HS – Joining the War Effort, One Peach Pit at a Time

Peach Pit Hogshead

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Hartford, Windham, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, First World War, Great War, Home Front, Gas Masks, Peach Pits, Women, Work, Industry, Hartford Rubber Works, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
World War I was the first conflict to see large-scale use of chemical weapons. Poison gases, such as chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas caused blisters on the skin, blindness, lung damage, asphyxiation, and other injuries. The earliest German gas attack (at Ypres, France, in 1915) took the Allied forces by surprise, and soon afterwards the British and French started developing their own chemical weapons and protective gas masks. The United States ramped up its gas mask production in 1917–1918. The Red Cross spearheaded a campaign to collect fruit pits and nut shells for making gas mask filters. Several factories in Connecticut converted to gas mask production in order to meet the army’s needs. Hundreds of women in the state were recruited for this work.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does an entire society participate in war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • To what extent were women essential to the workforce during World War I?
  • How did the U.S. government and the Red Cross mobilize people to participate in the war effort?
  • In what ways did Connecticut industry influence World War I?
  • How did Connecticut’s existing industrial infrastructure and workforce adapt to serve the war effort?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Peach Pit Hogshead
Peach pit hogshead outside Sage Allen & Company department store, Hartford, Connecticut ca. 1917-1919 – Connecticut State Library, Dudley Photograph Collection

 

Peach Pit Depository
Murray’s Boston Store (Willimantic) advertisement. Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut, September 9, 1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download the article “Straw Hats Must Yield to Gas Masks: United States Rubber Buys Old Straw Hat Works at MilfordThe Hartford Courant, July 8, 1917, pg. 5
page Download the article “Local Plant Needs Women to Work on Gas Mask Rush Order.” The Hartford Courant, June 28, 1918, pg. 9
page Download the article “Women Answer Call For Gas Mask Work. More than 300 sign up at Hartford Rubber WorksThe Hartford Courant, June 30, 1918, pg. 6
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Start by displaying the “Peach pit hogshead” image, preferably full screen, without the title/caption.
  2. Ask students to look closely at the image and share what they see. Encourage them to back up their comments with specific visual evidence. Ask, “What do you see that makes you say that?” You may want to use the Library of Congress Analyzing Photographs & Prints process to guide students’ looking. Assemble a list of questions that arise from the students’ examination of the photograph.
  3. Next, display or distribute the advertisement for Murray’s Boston Store in Willimantic. Once students have had a chance to read the advertisement, make a list of the new pieces of information students have gathered. See which questions from the initial list have now been answered, and make a list of additional/new questions.
  4. Select one, two, or all three of the short newspaper articles to share with students. You may wish to assign different articles to different students or have everyone read all of the articles. Ask students to:
    OBSERVE: What information can they gather from the articles?
    REFLECT: What do they think based on what they have read?
    QUESTION: What does this article make them wonder?
  5. You may want to use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis worksheet to help students organize and record their thoughts.
  6. Look back at the students’ list of questions for inquiry and/or at the suggested supporting questions. Discuss to what extent these primary sources help uncover answers to those questions or to the larger compelling question. Discuss additional questions the students have and sources or avenues for further inquiry.

NOTE: To see original film footage of gas mask production in 1918—from the peach pits to the final product—don’t miss this great source from the National Archives. Click on the hyperlink below and then on the film icon to start the video.

Silent video: Manufacture of Gas Masks, 1918, silent video (6:21). National Archives.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Drawing on their examination of the primary sources in this activity and other related sources (see below for some suggestions), students will design a World War I-style poster promoting the collection of fruit pits for the war effort OR encouraging women to take on war work in Connecticut factories. Need inspiration? Check out the Library of Congress’s collection of World War I Posters.
  • Students will research other Connecticut industries during World War I and compare them to the production of gas masks at the time. Who was employed? Where were the factories located? How did the products contribute to the war effort? Did the factories make something different before the war?
  • Students will draft a letter to a state legislator or to the editor of their local newspaper advocating why—based on the study of history and the examination of primary sources—there should be a monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front during World War I.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles & Boks 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.

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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.

