HS – Beware Thy Neighbor? German Americans in Connecticut during WWI

Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Middletown, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, Great War, First World War, Flag, How Lives Changed, Immigrants, Enemy Aliens, Home Front, German Americans, Foreigners, Internment
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
In his April 6, 1917, proclamation declaring war on Germany, President Woodrow Wilson laid out regulations pertaining to non-naturalized men (over age 14) of German origin in the United States. These regulations were later expanded to include Austro-Hungarians and women. They were summarized in publications such as the one from the Connecticut State Council of Defense included in this activity. German citizens living in the United States were required to register at their local post office, carry registration cards, and inform authorities if they intended to change residences or employers. During the course of the war, around 2,300 German-born civilians were interned as “dangerous enemy aliens” at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and Fort Douglas, Utah. It was not only non-naturalized Germans who faced suspicion and mistreatment, however, as evidenced by the case of Carl Herrmann and the anti-German riot in Middletown, Connecticut, in the summer of 1918.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Has America always been a “Land of Opportunity” for immigrants?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What makes someplace a “Land of Opportunity”?
  • In what ways did World War I affect attitudes towards foreign-born immigrants in Connecticut?
  • To what extent were the public messages about treatment of immigrants—both “official” and unofficial—consistent?
  • In what ways were the rights of Connecticut residents restricted during World War I?
  • Why has immigration been such a controversial issue throughout American history?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Part 1

Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals
Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals, “For Native-born American Women: What you can do for Americanism, ” produced by the Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1917-18. Click on the image above or HERE to download the entire PDF – Connecticut State Library Digital Collections

 

Detail of the bulletin Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President's Proclamation of War, April, 1917
Detail of the bulletin “Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President’s Proclamation of War, April, 1917,” produced by the Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1918. Click on the image above or HERE to download the entire PDF – Connecticut State Library Digital Collections

Part 2

page Germans Forced to Kiss Flag by Mob.Middletown Evening Press. August 3, 1918. 8:1-2.
page  “Millane is Freed; Three Others Held.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 5, 1918. 8:1-2.
page  “Local Rioters are Scored by Court.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 6, 1918. 8:2
page  “Public to Pay Rioters’ Fines.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 7, 1918. 8:1
page  “Law or Mob Law?”  Middletown Evening Press. August 8, 1918. 8:2
page Casper Schmidt is Loyal to America.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 7, 1918. 8:2
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. As a class, discuss the compelling and supporting questions that will guide the inquiry.
  2. In group discussion or individually, have students examine the two sources in Part 1 of the activity toolkit:
    • “For Native-born American Women: What you can do for Americanism.” Connecticut State Council of Defense. 1917-18.
    • “Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President’s Proclamation of War, April, 1917.” Connecticut State Council of Defense.
  3. For each of the two sources, ask students to apply the SOAPStone analysis technique, being sure to identify the author/issuing body; intended audience; occasion/reason for the document; and main points being communicated. What does each document say explicitly OR imply about the “official” position towards immigrants at the time? Revisit the supporting questions and add new student-generated questions that arise from the examination to the list.
  4. For Part 2 of the inquiry, students will examine (individually or in small groups) a series of articles published in the Middletown Evening Press about an incident that occurred in August 1918. Keeping the supporting questions in mind, students should make notes about the facts recorded in the newspaper, opinions/attitudes (stated or implied), and questions that they have about—or inspired by—what they have read.
  5. Students will share what they found most interesting about the incident and the newspaper coverage, as well as their new questions.
  6. As a class, revisit the supporting and compelling questions and discuss additional avenues for inquiry, if students wish to learn more.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Imagining themselves as Middletown residents in the summer of 1918, students will write two letters to the editor of the Middletown Evening Press. The first will explain why she or he intends to contribute to the public collection taken up to pay the rioters’ fines. The second will explain why she or he intends not to contribute.
  • Students will use contemporary newspapers and additional sources 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 the immigrants in question, the language/words used in the public discourse, proposed actions or “solutions,” etc.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
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.

