HS – World War I Propaganda

We closed the road to Paris

by Jenifer Smolnik
Ellington High School, Ellington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Immigration, World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Norwich, Statewide
Related Search Terms
The Great War, WW I, World War I, Enemy Aliens, Propaganda, Immigrants, How Connecticut Fought the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Like many wartime leaders, President Woodrow Wilson used propaganda to encourage nationalism and patriotism among Americans. The portrayal of America as the potential savior of the Allied powers in Europe influenced American attitudes about the sacrifices required to win the war. The American government delivered many of these messages through the effective use of mass media.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What role does propaganda play in a time of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What type of messages are being portrayed in words and/or pictures?
  • How do you think each segment of the population (e.g. immigrants, German-American citizens, other foreign-born American citizens, labor leaders, pacifists, and Socialists) might have received and interpreted these advertisements and appeals?
  • What do all of these propaganda materials have in common?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

 

Beware of Spies and Enemy Eavesdroppers!, Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1914-1918 - Connecticut State Library
Beware of Spies and Enemy Eavesdroppers!, Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1914-1918 – Connecticut State Library

 

Second United States Official War Film, "America's Answer", Presented by the Division of Films Committee on Public Information, George Creel, Chairman from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September, 7, 1918 - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Second United States Official War Film, “America’s Answer,” Presented by the Division of Films Committee on Public Information, George Creel, Chairman. A full page advertisement in the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September, 7, 1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download a pdf of the advertisement, “America’s Answer,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September 7, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.

 

Our Three Lines of National Defense
R. Peckner, Our Three Lines of National Defense, poster by the National Industrial Conservation Movement, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

 

We closed the road to Paris
We closed the road to Paris – we’re on our way to Berlin. Every bond you buy of the 4th Liberty Loan is a bayonet thrust at the Kaiser, poster by AdPress, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

 

To Arms! Enlistment Week!
“To Arms! Enlistment Week! Connecticut’s Call to Her Sons! Native Born or Adopted!” A full page advertisement in the Norwich Bulletin, June 27, 1917 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download a pdf of the advertisement, “To Arms! Enlistment Week!,” Norwich Bulletin, June 27, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Students will read and reflect on the propaganda materials and discuss the supporting questions in pairs or groups. Students will use a KWL chart or Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool to organize their work. Groups will share their materials and findings with the rest of the class, discuss the supporting and compelling questions, and then develop additional questions of their own.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Writing from the point of view of one segment of the population in the United States at that time, students will compose a brief (two-paragraph) letter to President Woodrow Wilson expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about American entry into the war. Students may choose to write from the perspective of:

  • German-Americans (including Hutterites and Mennonites)
  • Other Foreign-Born American Citizens
  • Socialists
  • Pacifists
  • Labor Leaders
  • Women
  • Draft-Age American Citizens
  • Older American Citizens
  • Another group that they have identified (with approval)

This letter may express concern or support, based on the students’ interpretation of the propaganda images. Students may include evidence from readings and reference other sources they have investigated.

Students will then select a different group that might have had a different view on American entry into the war and write a second letter to President Woodrow Wilson from this perspective.

Working in pairs or groups, students will present their letters for discussion and reflection.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Grade 3 – Exploring Communities: Using Historic Maps to Learn about the Past


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Architecture, Environment, The State
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Bridgeport, Canton, Danbury, East Haddam, Hartford, Killingly, Madison, New Haven, New London, NorwichThomaston, Vernon, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Map, Geography, Communities, Local History, Architecture, Landmarks, Insurance
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Why do our communities look the way they do today?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS

In what ways has our community’s past shaped how it looks today?

How has geography affected our community over time?

How have science, technology, and innovation affected communities?

D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

An example of a Sanborn map titled Insurance maps of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut by the Sanborn Map Company, 1904 -
An example of a Sanborn map titled Insurance maps of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut by the Sanborn Map Company, 1904 – Yale University, Sterling Memorial Library, Connecticut Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Use the Yale University Library website–Connecticut Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps— to select and download a Sanborn fire insurance map to fit your teaching goals (you can look at the maps in your browser, but downloading the high-quality PDFs will enable students to make out more details).

