Free Resources Archive

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy Triggers a National Uproar

    America in the 1950s was attacked by an invisible enemy—The Red Scare. As the Cold War with the Soviet Union reached its apex, so did fear and paranoia of communist subversive activity in American society, culture, and, most significantly, politics. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the junior senator from Wisconsin, exploited these concerns.

    free resource button small  Senator Joseph McCarthy Triggers a National UproarOn February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy delivered a speech that became one of the most famous political addresses in American history. In that speech, McCarthy asserted that Communists had infiltrated the U.S. State Department and many other government agencies and that he knew the identities of many of these agents. Excerpts from his speech are provided in this selection from Defining Moments: McCarthyism and the Communist Threat.

    Additional information about Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism, plus biographies of the key players and other related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: McCarthyism and the Communist Threat.

    Posted: January 27, 2017

  • Defining Moments: Prohibition Begins January 16, 1920

    On January 16, 1920, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect, outlawing the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol. Lacking popular support, however, Prohibition proved difficult to enforce and caused widespread criminal activity and political corruption. In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th, bringing the Prohibition era to a close. To date, the 18th Amendment stands as the only constitutional amendment to ever be repealed.

    free resource button small  Defining Moments: Prohibition Begins January 16, 1920This chapter from Defining Moments: Prohibition describes the rise of the temperance movement, the activities of the Anti-Saloon League, and the state-by-state battles between the “wets” and the “drys” that eventually culminated in the passage of the 18th Amendment.

    Additional information about the events leading up to and following Prohibition, biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: Prohibition.

    Posted: January 9, 2017

  • January Is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

    Birth defects affect about 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States and are a leading cause of infant mortality, illness, and disability. Though diagnosis and treatment of these conditions has improved dramatically, the focus of public health efforts is to reduce the number of birth defects that occur. National Birth Defects Prevention Month is intended to raise awareness about the prevention of birth defects and to educate the public about concrete steps a woman can take before and during pregnancy to increase her chances of having a healthy baby.
    free resource button small  January Is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
    This directory of resources, from Congenital Disorders Sourcebook, 3rd Edition, lists organizations that provide information, support, and advocacy for families affected by birth defects.

    Comprehensive information about the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of birth defects is available in Congenital Disorders Sourcebook, 3rd Edition.

    Posted: December 21, 2016

  • The Flint Sit-Down Strike

    On December 29, 1936, organizers from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched a sit-down strike at the General Motors (GM) plant in Flint, Michigan, one of GM’s most important plants. By taking on one of the most powerful corporations in the world, the union tried to force GM to recognize the UAW as the representative of its work force for collective bargaining. The Flint Sit-Down Strike became one of the most important strikes in labor history.

    free resource button small  The Flint Sit Down StrikeThis chapter from Defining Moments: Workers Unite! The American Labor Movement discusses the state of the labor movement right before the strike, and how the strike influenced events in labor history.

    Additional information about the events leading up to and following the Flint Sit-Down Strike, plus biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: Workers Unite! The American Labor Movement.

    Posted: December 21, 2016

  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day — December 7th

    Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed each year on December 7th. On that fateful morning in 1941—as unsuspecting American soldiers, sailors, and civilians on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, followed their regular routines—hundreds of Japanese planes suddenly appeared in the sky overhead. Before people on the ground could grasp what was happening, the planes began dropping bombs and torpedoes on the ships in Pearl Harbor and strafing nearby airfields with machine-gun fire. The surprise attack shocked, outraged, and united the American people like few other events in U.S. history. Immediately afterward, the United States declared war on Japan and officially entered World War II.

    free resource button small  Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day — December 7thThis primary source document from Defining Moments: The Attack on Pearl Harbor contains an excerpt from the oral history of a U.S. Navy crewman stationed at Pearl Harbor.