HS – Over There: A Connecticut Soldier in France

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Hartford, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, First World War, Great War, Soldiers,  Enlistment, France, American Expeditionary Forces, 102nd Infantry, Hun, Doughboy, Yankee Division, How Connecticut Fought the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Charles F. Coughlin of Hartford worked for Aetna Insurance Company prior to the outbreak of World War I. During the war he served in the 102nd Infantry, a national guard unit that made up part of the 26th Division (known as the “Yankee Division”) of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Coughlin enlisted as a private on June 24, 1917, at the age of twenty-six and was later promoted to corporal and then sergeant. His letters home to his mother bring to life some of the conditions in France and the soldier’s experience of war. In the fall of 1918, the 102nd Infantry was involved in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Coughlin was wounded in battle on October 23, 1918, and died on October 27, just weeks before the armistice. Letters to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin, regarding the details of his son’s death, burial, and personal effects reveal something of the level of confusion and chaos that existed at the end of the war. In addition to the materials at the Connecticut Historical Society included in this activity, we know about Coughlin’s background and service from the military questionnaire completed by his father after the war, which is held by the Connecticut State Library.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How do you measure the cost of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How did Connecticut soldiers serving in Europe experience the war?
  • What personal hardships did soldiers endure?
  • What observations did soldiers make about France and the experiences of the French people during the war?
  • Did soldiers see a value to their service in France while the war was going on?
  • What struggles did the families of fallen soldiers face in trying to gather information about the death of their loved ones?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Part 1: Letters from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother

Source #1

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917
Detail from page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917. Click the image above to see all four pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated November 16, 1917.
page Download a pdf of the entire four page letter, dated November 16, 1917.
Source #2

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, September 19, 1918
Detail of page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, September 19, 1918. Click the image above to see all ten pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated September 19, 1918.
page Download a pdf of the entire ten page letter, dated September 19, 1918.
Source #3

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, October 12, 1918
Detail of page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, October 12, 1918. Click the image above to see all eight pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated October 12, 1918.
page Download a pdf of the entire eight page letter, dated October 12, 1918.
Part 2: Letters to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin

Source #4

Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to Miss A.B. Sands, Executive Secretary, Connecticut State Council of Defense, January 8, 1919
Detail of letter from Edward E. Coughlin to Miss A.B. Sands, Executive Secretary, Connecticut State Council of Defense, January 8, 1919 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source #5

 letter from W.R. Castle, Director, Bureau of Communications, American Red Cross to Edward E. Coughlin, January 15, 1919
Detail of the letter from W.R. Castle, Director, Bureau of Communications, American Red Cross to Edward E. Coughlin, January 15, 1919 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source #6

 Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to J. L. Barty, Auditor, War Department, June 28, 1920
Detail of Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to J. L. Barty, Auditor, War Department, June 28, 1920 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source # 7

Letter from J. F. Butler, Graves Registration Service, War Department, February 11, 1921
Detail of letter from J. F. Butler, Graves Registration Service, War Department, February 11, 1921 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1.  Introduce the compelling question and discuss possible supporting questions to guide the inquiry. These may include those suggested above, others generated by students, or both. Note that this compelling question could guide a series of inquiries using primary sources beyond those included in the toolkit for this activity.
  2. Present Charles F. Coughlin’s background, although you may wish to withhold the information about his death until later in the activity.
  3. Working individually or in pairs, students will examine the letters written by Charles F. Coughlin in 1917-1918, using SOAPSTone analysis, the Library of Congress Analyzing Primary Sources process (PDF – worksheet), or another method of your choice. Students may look at all three letters or be assigned different letters to examine and share with their classmates.
    • What can students KNOW from each source? What is the evidence?
    • What can they GUESS or infer? Based on what?
    • What does each source make them WONDER?
  4. Revisit the supporting questions and add new student-generated questions to the list for further inquiry.
  5. Share the details of Coughlin’s death, if you have not already, and distribute the second set of letters—those to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin.
  6. Students may look at all four letters, or students may be assigned different letters to examine using the same process as above and then share with classmates.
  7. Revisit the supporting and compelling questions and discuss what further inquiries students might make in order to come to a more complete, informed response to the compelling question.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will conduct research and identify additional World War I primary sources to help them respond to the compelling question. These might be photographs, posters, letters, diaries, or government publications. Students will compare the information gathered from these sources to that found in the Coughlin materials. To get started, try some of the “Additional Resources” listed below.
  • Students will conduct a fundraiser or collect donations to support an organization serving veterans in your area.
  • Students will research the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs —its history, role, and services—and then find recent newspaper articles online discussing current issues related to the VA. Students will write a letter to the editor in response to one of these, making specific reference to historic events.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
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.

