HS – “Saved.” Theodate Pope and the Sinking of the Lusitania


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Transportation
Women
World War I
Theme
The Role of the United States in World Affairs
Town
Farmington
Related Search Terms
Lusitania, Theodate Pope, Hill-Stead, neutrality, submarine, torpedo, World War One, World War I, First World War, WWI, Great War, How We Documented the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
On April 22, 1915, the German government issued a warning to passengers intending to travel across the Atlantic on any British ship. On May 1, 1915, the warning was published in various U.S. newspapers. Despite the warning, over 1,200 passengers set sail from New York that day aboard the Cunard ocean liner Lusitania. On May 7, a German submarine torpedoed the ship off the Irish coast. The ship sank completely within eighteen minutes, killing 1,195 of the 1,959 passengers and crew on board, including 128 Americans. Public outcry followed, threatening the neutrality of the United States in the war raging in Europe. One of the few Connecticut survivors of the Lusitania was Theodate Pope, the pioneering woman architect from Farmington. Neither her maid, Jessie Robinson, nor her traveling companion, Edwin Friend, survived.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

To what extent has the United States succeeded in remaining neutral in times of war or global conflict?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why did so many people take the risk of sailing aboard the Lusitania on May 1, 1915?
  • Did the sinking of the Lusitania make it inevitable that the United States would enter World War I?
  • How did people in Connecticut receive information about the sinking of the Lusitania? What kind of information did they receive?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

page Download the articles “Notice,” “Bernstorff Warns U.S. Citizens Not to Travel on Ships of the Allies,” and “Lusitania’s Passengers Warned of Ship’s Doom.” the Washington Times. May 1, 1915. 1:5-6. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Cunarder Lusitania Sunk by Torpedo off Coast of Ireland; Passengers Safe.” the Bridgeport Evening Farmer. May 7, 1915. 1:1-7. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the telegram sent by Theodate Pope to her mother, May 8, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum.
page Download the articles “Farmington Woman Safe,” “List of First Cabin Passengers on Board Ill-Fated Lusitania,” and “Passengers Scoff at ‘Warnings’ as Huge Liner Sails.” the Bridgeport Evening Farmer. May 8, 1915. 4:1,4-5,6-7 Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download an excerpt of the letter sent by Theodate Pope to her mother, June 28, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum. (Download the full transcription.)
page Download a Portrait of Theodate Pope, taken shortly after her survival of the sinking of the Lusitania, 1915. Hill-Stead Museum.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Introduce the compelling and supporting questions for the activity.
  2. Students will read three short articles from the front page of the Washington Times from May 1, 1915. (Source #1: “Notice,” “Bernstorff Warns U.S. Citizens Not to Travel on Ships of the Allies,” and “Lusitania’s Passengers Warned of Ship’s Doom.”) Ask students to:
    OBSERVE: What information can they gather from the articles?
    REFLECT: What do they think based on what they have read? What can they guess or infer?
    QUESTION: What do these articles make them wonder?
    You may want to use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis worksheet to help students organize and record their thoughts.
  3. Compile a list of new student-generated questions that arise from your discussion.
  4. Students will read some or all of the front page coverage of the attack on the Lusitania from the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, May 7, 1915 (Source #2). Students will compile a list of “facts” recorded in the newspaper on the day of the event, which can then be checked against later sources.
  5. Students will look at Theodate Pope’s telegram to her mother from the day following the sinking of the Lusitania (Source #3). What information does Pope provide?
  6. Students will explore the coverage of the Lusitania from page 4 of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, May 8, 1915 (Source #4). You may wish to assign different articles or page columns to different individuals or pairs. Ask students to analyze the source using the same Library of Congress OBSERVE, REFLECT, QUESTION method as above and then share their results with their classmates.
  7. Add additional student-generated questions to your list and look back to see if any information has emerged to help answer the earlier questions.
  8. Share the portrait of Theodate Pope (Source #6) and the letter she wrote to her mother (Source #5). Using the Library of Congress worksheet or another analysis method of your choice, have students examine the letter. What “facts” does Pope record, and how does it fit in with other information available relating to the event? What emotions, feelings, or personal reflections does she share? What questions do students still have after reading the letter?
  9. Circle back to your list of questions and the compelling question and discuss possible approaches for additional inquiry.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Using the sources provided in the toolkit as background (along with any other related primary or secondary sources you wish to use,) students will imagine themselves as a Connecticut relative of one of the Lusitania victims and will write a letter to President Woodrow Wilson arguing for or against U.S. entry into the war in the days following the event.
  • Students will explore media coverage of other large-scale disasters or acts of war throughout American history and will seek out other examples of initially reported “facts” that proved incorrect. Students will then reflect on media coverage of current events and discuss the importance of media literacy in our contemporary world.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

HS – “Women of Connecticut: Are You Helping?” The Reaction to Emergency Food Measures During World War I

