Social Studies

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Lubin Photos | History Detectives

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History Detectives examines century old photos that may have captured the dawn of American movie-making--nearly 3000 miles from Hollywood. One of the books holds many Western scenes, including a cowboy character captioned, "Herbert Lubin." Other captions refer to the Siegmund Lubin Studios. Who was Siegmund Lubin? And was Herbie Lubin a movie star? History Detective Tukufu Zuberi goes on an excursion through an early movie mogul’s dramatic rise and fall.

People and Businesses | Steamboats on the Red

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Learn how communities began to develop on the banks of the Red River along the steamboats’ route in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. With new, cheaper means of transportation come people—first workers, then settlers, then merchants. 

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Engineering the Jet Age

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Trace the emergence of the passenger jet from its military origins and learn about the obstacles and opportunities that Boeing’s president Bill Allen faced taking the company into the jet age, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. After World War II, Boeing relied on sales of the B-47 bomber to keep the company afloat. This plane, which flew nearly 600 miles per hour at 35,000 feet, inspired Allen to conceive of a future in which commercial airline passengers would fly in jets. A decade after the close of World War II, Boeing delivered the 707. Within a year, more travelers were crossing the Atlantic by air than by sea. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering Collection.

Great States | Iowa Economy

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Iowa’s natural resources gave rise to its early industries like lumber and coal mining. Discover how the real key to Iowa’s growth as a modern economy was transportation. Stagecoaches, freight wagons, steamboats, and trains were crucial to Iowa’s commercial development. 

Titans of Idaho Industry | Idaho Experience

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In 1949, Joe Albertson decided to break away from Safeway and start his own grocery store. It became one of the nations largest chain stores.  J.R. Simplot left home at age 14, and dropped out of school. After a string of calculated risks, Simplot managed to build a multi-billion dollar company. Idaho Experience "Titans" looks at the lives of Joe Albertson, and J.R. Simplot to see ways they helped change the state of Idaho. 

The Bank of North Dakota | Economic Independence

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Learn about the Bank of North Dakota that was created during early 1900s in order to diversify the economy and regain control of its financial future.

Taking the Reins: Women Who Contributed to the Development of the West | Idaho Experience

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This “Taking the Reins” episode of Idaho Experience traces the remarkable paths of two Idaho women: Katherine Caroline Wilkins, born to fortune-seeking pioneers in Oregon Territory, was one of the most successful horse-sellers in the United States. And May Arkwright Hutton became one of the richest women in the American West, using her newfound wealth to promote suffrage and later running for the Idaho Legislature.

The Bank of North Dakota | The NPL and the Bank

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Learn how A. C. Townley’s Non-Partisan League’s membership rose quickly and soon endorsed candidates for their state ownership platform. The NPL-controlled legislature passed several bills providing support to farmers, including creation of the only state-owned bank in the country.

The NPL-controlled legislature passed several bills providing support to farmers, including creation of the only state-owned bank in the country.

Colorado Coined | Colorado Experience

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The Denver Mint was modeled off the Medici supported architecture in Florence, Italy. It opened in 1904 as an essay office and began minting coins in 1906. Due to the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906, Denver’s coins began to proliferate across the entire west. In 1934, the Federal Government shifted the gold supply from San Francisco to Denver’s Mint, shipping $26.4 billion in gold from San Francisco to Denver. In the 1930’s, Denver had stored collectively more gold then had ever been before on Earth. Coinage in the United States represents the thing which we admire, the values which we hold as a nation. The Denver Mint is representative of the West, the pioneering and venturing ideals of Americans, past and future.

Is America on the Wane?

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NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman talks to Yale historian Paul Kennedy about the rise and fall of great economic powers like the United States.

Race Riot of 1906 | Georgia Stories

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How can we avoid repeating our past mistakes? One of the best ways is to understand what happened and why it happened so we can avoid doing the same thing in the future. One such event in Georgia's past was the race riot of 1906. As economic conditions worsened after the Civil War, poor whites joined blacks moving to Atlanta where both groups competed for work. In mid-September, a riot started in Atlanta when violent mobs of whites began randomly attacking black men, beating and killing them.

Rev. Frank Dukes: Selective Buying Campaign

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In 1962, Miles College student Frank Dukes helped organize andparticipated in a selective buying campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. Byboycotting downtown businesses that discriminated against them, AfricanAmericans used buying power as political leverage in the struggle forequality. In this interview, Dukes describes his role in the grassrootseffort that shook Birmingham's economy.

Rockefeller's Background Information and the Toyota Deal

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Explore how Jay Rockefeller's background enabled him to establish a working relationship with Toyota Manufacturing which had a positive impact on West Virginia's economy.