You may choose just one map from your town or a nearby town, if you wish to focus on your own community, or select a few maps to show different types of environments—large cities, medium-sized towns, or smaller towns—if your focus is on urban, suburban, and rural communities. Note that many (but not all) Connecticut towns are represented in Sanborn maps. Here are a few samples from around the state:

Sanborn fire insurance maps were first published in 1867 to show how great a risk of fire there was in any town or city. The maps include all of the buildings in town, colored-coded to show what materials were used to build them (mostly “frame”/wood, brick, or stone). The maps also include important public buildings (government buildings, theaters, churches, schools, etc.), street names, and additional information. For larger cities, the maps take up several pages, like an atlas. For some communities, they are the most detailed maps available from the late 1800s to early 1900s. They are a great source of information about the past for historians–young and old!

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis process, give students time to examine each of the maps you have selected, and ask them to OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION. For larger towns, you may want to start with the “title page” and then also look at a downtown detail page and one from farther outside the city center.

  1.  Observe: What do you notice first? What information does the map provide? What geographic elements are included? Which way is north/south/east/west and how do you know? Are there words on the map?
  2. Reflect: What do you think was important to the people who made this map? Does the map give us any clues about the time in which it was made? If you are familiar with this town today, what is the same and what is different? Or how is the town shown in this map similar to or different from your own?
  3. Question: What does this map make you wonder?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1. Imagining they are cartographers/map-makers, students will think about their own town and develop a list of all of the special places (public buildings, landmarks, public spaces, etc.) that should be included in a new map of town.
  2. Students will try their hand at making a map using rulers and graph paper. Making a map of the classroom is an easy project to start with; if your room has floor tiles, students can use those to mark out the dimensions on the graph paper.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles & Books to READ

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HS – Roots of Labor Unrest in Progressive-Era CT

Christine Gauvreau, Project CoordinatorConnecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Immigration, Social Movements, Women, Work
Theme
Economic Prosperity and Equity
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Labor, Strikes, Immigrants, Working Women, Organizing, Industry, Commission on Industrial Relations
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What were the causes of the labor unrest that roiled Connecticut in the years between 1900 and World War I?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS

What did the editors of the Norwich Bulletin suspect about the roots of the 1915 Bridgeport strikes?

What picture do the articles from the Bridgeport Evening Farmer paint about the origin of the 1915 Bridgeport strikes?

How did the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations explain labor unrest to Congress in its 1914 report?

D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Detail of article “26,000 Women Workers Will Have Better Conditions in Bridgeport: Strikes Continue In Plants Where Women Want Fair Treatment,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 20, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of page 1 of the article  “26,000 Women Workers Will Have Better Conditions in Bridgeport: Strikes Continue In Plants Where Women Want Fair Treatment,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 20, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
image Download an image of page 2 of the article “26,000 Women Workers Will Have Better Conditions in Bridgeport: Strikes Continue In Plants Where Women Want Fair Treatment,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 20, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “26,000 Women Workers Will Have Better Conditions in Bridgeport: Strikes Continue In Plants Where Women Want Fair Treatment,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 20, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of article “Enthusiasm Marks Mass Meeting of Striking Warner Operatives,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 17, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Download an image of the article “Enthusiasm Marks Mass Meeting of Striking Warner Operatives,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 17, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Enthusiasm Marks Mass Meeting of Striking Warner Operatives,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 17, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of article “The Bridgeport Situation,” Norwich Bulletin, July 20, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of article “The Bridgeport Situation,” Norwich Bulletin, July 20, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “The Bridgeport Situation,” Norwich Bulletin, July 20, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article,“The Bridgeport Situation,” Norwich Bulletin, July 20, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of article “Machinists’ Plan to Form Women’s Unions Discussed at Interesting Conference,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 21, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of article “Machinists’ Plan to Form Women’s Unions Discussed at Interesting Conference,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 21, 1915. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Machinists’ Plan to Form Women’s Unions Discussed at Interesting Conference,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 21, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Machinists’ Plan to Form Women’s Unions Discussed at Interesting Conference,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 21, 1915, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of article “Low Wages and Desire for Better Living Conditions Causes of Labor Unrest: Industrial Committee Cites Reasons of Employers and Employees in Report to Congress,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 8, 1914. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of article “Low Wages and Desire for Better Living Conditions Causes of Labor Unrest: Industrial Committee Cites Reasons of Employers and Employees in Report to Congress,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 8, 1914. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Low Wages and Desire for Better Living Conditions Causes of Labor Unrest: Industrial Committee Cites Reasons of Employers and Employees in Report to Congress,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 8, 1914, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Low Wages and Desire for Better Living Conditions Causes of Labor Unrest: Industrial Committee Cites Reasons of Employers and Employees in Report to Congress,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 8, 1914, or click on the image above to link to the article.

