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Influential Americans

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Cultures +2 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

This collection is designed to support teachers and students exploring the 2020 National History Day theme: Breaking Barriers in History. Included in this collection is an overview of influential Americans aligned with the NHD theme.

These resources - including  photographs, primary source documents, portraits, and articles - explore the efforts of people from Pocahontas to Walt Disney in breaking social, artistic, gender, and economic barriers throughout American history. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; rather, it is intended to act as a starting point and provide inspiration for further research. 

#NHD2020

Influential Americans

Abigail Burnett

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Abigail Burnett

John Muir

National Portrait Gallery

John Muir

National Portrait Gallery

32c John Muir single

National Postal Museum

Happy John Muir Day!

Smithsonian Magazine

29c Sacagawea mini sheet single

National Postal Museum

3c Lewis & Clark Expedition single

National Postal Museum

Montana - History and Heritage

Smithsonian Magazine

Tecumseh

National Portrait Gallery

Dying Tecumseh

Catalog of American Portraits

Picture This: The Dying Tecumseh

Smithsonian American Art Museum

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Abigail Burnett

Susan B. Anthony

National Portrait Gallery

American Anti-Slavery Almanac Vol. II, No. I

National Museum of African American History and Culture

3c Susan B. Anthony single

National Postal Museum

Susan B. Anthony

National Portrait Gallery

Happy Birthday, Susan B. Anthony

Smithsonian Magazine

Susan B. Anthony’s Shawl

National Museum of American History

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Abigail Burnett

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

National Portrait Gallery

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Catalog of American Portraits

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.

National Portrait Gallery

The New Deal was a Good Deal

National Museum of American History

Thomas Jefferson

Catalog of American Portraits

Thomas Jefferson

Catalog of American Portraits

Declaration of Independence

National Museum of American History

Declaration of Independence Desk

National Museum of American History

Declaration of Independence

National Portrait Gallery

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Abigail Burnett

Sojourner Truth

National Portrait Gallery

22c Sojourner Truth single

National Postal Museum

[Sojourner Truth]

Anacostia Community Museum

Hillary Clinton

National Portrait Gallery

Hillary Clinton

National Portrait Gallery

Bill and Hillary Clinton

National Portrait Gallery

First Lady Hillary Clinton visiting with children

National Museum of American History

Women for History

National Museum of American History

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Abigail Burnett

Andy Warhol

National Portrait Gallery

Andy Warhol

National Portrait Gallery

Andy Warhol, A Retrospective

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Muhammad Ali - Fist

National Portrait Gallery

Today's Teenagers

National Portrait Gallery

Georgia O'Keeffe

National Portrait Gallery

Georgia O'Keeffe

National Portrait Gallery

Georgia O'Keeffe

National Portrait Gallery

Peter Blume and Georgia O'Keeffe

Archives of American Art

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Abigail Burnett

Sir William Penn

National Portrait Gallery

Penn's Vision [photomechanical print]

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Pennsylvania Society of New York: Medal [sculpture] / (photographed by De Witt Ward)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Brigham Young

National Portrait Gallery

Brigham Young

National Portrait Gallery

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Abigail Burnett

Madonna

National Portrait Gallery

Madonna

National Portrait Gallery

Madonna

National Portrait Gallery

Jimi Hendrix

National Portrait Gallery

Jimi Hendrix

National Portrait Gallery

Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin

National Portrait Gallery

Vest worn by Jimi Hendrix

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Jimi Hendrix Rock Arena

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Bob Dylan

National Portrait Gallery

Bob Dylan

National Portrait Gallery

Bob Dylan, The Castle

National Museum of American History

Bob Dylan's Desk at the Castle

National Museum of American History

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Abigail Burnett

Walt Disney

National Portrait Gallery

Walt Disney

National Portrait Gallery

Walt Disney

National Portrait Gallery

Walt Disney

National Portrait Gallery

Walt Disney's Uncle Remus

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Steamboat Willie drawing

National Museum of American History

Steve Jobs

National Portrait Gallery

Steve Jobs

National Portrait Gallery

Steve Jobs

National Portrait Gallery

Steve Jobs

National Portrait Gallery

Remembering Steve Jobs

National Museum of American History

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Abigail Burnett

Jackie Robinson

National Portrait Gallery

Baseball, with Jackie Robinson Commemorative Stamp

National Museum of American History

33c Jackie Robinson single

National Postal Museum

Jackie Robinson

National Portrait Gallery

Pinback button of Jackie Robinson with baseball charm and ribbon

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Serena Williams

National Portrait Gallery

Venus and Serena Williams

National Portrait Gallery

Serena and Venus

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Serena Williams, Miami Beach 2003

National Museum of African American History and Culture