HS – Enlist Now! Selling Sacrifice to the People of Connecticut, 1917

World War I enlistment banner

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of the United States in World Affairs
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, Great War, Soldiers, Doughboys, Enlistment, Propaganda, Music, Blue Star, Service, Slackers, How Connecticut Fought the War, Draft
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
After more than two years of neutrality, the United States formally entered World War I on April 6, 1917. At the time, the federal army and National Guard only numbered about 300,000 together. Enlistment quotas were established and volunteers were recruited, but to build up the military force, Congress passed the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917. Registration for the draft began on June 5, 1917, and the first draftees were selected by lottery on July 20. Through July, men of draft age were still able to enlist voluntarily, if their draft number had not yet been called. Of the 4.8 million Americans who eventually served in the war, approximately 2 million enlisted as volunteers; 2.8 million were drafted.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Why do people enlist in the military?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What official and unofficial tools were used to encourage/pressure men into voluntary military service in 1917?
  • What messages did men receive in 1917 about participating voluntarily in military service—or not?
  • In what ways were families of soldiers encouraged to show public support for sons or husbands in the service?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Set 1

Enlistment banner
An enlistment banner hangs across Hartford’s Main Street, just before Pearl Street, urging men to enlist in the Connecticut National Guard or the regular army – Connecticut State Library, Dudley Photograph Collection
World War One poster Enlist Now!
A broadside or poster “Enlist now!” which calls for the enlistment of 64 men from Tolland County, Connecticut – Connecticut Historical Society

Set 2

US Navy Recruiting Station Poster, 1917
Poster “The Navy Needs You! Don’t Read American History – Make It!,” by James Montgomery Flagg for the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
WWI recruitment poster "I Want YOU"
Poster “I Want You For The Navy: Promotion For Any One Enlisting, Apply Any Recruiting Station Or Postmaster,” by Howard Chandler Christy, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
World War One poster First Call!
Poster “First Call: I Need You in the Navy this Minute! Our Country will always be proudest of those who answered the FIRST CALL,” by James Montgomery Flagg, ca. 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Set 3

World War One sheet music I Did Give My Boy To Uncle Sammy
Sheet music “I Did Give My Boy To Uncle Sammy,” published in Bloomfield, CT, by Robert H. Brennen and W. Speck, ca. 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress
WWI Sheet music My Son, Your Country is Calling
Sheet music “My Son, Your Country is Calling,” by Milton Charles Bennett, Hartford, CT, 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress, Music Division, World War I Sheet Music Collection

Set 4

“To Arms!” a full page ad in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, 1917
“To Arms!” a full page ad in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, Bridgeport, CT, June 29, 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail from the article Connecticut Men Flock to Army
Detail from the article “Connecticut Men Flock to Army.” Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, CT, June 5, 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Set 5

Handmade Service Flag, 1917
Handmade Service Flag, 1917 – Connecticut State Library, 1850-2016, Department of War Records, Remembering World War One
Advertisement for Howland’s, 1917
Detail of an advertisement for Howland’s, The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, Bridgeport, CT, November 17, 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Have Service Flags for Norwich Women
“Have Service Flags for Norwich Women,” Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, CT, October 25, 1917. Click on the image above to download the entire document-pdf – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Discuss the compelling and supporting questions that will guide the inquiry and add any additional student-generated questions to the list.
  2. Divide the class into five working groups, each with one primary source set from the toolkit.
  3. Start the observation and analysis process by asking students to identify what type of sources they have in their set: Photograph? Poster? Newspaper article? Advertisement? Sheet music? Artifact? Something else?
  4. Next, students will make a list of observations for each of their sources, indicating what they know by looking at or reading the source. Find helpful guiding questions for analyzing all different types of primary sources on the Library of Congress’s “Teacher Guides and Analysis Tools” page.
  5. After making detailed observations, students will move on to reflecting and posing hypotheses and ideas based on the clues available to them in the source. These may include who the intended audience was, what the purpose of the item was, what the historical context might have been, or whether such an item would be produced today—and why or why not.
  6. Finally, students will generate additional questions they have about their sources and ideas for where or how they could find out more.
  7. Each group will share the primary sources in their set with the class and together the students will revisit the compelling and supporting questions and discuss additional questions for inquiry.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will create a word cloud representing the most common key words or phrases used in the primary sources examined by the class (e.g. man, flag, service, America, enlist, pride, etc.) To find free online tools to help with this activity, search for “free word cloud generator.”
  • Students will examine the official recruitment website for one branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and identify the main messages communicated through the site. Students will then create a written piece or graphic organizer comparing this communication tool with one or more of the World War I primary sources examined in the inquiry activity.
  • Students will investigate the Blue Star Families organization and write a letter or make a short video addressed to a local museum or theater informing them about Blue Star Museums or Blue Star Theatres. Students may choose to make a persuasive argument for why the museum or theater should participate in the program (make sure to check that they are not already involved!)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
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 – Kids in Connecticut History: Image Analysis Skill-Builder

