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Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth (c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was an American activist for abolitionism, women’s rights, universal suffrage, and other causes.  Early Life Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree (or Bomefree) around 1797 in Dutch-speaking New York to enslaved parents. Sold away from her family in childhood, Isabella was owned by several abusive enslavers. In …Read More

Pumpkin Pie recipe image, 1921(Camden Daily Courier, via Newspapers.com)

Pumpkin Pie Recipes

Pumpkin pie has a long history in the United States. Pumpkins originally come from Central America, but as a result of European exploration of the Americas, the plant began to be cultivated and eaten in Europe. Early European colonists in what would later become the United States brought the tradition of pumpkin-filled pies across the …Read More

Newspaper coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Terre Haute Tribune, via Newspapers.com)

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Background On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was shot twice while riding in a motorcade on the way to give a speech. His alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested that same day but was shot to death a few days later while in police custody.    …Read More

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"Hello Girls" in France, March 1918

Hello Girls

The Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit (informally known as the “Hello Girls”) was composed of telephone switchboard operators who served with the U.S. Army overseas during World War I.  Background In late 1917, General John Pershing (commander of the American Expeditionary Forces) called for women to serve with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in …Read More

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862–March 25, 1931) was an American journalist and activist, particularly known for her anti-lynching work.  Early Life Ida Bell Wells was born in 1862 to enslaved parents in Holly Springs, Mississippi. After emancipation, her family remained in Mississippi; but when Wells was 16, her parents and a younger brother died …Read More

Destroyed buildings after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Great Chicago Fire (Chicago Tribune Edition)

The Great Chicago Fire burned October 8 to 10, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, with its frequent high winds and countless wooden structures, was prone to fires even before the “Great Fire” tore through the city. However, none were so destructive as this one. It ultimately killed 300 people and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings.  …Read More

Opening Day of Walt Disney World

Opening Day of Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida, opened to the public on October 1, 1971. Background After the success of California’s Disneyland, Walt Disney decided to launch a larger, more ambitious project in the eastern United States and began quietly acquiring roughly 27,000 acres of land in Central Florida. He officially announced the project …Read More

Smithsonian Institution "Castle," circa 1860-1880

Founding of the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution (a complex of national museums and research centers in the United States) was founded on August 10, 1846, through legislation signed by President James Polk. The cornerstone of the main building was laid in 1847. Smithson Bequest The initial money for the Smithsonian was provided by a bequest in the will of …Read More

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, and speaker. One of the most influential Black leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Washington was also a pivotal figure at the Tuskegee Institute. Childhood & Education Booker was born in Virginia in 1856 to an enslaved …Read More

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