U.S. History

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Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Individual Freedom

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Learn about the history of automobiles in North Dakota. The automobile age gave freedom of movement and choice for passengers and freight. With more people driving cars, the push came for better roads.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Peerless Transportation

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Learn about the role of railroads in North Dakota history. In their time, railroads had no peer in their ability to move people and goods, although shipping costs were high. The railroad companies helped increase immigration to North Dakota by actively marketing the opportunities here to foreigners, especially Scandinavians and Germans from Russia.

Edison: Boyhood and Teen Years

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Find out how young Thomas Edison’s curiosity got him into trouble, and how, during his teen years, he lost his hearing but gained confidence as an aspiring inventor, in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Edison. As portrayed through reenactments, we learn that Edison, who had just three months of formal schooling, grew up reading and conducting chemistry experiments. His job as a newsboy on a train inspired his fascination with the telegraph. After teaching himself Morse Code so he could send and receive messages, Edison took a job as a telegraph operator at the age of 15. Through his work, and despite premature hearing loss, he developed an understanding of how the telegraph system operated and how he might improve it. He began to think of himself as an inventor. This resource is part of the Thomas Edison Collection.

Click on the links below to download a customizable Student Handout, Student Reading and transcript for this resource.

Student Handout | Student Reading | Transcript

Welcome (中国欢迎您) from the First Lady

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Join First Lady Michelle Obama as she discusses her upcoming trip to China and invites students to follow her journey.

Eleanor Roosevelt | First Lady, Diplomat, and Activist Video

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Eleanor Roosevelt—the “First Lady of the World”—spent her life fighting for the rights of others. Throughout her long career, she championed women’s rights, African Americans’ rights, and human rights on a worldwide scale. Through two primary source activities and a short video, students will learn how Eleanor Roosevelt used her positions as First Lady and United Nations diplomat to ensure that the powerless had a voice in American and global politics.

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Guilford Courthouse | The Southern Campaign

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The Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought on March 15, 1781. This battle decided the outcome for the Carolinas because even though Cornwallis won, technically, he lost 25% of his force.

Ninety Six: End Game | The Southern Campaign

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Ninety Six was a small frontier town near Greenwood, South Carolina—an essential part of the geography of British strongholds designed to seal off Charleston and the low country from French, Spanish, and Indian attack. At the “Star Fort” in Ninety Six, a band of Loyalists held their ground, waiting to see what would happen.  

On May 21, 1781, General Greene and approximately a thousand troops marched south towards Ninety-Six, to lay siege to the Star Fort.  It is was the longest field siege of The American Revolution. It lasted 28 days.

Kings Mountain: The Turn of the Tide of Success | The Southern Campaign

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Kings Mountain is a rocky wooded hill on the border of North and South Carolina. On October 7, 1780, a thousand Patriots surrounded and attacked the British troops and Loyalist soldiers. This battle would become a major victory and turn the tide for the Patriots.

J. Alden Loring

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Loring, a naturalist, mammologist and author, had worked for U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Bureau of Biological Survey. In 1909 he embarked on an expedition to Africa with President Theodore Roosevelt to collect specimens for a new Natural History Museum.

Alexander Graham Bell | Scientist, Inventor, and Teacher Video

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Alexander Graham Bell devoted his life to helping people—deaf and hearing—communicate. Working tirelessly to integrate the deaf into society—like his pupil Helen Keller—Bell was also an avid inventor. He created numerous communication devices, including the telephone. Using a short video and two primary sources, students will learn about Bell’s inventions and his work with the deaf community.

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Booker T. Washington | Orator, Teacher, and Advisor Video

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Freed from the bonds of slavery by the Emancipation Proclamation, Booker T. Washington worked relentlessly to become a teacher, an accomplished orator, and an advisor to two Presidents. He was considered a hero in the late 1800s, although some opposed his philosophy that equality and respect must be patiently earned. Through two primary source activities and watching a short video, students will learn about Booker T. Washington’s commitment to African American education, and assess his ideas about how to achieve equality for African Americans in the years after the Civil War.

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Brattonsville: Choosing Sides | The Southern Campaign

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After the crushing defeat at Waxhaws, the people of the South Carolina backcountry had a decision to make.  Were they “Tories”—loyal to the crown; or would they become “Whigs” or “partisans” and fight the British invaders? 

General Thomas Sumter gathered militia troops in South Carolina. Militia units consisted of “civilian” farmers and sometimes included Catawba Indians and slaves. The American militia and partisans couldn’t just line up and take on the British. The British forces were too well-trained and disciplined. The Americans had to whittle away at the enemy, strike their supply lines—fight dozens of little battles, rather than one big battle. This strategy became known as “guerrilla warfare.”

In June 1780, the British had established an "outpost" at Rocky Mount, in the Catawba Valley. Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull sent troops into what are now York and Chester counties to round up and eliminate the rebels. Captain Christian Huck, a loyalist from Philadelphia, was the leader.

In the community of Brattonsville, Martha Bratton sent a message to warn her husband, Colonel William Bratton, that Captain Huck was on his way. The message was delivered by Watt, the family’s African-American slave.

On July 12, 1780, the Patriot militia, led by Colonel Bratton, defeated the British Legion. This battle became known as the "Battle at Williamson's Plantation" or "Huck's Defeat."

Musgrove Mill: Ray of Hope | The Southern Campaign

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August 19th 1780, three days after the Battle of Camden, another battle was fought. British Provincials from Ninety-Six were camped near Edward Musgrove’s grist mill on the Enoree River (Laurens County), with many recuperating from wounds received at the Battle of Cedar Springs.

Funding and support for the production is provided by The National Park Service, The Self Family Foundation, The George Washington Endowment Fund of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, The South Carolina State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a contribution from Dr. Charles B. Hanna.