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Heroism in literary art throughout history

I wanted to explore the evolution of heroism through the ages in literary art. Heroes help societies build  a moral code and give the people of a society role models to aspire to morally. Heroes  throughout history are normally people who either possess unique powers or sometimes they are normal humans with a certain moral code. My goal is to see how the idea of a hero has evolved and changed over time but also to point out how the idea of what a hero is has stayed the same in many ways throughout history.

There are many types of literary heroes. The first emerging heroes in ancient history were normally born into their role and possessed strengths beyond that of a typical human being. Most early heroes in literature had a relationship to the Gods of their culture. Some had been chosen by the Gods to serve a certain purpose and others communicated with the Gods to learn their destiny. Many of these earlier heroes grappled with human emotions and faced obstacles. Heroes would normally face some sort of battle or were facing challenges during a war. Some examples of this type of hero include Odysseus, Aeneas, Achilles and Gilgamesh. Although all of these Heroes had a connection to the Gods of their time they were at least partly mortal. Heroes helped shape a moral code for their time. Still to this day, protagonists in literature normally possess a higher moral code and because of this they live and sometimes die with honor and triumph over the antagonists.

Gilgamesh was a hero that came about during the Mesopotamian era through an epic poem titled “the Epic of Gilgamesh.” Gilgamesh portrays many characteristics of a hero. He is stronger than most humans, in fact in the poem he is said to be the strongest man in the world. He is also two thirds God, which meets the criteria of being special in some way or having a destiny to do great things. He is masculine and courageous.  It is said that Homer used this epic poem to form his own heroes in his famous epic poems "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey". 

Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” produced two heroes that still influence literature today. In fact, the age in which these two famous poems were written is actually called the Heroic Age due to Homer’s epic poems. These poems actually brought us two different kinds of heroes that we still see today in modern literature. Achilles is more of a war hero, whose great physical strength helps him carry out heroic deeds on the battlefield. Although Achilles does grapple with guilt and in the end his valiant behavior allows him to die in honor, it is Odysseus that shows another kind of hero that uses his mind to battle enemies instead of just physical strength. These two poems still influence literature today. 

 Rome’s poet Virgil wrote the epic Aeneid that is heavily influenced by Homers the Iliad. There have been many other versions of the Odyssey written over the centuries as well. Virgil's hero is Aeneas. Aeneas has characteristics of both Homer's heroes Odysseus and Achilles. Like Achilles, Aeneas is a great warrior and like Odysseus, Aeneas is quick witted. Aeneas is said to be an ancestor of Augustus, the Emperor of Rome at the time, in the poem and therefore the poem celebrates the emperor of the time.
Horace was another great literary artist in the Roman era who was also close to Augustus and celebrated him in his writings. Horace writes Odes that idolize the emperor of Rome and paint him to be somewhat of a hero. Horace describes Augustus as a strong and fearless leader and even writes in one of his poems that as long as Augustus Caesar is emperor he will fear no evil to threaten the empire.  The works of Virgil and Horace have had great influence on literature through the ages. 

As early Christianity started to spread after Jesus of Nazareth’s death, there were many writings by his followers. This felt like an appropriate mention as Jesus of course is the head of an entire movement, but is also a hero to many. He was and is still for many people said to be the son of God. This gives him a connection to a God. His destiny is to preach the teachings of God to his followers and to bring truth and healing. Also his crucifixion is said to have brought salvation and eternal life to his followers. He, therefore, died a valiant death. His death making him even more of  a hero. During early Christianity there were many Gospel writers who said Jesus rose from the dead. Also the Bible, the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament" tell many stories of Jesus being humble, forgiving, having the ability to forgive people of their sins, walking on water, and giving up his life for the sins of Gods children. Through the literary work of his followers, he fits the description of a hero. He meets many characteristics of the earliest heroes. The Bible and other literature inspired by his movement still has huge influence on philosophers and theologians today.  Jesus is predominately a strong and important religious figure, however, I felt it was important to bring him up in a literary sense as a hero of that time that has influenced millions of scholars, and people of all walks of life since. It is also interesting to note that during Jesus's life there weren't many written documents of his teachings, however, after his death there are many accounts of what Jesus did in his life and his teachings. 