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 – Is That a Mastodon?! A Case Study in Civic Responsibility

Hill-Stead workers and overseer Allen Cook, ca. 1913

by Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Science, Historic Preservation, Exploration and Discovery
Theme
Civic Engagement
Town
Farmington, Washington, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Archaeology, Ice Age, Mastodon, Local History, Civic Duty, Historic Preservation, Debate
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – Civics and Government

Historical Background
In 1913 a mastodon skeleton was accidentally discovered on the grounds of the Pope estate (Hill-Stead) in Farmington, Connecticut. This activity takes that historic event as inspiration for a classroom debate based on a fictional case study and a discussion about civic responsibility and preservation.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

To what extent are we, as citizens and communities, responsible for scientifically and/or historically significant finds on public property?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How do we best preserve animal remains such as dinosaurs, Ice Age animals, and other animal specimens, which are not affiliated with any particular group of people?
  • Who should be responsible for the physical and financial maintenance of these specimens?
  • What is our responsibility to ensure finite resources, such as the skeletons of extinct animals, are available for future generations?
  • To what extent is the discussion different if the find is a man-made artifact rather than a natural specimen?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

For Part I: Debate

page Download the Perspectives for Debate pdf
Mastadon skeleton on display
Mastodon skeleton on display at the Institute for American Indian Studies.

For Part II: The Pope Hill-Stead Mastodon

Museum men with Hill-Stead helpers, overseer Allan Cook
“Museum men with Hill-Stead helpers, overseer Allan Cook in lower right,” ca. September, 1913 – Institute for American Indian Studies

 

Yale-Peabody Preparator Mr. Darby posing with the tibia and fibula
Yale-Peabody Preparator Mr. Darby posing with the tibia and fibula articulated together, ca. 1913 – Institute for American Indian Studies

 

Hill-Stead workers and overseer Allen Cook, ca. 1913
Hill-Stead workers and overseer Allen Cook (far right), ca. 1913. Worker on far left is holding the left humerus. The mandible is resting on a barrel in the center. Worker next to Mr. Cook is holding the second vertebra from the skull, axis – Institute for American Indian Studies

 

Yale-Peabody Preparator Mr. Darby wrapping a bone in plaster before transport
Yale-Peabody Preparator Mr. Darby wrapping a bone in plaster before transport to New Haven, CT, ca. 1913 – Institute for American Indian Studies
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Part I: Debate

This activity involves a debate around the following fictional scenario. A complete mastodon skeleton has been unearthed in your town, on town-owned property, and a decision must be made as to who will care for it and where it will be stored. There are parameters which must be met in order to properly maintain the condition of the mastodon.

  • The bones are very large and will require a considerable amount of storage space, roughly 300 square feet. An image of a mastodon skeleton on display is included in the toolkit to give students a sense of the size of these bones and the space that they take.
  • It is important to note that these are bones and not fossils. The bones must be kept at a consistent temperature and humidity level to prevent cracking and slow decomposition.
  • The bones must be covered to prevent dust or debris from entering any cracks or imperfections within the bones, which would cause the cracks/imperfections to enlarge.
  • Each bone must be periodically examined and checked for any developing deterioration, which would need to be addressed by qualified professionals as soon as possible, or the bones will begin to decay.

Since the remains were found on town land, they belong to the town, and the town must decide what to do with them. Students will research and argue a variety of viewpoints (See Perspectives for Debate document) in a town meeting-style debate. The goal of this activity is to have students decide on the best course of action, knowing that the specimen will require continual maintenance and monitoring in order to preserve it indefinitely and that this will have an impact on town resources.

There are two options for setting up the debate:

Option 1) Assign students to specific roles that they will research and represent in a town hall-style debate, with the goal of convincing a majority of the class to vote on a specific course or plan of action.

Option 2) Assign students to specific roles, but have another class act as town members in a town hall-style debate. At the end of this debate the “town members” will vote on the course of action they found the most convincing.

Part II: The Pope Hill-Stead Mastodon

The second part of this activity involves an exploration of the true historical incident that inspired the fictional debate, the accidental discovery in 1913 of a mastodon skeleton on the grounds of the Pope estate (Hill-Stead) in Farmington, Connecticut. A selection of historic photographs from the excavation and a short history of the Pope Hill-Stead mastodon are included in the toolkit above. After familiarizing themselves with the Pope Hill-Stead case, students will discuss how finding a mastodon skeleton in 1913 might have been different than finding one today and what questions are raised if a specimen is discovered on private property, rather than public property.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Cultural preservation has taken many different forms over the course of our history. At one time, private individuals had almost free rein to collect and/or display objects of interest in whatever way they saw fit. The struggle between what is considered “progress” and safeguarding the past often pitts developers against preservationists. The rights of Native Americans to retain their cultural material (including human remains) was not officially recognized until the later part of the 20th century. There is now a growing understanding, however, that multiple perspectives need to be considered when making decisions about preserving our diverse history and culture.

Have students investigate two federal laws in place for the protection of cultural materials in the United States: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990.

Federal law does not currently address the preservation of extinct animals, such as the mastodon in this case study. Using what they have learned through this activity and their investigations of the two existing federal laws, have students draft a letter to a legislator arguing whether or not animal specimens should be protected by preservation laws as well.

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

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.