Lovely St. School, Avon, 1912

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Education, Everyday Life
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Avon, Burlington, Fairfield, Hartford, Manchester, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Kids, Children, Child Labor, School, Transportation, Toys
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History

Historical Background
This activity explores history through the lens of childhood, using images from around 1890-1920. Although Connecticut passed an “Act for Educating Children” in 1650, enforcement of schooling was inconsistent over the next 250 years. Many children—some of them as young as 3rd graders—left school to work, and it wasn’t until 1900 that the state set a minimum age of 14 for children to work in non-agricultural jobs. Comparing their own experiences to these images of school, work, transportation, recreation, and formal portraiture is a great way to give young students practice in analyzing primary sources and developing lines of inquiry.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

In what ways have the lives of children in Connecticut changed or stayed the same over time?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How would my life have been different if I grew up in Connecticut 100 years ago?
  • What can pictures from the time tell us about the past?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Choose one or more of the following photographs to use in this activity.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

This activity can be done all in one session, using one or more photographs from the toolkit, or it can be introduced on one day and then revisited as “mini-lessons” over several days, weeks, or months, using a different photograph each time.

1)     Select a photograph from the toolkit to model the activity with students.

2)     Use the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis process (download pdf) to explore the sample photograph together as a group. Ask students to OBSERVE/LOOK, REFLECT/THINK, and QUESTION/WONDER.

OBSERVE/LOOK: What do you see? What is the setting? What people or things are in the image? What details do you notice?

REFLECT/THINK: What do you think is going on here? Who do you think took this picture and why? Are there clues about when this picture was taken? If this picture was taken today, how would it be different?

QUESTION/WONDER: What does this picture make you wonder? How could you find out more?

3)     Choose if you wish to continue working with other photographs together as a group (on the same day or in the future) or distribute printouts of different photographs to pairs or teams of students for small-group work, which can then be shared.

4)     At the end of each session, revisit the supporting and compelling questions, as well as additional questions that the class has developed together.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will create a double bubble or Venn Diagram comparing their lives today with the lives of children 100 years ago.
  • Using one of the photographs from the toolkit as a starting point, students will write a diary entry or letter from the perspective of a child in the photograph.
  • Students will bring photos from home or take new photos that align to the themes in the historic photos explored (school, transportation, work/chores, having fun/recreation, and formal portraiture.) Using these photos and printouts of the historic images, they will create a bulletin board display or mural highlighting similarities and differences between their lives and those of children in Connecticut 100 years ago.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles 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.

HS – On the Move: The Bicycle, Women, and Social Change in the 19th Century


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Invention and Technology, Social Movements, Women
Theme
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Hartford, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Women’s Rights, Social Change, Technology, Bicycle, Invention, Dress Reform, Bloomers
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Early bicycles, also sometimes called velocipedes, were heavy, uncomfortable, and difficult to steer. High-wheel bicycles were developed in the 1870s and were lighter and faster, but quite dangerous. Albert A. Pope manufactured the first American-built bicycles in Hartford in 1878, but it was not until the development of the “safety bicycle” (with two equal-sized wheels and improved brakes) in the 1880s and 1890s that the national bicycle craze really took off and women started cycling in large numbers. The timing coincided with the first wave of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