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


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Food and Drink, Women, World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, World War I, First World War, WWI, Great War, Food Administration, Women, Immigrants, Voluntarism, Home front, Conservation, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
By the time the United States entered WWI, farming in Europe had been devastated. U.S. allies were starving. Washington initiated a patriotic program to increase food production and to induce the people to voluntarily conserve food on the household level. Five billion dollars in food was delivered to Europe. As part of the effort to provide this food to the Allies, the federal government set out to get 22 million households to sign a food conservation pledge. Robert Scoville, head of the Connecticut Food Administration, and George M. Landers, chairman of the Connecticut Committee of Food Supply, organized the drive in this state. In November 1917, their goal for Connecticut was 200,000 signed pledge cards.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Do government campaigns to promote “voluntary” patriotic efforts in a time of war strengthen or weaken American democracy?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What did the U.S. Food Administration and the Connecticut Committee on Food Supply hope to accomplish with the food pledge campaign?
  • What methods were employed to achieve these goals, who employed these methods, and to whom did they appeal?
  • How did gender, income level, religion, and place of national origin affect how residents experienced or evaluated the food pledge campaign?
  • What opposition, if any, was there to home front mobilization campaigns?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

“Food will win the war. You came here seeking Freedom. You must now help to preserve it. WHEAT is needed for the allies.” United States Food Administration, ca. 1917. National Archives.
“‘Eat Plenty, Wisely, Without Waste,’ Says Hoover: Work of the Food Administration Under Herbert C. Hoover—A War Emergency Measure—America’s Food Problems—Woman’s Part.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 17, 1917, 12:1-7. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
“Women of Connecticut: Are You Helping?” Poster from the Committee of Food Supply, Connecticut State Council of Defense, 1917-1918, Connecticut Historical Society.
U.S. Food Administration Window Card. Fairfield Museum and History Center.
page Download the article “Hoover, How Can You?” Four Lights: An Adventure in Internationalism, July 14, 1917, p. 2. Published by the Women’s Peace Party, New York.
page Download the article “State Food Conservation Committee Save Quantity Food Through Girls Army.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 20, 1917, 9:1-2. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Thousands Working in Campaign: Canvassers Explaining Food Pledge Movement to Housewives Throughout the Country—Those Who Refuse to Sign Are Pro-German—Norwich Expected to Net 4,500 Pledges.” Norwich Bulletin, November 3, 1917, 3: 3-4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “German Agents Hindering Food Savings Plans.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 31, 1917, 1:1-2. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Housewives in This City Are Being Fleeced.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, November 1, 1917, 1:3-4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Pacifist Pastor Refuses to Sign a Food Pledge.” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, November 2, 1917, 1:4-5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
page Download the article “Letters to the Editor: But Few Slackers.” Norwich Bulletin, August 11, 1917, 4:6. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Introduce the compelling question and the initial supporting questions that will drive the inquiry.
  2. Together as a class, examine Source #1 (“Food will Win the War” poster.) Track students’ observations and questions about the source. What clues does the poster provide about the goals and methods of the U.S. Food Administration?
  3. Next, break the class into smaller work groups/pairs.
  4. Assign 1-3 primary sources from Part 2 of the toolkit to each group/pair. Allow the small groups time to develop responses to the initial supporting questions based on the primary sources and generate additional supporting questions.
  5. Ask each work group to briefly share their source(s), findings, and questions with the rest of the group.
  6. Discuss responses to the compelling question based on the evidence from the primary sources provided.
  7. Have the class (as a whole) propose avenues for further research that interest them, explaining why they think such research might be important.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will write a response to either the original compelling question or another student-generated question, citing the primary sources they relied upon. Students will include thoughts about what kind of further research would be needed if they were to pursue the question further. Students will then gather with their work groups, share their answers, and gently critique each others’ work, choosing one response to share with the class as a whole, if desired.
  • Imagining themselves as a Connecticut resident in 1917, students will write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper in response to the question: “Should the names of those families who do not sign the Food Pledge be published in our newspaper?” Students may select or be assigned different perspectives from which to respond, such as a struggling immigrant housewife, the mother of a soldier fighting in France, a local pacifist, etc.
  • Students will investigate the dietary/food conservation recommendations made by the United States Food Administration and Connecticut Committee of Food Supply. What kinds of foods/meals were recommended to help with the war effort? What would nutritionists/dietary specialists think of these recommendations today? To get started, students could look at these resources:
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

Grade 3 – Connecticut Heroes of World War I


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Health and Medicine, Social Movements, WomenWorld War I
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Hartford,
New Haven,
Wallingford, Washington
Related Search Terms
World War One, World War I, WWI, Great War, Home Front, Hero, Nurse, Flying Ace, Pilot, Stubby, Dog, Soldier, Monument, Memorial, Biography, Non-fiction, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed, How We Documented the War, How We Moved On
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History

Historical Background
What makes someone a hero? How do we remember people who have made important contributions to our communities, our state, and our nation? What can you do to make a contribution? This activity explores these questions through the lens of five World War I “heroes” from Connecticut—four human and one canine! The heroes featured are:
Raoul Lufbery, Flying Ace
Ruth Hovey, Nurse
William Service Bell, Corporal, U.S. Army Engineers
Stubby, Mascot of the 102nd Infantry
Edith Rossiter, War Relief Volunteer

