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100 Years Ago: The World in 1919

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Cultures +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

What was the world like 100 years ago?

How have things changed or stayed the same, and how does this deepen our understanding about history and of ourselves and our society? This Learning Lab explores this centuries-old question by asking you to analyze objects from the NMAAHC and other Smithsonian collections that were created in (or are likely dated to) the year 1919, particularly from the African American perspective.

This Learning Lab emphasizes the historical thinking skills of comparison and change over time. Historical comparison asks you to analyze the differences and similarities between two historical individuals, groups, events, objects, or ideas, or between someone or something historical with someone or something in the present. Change over time asks you to analyze how a historical artifact, individual, group, event or idea has changed over time, what factors contributed to the change, and what can this tell us about the past and inform us about the modern day.

The analysis questions are taken from the National Archives and Record Administration's Document Analysis Worksheets.

Keywords: NMAAHC, African American, 1919, world, century, comparison, change, time, World War I, segregation, Jim Crow, nineteenth, #NMAAHCteach

California Rodeo, Salinas, 1919

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Crisis Vol. 19 No. 1

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Print of George W. Butcher and friend wearing suits and leaning on canes

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Stock certificate issued by Black Star Line to Amy McKenzie

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Multiplex

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scan of Frances Hill sitting in a chair

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Linguaphone Phonograph

Anacostia Community Museum

Scan of a man in a baseball uniform standing on the sidewalk

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Print of a man and woman sitting on a porch

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Allen's Cough Balsam

National Museum of American History

Sfag-Na-Kins - the Sphagnum Moss Sanitary Napkins

National Museum of American History

Company contract for Poro College

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photographic print of men and women in front of Vernon AME Church, Tulsa

National Museum of African American History and Culture