The United States has a long history of activists seeking social, political, economic, and other changes to AmericaåÑalong with a history of other activists trying to prevent such changes. American activism covered a wide range of causes and utilized many different forms of activism. American sociopolitical activism became especially prominent during the period of societal upheaval which began during the 1950s. The African American civil rights movement led the way, soon followed by a substantial anti-war movement opposing American involvement in the Vietnam War, and later by vigorous activism involving womenåÕs issues, gay rights, and other causes. The United States remains a land of nearly constant change, and activists play a significant role in the ongoing evolution of American democracy. It seems likely that Americans will remain enthusiastic activists in the future. This exhibition is part of the Digital Library of Georgia.
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In the spring of 1918, the United States was embroiled in World War I, fighting alongside the English, French, and Russians against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 70 million men were at war on multiple fronts across Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. The tide was finally turning for the Allies after a crushing offensive by German forces mere weeks earlier. Then, a fierce enemy intervenedåÑan outbreak of influenza that would decimate entire regiments and towns, kill civilians and soldiers alike by the millions, and rapidly become a global pandemic. This disease weakened forces on both sides, changing not only the course of the war but also the economies and population stability of every affected nation. In the long term, this particular outbreak would inspire research on an unprecedented scale and lead to advances in science and medicine, forever altering our understanding of epidemiology.åÊFrom the spring of 1918 to early 1919, no aspect of life remained untouched by the pandemic for Americans at home and on the front. This exhibition explores the pandemicåÕs impact on American life.åÊ This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAåÕs Digital Curation Program by the following students as part of Dr. Joan E. Beaudoin's course "Metadata in Theory and Practice" in the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University: Bethany Campbell, Michelle John, Samantha Reid-Goldberg, Anne Sexton, and John Weimer.
Throughout the early twentieth century, women looked to break new ground in ways never before possible, and the sky literally became the limit. As the nation moved into the aviation age, many women saw flying as a way to break out of traditional societal roles. It gave women not just an opportunity for adventure and excitement, but a way to earn a living outside of the home that demanded respect. Aviatrix Ruth Bancroft Law described it, after defeating the cross-country distance record: "There is an indescribable feeling which one experiences in flying; it comes with no other form of sport or navigation. It takes courage and daring; one must be self-possessed, for there are moments when one's wits are tested to the full. Yet there is an exhilaration that compensates for all one's efforts." In this exhibition we explore the early history of aviation and the courageous women who took to the skiesåÑaviatrixes who found freedom, broke new ground, and inspired generations of women along the way. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAåÕs Digital Curation Program by the following students as part of Professor Debbie RabinaåÕs course "Information Services and Sources" in the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute: Megan DeArmond, Diana Moronta, Laurin Paradise.
The stock market crash on October 29, 1929 -- known as Black Tuesday -- was the "worst economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world." It spread from the United States to national economies across the globe. It ended a decade known for its high-spirited free-spending, called the Roaring 20s, and began almost 10 years of financial desperation that would touch nearly every citizen of the United States. The Great Depression caused bank closures and business failures and by its end, saw "more than 15 million Americans (one-quarter of the workforce)" unemployed. Herbert Hoover, president at the time, did not acknowledge the depth of the crisis and assumed that the American characteristics of individualism and self reliance would quickly bring the nation out of the disaster without a need for federal intervention. But, layoffs and financial desperation at the personal level were growing: "an empty pocket turned inside out was called a 'Hoover flag' [and] the decrepit shanty towns springing up around the country were called 'Hoovervilles'." Three years into the financial crisis, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, running on a platform of federal recovery programs called the "New Deal," easily took the presidential election of 1932.
It was approximately 40,000 years ago that mankind first donned a pair of shoes. During humanityåÕs long history of footwear, and an equally broad array of styles, the basic fundamentals of Western shoemaking remained mostly unchanged until the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1800s, the small state of Massachusetts revolutionized the shoemaking industry, cladding the feet of consumers nationwide in unprecedented numbers. One of AmericaåÕs original colonies, Massachusetts found itself at the heart of the nationåÕs shoemaking industry by attracting and retaining skilled shoemakers and shoe machinery engineers. Only when the technology that Massachusetts' shoemakers invented became available beyond the state did the industryåÕs market expand throughout the country. Even with the spread of industrialization, Massachusetts remained the largest producer of shoes in the United States through World War I, responsible for nearly forty percent of AmericaåÕs shoes and home to an equal percentage of its shoemakers. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAåÕs Public Library Partnerships Project by collaborators from Digital Commonwealth. Exhibition organizer: Anna Fahey-Flynn.