The United States has a long history of activists seeking social, political, economic, and other changes to Americaalong 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 womens 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 twenty-first century American society, childhood is popularly understood as a time of innocence, learning, and play. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, children made up part of the countrys workforce, and labored on farms and in factories. When they were not working, they enjoyed great independence in leisure activitiesbe it in a loud city street or a peaceful country lake. Often, children were far from adult supervision. Reformers during the Progressive Era period of social activism and political reform across the United States between the 1890s and 1920s took a great interest in child welfare. Through organizations and legislation, they sought to define what a happy and healthy childhood should be in the modern age. Immersion in nature was central to what the Progressives prescribed, and childrens organizations and camps offered a suitable combination of supervision and open spaces. The formula for a healthy childhood was further refined in postwar America. Children were given a distinct place in the family and home, as well as within the consumer market with the emergence of teenage culture and buying power. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA's Public Library Partnerships Project by collaborators from the Digital Library of Georgia and Georgia's public libraries.
Three years before the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt declared the South to be "the nation's number one economic problem." Georgia's economy was distinctly agricultural and low-wage, with little manufacturing compared with states in the North and Midwest. The median family income was nearly half of the national average. One year later, an influx of federal defense money established new industries, such as the Bell Aircraft plant in Marietta, and expanded existing ones, such as the J. A. Jones Construction Company in Brunswick. While 320,000 Georgians served in the United States Armed Forces, tens of thousands of Georgians repaired aircraft, built B-29 bombers, and worked in shipyards at home during the war. Meanwhile, military training was widespread throughout Georgia, occupying its fields as well as skies. Capitalizing on the state's flat coastal region and mild winters, Army airfields were installed in Savannah, Statesboro, Thomasville, and Waycross, and pilots trained in Albany, Augusta, Americus, and Douglas. Thousands of soldiers passed through Fort Benning and Fort Oglethorpe, where members of the Women's Army Corps trained for positions at home and abroad. World War II employment was crucial to the economic development of the state, ushering in the transformation to a modern, industrial, and diverse Georgia. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA's Public Library Partnerships Project by collaborators from the Digital Library of Georgia and Georgia's public libraries. Exhibition organizers: Mandy Mastrovita and Greer Martin.
For many Americans, their fondest memories revolve around a library card. From searching through the stacks, to getting a return date stamped on the back of a new favorite book, libraries are a quintessential part of how Americans learn and engage with their local communities. Since this countrys founding, public libraries have received broad and consistent popular support for their democratic missions and services. The ability to access free information has become a core ideal of what it means to be an American citizen, despite periods of historic inequality. Libraries help make this access possible by placing public benefit at the center of their work and continually adapting their strategies to meet changing public needs over time. This exhibition tells the story of the American public library system, its community impact, and the librarians who made it possiblefrom the founding of the first US libraries through the first one hundred years of service. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAs Public Library Partnerships Project in collaboration with partners and participants from Digital Commonwealth, Digital Library of Georgia, Minnesota Digital Library, Montana Memory Project, and Mountain West Digital Library.
- U.S. History
- Material Type:
- Primary Source
- Unit of Study
- Digital Commonwealth
- Digital Library of Georgia
- Digital Public Library of America
- Minnesota Digital Library
- Montana Memory Project
- Mountain West Digital Library
- Provider Set:
- DPLA Exhibitions
- Franky Abbot
- Hillary Brady
- Date Added:
On April 26, 1913, Confederate Memorial Day, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan was murdered at the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Leo Frank, the Jewish, New York-raised superintendent of the National Pencil Company, was charged with the crime. At the same time, Atlantas economy was transforming from rural and agrarian to urban and industrial. Resources for investing in new industry came from Northern states, as did most industrial leaders, like Leo Frank. Many of the workers in these new industrial facilities were children, like Mary Phagan. Over the next two years, Leo Franks legal case became a national story with a highly publicized, controversial trial and lengthy appeal process that profoundly affected Jewish communities in Georgia and the South, and impacted the careers of lawyers, politicians, and publishers. By the early twentieth century, Jewish communities had become well-established in most major Southern cities, continuing a path of migration that began during colonial times. The Leo Frank case and its aftermath revealed lingering regional hostilities from the Civil War and Reconstruction, intensified existing racial and cultural inequalities (particularly anti-Semitism), embodied socioeconomic problems (such as child labor), and exposed the brutality of lynching in the South. The exhibition was created by the Digital Library of Georgia (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/). Exhibition Organizers: Charles Pou, Mandy Mastrovita, and Greer Martin.