Category Archives: Document Spotlights

Considering Context in Primary Sources: The Art of John Trumbull

What is a Primary Source?  In the very simplest terms, a “primary source” is described as any record that was created at the time of an event by someone who was there.  In short, an eyewitness account of some kind.  … Continue reading

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We Shall Overcome: Anxiety and Optimism for the March on Washington

On August 28, 1963, a quarter million people came to the nation’s capital to petition their duly elected government in a demonstration known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Frustrated by the inaction of a gridlocked Congress, … Continue reading

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Letter from the Assistant Attorney General Regarding Lynching

Today we share a document just recently digitized by a teacher in our Primarily Teaching 2013 Summer Workshop in Washington, DC. Jen Johnson, a teacher at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago for the last 10 years, found it in the holdings … Continue reading

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“Boston Five” Letter

Today we highlight a document brand new to DocsTeach. We added this 1968 letter from an attorney condemning the conviction of the “Boston Five” just this morning! Teachers at the National Archives at Boston who are participating in Primarily Teaching 2013 this … Continue reading

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Recruitment Poster for the Union Army

Today we spotlight one of the most requested documents on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents. It’s a Civil War recruitment poster titled “To Colored Men!” After President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, … Continue reading

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A Baseball Patent

This is the patent application for an improvement in baseballs, from Benjamin Shibe of Bala, Pennsylvania. Benjamin F. Shibe, one of the original owners of the Philadelphia Athletics and for whom Shibe Park in Philadelphia was named, patented a cork-centered … Continue reading

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The Declaration of Independence

In celebration of our nation declaring its independence 237 years ago, today’s spotlight is—of course—on the Declaration of Independence. The National Archives is its permanent home. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in which the … Continue reading

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Agreed-upon Boundaries at the Close of the Revolutionary War

As Independence Day approaches, this week we’re highlighting this 1775 “Annotated Map of the British Colonies in North America with the Roads, Distances, Limits and Extent of the Settlements.” During the negotiations to end the Revolutionary War, all sides used … Continue reading

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The Golden Spike in the Transcontinental Railroad

Today we shine a spotlight on this photograph of the golden spike ceremony taken in Promontory, Utah. As school lets out and vacation begins, we’re changing up our posts for the summer. Look for these spotlights highlighting great documents, photographs, … Continue reading

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Searching for the Seventies in New York and New Jersey

As a child of the 1980s, the 1970s have always been a mysterious decade to me.  So, I get the appeal of the exhibition “Searching for the Seventies” now on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC, through September … Continue reading

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