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What is the significance of Connecticut’s contribution to America’s story?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What role have Connecticut people played in major events in American (or world) history?
  • What has Connecticut’s contribution to the nation been during wartime?
  • What makes someone a “hero”?
  • What characteristics do heroes have in common?
  • How do we remember people who have made contributions to our community, our state, or our nation?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Start with a class discussion:
    • What makes someone a “hero”?
    • What characteristics do heroes have in common?
    • Who are heroes in our community, state, or nation today?
    • Record students’ responses to these questions.
  2. Explain that you will be looking at five individuals who lived in Connecticut about 100 years ago, around the time of World War I.
  3. Give students time to examine each of the portraits from the toolkit. You may look at them all on one day or break them up, studying a different individual (portrait and biography) each day. Ask students what they:
    OBSERVE—“what details can you notice about each portrait?”
    REFLECT—“what do you think about the individual based on what you see?” QUESTION—“what does this picture make you wonder?” Remind students of your initial discussion and ask, “Based on what you see, do you think this is a hero? Why or why not?”
  4. Distribute the mini-biographies. Again, you may want to break them up, studying a different individual each day. As students read, ask them to circle, underline, or highlight words or phrases that they think describe a “hero.”
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will use the “Connecticut Heroes of World War I” chart in the toolkit to organize their information about the individuals studied and indicate whether or not they feel each one qualifies as a “hero.”
  • Students will complete a graphic organizer of your choice (Venn diagram, double bubble, etc.) comparing and contrasting two or more of the individuals studied.
  • Students will select one of the individuals studied that they feel qualifies as a hero and design a monument to that person (or dog.)
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.

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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 – 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

HS – Connecticut Women and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Suffragists

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Social Movements, Women
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Hartford, Norwalk, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Women’s Rights, Suffrage, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Voting, Reform Movements, Politics, Anti-Suffrage Movement, 19th Amendment
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) argued that together the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution actually guaranteed women the right to vote, but the idea was rejected by the Supreme Court in the 1870s, leading to the push for an all new amendment securing women’s right to vote. The proposed Nineteenth Amendment passed the House on May 21, 1919, and the Senate on June 4, 1919. Both Connecticut senators voted against the amendment. Thirty-six state legislatures needed to ratify the amendment; the last of these did so August 18, 1920. Connecticut did not ratify the legislation until September 14, 1920, after the Nineteenth Amendment had already gone into effect.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How have American concepts of freedom and equality changed since the 1870s?

How might the changes be perceived differently by different segments of the population?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Who had the right to vote in the United States in 1870?
  • What strategies or arguments did supporters of women’s suffrage use to win the right to vote?
  • Are the voting rights of traditionally under-represented groups protected in contemporary America?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States
“Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States concerning their right to, and their use of the elective franchise.” Isabella Beecher Hooker, 1871 – Connecticut Historical Society

In 1871 Isabella Beecher Hooker, an advocate for women’s rights from Hartford, Connecticut, organized the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington D.C. This document was written and signed the same year.

page

 

Download a transcription of the document – pdf

 

You may wish to add one or more of the following photographs to your inquiry investigation:

Arrest of White House pickets
Arrest of White House pickets Catherine Flanagan of Hartford, Connecticut (left), and Madeleine Watson of Chicago (right), August 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Records of the National Woman’s Party

 

helenaweed_loc275034r
Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk, Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Records of the National Woman’s Party

 

Party members picketing the Republican convention
Party members picketing the Republican convention, Chicago, June 1920 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using SOAPSTone analysis, the Library of Congress Analyzing Primary Sources process, or another method of your choice, have students investigate the “Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States concerning their right to, and their use of the elective franchise.”

  • Who created this document?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • When and where was it created?
  • What was going on in the country at the time?
  • What was the context?
  • What is the subject matter?
  • Which sentences or phrases particularly stand out?
  • What arguments are being made?
  • What does this document make you wonder?

Discuss the questions raised by the document and help students shape them into stronger questions to guide further inquiry. Discuss what sources (both primary and secondary) might help students learn more.

You may then choose to introduce one or more of the later photographs listed above into your inquiry, following investigation of the document. Use a similar process of OBSERVING, REFLECTING, and QUESTIONING to guide students’ exploration and analysis (Download Library of Congress teacher guide – PDF or student worksheet – PDF).

Together the document and photographs can help students develop a richer response to the supporting question above (“What strategies or arguments did supporters of women’s suffrage use to win the right to vote?”), as well as to the compelling question.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

1) Students will use historic Connecticut newspapers available through the Connecticut State Library Digital Collection or Chronicling America, as well as other primary-source materials found online, to learn more about the arguments posed by both the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements in the early 1900s and the reaction to these arguments in the media. Students will then imagine themselves in 1919 and write a letter to the editor of one of the Connecticut newspapers advocating a position based on evidence gleaned from various primary sources of the time.

Additional sets of primary sources relating to national women’s suffrage can be found at:

2) Students will research contemporary voter registration and voter turnout data and create a video, billboard design, or social media campaign encouraging a target audience (which they will identify) to register and vote.

Here are a few online resources that are available:

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO

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