Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - U.S. History (X) - Civics and Government (X) - Government (X)

Our Nation's Capitol

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Join student reporters as they uncover the history, art and architecture that define America’s living symbol of democracy and freedom, the Capitol Building.

Looking for Lincoln | All Things Lincoln

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. visits the Lincoln Museum to see the iconic “stove pipe” hat firsthand. He then travels to Beverly Hills for a tour of the world’s largest private collection of Lincoln-related artifacts.

Looking for Lincoln | Abraham Lincoln, Attorney at Law

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentay Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin examine Lincoln's years as a "prairie" lawyer on the Illinois circuit, and discuss how they honed and polished Lincoln's confidence, sense of fairness, and social skills.

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.

The White House: Inside Story | White House Renovations

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By the time Harry Truman and his family moved into the White House in 1945, the house had been home to many first families. Renovations and additions had been built haphazardly, and the upkeep of the house was not always the highest priority. After inspectors came in, Truman was told that the White House was standing up “from force of habit only.” It was under Truman that the most significant renovation of the House took place: the house was gutted and rebuilt with metal supports. When Jackie Kennedy moved in, she was disappointed to find very little interior decoration or historic furnishings. She undertook a vast renovation and brought back many historic items to the home. Today, the White House is not only a home and an office; it is also a museum that is a testament to both the Truman and Kennedy administrations.

Your Vote Counts!

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Video reading of Your Vote Counts!

The White House: Inside Story | First Children

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What is it like to be a son or daughter of the President of the United States? What is it like to grow up in the White House? First Children, some of whom have grown up at the White House, have a most unique experience. They play ball on the White House lawn, roller skate in the East Room, and have kindergarten classes in the Solarium. Some have been married at the White House, and some have died within the historic walls. Sometimes though, it is the normalcy of childhood or adolescence that Presidential Children dream of…the spotlight of the press and the security of the home can be very demanding. But, in the words of Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of President Ford, living in The White House is “amazing.”

The White House: Inside Story | The Oval Office

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The center of the American political system is a small, oval shaped room in the West Wing of the White House. The President's iconic office, which also holds the infamous Resolute Desk, is called the Oval Office. It is here where historic decisions are made, agreements are hammered out, and legislation is discussed. It is here where the President meets important guests and dignitaries, and it is here where America’s leader enjoys rare moments of peace and quiet. The aura of the office has spanned generations, and even Presidents can feel the sense of power with which the room imbues them. Today, the Oval Office is the most famous office in the world.

The White House: Inside Story | First Ladies

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She isn’t paid for the work she does, and her job isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, but the First Lady is an instrumental part of each Presidential Administration. Over the years, each First Lady has left her own unique touch on the White House. Eleanor Roosevelt, probably the most famous First Lady yet, took on civic and social issues around the country and the globe. Jackie Kennedy redesigned the White House, bringing period furnishings into the home. Rosalynn Carter sat in on cabinet meetings and advised her husband, The President, regularly. As the world, and the White House, continues to evolve, who knows what is in store for the future First Lady… or the First Spouse!

Minnesota Legacy Short | Grass Roots Populism: MN Farmer-Labor Party 1916-1944

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At the turn of the 20th century, Minnesota's entrenched Republican party was challenged by the most successful radical third-party in American history. From 1918 to 1944, the Farmer-Labor party was strong enough to wrest control of the state's government away from entrenched political parties, profoundly transforming Minnesota's political climate.

Looking for Lincoln | Abraham Lincoln's Words

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. cites several of Lincoln's most famous lines of oratory from different points in his political career, noting the "seemingly simple but profoundly eloquent language" he used "to express and ennoble his cause."

Looking for Lincoln | Was Lincoln a White Supremacist?

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. deconstructs the traditional, legendary narrative of Abraham Lincoln in this segment from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln. Writer Lerone Bennett, Jr. recalls his disillusionment with "The Great Emancipator" who'd been his childhood hero, citing Lincoln's proposed "compromise" solution to slavery (which had involved the deportation of slaves to colonies in Panama and Liberia) and Lincoln's failure to contribute anything to the Abolitionist cause prior to the Civil War. Historian David Blight, however, reminds us that it is our own task to define "what is worth remembering" about Lincoln's story.

The White House: Inside Story | Part 6

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Living in the White House is a most unique experience for the families of Presidents. However, an old house will need repairs, no matter its level of national importance. Luckily, some special family members contributed to important renovations of their short-term home. Standing at the epicenter of global politics, in the heart of the nation’s capital, the story of the White House is the story of America itself.

The White House: Inside Story | Part 7

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The First Lady isn't paid for what she does, but she is in an incredible position to guide her husband and lead public initiatives from the White House. Come behind the scenes of the life of a First Lady and her staff. Standing at the epicenter of global politics, in the heart of the nation’s capital, the story of the White House is the story of America itself.

Analyzing Primary Sources to Learn about the Past | Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

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In this series of three mini-lessons, students will participate in a virtual visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum where they’ll have the chance to analyze a variety of primary sources to learn about the character and leadership of President Gerald R. Ford, as well as the era in which he served.

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