Beowolf was an epic poem written during the Medieval civilization. The author of the poem is not known, but it was the first english classic poem to be written. "Beowolf" is an epic poem that focuses on a hero who fights in three battles. The battles he fights are against three monsters, first the Grendel, then Grendel's mother, and lastly a dragon. Beowolf is a story of good v. evil. It is a great moral foundation piece of literary work. Beowolf is a loyal, masculine, hero who in many ways resembles the heroes  of the Greek and Roman era. Beowolf is quite similar to the heroes in literature that came before his time. 

Another great literary piece of work is Dante's Divine Comedy. Dante's Divine Comedy was written by Dante Alighieri. The Comedy follows Dante as he travels from Hell to Purgatory. He explains in detail the way these three phases of the after life appear and what kind of people go to each one of them. His poem has an algorithmic rhythm to it that also makes it very interesting. It is also important to note that the poet Virgil plays a role in his poem. In a way Dante is an epic hero because although he might not be described as physically strong, he is strong willed and over comes many trials during the poem. Dante also has to face many psychological trials as he makes his journey and over comes the common mans sins to make his way to paradise. Once again many of Dante's characteristics are similar to the heroes that came before him other than his strength and physical appearance, however, instead of possessing strength externally he possess internal strength to face and overcome his trials as a mortal none the less. He is also on a journey that no man before him has ever been on which might mean that the journey is his destiny just as our prior heroes had destinies they had to fulfill. Dante's Divine Comedy also had great influence. This poem brought forth the idea of ordered law and that the punishment should fit the crime.

During the renaissance there were many literary works written that distinguished good and evil and heroes in literacy began to evolve a bit, although still keeping their moral standards. One famous work that was written by Geoffrey Chaucer is "The Canterbury Tales" which is stories of thirty pilgrims who left their lives in London to travel to Canterbury Cathedral. The characters are all realistic and deal with a variety of social and moral challenges. One of a more heroic type in the "Canterbury Tales" is the Knight who perfectly depicts the idea of what a knight should be. He is strong and brave and has fought in many battles. He is also loyal, and humble and has a great amount of chivalry. The Knight in the "Canterbury Tales" is another character that fits into the same mold as the oldest heroes. He is physical strong, masculine, but also loyal, humble, and possesses a  heart of gold. 

Christine De Pizan was a heroine herself. She wrote a few influential literary works including "The book of the city of ladies". In this book Christine constructs a city of influential women that can all act as role models for other women to aspire to. Some of the women in her book include Artemisia, the queen of Caria, Blanche ,The Queen of France, and Saint Christine. Christine herself is the main character in the book. She has three women come to her in the form of Justice, Reason, and Rectitude. Justice, reason and rectitude are also the values that each women that is allowed to reside in Christine's metaphorical city must possess. Almost every women mentioned in Chritine's book is a hero and Christine herself in a hero to women and an early contributor to feminism. Christine argues that women are not inferior to men and states that women should be entitled to education and to have a wider variety of influence in their society.

Niccolo Machiavelli is another famous writer and politician during the renaissance. Although his works and beliefs are thought to be more cruel than heroic, he also wrote about his heroes in his famous work "The Prince". In "The Prince" Machiavelli sums up what would make the perfect ruler. He lists many rulers of the past as his heroes and also examples of what a good leader looks like. Machiavelli stressed the importance of being able to adapt to the times, he also stated that a ruler who was cruel to his enemies brought piece to his land. His piece of work "The Prince" is still studied today. Cesare Borgia is mentioned quite often in his book and is depicted in many ways as the perfect leader. Borgia, however, was quite a cruel leader. Machiavelli believed it was better to be feared than loved, he had many such views that are still widely studied but not favored. Machiavelli hoped to earn favor with the Medici family as the time so that he could become an advisor of the court. The reason I felt it was important to mention Machiavelli is because he played a huge role in reformation and his literary work has influenced politics for many generations. I also feel that in his book he is trying to depict the perfect ruler and maybe in such depicting a hero of a country rather than a moral hero than humans would strive to be like. He describes a ruler as needing to be strong, smart, quick witted, cruel in certain ways, and feared by others to protect and serve his country rightfully. 

