Launchpad: “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Kurt VonnegutDirections: This Launchpad, adapted from, provides background materials and discussion questions to enhance your reading and understanding of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s short story “Harrison Bergeron.” After reading the story, you can click on the videos to hear editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R.

B.F. Liezelt, engraver. View of Salem, ca. 1770-1780. Library of Congressp

Picturing Early America: People, Places, and Events 1770–1870

A resource developed from NEH Summer Institutes held at Salem State University exploring early American art and culture. The website assists teachers of American history, literature, art, geography, social studies, American studies, and other fields who wish to incorporate American art into their classrooms. It includes podcasts, unit plans, and print and electronic bibliographies.

  • Steinbeck’s Use of Nonfiction Sources in "The Grapes of Wrath"

    Created September 17, 2012
    Steinbeck image (women washing clothes)

    John Steinbeck’s use of nonfiction sources in writing The Grapes of Wrath is examined to illustrate how they affect the reader’s perception of a novel.

    Household Genius wearing a toga

    Pompeii and the Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius

    Use this feature to understand the lives of people in Southern Italy before, during, and after the famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE, as well as learn how it inspired Neoclassicism.

    Detail of an Ancient Greek Kylix

    Sophocles, Socrates, and the Greek Polis

    This feature guides students through Ancient Greek civics as told by philosopher Socrates and playwright Sophocles.

    An American flag draped over the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks

    The September 11 Digital Archive

    The September 11 Digital Archive presents the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items, a tally that includes more than 40,000 emails and other electronic communications, more than 40,000 first-hand stories, and more than 15,000 digital images.

    Thomas Nast, “Father of the American cartoon,” born

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    September 27, 1840
    Contested Visions website main page image. Colonial painting

    Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World

    Contested Visions, funded in part by NEH and co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico, examines the significance of indigenous peoples within the artistic landscape of colonial Latin America. The exhibition offers a comparative view of the two principal viceroyalties of Spanish America—Mexico and Peru—from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

    Cropped logo of "Death and the Civil War"

    PBS: "Death and the Civil War"

    On the 150th anniversary of Antietam, the single bloodiest battle on American soil, this PBS film examines how the unprecedented carnage changed  American attitudes towards death



    Constitution Day

    Emancipation Nation

    File:Battle of Antietam.png, WikimediaOn September 17, 1862, Union and Confederate troops squared off at Antietam Creek in the first major battle of the Civil War on Northern soil. By sunset, almost 23,000 men lay dead or wounded but the Union had won a desperately needed strategic victory.