Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Elementary (X) - High (X) - Iowa Public Television (X) - U.S. History (X)

"The Young Prince" | Iowa State Fair 2016

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State fairs showcase a wide variety of crafts, skills and even art. Take a close look at this metal sculpture created by S. W. Huffman for the Iowa State Fair. What does it look like? What is it made of?

Mechanization on the Farm in the Early 20th Century | The People in the Pictures

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Learn how the first half of the twentieth century was a time of transition on the family farm in this video from Iowa Public Television. As tractors began to replace horses, farm families witnessed the birth of mechanization on the farm.

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography, restored archival color film, filmed recreations, and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.

Threshing Machine: Farmers Working Together | The People in the Pictures

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Learn how during the early to mid-twentieth century, steam-powered threshing machines were widely used on farms in this video from Iowa Public Television.  Threshing, the process of removing the grain from the stalk on a plant such as oats or wheat, was a big event that drew friends and neighbors to local farms.  Prior to the steam engine, this work was laborious and all done by hand. Even with a steam engine to power the threshing machine, many hands were needed to help bring in a crop. Women were also extremely busy during the threshing. The threshing crew needed to be fed and all of the women came together to prepare food for the crew. 

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography, restored archival color film, filmed recreations, and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.

Bataan Death March | Iowa's WWII Stories

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Following their surrender to Japanese forces at the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, tens of thousands of U.S. and Filipino troops were forced to march 60 miles over six days as prisoners of war. Prisoners were provided no food or water, and many who fell or stopped were killed. Thousands died before they could reach their destination. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa WWII Stories includes historical footage and interviews with survivors of the march.

The Great Depression, the Family Farm and the New Deal | The People in the Pictures

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Learn how family farmers and agricultural workers were impacted by the Great Depression and the New Deal in this video from Iowa Public Television. 

Although the Great Depression began in 1929, hard times had started about ten years earlier for many rural farmers. The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was created in 1933 to come to the aid of agricultural workers and family farmers.

For most people in the United States, the start of the Great Depression was October 29, 1929. On that day, the value of stocks traded in the New York Stock Exchange dropped dramatically. Banks and investment companies that had put money in stocks lost fortunes. Factories began to close, laying off workers. Hard times were coming. However, hard times had started about ten years earlier for farmers in the Midwest.

In 1933, as part of the New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration undertook the most far-reaching land reform and planning program in modern American history. One of the new agencies was the FSA, the Farm Security Administration. The FSA's goal was to come to the aid of agricultural workers and family farmers.

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century. 

Taking Care of Farm and Family During the Great Depression | The People in the Pictures

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Find out how the Great Depression made farm life even more difficult while many rural families found creative solutions to their problems in this video from Iowa Public Television. 

As the Great Depression began, what was a challenging life on the farm became more difficult.  There was very little money on hand to keep the farm going from year to year and to purchase what they could not produce themselves. Many farm families found creative solutions to their problems. Communities came together to help one another whether it was to build a new barn, or bring in harvest.

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.

 

Farmers Fear Bankruptcy During the Great Depression | The People in the Pictures

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Learn about the thousands of family farms that were lost due to bankruptcy during the Great Depression in this video from Iowa Public Television. 

During the Great Depression, thousands of family farms were lost due to bankruptcy. Farmers could not make payments on loans because the cost of production exceeded their profits. Those who were able to stay in business were in constant fear of losing their farm.

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.

Electricity and Plumbing Change Rural Farm Life in the Early 20th Century | The People in the Pictures

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Learn how the 1930s brought changes to work and life on the farm with increasing numbers of rural farm families with access to electricity and indoor plumbing in this video from Iowa Public Television. 

Although nearly 90 percent of urban households had electricity by the 1930s, only 10 percent of rural households had access. The cost to bring power lines to remote farm homes was too expensive for private utility companies, so the government stepped in to help with creation of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935.

As farmers gained access to electricity, they wanted more modern amenities such as indoor plumbing. But even in 1940, most Midwest farms did not yet have indoor toilets, showers and bathtubs. Once these amenities arrived, they dramatically changed work and life on the farm.

This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary "The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography, filmed recreations, and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.

The Early Life of Alexander Clark

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In 1842, at the age of 16, Alexander Clark moved to what is now Muscatine, Iowa. His skill set, including being a barber, put him in a position to be in daily contact with the most powerful men in the community. Clark was born a free man and therefore was able to own property. He was able to purchase his first home at the age of 22. In this clip from the Lost in History: Alexander Clark documentary, historian Dr. Paul Finkelman describes Alexander Clark’s beginnings as a barber and businessman.

Alexander Clark and Early Abolitionists in Iowa

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Before the Civil War, there were many abolitionists living in Eastern Iowa where Alexander Clark lived. Within a short time, Clark became an activist fighting for the rights of blacks. In this clip from the Lost in History: Alexander Clark documentary, historian Dr. David Broadnax discusses the demographic makeup of Iowa and how some Iowans played a critical role in the abolitionist movement.

Borlaug Receives Congressional Gold Medal | Iowa Pathways

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In the 1940s, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug worked years to develop a high-yielding, disease-resistant variety of wheat that could be raised in hard-to-grow areas. President George W. Bush recognized Borlaug’s lifelong work to fight world hunger through crop breeding in 2006, by presenting him with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Native American Burial Mounds | Iowa Pathways

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Approximately 2,500 years ago, Native American burial mounds were used for burying the dead and as bank vaults for treasured items. The mounds provide answers to questions about Iowa's past.

Ancient Tools of Iowa | Iowa Pathways

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The people of ancient Iowa made their tools and weapons from the natural materials they found near their camps: tree branches, animal bones and the stone and flint that lay upon the ground.

Why Move to Iowa | Iowa Pathways

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Pioneers settled in Iowa in the late 1700s and early 1800s for a variety of reasons. Many came for the rich farmland. Some came to escape religious persecution or sickness.

The Last Days of World War II | Iowa's WWII Stories

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World War II was a long and brutal war. After three years, eight months and eight days, the fighting for American forces was over. It is estimated that more than 60 million people were killed in the conflicts, many of them civilians.  Sixteen million Americans had been sent to war; 406,000 never returned. Soon the focus could change from sacrificing to rebuilding. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and interviews with two Iowa veterans.

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