With the Renaissance came the greatest writer in the English language William Shakespeare . William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. His plays ranged from comedies to tragedies. His works of art display many different kinds of heroes. Some heroes in his plays would be Hamlet, the prince of Denmark. Hamlet struggles with the loss of his father. Hamlet is lost and searching for meaning in the world around him and is trying to make sense of who he is supposed to be. This soul searching character shows real human emotion and turmoil. He is angry with the betrayal of his brother in law and struggles to find a moral solution to this betrayal. He finally decides he has to avenge his fathers death by killing his brother in law. This is an example of the hero struggle with a moral code and doing the unpleasant for a better good. A couple other examples of heroes in Shakespeare plays are Romeo and Juliet, Viola, Beatrice, Othello, Macbeth, Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Most of Shakespeare's heroes are tragic heroes normally dying or committing a devastating act. Rome and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra are two examples of heroic love where the characters try to overcome all the odds against them in the name of love. Romeo and Juliet are an example of conquering hate in the name of love and overcoming differences to find peace in order to avoid more pain and heart ache. Romeo and Juliet die at the end of the tragic play not wanting to live without one another. Some other heroes such as Viola and Beatrice are actually examples of heroines in literature. Viola dresses up as her twin brother and pretends to be him for most of the play. She is extremely likable and also struggles with an identity crisis. She is orphaned at a young age and separated from her twin brother and thus has to fend for herself. In the end her role is outed and she is free to be herself and he and her brother are united. Beatrice is another heroine who is witty and strong. She defends her family and  has no interest in marriage. She finally falls in love with sir Benedict and also helps bring down the villain in the play by playing a trick on him and bringing together her cousin and former lover after her cousin had been falsely accused of cheating.  Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the most sought after, influential writers of all time and continues to influence literature to this day. Shakespeare is a hero himself to literary art.

The Baroque age brought a new era of literature. The poems and literary art of the Baroque age was very emotional. John Milton's "Paradise Lost" has a couple controversial heroes in it. The epic poem is written for men to understand the acts of God.  Satan is portrayed as a heroic figure in the first set of books. He is described as being noble, selfless, responsible, brave and a leader. After he is defeated by God he does not want to bow down to him and then his heroic attributes fade away and his anger and resentment make him bitter and evil. Adam, however, faces a conflict and chooses the more tempting offer. He does, however, acknowledge his mistake and tries to do right by it. Adam is the most relate-able character in the story and is also a metaphor for human kind. Christ also makes an appearance in the book and is undeniably a heroic figure. He has extremely high moral standards and sacrifices himself for man kind. 

The eighteenth century brought about the novel. Jane Austin was one famous author who wrote the famous novel "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice". Pride and Prejudice has two heroes who are Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Elizabeth Bennett is likable, intelligent and independent. Elizabeth Bennett makes mistakes through out the book but her characteristics are likable and would present as a role model for other women. Mr.Darcy is kind and has integrity. The Romantic period brought about many authors including Goethe, Emily Bronte, Lord Byron, William Blake, John Keats, Emily Dickenson and Walt Whitman. The Byronic Hero came about around this time. It was first created by Lord Byron. The Byronic hero is someone who questions social norms, is normally an outsider, in somewhat self centered and believes they can inspire others to make good decisions and carry out good deeds. The Byronic hero is flawed and aren't ideal but they normally behave heroically. Some characteristics they normally possess are: intelligent, ruthless, arrogant, depressive, self-aware, tortured internally, emotional, reckless, dedicated to the pursuit of justice, seductive and attractive. Some examples of Byronic heroes in literature are Manfred and Don Juan from Lord Byron's literary works. Emily Bronte's Heathcliff of Wuthering heights is another example of a Byronic Hero. Heathcliff is isolated from society because he rejects society as it is. He is also driven to avenge himself by getting revenge on Hindley, who caused him much suffering. 

