A. Philip Randolph, 1941 speech


Asa Philip Randolph was an important American figure for many decades. He helped organize the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, campaigned against lynching, segregation and unfair employment practices. He also was a major figure in organizing the March on Washington, among other important accomplishments throughout his dynamic life.

We have included his speech from 1941 urging a March on Washington to end segregation in the government and in the military. It was his belief that if the government did not lead the way in ending segregation, private businesses would not take the initiative. It was from this pressure that FDR signed Executive Order 8802, which prevented racial discrimination in war industries. It would not be until after WWII ended that segregation in the military ended.

Here are the questions, answers and speech.

If you are interested in more Civil Rights material, please check out our Civil Rights Movement PowerPoint.

American Presidents

Made in the early 1950s, this video goes through each of the presidents through Eisenhower, stating his major accomplishments. After McKinley, video footage is included.

Excellent review of the first 34 presidents.

Kennedy elected in 1960

This Universal newsreel shows the 1960 presidential election between Kennedy and Nixon. It shows voting by Eisenhower, Nixon, and JFK as well as Nixon’s concession speech.

The election was decided by less than 300,000 votes and remains a controversial outcome.

If you are looking for more information on the 1960s check out our PowerPoint.

Japanese Internment Camps during WWII, 1943

japanese internment

Made by the US War Department, this video shows the evacuation of peoples of Japanese descent following Executive Order 9066. This action was taken to prevent sabotage and espionage. Footage from the internment camps is also included.

Since it was produced during WWII, none of the controversies surrounding this process is addressed, allowing a teacher to frame the issue in any way appropriate for your students.

I have been lucky enough to have camp residents speak in my classroom and this video would be a great introduction or follow up.

It is open-ended enough to ask whether this action was right and whether it could or should happen again.

If you would like, check out our US History WWII or World History WWII PowerPoints.

Cold War film: Red China, 1964

This Cold War Era film is broken up into 3 parts. It depicts China as a communist leader in world affairs, spreading its “unique brand”. Really great images!

The Bill of Rights


Most students do not realize that the Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution. Some states only ratified the Constitution based on a promise that this sort of document would be soon to follow. Do you think this might be possible today? Ratification of an entirely new form of government without the guarantees spelled out in the Bill of Rights?

We have included a transcript of the original document as well as questions and answers for students.

Please take a look at our US Government PowerPoints.

It’s All About the Money

This ten minute video demonstrates the use of “It’s All About the $” Federal Reserve program in an actual New York classroom.

“It’s All About Your $” teaches students about the history of money, the role of money in the economy, and interesting features of U.S. and foreign currencies.

Here is a companion lesson guide.

President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961

Eisenhower's farewell speech

As a Westpoint graduate, army officer, WWII general, NATO Supreme Commander, and president during the Korean Conflict, Eisenhower was well versed in the military strength of the nation over the course of decades and in various situations.

It might be surprising then to learn that in his farewell address he believed that disarmament ought to be a goal for the nation and world at large. He feared a military industrial complex might overpower the nation, since it was the first time in US history that a permanent armament industry existed.

We have included in this post a link to the speech in its entirety as well as a copy of the transcript with questions and answers for students.

Please view our 1950s PowerPoint if you would like a complete exploration of the decade.