1931, as part of Japan's  Manchurian campaign against China.

    The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had its origins in a growing antagonism between the United States and Japan that first developed during World War I. Using contemporary documents, students in this lesson will explore the rise of animosity between the United States and Japan.

  • 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.