The next movement in literature was naturalism. Many women wrote about real problems and psychological struggles of women in everyday life. Some authors who wrote about middle class life for women were Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins. All of these authors focused on the lives of middle class women and their struggles internally and externally in their novels. Kate Chopin's protagonist women were known to be daring and bold. The main character of Chopin's "The Awakening" Edna Pontellier goes through  a self discovery throughout the book.  She challenges her roles in society and therefore is sort of a hero but also maybe seen as an anti-hero as she goes through a quest to self discovery and awakening.  These heroines were not necessarily of ideal moral code but in fact many question their role in society and challenged their roles in every day life. The women in these stories normally felt discontented with their lives and strive for more and go on a quest of self discovery in the process. This is a different kind of hero, but one many women could look up to and dream of becoming during this time period and even today we can all find ourselves trapped in situations and find it hard to break free from them. There is bravery is questioning our role in society and then deciding to change our role and be true to ourselves. These bold women in these novels normally fought battles like these internally and found a way to break through the norms to find happiness. 

The 20th century brought with it a new modern type of literature. James Joyce's Ulysses brings us another hero Leopold Bloom. This novel is heavily influenced by Homers "The Odyssey" and Leopold is supposed to be the counter part of Odysseus and goes through on a smaller scale in one day in Dublin a mirror like adventure as Odysseus in Homer's epic poem. Virginia Wolfe's "To the lighthouse" has a heroine called Mrs. Ramsey. Mrs. Ramsey is kind, maternal, conventional, supportive and influential. She dies and leaves her family to figure out how to move on without her but her lasting influence helps them navigate through the difficult time period. Ernest Hemingway wrote many influential and famous pieces of literary art.  Santiago in "The Old Man and the Sea" is not particularly strong or masculine but he shows bravery when he goes after the great fish. He shows strength when at the beginning of the book it mentions he hasn't caught a fish in 84 days but he still hasn't given up. He is determined. He shows perseverance when he faces the dangers and hardships of hauling the fish on board. He goes through a quest and comes out on the other side alive and wiser. Santiago has been said to be one of Hemingway's more distinguished heroes. 

A hero is a character that people can look up to and aspire to. Heroes throughout time have been a representation of what different societies value most. Heroes help us define our moral code and distinguish good from bad. Ancient and modern heroes are normally mortal which makes them easier to relate to. Heroes were created in ancient literary art and have influenced literature throughout time. 

It is interesting to see the parallels between ancient heroes in literature and heroes of modern times in literature. In general, our idea of a hero hasn’t changed much. Our heroes of modern literature are still bold, brave, and have a good heart. They act in valiant ways normally putting themselves in some sort of danger for the greater good or to save someone else. The heroes personalities evolve over time to fit their times.

I made this collection for people who are interested in the origin of the literary hero. We all have a set of values and morals we like to hold ourselves to and most of us have certain role models we look up to. This is for anyone who is interested in exploring the evolution of the hero and the idea of what makes someone a hero. The personality and physical appearance has changed with the times to fit the era they are in, but in many ways the heroes in modern literature relate to those of ancient cultures. 

