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Triumph and Tragedy: American Immigrant Experiences

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Cultures +2 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History."

These resources - including objects, documents, websites, and articles - reveal challenges and opportunities experienced by American immigrants in the 19th to mid-20th centuries.  Resources highlight hardships that compelled people to leave their homelands, difficulties immigrants faced upon arrival, and ways they overcame obstacles to build new lives and communities in America.  The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

The history of immigration in America is an immense topic, and this collection addresses only aspects of it.  Use this collection to brainstorm project topics, find connected resources, and as a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!

Tags: 1800s, 1900s angel island, ellis island, immigration test, community, prejudice, irish, jewish, syrian, lebanese, arab, italian, mexican, german, greek, bohemian, czech, slovenian, know nothing, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, swedish, chinese exclusion act, japanese american incarceration, internment, bracero program, stories project, #NHD

Ocean Crossings 1870-1969

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Delivering the Goods

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Immigration and the Hart-Celler Act, 50 years later

National Museum of American History

Joys and Sorrows of Ellis Island

Archives of American Art

Hibernia Fire Company Fire Hat

National Museum of American History

Chinese-American Shop Sign

National Museum of American History

The Syrian World: [newspaper]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Torah Ark

National Museum of American History

Japanese Immigrant’s Trunk

National Museum of American History

Shoe Repair Trade Sign

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Orlando Furioso Rod Marionette

National Museum of American History

Molino, corn grinder

National Museum of American History

Poster, Cleveland: Many Peoples One Language

National Museum of American History

Drop-stem Smoking Pipe

National Museum of American History

La Esperanza Bakery Teapot

National Museum of American History

Festival

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Syrian Colony, Washington Street: [b&w photoprint, copy of drawing]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

[First Dawahare store in Jenkins, Kentucky: black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Doumar Ice Cream Cone Mandrel, 1920s

National Museum of American History

Andrew Carnegie

National Portrait Gallery

Amber Bakelite Brooch

National Museum of American History

[Mr. Lee B. Lok at his store, Quong Yuen Shing & Co. Photoprint, ca. 1917-1918.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Sundback's Modern Slide Zipper Patent Model, 1915

National Museum of American History

Blouse, c. Early 1900s

National Museum of American History

Eviction (Lower East Side)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Farm

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Prayer Book Bag

National Museum of American History

Know Nothing Poster, 1854

National Museum of American History

Irish Brooch, 1800s

National Museum of American History

Slovenian Chalice

National Museum of American History

Anti-Chinese Cap Pistol, 1876

National Museum of American History

Wong Chin Foo

National Portrait Gallery

Off for China [trade card]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Ted’s Talk: A Conversation on Chinese Immigration History

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

W.R.A. Leave Pass, Teiji Okuda, No. 15771

National Museum of American History

Baby Identification Bracelet

National Museum of American History

Minoru Yasui

National Portrait Gallery

Fred T. Korematsu

National Portrait Gallery

Bracero in Field

National Museum of American History

Bracero Family in Mexico

National Museum of American History

Braceros Crossing Bridge

National Museum of American History

Physical Examination of Braceros

National Museum of American History

Physical Examination of Braceros

National Museum of American History

Braceros Working with Short-Handled Hoes

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Living Quarter

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Living Quarter

National Museum of American History

Short-Handled Hoe, 1950s and 1960s

National Museum of American History

Politics & Profiling: The Personal Effects of Immigration Policy

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Gaming the System

Smithsonian American Art Museum

When Irish American eyes are smilin'

National Museum of American History