In the summer of 1915, immigrant workers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, took advantage of the wartime boom and went on strike to demand an eight-hour work day, better wages, and improved working conditions. Skilled craftsmen led the strike, but when 11,000 less-skilled workers (many of them young women) joined the movement, it turned into a city-wide general strike.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

1. Break the students into four groups and assign a different resource or resource set to each:

Group 1: “The Bridgeport Situation,” Norwich Bulletin, July 20, 1915, and “Machinists’ Plan to Form Women’s Unions Discussed at Interesting Conference,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 21, 1915.

Group 2: “26,000 Women Workers Will Have Better Conditions in Bridgeport,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 20, 1915.

Group 3: “Enthusiasm Marks Mass Meeting of Striking Warner Operatives,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, August 17, 1915. (Note: there are other related articles of interest on the same page which can be considered as well, as time allows.)

Group 4: “Low Wages and Desire for Better Living Conditions Causes of Labor Unrest: Industrial Committee Cites Reasons of Employers and Employees in Report to Congress,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 8, 1914.

2. Have students list the reasons (as suggested by the different primary sources provided) for the August 1915 Bridgeport strike wave. Questions to explore might include:

  • What industries were involved? What type of work did the laborers do?
  • What were the workers’ concerns and demands?
  • What were the concerns of management?
  • What, if any, outside influences were there?

3. Students should then list the questions that each source and argument provokes. Have the students consider what additional sources they might seek to answer those questions.

4. Ask the students to suggest reasons why the different sources might offer divergent explanations for the Bridgeport situation.

5. Ask the students, after considering the various points of view provided, to develop a working hypothesis about the cause of Bridgeport’s labor unrest that could guide a more in-depth research project. For additional information and opinions about labor unrest in 1915, students can use the Chronicling America database of historic newspapers.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will be divided into two groups—one representing labor and the other management in 1915. Develop arguments based on the newspaper sources (plus additional primary and secondary sources you may have used in the classroom) and hold a debate on the issues of labor conditions, wages, and the length of the work day/week.

Students will use what they have learned from the newspaper accounts (and any other resources on the topic you have used in the classroom) to create their own picket signs for workers striking in 1915 Connecticut.

Students will use newspapers, the internet, and other sources to investigate labor issues in Connecticut today, including the campaign for a $15 minimum wage and new federal overtime rules. They will create a graphic organizer comparing the issues today to those in 1915 (concerns, demands, industries involved, types of work done by laborers, etc.). Students may then write a letter to their state legislator arguing their own position on these topics and placing them in historical context.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – African Americans in Progressive-Era CT: The Battle over the Jack Johnson Fight Film

Frank Jonientz, Library Technical Assistant, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Popular Culture, Social Movements, Sports & Recreation
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Censorship, Racism, Morality, African American, Sports, Civil Rights, Progressive Era
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What does the battle over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film tell us about the social position of African Americans in Progressive-Era Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

"Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin's Fight Returns". Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910
“Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image “Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the newspaper.
Detail of the article "Buckingham's Attitude On Fight Pictures," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures," Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910 . Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Download an image of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
"Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
“Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image of the article “Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail from the article "War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People ," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail from the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada". Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 - Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 – Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, Bain News Service, ca. 1910-1915 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

In July 1910, Jack Johnson, an African American prizefighter, beat Jim Jeffries, a white prizefighter, for the World Heavyweight Championship. A commercial film of the bout was made and distributed. Before the film could be widely shown, state and local governments passed laws banning it.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

If you choose, start by showing the 3:37 clip of the Johnson-Jeffries fight from 1910.

You may choose to use the full set of resources provided or focus on two or three articles. There is also a photograph of Jack Johnson available to share with the class.