#AHMCFall2019

Janina Richey
23
 

National History Day: World War I

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

These resources - including photographs, letters, artwork, lesson plans, and articles - explore the costs and consequences of America’s involvement in World War I and its complex legacies in the decades following. Resources highlight Woodrow Wilson and his foreign policy, the roles of African American soldiers during and after the war, artwork by soldiers and government-sponsored artists depicting the psychological effects of the battlefield, letters written by soldiers to those back home, the physical costs of war and the triumphs of medical innovation, and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, which resulted in the deaths of 1,198 civilians. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides 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: the great war, wwi, ww1, world war one, world war 1, military, perspective, 20th century, 1900s, american expeditionary forces, aef, woodrow wilson, buffalo soldiers, 92nd infantry division, 93rd infantry division, african-american, black, harlem hellfighters, art, horace pippin, claggett wilson, harvey thomas dunn, william james aylward, anna coleman ladd, prosthetic, rms lusitania, postcard, form letter, #NHD

Exeter Student
84
 

NHD at NMAAHC Collection Connection Grid 2019: Triumph and Tragedy in History

Welcome to the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Collection Connection Grid for National History Day 2019!

Below is an assortment of selected documents, images, objects and videos that highlight the African American experience in relation to the 2019 NHD theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. Use these items as inspiration for a project topic, or use the items to help expand your research on a topic you have already selected.  This collection is designed to be self-guided by students and educators participating in National History Day.

 #NHD2019

Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, National History Day, NHD, Collection, Connection, Grid, triumph, tragedy, history, project, topic, ideas, 2019

National Museum of African American History and Culture
96
 

National History Day: World War I

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

These resources - including photographs, letters, artwork, lesson plans, and articles - explore the costs and consequences of America’s involvement in World War I and its complex legacies in the decades following. Resources highlight Woodrow Wilson and his foreign policy, the roles of African American soldiers during and after the war, artwork by soldiers and government-sponsored artists depicting the psychological effects of the battlefield, letters written by soldiers to those back home, the physical costs of war and the triumphs of medical innovation, and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, which resulted in the deaths of 1,198 civilians. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with Tess Porter at the SmithsonianLab.

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: the great war, wwi, ww1, world war one, world war 1, military, perspective, 20th century, 1900s, american expeditionary forces, aef, woodrow wilson, buffalo soldiers, 92nd infantry division, 93rd infantry division, african-american, black, harlem hellfighters, art, horace pippin, claggett wilson, harvey thomas dunn, william james aylward, anna coleman ladd, prosthetic, rms lusitania, postcard, form letter, #NHD

EDSITEment
82
 

National History Day: American Immigrant Experiences

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

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

EDSITEment
128
 

National History Day: American Immigrant Experiences

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

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

Tess Porter
123
 

National History Day: World War I

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes.  

These resources - including photographs, letters, artwork, lesson plans, and articles - explore the costs and consequences of America’s involvement in World War I and its complex legacies in the decades following. Resources highlight Woodrow Wilson and his foreign policy, the roles of African American soldiers during and after the war, artwork by soldiers and government-sponsored artists depicting the psychological effects of the battlefield, letters written by soldiers to those back home, the physical costs of war and the triumphs of medical innovation, and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, which resulted in the deaths of 1,198 civilians. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides 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: the great war, wwi, ww1, world war one, world war 1, military, perspective, 20th century, 1900s, american expeditionary forces, aef, woodrow wilson, buffalo soldiers, 92nd infantry division, 93rd infantry division, african-american, black, harlem hellfighters, art, horace pippin, claggett wilson, harvey thomas dunn, william james aylward, anna coleman ladd, prosthetic, rms lusitania, postcard, form letter, #NHD

Tess Porter
84
 

National History Day: American Industry

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day.  While originally created for the 2019 theme, "Triumph and Tragedy in History," resources found in this collection are useful for researching other National History Day themes. 