    Additional information about the events leading up to and following the attack on Pearl Harbor, plus biographies of the key players, and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: The Attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Posted: November 29, 2016

  • Veterans’ Day

    Do you know the origins of Veterans’ Day? November 11 originally marked the end of World War I. The armistice that ended the fighting in World War I was signed in Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s railroad car in France at 11:00 am on November 11, 1918. There were huge public celebrations in Paris, London, and in New York City, where more than a million Americans hurled ticker tape out their windows and danced in the street. In 1954, what had been known as Armistice Day became Veterans’ Day, a day to honor all veterans of foreign wars.

    free resource button small  Veterans’ DaySome of the events leading up to Armistice Day are covered in this chapter from Defining Moments: World War I and the Age of Modern Warfare.

    Additional information about World War I and Armistice Day can be found in Defining Moments: World War I and the Age of Modern Warfare.

    Posted: November 8, 2016

  • American Indian Heritage Month

    American Indian Heritage Month, celebrated annually in November, is an opportunity to learn more about some of the difficult stories from Native American history. The forced removal of American Indians from their native lands, which lead to the massacre at Wounded Knee, is part of that history.

    free resource button small  American Indian Heritage MonthThis chapter from Defining Moments: American Indian Removal and the Trail to Wounded Knee reveals what happened right before and during the massacre.

    Additional information about the events leading up to and following the massacre at Wounded Knee, plus biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: American Indian Removal and the Trail to Wounded Knee.

    Posted: October 31, 2016

  • Stress in Teens

    The start of the school year often brings a familiar feeling for many teens: stress. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), stress is extremely common among teenagers, and school is their top source of stress. In a 2013 APA study, teens report their average stress level is higher during the school year.

    • Teens report that their stress level during the school year far exceeds what they believe to be healthy and tops adults’ average reported stress level in the past month.
    • 31 percent of teens say that their stress level has increased in the past year, and 34 percent believe their stress levels will increase in the coming year.
    • 83 percent report that school is a somewhat or significant source of stress, and 10 percent of teens report receiving lowers grades than they are capable of because of stress.
    • Teens are more likely than adults to report that their stress level has a slight or no impact on their body or physical health or their mental health. Yet teens report experiencing both emotional and physical symptoms of stress in similar proportions to adults, including feeling irritable or angry, nervous, anxious, or tired.
    • 42 percent of teens say they either are not doing enough to manage their stress or they are not sure if they are doing enough to manage it.
    • 37 percent of teen girls report feeling depressed or sad in the past month due to stress compared to 23 percent of teen boys.
    • Teens often struggle to cope with their stress. Only 50 percent report feeling confident about their ability to handle their personal problems, and 46 percent say they feel that they are on top of things fairly or very often.

    free resource button small  Stress in Teens
    This selection from Stress Information for Teens, 2nd Edition, provides information on two related topics: “What Causes Stress in Kids?” and “Teens and Stress: Are You Overbooked?”

    Additional information about stress in teenagers is available in Stress Information for Teens, 2nd Edition. Comprehensive information about stress in adults, teens, and children is available in Stress-Related Disorders Sourcebook, 4th Edition.

    Posted: October 31, 2016

  • October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    A woman born in the United States today has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her life. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month focuses attention on the disease and is chance to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection.

    free resource button small  October Is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthThis directory of resources from Breast Cancer Sourcebook provides information on organizations that provide information, support, and advocacy for people with breast cancer.

    Comprehensive information about the risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer is available in Breast Cancer Sourcebook, 5th Edition.

    Posted: October 5, 2016

  • Desegregation Comes to Little Rock

    Despite the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, many schools in the south resisted desegregation. In September 1957, the school district in Little Rock, Arkansas, made plans to desegregate Central High School, a white high school populated primarily by kids from surrounding blue-collar neighborhoods. This triggered a historic clash between segregationist and integrationist forces, which is recognized today as a major milestone in the American civil rights movement. This battle swirled around nine vulnerable but enormously brave black teenagers—Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls—who came to be known as the “Little Rock Nine.”

    free resource button small  Desegregation Comes to Little RockThis chapter from Defining Moments: Brown v. Board of Education describes the desegregation of Central High School and the role of the Little Rock Nine.

    Additional information about the events related to the desegregation of American schools, including biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: Brown v. Board of Education.

    Posted: August 31, 2016