Break the students into groups and have each group work with one or even a set of resources. Have students gather evidence and inferences about the controversy over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film. You may wish to use some of the supporting questions to guide the inquiry:

  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?

Bring the class together to share their findings and remaining questions. Discuss how or where students could find answers or learn more.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students, acting as if they were living in Connecticut in 1910, will write a letter to the editor of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer or the Norwich Bulletin in response to any of the articles provided, arguing for or against the showing of the film in their town or in the state.

Students will compare the Johnson fight film controversy to a contemporary controversy over popular culture or censorship and prepare a short oral or written presentation on the comparison.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – The Immigrant Experience During World War I: Enemy Aliens

Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Immigration, World War I
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Immigrants, Enemy Aliens, First World War, World War I Home Front, German Americans, Hungarian Americans, Slovak Americans, Internment, World War One, The Great War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did the government effort to mobilize and monitor the Connecticut home front during World War I affect the immigrant experience and conceptions of national identity?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How did the government define an “enemy alien” during the First World War?
  • What were some of the steps taken in Connecticut to regulate the activity of “enemy aliens”?
  • How did immigrants from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire who were living in Connecticut react to the WWI-era mobilization efforts?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Thousands Likely to Be Evicted in “Restricted Zone"
Detail from the article “Thousands Likely to Be Evicted in ‘Restricted Zone,’” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 14, 1917. Click on the image to read the entire article – Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
image Download an image of the article “Thousands Likely to Be Evicted in ‘Restricted Zone,'” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 14, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Thousands Likely to Be Evicted in ‘Restricted Zone,'” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 14, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.

 

Sign Tells Enemy Aliens That They Must Watch Their Step
“Sign Tells Enemy Aliens That They Must Watch Their Step,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 11, 1917 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the photo “Sign Tells Enemy Aliens That They Must Watch Their Step,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 11, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the newspaper.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the photo, “Sign Tells Enemy Aliens That They Must Watch Their Step,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
“Brothers Face Interment as Enemy Aliens,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, May 14, 1918.
“Brothers Face Interment as Enemy Aliens,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, May 14, 1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Brothers Face Interment as Enemy Aliens,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, May 14, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Brothers Face Interment as Enemy Aliens,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, May 14, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article “Local Residents of Teuton Birth Loyal to Nation,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, February 5, 1917. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Local Residents of Teuton Birth Loyal to Nation,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, February 5, 1917. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Local Residents of Teuton Birth Loyal to Nation,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, February 5, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Local Residents of Teuton Birth Loyal to Nation,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, February 5, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
detailmutual_aid_soc_targeted_p1_btef_19180104
Detail of the article “Members of Workers’ ‘Sick Benefit Society’ Pledged to Resistance,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 4, 1918. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of page 1 of the article “Members of Workers’ ‘Sick Benefit Society’ Pledged to Resistance,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 4, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
image Download an image of page 2 of the article “Members of Workers’ ‘Sick Benefit Society’ Pledged to Resistance,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 4, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Members of Workers’ ‘Sick Benefit Society’ Pledged to Resistance,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 4, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article “Connecticut Military Census Proves Its Value to the Nation,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 30, 1918. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Connecticut Military Census Proves Its Value to the Nation,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 30, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Connecticut Military Census Proves Its Value to the Nation,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, January 30, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.

World War I was a watershed experience for immigrants who arrived at the turn of the twentieth century. Though the majority supported their new country, those suspected of harboring sympathies for their homeland—if the United States was at war with that homeland—were restricted in movement and sometimes interned in camps.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

1. Divide students into groups and assign one or more of the selected articles to each group.

2. Have the students look for and write down clues about the immigrant experience and conceptions of national identity that they have gleaned from their articles. You may use some of these supporting questions to help guide these investigations:

  • How did the government define an “enemy alien” during the First World War?
  • What were some of the steps taken in Connecticut to regulate the activity of “enemy aliens.”
  • How did immigrants from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire living in Connecticut react to the WWI-era mobilization efforts?

3. Have students list questions that are posed–but not answered–by the articles. Ask them to think about what kind of sources, especially primary sources from the time, might help them answer these questions.

4. As a follow-up, students can use the Chronicling America database at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov to find editorials or letters to the editor in Connecticut newspapers that present contrasting viewpoints regarding the enemy alien program.

Different newspapers printed their editorial and opinion pieces on different pages.

To search for editorials or other opinion pieces in the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer:

  1. Click on the “advanced search” tab and select this title from the drop down menu named “Select title.”
  2.  “Limit search” to Page 6.
  3.  Put “enemy alien” in the search box labeled “with the phrase.”

To search for editorials in the Norwich Bulletin:

  1. Click on the “advanced search” tab and select this title from the drop down menu named “Select title.”
  2. “Limit search” to Page 4.
  3. Put “enemy alien” in the search box labeled “with the phrase.”
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Based on what they have learned so far, students will imagine they were a resident in the state during World War I and write their own letter to the editor in response to one of the historic articles on the enemy alien program.

Students will use contemporary newspapers to investigate immigration issues today and will create a graphic organizer illustrating similarities and differences between issues today and those during WWI. These may include the cultural/racial/religious background of immigrants in question, language/words used in newspaper coverage, proposed “solutions,” etc.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – Free Speech and Seditious Speech on the CT World War I Home Front

Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier

by Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Protest, Labor, Patriotism, Preparedness, Pacifism, Neutrality, Free Speech, Seditious Speech, Anarchism, Deportation, Espionage, World War One, The Great War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Does free speech exist in a time of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What kinds of “speech” were limited during WWI?
  • Why was free speech restricted?
  • What were the possible penalties for those who violated the regulations?
  • How did different people respond to the limitation on speech at the time?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Extra! Police Take Notice
Extra! Police Take Notice” [ad for film], Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918 – Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
image Download an image of the article “Extra! Police Take Notice” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Extra! Police Take Notice” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier
“Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.

 

Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists
Detail of the article, “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917. Click on the image to read the entire article.  – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For
Detail of the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.

Speech considered anti-war or anti-American was regulated on the home front during the World War I era. Violations led to arrests and convictions. Pacifists, socialists, and immigrant workers were particularly monitored for disloyal speech.  The legal authority for these actions flowed from the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Start by showing “Extra! Police Take Notice!” (an advertisement for the film The Kaiser, published in the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918.) Have the class read the advertisement together, identifying:

  1. Facts/things they can know for sure from the source
  2. Inferences/things they can reasonably guess or assume
  3.  Questions they have

Working individually or in groups, have students read some or all of the other three sources. In addition to pulling out facts, inferences, and further questions, students may explore supporting questions such as:

  • What kinds of “speech” were limited during WWI?
  • Why was free speech restricted?
  • What were the possible penalties for those who violated the regulations?
  • Who accused people of “seditious” or anti-American speech?
  • What kinds of people were accused?

Discuss questions that have emerged from the sources and where students could find answers or learn more.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will select a person mentioned in one of the sources (a “concerned citizen,” law enforcement, protestor/accused citizen) and defend his or her position in a debate with classmates on the question of freedom of speech and censorship during World War I.

Students, acting as if they were a resident of Connecticut from 1917 through 1921, will write a letter to the editor of either the Norwich Bulletin or the Bridgeport Evening Farmer/Bridgeport Times in reaction to any of the primary sources provided.

Students will investigate events/topics related to free speech today—especially those involving national security—and write a letter to the editor of a contemporary newspaper placing these events into historical context and presenting lessons that could be drawn from the regulation of speech over time in America.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

HS – Black World War I Veterans Demand Civil Rights

W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis

by Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
African Americans, Veterans, Civil Rights, World War One, The Great War, Equal Rights, W.E.B. Dubois
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did World War I impact the struggle for civil rights in Connecticut and America?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • From the primary sources provided, what can you deduce about African Americans’ access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) in Connecticut in 1919?
  • What arguments for Connecticut Senate Bill 199 did its supporters present?
  • Based on his 1920 speech in Bridgeport, Connecticut, what did W. E. B. Dubois believe the World War I experience meant for African Americans?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Colored Men Lodge Protest
Detail of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919. Click on the image to read the entire article.  – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
image Download an image of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
page Download a pdf of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
Plea for Equal Justice
“Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis
“W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis.” – New York Public Library Digital Collections
page Download the excerpted article by W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919.

