Star Spangled Banner

In honor of Memorial Day, here is a 1942 performance by Fred Waring and his orchestra of the Star Spangled Banner.

Executive Order 9981

President Truman ended segregation in the armed services in 1948 with Executive Order 9981.

This historic document is easy for students to decipher and a valuable look at a primary source document.

We have included a copy of the EO as well as questions and answers.

For more on this era see our Civil Rights Movement PowerPoint.

Good Eating Habits, 1951

This Cold War era film instructs children how to have healthy eating habits.

Little Bill has a stomach ache because he rushes through his meals and eats the wrong foods.

This would be fun to show students and have a discussion of the effects of their own eating habits. It could be used after an exam when you have a bit of extra time but don’t want to start a new lesson, as a beginning of the week activity, as part of a unit examining their own behaviors etc.

Certainly seems appropriate for any social studies class, given the high rates of obesity as well as the inclination for processed and fast food in the U.S.

Marcus Garvey’s 1921 “If you believe the Negro has a soul” speech

After World War I ended, many Black Americans expected to return home to celebrations of their contributions in the war fought to preserve democracy and human rights in Europe. Instead, racism was alive and well. This is evidenced by the rebirth of Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and discriminatory practices in the segregated south.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association was headed by the charismatic Marcus Garvey. He believed that the best course of action would be for Blacks to leave the United States and have a self-sufficient nation in Africa. He did not believe that racial equality and harmony would be possible in the U.S. and Europe in the 1920s.

We have included his 1921 speech with questions and answers.

For more on this era check out our 1920s PowerPoint.

Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr. and Schenck v US, 1919

During WWI free speech was tested in the case of Schenck v. US.

Cited as one of the most important cases in Supreme Court history, we have included Holmes, Jr.’s opinion on the case in which the “clear and present danger” standard was introduced.

Here is a copy of the opinion as well as questions and answers for students. It is nice when they can read the document itself in order to understand the logic behind the decision.

For more on this era check out our US History WWI and World History WWI PowerPoints.

Also check out our Government PowerPoints:

Opening of the Golden Gate bridge, 1936

This historical footage shot from an airplane, shows the airplanes, ships, cars, bikes, and pedestrians that came out to celebrate the opening of the Gold Gate bridge.

Interestingly the bridge was built by 10 different contractors; for more information about the bridge check out this website:

It is really neat to see an important event from the 1930s!

For more on this era check out our 1930s and Europe Between the Wars PowerPoints.

J. Edgar Hoover’s Congressional Testimony

J. Edgar Hoover was the head of the FBI from its inception in 1935 through 1972.

Many of those years were dedicated to rooting out communists in America.

In this testimony before Congress in 1947 Hoover outlines the dangers facing the US during the Cold War.

We have included a copy of the testimony as well as questions and answers.

For more on this era check out our PowerPoints:

US History

World History

The Modern Era: 1945-1970

Simulation games:

Communication in the 1940s

This film breaks down the ways people communicated in the first half of the 20th century, including mass media, telephone, mail, and more localized such as sirens and hand signals.

It would fascinating to have students write a new chapter for this film based on the news forms of communication prevalent today. Depending on how specific you wanted to get, they might be required to write the script for the narrator that includes television, cell phones, computers and the internet.

Kennedy versus Khrushchev: Cold War Political Cartoon

The Cold War was a terrifying time because of the high stakes involved with new weapons and mutually assured destruction.

Tensions peaked in the early 1960s when JFK and Khrushchev took us to the brink of nuclear war, which would have killed billions and ended human civilization as we know it.

We have included a copy of this political cartoon along with questions and answers.

Check out our PowerPoints on this era:

Check out our simulation games on the Cold War: