Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - Professional (X) - U.S. History (X)

Gospel Train | The Civil War Era

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In this video, students learn about "Gospel Train". “Gospel Train” is a code-word song used in the Underground Railroad by slaves, often sung just before an escape in an attempt to let all who wished to go know that the time was near. In this segment, folk singers Rhonda and Sparky Rucker perform the piece on harmonica and guitar.

 

Taiko Dojo: Music

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, hear the taiko drumming of Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. This art form is being performed in San Jose's Japantown as the Taiko Dojo troop seek to keep this musical form and piece of Japanese heritage alive.

Elisa Korenne: Hormel Girls

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In 1947, Jay Hormel founded the Hormel Girls to create jobs for women veterans of World War II and to promote Hormel products like Spam and Dinty Moore. The glamourous group of musicians and singers grew to include 60 members and was a top rated show on three national radio networks. The Hormel Girls are a true treasure of Minnesota history and an early symbol of the independent woman.

Speer & the City | Colorado Experience

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Robert Speer was born in Pennsylvania in 1855 and traveled to Colorado to cure his TB when he was 22 years old, which he did. In 1884, Speer ran for City Clerk, just as Colorado was hitting a large economic boom off the mining of Silver and other ore. The election was fraudulent, ballots were stuffed, and Speer won the election. The 1893 Chicago World Fair inspired Speer to beautify Denver. “The City Beautiful” was the idea put forth which involved Greco-Roman styles of engineering and a large shift towards public parks. Civic Center Park was Speer’s baby, which is surrounded by the State Capitol, the City and County Building, and the Denver Art Museum. He would move on to become mayor in 1904 and reelected in 1908, again, with suspicions of a fraudulant election. However, Speer was a brilliant politician who was able to convince wealthy people to give funds towards the construction of Civic Center Park. Speer Blvd. is named thusly as he put forth the construction of the barriers which enclose Cherry Creek today. The greening of Denver was a program to incentivize people to plant trees and plants. Speer doubled the amount of park space. Speer died in 1918, before the parks were fully completed. In 2012 Civic Center Park became a national historic landmark, one of about two thousand on the list.

Scandinavian Traditions | Music and Tradition

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Traditional music and dance is one way that North Dakotans celebrate their Scandinavian heritage and find part of their own identity in their ethnic background. “No tree grows strong by cutting off its roots.” Understanding where we come from helps us know who we are. North Dakota’s largest demographic is people of Scandinavian descent. Many people in North Dakota are aware of their roots, know who they are, and take an active role in keeping those traditions alive.

Boyz II Men | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring the ensemble Boyz II Men at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

Natalie Maines | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring vocalist Natalie Maines at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

MN Original | Librettist & Composer Dominick Argento

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Watch now: In 1962, the Walker Art Center commissioned Dominick Argento to compose an opera for Center Opera, now known as Minnesota Opera. More than 50 years later, Minnesota Opera continues to emphasize new works by contemporary librettists and composers, including a 2014 revision of Argento’s “The Dream of Valentino,” which premiered in 1993 at the Kennedy Center.

Among the many awards to his name, Argento has a Pulitzer Prize and a National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also Composer Laureate for the Minnesota Orchestra.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

Mark Catesby Explores New Worlds

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[00:29:37] Shorter edited version provided by the Catesby Commemorative Trust. In 1712, English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) crossed the Atlantic to Virginia. After a seven-year stay, he returned to England with paintings of plants and animals he had studied. They sufficiently impressed other naturalists that in 1722 several Fellows of the Royal Society sponsored his return to North America. There Catesby cataloged the flora and fauna of the Carolinas and the Bahamas by gathering seeds and specimens, compiling notes, and making watercolor sketches.

Elisa Korenne: Mail Order Bride

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, MN writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. One such figure is Rachel Calof. She traveled from Russia to North Dakota in 1894 as an immigrant homesteader and a mail order bride. Her story is a riveting and candid look at the hardships of life on the prairie.

Elisa Korenne: Sister Lumberjack

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. In 1893, northern Minnesota was experiencing a logging boom but it was a dangerous industry. Back then, health insurance was in the form of health tickets to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, MN. Sister Amata Mackett of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery sold these tickets to lumberjacks and quickly became know as Sister Lumberjack.

Elisa Korenne: Root Beer Lady

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Singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota, writes songs about unusual characters and obscure events in Minnesota history.

Eugene Zimmerman

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Throughout his career, Eugene Zimmerman created more than 400,000 drawings and sketches, he is well-known as a cartoonist and political satirist.

Elisa Korenne: Who was I

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Susan Frenier Brown was a mixed-blood Dakota Indian, and although she was surrounded by influential people who had an impact on politics in the mid and late 1800’s, her own identity and story has been somewhat lost to history. Minnesota musician Elisa Korenne explores this shadowy figure in her original song "Who Was I?"

Josh Groban | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring vocalist Josh Groban at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

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