Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - High (X) - U.S. History (X)

Scottsboro Boys Stamp | History Detectives

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THE DETECTIVE: Gwen Wright.

THE PLACE: Scottsboro, Alabama.

THE CASE: What is the connection between an inconspicuous black and white stamp purchased at an outdoor market and a landmark civil rights case? “Save the Scottsboro Boys” is printed on the stamp, above nine black faces behind prison bars and two arms prying the bars apart. One arm bears the tattoo “ILD.” On the bottom of the stamp is printed “one cent.” The Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused and convicted of raping two white girls in 1931 on a train near Scottsboro, Alabama. It took several appeals, two cases before the United States Supreme Court, and nearly two decades before all nine finally walked free. History Detectives delves into civil rights history and consults with a stamp expert to discover how a tiny penny stamp could make a difference in the young men’s courageous defense effort.

Historical Photographs

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THE DETECTIVE: Elyse Luray

THE PLACE: Rapid City, South Dakota

THE CASE: History Detectives goes in search of a Native American legend. More than a hundred and twenty five years after his death, the name Crazy Horse still echoes in the black hills of South Dakota. In his life, the Lakota warrior and spiritual man vowed to protect these sacred hunting grounds from encroaching settlers and gold miners. Despite his fame, Crazy Horse refused to be photographed, shunning technology. For years rumors of Crazy Horse photographs have tantalized collectors. More than a hundred and twenty five years after the warrior’s death, History Detectives discovers if a framed image is in fact the only photographic image of this legend.

Art Research Investigation | History Detectives

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In this collection of resources from History Detectives, examine research methodology for investigating artwork, investigate a miniature painting of George Washington that may be connected to an early abolitionist, and understand connections between a collection of unusual paintings and the WPA.

Designing the Mall | The National Mall - America's Front Yard

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Learn about the evolution and design of the National Mall from its inception and explore the early considerations made by its designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The design of the capitol city involved converting tidal flats, forests, and farmland into the major landmarks we see today. L’Enfant placed major landmarks on high points, placing the Capitol Building on the highest spot. Other design elements included a space for the President's house, the Washington Monument, and a grand promenade, lined with buildings and a broad canal, better known today as our National Mall.

A New Medium | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Learn how Jim Henson’s childhood in rural Mississippi influenced his career and his passion for drawing and building things in this excerpt from the video In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. See how 12-year old Jim is drawn to the new medium of television and the art of ventriloquism, particularly that of Edgar Bergen.

Puppet Partnership | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Explore the early years of Jim Henson and puppeteer Frank Oz’s unique creative partnership in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. The puppeterring duo first met in 1960 when Oz was just 17-years old. Their pioneering work in early 1960s television, including the network variety series The Jimmy Dean Show, reveals the complexities of their relationship.

Fraggle Rock | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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See how "Fraggle Rock" introduced a new generation to Jim Henson's creations in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. The fantasy film "Dark Crystal" was not a box-office success, but later became a cult classic. Technologically groundbreaking, Henson was disappointed with ticket sales, but he was really proud of the film as a piece of art.

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Bill Patrie

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Learn how Bill Patrie, a North Dakota economic developer, looks for an anchor or signature building which personifies a community, has structural integrity, and is located in a town where residents believe in the future.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Indian Pride, Education: Part 4

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JuniKae Randall introduces Ivan Makil, former president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa of Arizona, talks about traditional song as a basis for rhythm in modern music. He sings a traditional song while playing guitar, and plays "Summertime" on trumpet. 

Nebraska History Moments in Language Arts and Fine Arts

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Nebraska fun facts that are historical, arts related, science and literature based. This content falls under Nebraska State standards for Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts and Language Arts.

The Lancers Quadrille | The Civil War Era

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In this video, the Berea Festival Dancers perform two sets of The Lancers Quadrille, a social dance that was popular in Civil War-era America.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin | The Civil War Era

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This is a reader’s theater performance of a scene from George Aiken’s 19th-century dramatization of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In this scene, the escaped slave Eliza reunites with her husband George and their friend Phineas. She recounts how she crossed the Ohio River with their child while escaping from slave hunters. Phineas warns them that the hunters are still in pursuit. Their exaggerated language and performance are characteristic of melodramas, which were popular at the time.

Duke Ellington Plates | History Detectives

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THE DETECTIVE: Tukufu Zuberi.

THE PLACE: Brooklyn, New York.

THE CASE: 1941, Manhattan bustles, and New York City’s newest subway line – the "A" train – is moving people in more ways than one. A new instrumental "Take the 'A' Train," rolls up the charts and will become the signature song of pianist Edward Kennedy Ellington. The song, written by Billy Strayhorn, will bring financial success to a pioneering music publishing venture, owned by Duke Ellington. More than half a century later, Garfield Gillings, of Brooklyn, New York, has made a discovery, boxes of sheet music in a dumpster. Among the paper scores are metal sheets that look like printing plates for “Take the 'A' Train." History Detectives sets out to find the story behind these plates and to determine the role they played in this jazz classic.

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Dunseith

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The closing of the former San Haven Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1989 resulted in the loss of 400+ jobs. While efforts to rehab that beautiful building failed, it did result in attracting other businesses to replace the jobs in Dunseith, Rolla and Rolette.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Jamestown

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Trying to create an inviting downtown that draws residents and tourists alike, developers, including The Marcil Group, have led the way in rehabbing downtown buildings in Jamestown for a variety of uses. The Franklin School is a prime example of preserving an historic landmark building.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

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