To what extent are technology, fashion, and social reform interconnected?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What technological developments made bicycling more accessible to women?
  • How did the bicycle craze of the 1890s affect women in the United States?
  • What were the different public reactions to women who adopted “rational dress” and/or took up cycling in the 1890s?
  • Did the invention of the bicycle lead to social reform or was the bicycle an outlet for already-changing norms?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Walking Dress
Walking Dress, ca. 1870-75, silk – Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 1956

 

Detail of Patent number US555211A, Bicycle-skirt, Ella H. Cooper, Meriden, CT, Application date: July 18, 1895 - Patent date: February 25, 1896 - United States Patent Office
Detail of Patent number US555211A, Bicycle-skirt, Ella H. Cooper, Meriden, CT, Application date: July 18, 1895 – Patent date: February 25, 1896 – Click to download the full pdf from the United States Patent Office

 

Patent # US000597867, Dress-guard for bicycles, Emerson P. Turner, Norwich, CT, Application date: February 18, 1897:
Detail of Patent number US000597867, Dress-guard for bicycles, Emerson P. Turner, Norwich, CT, Application date: February 18, 1897 – Patent date: January 25, 1898 – Click to download the full pdf from the United States Patent Office

 

Mrs. C. D. Smith with bicycle
Portrait of Mrs. C. D. Smith with bicycle, ca. 1890-1899. Photographer Everett Augustus Scholfield – Mystic Seaport

 

Two women sit on a split rail fence, ca. 1890-1899. Photograph by Edward H. Newbury - Mystic Seaport
Two women sit on a split rail fence, ca. 1890-1899. Photograph by Edward H. Newbury – Mystic Seaport

 

Ladies Cycle Club of Hartford, 1890. Photograph by Charles T. Stuart - Connecticut Historical Society
Ladies Cycle Club of Hartford, 1890. Photograph by Charles T. Stuart – Connecticut Historical Society

 

“Her Choice.” Illustration from Puck magazine, July 7, 1897
“Her Choice.” Illustration from Puck magazine, July 7, 1897, p. 16 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

 

Suit over Bloomers
“Suit over Bloomers.” The Daily Morning Journal and Courier, New Haven, Connecticut, April 6, 1899 – Click here to link to the entire page Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congres.

Although the legal case in question was heard in England, it was covered on the front page of this newspaper from New Haven, Connecticut.

Excerpt from journalist Nellie Bly’s interview with Susan B. Anthony
Excerpt from journalist Nellie Bly’s interview with Susan B. Anthony. Originally published in “Champion of Her Sex,” New York Sunday World, February 2, 1896, p. 10.

 

page

 

Download a pdf of the quote.

 

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

1)    As a short introduction, start by displaying the image(s) of the 1870-75 walking dress. Have students make observations, always backing up their comments with evidence they can see (e.g. “What do you see that makes you say this dress is fancy?” “The lace and the silk fabric.”) Then ask for reflections based on what they see—what they think about the woman who might have worn a dress like this and what her life might have been like. If it does not come up in discussion, you may want to prompt with the question of whether this kind of “walking dress” would be practical for what today we might consider an “active lifestyle.”

2)    Next, break the class into two groups, having each group examine one of the patent documents, either online or in hard copy. Have students determine the who, what, where, when, how, and why of each patent, including what problem the patent-seeker was trying to solve. Have one or two representatives from each group present their patent briefly to the other half of the class.

Together as a group, ask students to share their thoughts or questions regarding the patents and how they might connect to the time period in general.

3)    Next, display or distribute the three photographs showing Connecticut women and their bicycles. Using the Library of Congress Analyzing Photographs & Prints process, ask students to observe, reflect, and question. What clues do these images give us about the role of the bicycle in these women’s lives?

4)    Together as a class, examine and discuss the satirical illustration from Puck and the “Suit over Bloomers” article. Use evidence from these sources, as well as the earlier sources, to address the supporting question: What were the different public reactions to women who adopted “rational dress” and/or took up cycling in the 1890s?

5)    Conclude the activity by displaying or reading out loud the excerpt from journalist Nellie Bly’s interview with Susan B. Anthony in 1896 (pdf of the quote above).

