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Blog Posts by Subject: United States History

On the Front Page: A Look Back at Pearl Harbor

Take a look at front pages covering the attack on Pearl Harbor from across the United States and from around the world. Read More ›

New York and the American Revolution: Resources at NYPL

Interested in learning more about New York's role, and the early battles of the American Revolution? Inspired by Hamilton? Here are some of the resources I consulted for @NYPLHistory.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Ella Baker to Potential Members of the NAACP

In this 1943 letter, civil rights icon Ella Baker sends a passionate plea for potential members for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) for a variety of planned initiatives on behalf of the organization. Makiba Foster, our Assistant Chief Librarian, reads the letter aloud.Read More ›

Better Know a State: See the Nation, Through the American Guide Series

To keep the spirit of adventure and travel going all month long, a look into the Writers' Project Series of American Guide books, published in the 1930s-1940s and available from The New York Public Library and online.Read More ›

Informed Archives: The Pentagon Papers and the Fight to Know

The celebration of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism prompted an exploration of our collections to celebrate the work and achievements of the Fourth Estate.Read More ›

Election Happenings @ Mid-Manhattan Library!

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, millions of Americans will head to the polls to elect the next President. Whether this is the first time you’ll cast your ballot, this Presidential election has piqued your interest, The New York Public Library has a robust collection of books, feature films, documentaries, music, and spoken arts just for you. Read More ›

Remembering 9/11 for Parents and Kids

Two new fictional accounts about September 11 for younger readers.Read More ›

Genealogy Tips: Searching the Census by Address

Ever wondered who lived in your home before you? Or having trouble finding great-grandparents in old census records? If you are so inclined, and want to search the census by address, to see who lived in your American house many moons ago, this post explains how you can do that. Even better, all the information is available online for free. You will need an address... Read More ›

Election Confections: Harrison Cake and Other Historical Political Treats

The presidential election of 1840 was a fascinating moment in American political—and confectionary—history. While Harrison's status as a well-known war hero almost certainly contributed to his victory, I like to believe that his popularity was further bolstered by the cake created in his honor.Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, May 27, 1799

A major lottery jackpot in 1799 captures the attention of Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker.Read More ›

The Run for the Roses: An Exciting Two Minutes of Bluegrass Local History

The peak season of professional horse racing breaks from the gate this Saturday at 6:24PM, as 20 thoroughbreds contend nose-to-nose down to the wire for the 142nd Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. Read More ›

Hamilton, An American Musical: A Reading and Resource List

Why was Hamilton so important that he deserves recognition today? Find books and resources on the “10-dollar founding father without a father.”Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Arturo Schomburg to Langston Hughes

Today’s letter features correspondence between Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Langston Hughes. In the excerpt below, Schomburg speaks with Hughes regarding acquisitions for The Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints—the forerunner to today’s Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Paranoia, the Devil, and Witchcraft: Books on the Salem Witch Trials

Why did this happen and how could it have happened? You’ll have to read the accounts, the theories and stories and figure that part out for yourself. The following are recommended nonfiction and fiction books on the topic from children’s, YA and adult collections.Read More ›

The Olive Branch and the Declaration of Independence

Was the Declaration of Independence really necessary? Or was it widely understood by the end of 1775 that the American colonies were already engaged in a war for independence? The key to answering these questions about July 4, 1776 begins with the events of July 5, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress approved the Olive Branch Petition.Read More ›

Clustered Resources on the California Gold Rush

Whether you are an educator looking to diversify your lesson plans or a parent helping your child select materials for their upcoming report, clustering is a fun way to delve into any topic.Read More ›

Remembering (the Hardly Trivial) Sam Houston: Rare Texana at the Library

April 21 is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. As any grade school student in the Lone Star State will proudly tell you, the leader of the Texan forces was Samuel “Sam” Houston, a.k.a. the President of the Republic of Texas. He is well-represented in NYPL's collection of Texana.Read More ›

The Arm That Clutched the Torch: The Statue of Liberty’s Campaign for a Pedestal

France proposed to bestow the Statue of Liberty to the United States, while Americans were asked to fundraise for its pedestal. The plan to raise money? Her arm went on tour.Read More ›

The Union Remembers Lincoln

Upon learning of the president’s death, the nation responded with shock, confusion, outrage, and sorrow. This tumultuous period was captured by the printing and photography of the time: both in immediate ephemera and later, more contemplative works. Read More ›

Ben Franklin on Cooking Turkey... with Electricity

The options for cooking a turkey are seemingly endless, but leave it to founding father Benjamin Franklin to invent one more — electrocution.Read More ›
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