U.S. History

Professional (X) - Primary (X) - U.S. History (X)

Ken Burns Recites the Gettysburg Address

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Watch Ken Burns recite the Gettysburg Address as part of his challenge to all Americans to Learn the Address.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge to Learn the Address.

Stephen Colbert Recites the Gettysburg Address

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Watch Stephen Colbert recite the Gettysburg Address as part of Ken Burns' challenge to all Americans to Learn the Address.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge to Learn the Address.

Independence Day | All About the Holidays

Icon: 
Streaming icon

It's the Fourth of July! Learn about the history of our country's most famous birthday, and discover why we celebrate Independence Day the way we do today.

Lewis and Clark's North Dakota: Lewis, Clark and the Native People

Icon: 
Streaming icon

During the Lewis and Clark Expedition the Corps of Discovery met many native peoples. As winter was nearing in 1804 Lewis and Clark were traveling northward on the Missouri River toward the Mandan and Hidatsa villages at the confluence of the Knife and Missouri Rivers.

Presidents Day | All About the Holidays

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Presidents Day is an opportunity for the country to acknowledge the leaders of its government. See how it evolved from a birthday party for George Washington to an observance for all of the Presidents.

The Pilgrims: Alliance with Massasoit’s People and the First Thanksgiving

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Discover what led Massasoit, the leader of one Wampanoag village, to form an alliance with the Plymouth colony and learn about the harvest feast now called the "First Thanksgiving," in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Pilgrims. In March 1621, a Native man named Samoset entered Plymouth and greeted the Pilgrims in English. Six days later, he returned to Plymouth with Massasoit and 60 armed men. Massasoit and Governor John Carver concluded an alliance of mutual defense. During the late summer or early fall, 52 colonists and some 90 Wampanoags celebrated Plymouth’s first successful harvest. 

Click on the links below to download a customizable student handout, video transcript, and links to related content.

Student HandoutTranscript | Related Links

See Support Materials for Teaching Tips. This resource is part of the American Experience: The Pilgrims collection.

The Story behind Big Bend National Park

Icon: 
Streaming icon

The Story Behind Big Bend

Early American Political Party Development

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Political parties are a very large part of modern politics in the United States. It is hard to imagine US politics, or even how government would function in the US, without political parties. Yet, the Constitution does not mention political parties. In fact, the first two political parties in the US emerged over disputes concerning the ratification of the Constitution. These became known as the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, or the Democratic-Republicans. The Federalists wanted a strong federal government; the Democratic-Republicans (Anti-Federalists) wanted a weak federal government. Since this early dispute, a great number of other disputes have resulted in the emergence of an equally great number of political parties that have sought to participate in government. Review the sources in the media gallery to learn about the early history of politics and political parties in the United States. Pay close attention to what these images and descriptions say about this early political disputes and parties. These images will help you complete the worksheet in the Support Materials.

Texas Statehood and National Parks

Icon: 
Streaming icon

In the United States, public lands belong to different kinds of governments. Some are federal lands owned by the United States government. Some public land is owned by the states. Other public land is owned by counties or cities. Public land can have many different uses. It might hold a courthouse or state capitol building. It might be a city playground or pool. Public land might be the site of a school or a university. Military bases are on public land. National Parks are also public land, owned by the federal government.

Rosemary Wells

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Rosemary Wells is the author and illustrator of delightful books for youngsters. In this interview, Wells talks about creating books for children and their adult readers that will stand up to being read over and over again. Watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Rosemary Wells, or see a selected list of her children's books.

Archaeology Adventures: Early Alabama History (full episode)

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Three young kids venture outside their 2-D animated world to learn about early Alabama history for their upcoming school report. Aided by their hyper-intelligent robotic friend Roto and a magical portal, they visit some of Alabama’s historic sites to learn about Native American societies, early settlers, and the beginning of Alabama’s statehood. With the help of local archaeologists and historians they just might make it back home in time to get to school and turn in their report!

Important People Foldable Lesson Plan

Icon: 
Streaming icon

A lesson plan to be used with the program The War of 1812. Students will learn about, and be asked to compare and contrast, key figures in the war of 1812. Students are given the option to choose from James Madison, Isaac Brock, Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, and Laura Secord.

Hanukkah | All About the Holidays

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration, but anyone can find meaning in the holiday. Check out the origins of the tradition, and and how it is observed today.

Multiple Perspectives of the War of 1812 Lesson Plan

Icon: 
Streaming icon

This lesson plan, to be used with the program The War of 1812, gives students background information about the diverse perspectives of those groups involved in the war: Americans, British, Canadian Colonists, and First Nations.

Christmas | All About the Holidays

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Christmas Day isn't just a holiday for Christians. Learn about the various traditions that people hold to celebrate it. Then have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Pages