In the spring of 1919, black World War I veteran J. L. Morgan, accompanied by Connecticut African American leaders, appealed to the state legislature to grant his community equal access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) and education.  The proposed civil rights bill was defeated by both houses in April 1919.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students read the first two sources (“Colored Men Lodge Protest” and page 1 of SB199) individually, with a partner, or as a class.

  • What information can they gather from these sources?
  • What can they deduce/infer about the civil rights of African Americans in Connecticut following World War I?
  • What is the significance of the timing of the proposal of SB199 (immediately following World War I)?
  • What questions do they have after reading the sources?
  • How might students find answers to their questions?

For further inquiry, have students read  W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919 and “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • The legislative debate over SB199 (and even half of the text of the bill) is lost to us. Students will use what they have learned from the inquiry to complete the cut-off paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 1, in which penalties for denying access are spelled out. – OR – Students will create their own protest signs that might have been brought to the capitol in 1919. Signs should make a clear, catchy, historically accurate argument relevant to the bill.
  • Students will research civil rights issues affecting veterans and members of the military today and use their new understanding of the historical context to enrich a letter to the editor or to legislators.
  • Students will develop strategies or guidelines for identifying biases in newspaper accounts, both historical and contemporary, and then practice using these in future research and assignments.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

HS – “Making Munitions is a Woman’s Job” During World War I

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Women, World War I, Work
Theme
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
WWI, The Great War, Womens Rights, Defense Work, Equality in the Work Place

Social Studies Frameworks

High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What impact did the women of Connecticut have on the Great War (WWI)?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What is the message of the “Every American Woman” advertisement?
  • Who is being targeted?
  • What emotional reactions does the writer seem to be looking for from readers?
  • Why do you think this broadside was published in the Bridgeport Times & Evening Farmer?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Advertisement from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
Advertisement from the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Advertisement from the U.S. Employment Bureau published in The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer newspaper on September 20, 1918, page 12, that offers arguments for why American women should work in armament factories during the Great War (WWI).

image

Download the image.

 

image

Download the Library of Congress – Analyzing Newspapers – PDF.

 

 

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Students will analyze the U.S. Employment Bureau’s advertisement, “Every American Woman,” and answer the supporting questions.
  2. Students will annotate the words and images in the primary source, including those linked to patriotism and making connections to earlier historical events (previously studied).
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1.  Students will create their own advertisement/poster to recruit residents of Connecticut to assist in the effort to help win the Great War (WWI).
  2. Students will design a WWI monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front.
  3.  Extended Learning: Students will research other primary-source materials (see below for suggestions and links) and write an editorial for the Hartford Courant arguing the importance of the role Connecticut women played in the Great War (WWI).
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles to READ

Grade 5 – Caleb Brewster & The Culper Ring

by Nick Merullo


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Revolutionary War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Fairfield
Related Search Terms
American Revolution, Caleb Brewster, The Culper Spy Ring
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

 In what ways did “ordinary” Americans contribute to the American Revolution?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why did the Continental army rely on contributions from civilians?
  • How did women contribute to the Revolution?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

A-H of the Culper Spy Ring Code - Library of Congress and MountVernon.org
A-H of the Culper Spy Ring Code – Library of Congress and MountVernon.org

The image above is a page from the coding index used by the Culper Spy Ring, a group of colonist civilians working as spies who gathered and reported intelligence to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Caleb Brewster was a key member of the organization. Brewster served as a courier delivering messages to agents in Connecticut and Long Island across the Long Island Sound. His long—standing friendship with Benjamin Tallmadge, Washington’s chief intelligence officer, and his reputation as an expert seaman, made him the perfect man for the job.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students do a close reading of the page and consider:

  • What words can they recognize on the page?
  • Why might some of these words need to be written in code?
  • What are some benefits of using numbers instead of words?
  • How might the results of the Revolution changed if these messages were discovered by the enemy?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Have students research the Culper Ring and present findings:

  • Create a map detailing one of Brewster’s excursions from the coast of Connecticut to Long Island.
  • Write a letter from the perspective of General Washington to Caleb Brewster.
  • Have students create their own coding system and write a secret message between spies.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Articles to READ
Field Trips and Programs