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling… I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. It makes her feel as if she were independent.”

“And bloomers?” I suggested, quietly.

“Are the proper thing for wheeling,” added Miss Anthony promptly. “It is as I have said — dress to suit the occasion. A woman doesn’t want skirts and flimsy lace to catch in the wheel. Safety, as well as modesty, demands bloomers or extremely short skirts. You know women only wear foolish articles of dress to please men’s eyes anyway.”

Discuss students’ reactions to these statements, coming from one of the best-known leaders of the women’s rights movement at the time.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Imagining themselves in the 1890s, students will design a full-page newspaper advertisement for bicycles (or bicycle clothing) targeted—at least in part—to women. They should draw on some of the persuasive imagery or ideas from the primary sources examined. To expand students’ background knowledge, you may wish to have them read some additional writings about women and bicycling from the time (see “Things to Do,” below).
  • Students will conduct online research using newspapers, periodicals, or secondary sources to compare the reaction to the “rational dress” movement in the 1890s to that of other “controversial” fashion issues in later history: miniskirts in the 1960s, changing styles of sportswear for women, school uniform requirements, t-shirts and free speech, etc.
  • Students will create a timeline of the women’s rights movement in the United States, starting with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention and continuing to the present. The timeline should incorporate relevant technological and fashion innovations, as well as other political and social events and landmarks.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – Myron D. Webster Civil War Haversack

by Joe Milositz, Robyn Proto, Carrie Evans
Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School, Bridgeport


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Civil War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Woodstock, Statewide

Related Search Terms

Haversack, Broadside, Artifacts, War, Soldier, Solider’s Life, Homefront, Union, Civilians, Daily Life, American Civil War, Civil War Knapsack

Social Studies Frameworks

Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does an entire society participate in war? 

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What are the needs of soldiers during war?
  • Who provides supplies to meet soldiers’ needs?
  • How did civilians participate in the war effort?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Myron D. Webster's gear fro his service in the Civil War - Connecticut Historical Society
Myron D. Webster’s gear from his service in the Civil War – Connecticut Historical Society

The Myron D. Webster collection is an example of a typical Civil War soldier’s gear. It includes personal belongings which include military-issued items and things he brought from home.

 

Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted  for the Army!, ca. 1860 - 1869 - Connecticut Historical Society
Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted for the Army!, ca. 1860 – 1869 – Connecticut Historical Society

The Starr broadside solicits blankets from the home front to be used by Union soldiers and shows the need for civilian support during the war.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Students should examine artifacts belonging to Myron D. Webster from the Connecticut Historical Society.

  • What are the different items in the picture?
  • Who might use these items?
  • When might the items have been used?
  • What were the items used for?
  • Based on these artifacts, what were the needs of a solider during the Civil War?
  • Where did the items come from and how do you know?

Students will read the broadside and answer the following questions.

  • Who wrote this?
  • Who are they writing to?
  • After examining the broadside, what does this artifact tell you about what was expected of the civilian population during the Civil War?
  • What is the relationship between civilians and the military today, and how have their roles changed or stayed the same?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will share their specific evidence in response to the compelling question.

Have students research and identify the needs of soldiers today.

  • Students will organize a supply drive.
  • Students will create an advertisement for supplies for soldiers (i.e.: PSA, broadside, social media, etc)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

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

HS – The Civilian Conservation Corps in Connecticut

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Environment, Work
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
Civilian Conservation Corps, Roosevelt’s Tree Army, Great Depression
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) impact Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What was the purpose of the CCC?
  • Where were CCC camps built in Connecticut?
  • What types of work did the CCC workers do?
  • How did the CCC program change the lives of Connecticut’s “CCC boys”?
  • What are the lasting results (the legacy) from the CCC program in Connecticut?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

A map of CCC camps in Connecticut during the Great Depression. The color of the map pins denotes the year the camps were opened: Blue – 1933, Orange – 1935. Also, some of the pins include photographs showing the CCC boys and examples of the work they completed as part of this New Deal program.

pageIn addition, you can download a  list of all 20 of the CCC camps in Connecticut– their locations, when they were built, when they closed, and the names of the state parks or forests today.

connecticut-map

Physical map of Connecticut (includes locations of state’s major cities).

