Social Studies

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

1964: "Dancing in the Street"

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Discover how the hit song “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas became an anthem for society’s upheaval in this video from American Experience: “1964.” Intentionally or not, the call to people to come together around the world out into the streets seemed to support and inspire what would later become protests, demonstrations, and even riots as young people, blacks, and other groups demanded equal rights and fair treatment. This resource is part of the American Experience Collection.

1964: "The Beatles"

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Learn how the arrival of the Beatles in 1964, a scant five weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy, spurred on youthful rebellion and the counterculture in this video from American Experience: “1964.” As young people fell in love with the Beatles’ music and style, the gap between generations began to widen. Popular culture and politics would eventually merge, leading to a whole new set of American values. This resource is part of the American Experience Collection.

Freedom Riders: Buses Are A-Coming

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Jailed for civil disobedience in June 1961, the Freedom Riders used songs to turn prison into another place for peaceful protest against segregation and mistreatment. Excerpted from, American Experience: “Freedom Riders.”

The Power of Popular Songs | The Great War

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Listen to the way songs helped spread the news and influence opinion before the United States entered World War I, in this video adapted from The Great War: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Through recordings and sheet music, the words to popular songs written in Manhattan’s “Tin Pan Alley” served as both entertainment and a news source at a time when many people didn’t read newspapers or couldn’t read English. This resource is a part of The Great War: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE | Collection.

Henry Ford - Interview with Producer Sarah Colt

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Producer Sarah Colt discusses the challenges of making American Experience: "Henry Ford."

Triangle Fire: Factory Workers - Slaves of the Machines

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In the early 20th century, garment workers had to keep pace with their machines, or else pay for their mistakes. Excerpted from, American Experience: “Triangle Fire.”

The Creation, Destruction, and Legacy of Penn Station: Its Heyday | American Experience

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In this media gallery from American Experience, learn about the engineering challenges involved in bringing railroad service to Manhattan at the beginning of the 20th century. Discover New York's Penn Station in its heyday during the first half of the 20th century, how it fostered suburban growth, and how it was threatened by the automobile and airplane. This resource is part of the American Experience collection.

Henry Ford Institutes Worker Shareholders | American Experience

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Discover how Henry Ford used an increase in wages to address challenges facing his automobile company in this clip from American Experience. By more than doubling wages and creating "worker shareholders," Ford was able to both reduce assembly line turnover and create an expanded customer base for his Model T automobile. The policy played a major role in the transformation of the United States during the early 20th century from a society focused on production alone to one that emphasized both production and consumption. This resource is part of the American Experience collection.

Grand Coulee Dam

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Explore how the conflict between industrialization and the preservation of natural resources played out in the creation of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s in this video from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. The project was initially seen as a way to provide electric power and irrigation and to spur recovery from the Great Depression. Only later were the environmental consequences to the land and the people living there recognized and, in the latter case, given compensation. This resource is part of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Collection.

The First Automobile Assembly Line | American Experience

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Discover how Henry Ford invented the first automobile assembly line and revolutionized American manufacturing in this clip from American Experience. By assigning specific tasks to workers, reorganizing the factory, and creating greater mobility on the factory floor, Ford was able to produce more Model Ts in far less time. This resource is part of the American Experience collection.

Fusion: Testing the First Hydrogen Device

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The 1952 test of the first hydrogen device--code-named "Mike," for "megaton"--in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands signaled a new era in weapons capabilities. The devastation presented in this video segment, adapted from American Experience: Race for the Superbomb, demonstrates just how foreboding the signal was. Watch what prompted then-United States president Harry Truman to speak publicly about the dangers ahead for a world in which such weapons existed.

Underwater Tunnels Connect Mainland to New York City | American Experience

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Discover how the Pennsylvania Railroad engineered underwater tunnels to bring the railroad service to Manhattan, in this video excerpt from American Experience. Engineering challenges included building six tunnels under the Hudson and East Rivers to connect Manhattan with New Jersey and Long Island as well as a steel arch bridge over the East River to connect Manhattan with New England. The entire project became an example of both modern problem solving and a privately funded initiative that delivered a great public benefit. This resource is part of the American Experience collection.

American Experience: Penn Station's Underwater Tunnels

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In this media gallery from American Experience, learn about the Pennsylvania Railroad's plan to bring railroad service to Manhattan at the beginning of the 20th century and the unprecedented 1903 engineering of underwater tunnels to Penn Station. This resource is part of the American Experience collection.

American Experience | Grand Coulee Dam - Closing the Spillway

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In this video from American Experience, learn about the building the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930's and 1940's, then the largest concrete structure ever built in the United States. It was essentially a large ditch that diverted water out of the Columbia River and fed the river to drier land to irrigate it. The water also moved turbines to generate electricity. But it destroyed the fishing areas of Native Americans. Hailed for its power to transform a region, it now serves as a reminder of the price of progress.

Stonewall Uprising: The Fear of Being Gay

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Danny Garvin, a veteran of the Navy and the 1969 Stonewall riots, reflects on realizing he was gay. His misery and sense of limited options led him to attempt suicide. Video from American Experience: “Stonewall Uprising.”

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