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

The activity follows a study of FDR’s first 100 days in office and the passage of a number of New Deal programs by the U.S. Congress.

  1. Students study the map of the CCC camps in Connecticut established in the 1930s and examine a physical map of the state to determine the significance (if any) of the location of the camps.
  2. Next, students will examine photographs of some CCC camps in Connecticut and of “CCC boys” in the 1930s. For help guiding students in the examination of photographs, use the Library of Congress’s Teacher’s Guide for Analyzing Photographs & Prints.
  3. Using the maps, photographs, and additional primary and secondary materials available online (see suggestions below), students will answer supporting and compelling questions about the role and impact of the CCC program in Connecticut.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Option 1: Students will create a CCC recruitment poster for young men in Connecticut at the time of the Great Depression.

Option 2: Students will compose a letter to their state representative reflecting on the accomplishments of the CCC programs in Connecticut and advocating for the creation of modern day CCC programs to reduce unemployment for today’s young adults in our state.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

Grade 3 – Account Book of James Stewart’s General Store

by Gigi Liverant 
Colchester Historical Society, Colchester


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Business & Industry, Everyday Life
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Colchester, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Primary Source, James Stewart, Colchester, Colonist, Bulkeley, Caleb Pendleton, Reverend M. Worthington, Colonial, Everyday Life, Trade
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How do we trade goods and services?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How do we get things we need to live?
  • What resources were available in Colchester?
  • How was colonial life different/similar to life now?
  • How does Colchester contribute to Connecticut’s story?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

A sampler of pages from the account book of James Stewart’s general store located in Colchester, Connecticut, 1740 and continues through 1769.

DavidFoote
Ledger page 42, dated 1740, Account of “David Foot of Colchester”, also “Seth Wetmore of Middletown.” Items entered on ledger page include; “Sundrys”, “Silk Hanky”, and “Cash paid him at Hartford page” – Colchester Historical Society
FreedomChamberlain

Ledger page 31, dated 1740. Account of “Freedom Chamberlain of Colchester” indicating the purchase of “brimstone”, “knitting needles”, “beaver hat”, “broom”, “2 knives & forks” and “22 apple trees” – Colchester Historical Society
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using close-reading of the documents, have students generate a list of items one would purchase at James Stewart’s general store. Have the list shared among the students as each page contains different items.

  • How did people get to the general store?
  • What is the difference between these lists and their family shopping list?
  • What kind of currency are they using?
  • What are “sundry?”
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Determine the differences between the credit and barter accounts. Ask students to give modern-day examples of credit and bartering in daily life. Where in their school do they make decisions like this?

Have a class simulation where students are given different “commodities” to trade or barter. Have four students sit out and each of these students represent a town commodity, such as, beaver hats, jack knives, sewing silk, or cotton handkerchiefs. One person can be the store owner. What would they trade or barter to get these new products? How would the store owner acquire new products?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – The Black Law in Connecticut

ConnecticutHistory.org


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Education, Slavery & Abolition, Politics & Government
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Canterbury, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Prudence Crandall, Education, Law, Women
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What is social justice?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What was the Black Law? How did it affect Prudence Crandall’s school?
  • What did Prudence Crandall do to break this law?
  • Was it possible for Prudence Crandall to fight this law? Why or why not?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

“The Black Law of Connecticut (1833).” Citizens ALL: Africans Americans in Connecticut - The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, Yale University
“The Black Law of Connecticut (1833).” Citizens ALL: Africans Americans in Connecticut – The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, Yale University

What later became known as the “Black Law” was enacted to prevent “the instruction of colored persons belonging to other states and countries, which would tend to the great increase of the colored population of the State, and thereby to the injury of the people.”  This law was in response to Prudence Crandall’s establishment of a school to educate African American girls in Canterbury, Connecticut.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  • What does “inequality” mean to you? How may people be treated unequally?
  • What would you have done if you were Prudence Crandall in 1833? How would you have handled the injustices?
  • How would you go about letting others know about unfair laws?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Brainstorm things happening in your community that you consider wrong, unjust, unfair, or unkind. Decide as a class to take on one of those injustices and find appropriate solutions.
  • Research the education of girls in other parts of the world. Are girls receiving an equal education to boys? Is this a result of local laws?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