These resources - including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles - explore triumphs and tragedies in American industrialization from the late 18th century through the early 20th century.  Resources highlight influential industrialists called "captains of industry" by some and "robber barons" by others, catastrophes that occurred as a result of rapid industrialization, labor leaders who fought successfully for the rights of laborers dismal conditions, the origins of child labor laws, leading inventors and their inventions, and other important topics. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides 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: strike, protest, union, andrew carnegie, john d. rockefeller, j.p. morgan, cornelius vanderbilt, henry clay frick, helen frick, andrew w. mellon, newsies, newsboys, child labor reform, thomas alva edison, incandescent lamp, nikola tesla, electric motor, electric power, alexander graham bell, telephone, christopher latham sholes, c. lathan sholes, carlos glidden, samuel soule, typewriter, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, pinkerton national detective agency, matewan massacre, wall street bombing of 1920, boston molassses disaster, asa philip randolph, a. philip randolph, john llewellyn lewis, john l. lewis, frances perkins, samuel gompers i.l.g.w.u, international ladies garment workers union, david dubinsky, company towns, #NHD

Tess Porter
68
 

Triumph and Tragedy: U.S. Reconstruction, 1865-1877

This collection brings together Smithsonian and other federal resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History." #NHD2019


These resources - including photographs, broadsides, political cartoons, publications, correspondence, ledger books, and government documents - explore the varying experiences, political arguments, and consequences of the period following the American Civil War, known as Reconstruction. Resources highlight the opposing ideas for and against Reconstruction policies - and their consequences - by the federal government and its citizens, including political leaders and activists. Also included are digital resources related to Constitutional Amendments passed during this era, supporting secondary resources, and various cartoons, broadsides, speeches, and imagery portraying the African American response to Reconstruction policies and the promises of citizenship and equal rights. Other primary source documents included provide a glimpse into how Reconstruction may have affected individual lives and businesses, and links to digitized collections (and corresponding transcriptions) of thousands of documents from the U.S. Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research. 

Tags: Civil War, Reconstruction, U.S. Reconstruction, postwar, South, perspective, politics, southern democrats, Radical Republicans, African Americans, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, art, photographs, political cartoons, military, 19th century, 1800s, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Hiram Revels, amendments, #NHD

Smithsonian Transcription Center
51
 

Back from the Brink: Black-Footed Ferrets

The westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century added millions of acres to our territory.  Thomas Jefferson stated "The fertility of the country, its climate and extent, promise in due season important aids to our treasury, an ample provision for our posterity, and a wide-spread field for the blessings of freedom."  Today, Americans still heavily depend on many resources and industries in the west.

However, with triumph often comes elements of tragedy.  Learn more about the black-footed ferret's brush with extinction through videos, images, and news articles.

#NHD2019 #NHD

Kristin Black
19
 

PT 1 Triumph and Tragedy: American Industry

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 photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles - explore triumphs and tragedies in American industrialization from the late 18th century through the early 20th century.  Resources highlight influential industrialists called "captains of industry" by some and "robber barons" by others, catastrophes that occurred as a result of rapid industrialization, labor leaders who fought successfully for the rights of laborers dismal conditions, the origins of child labor laws, leading inventors and their inventions, and other important topics. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides 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: strike, protest, union, andrew carnegie, john d. rockefeller, j.p. morgan, cornelius vanderbilt, henry clay frick, helen frick, andrew w. mellon, newsies, newsboys, child labor reform, thomas alva edison, incandescent lamp, nikola tesla, electric motor, electric power, alexander graham bell, telephone, christopher latham sholes, c. lathan sholes, carlos glidden, samuel soule, typewriter, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, pinkerton national detective agency, matewan massacre, wall street bombing of 1920, boston molassses disaster, asa philip randolph, a. philip randolph, john llewellyn lewis, john l. lewis, frances perkins, samuel gompers i.l.g.w.u, international ladies garment workers union, david dubinsky, company towns, #NHD

Heather Sorrell
25
 

Triumph and Tragedy: Lincoln Assassination

#NHD #NHD2019 #Lincoln #LincolnAssassination #FordsTheatre #FordsTheater #Assassination #Triumph #Tragedy #CivilWar

This collection combines resources from Ford's Theatre, and other scholarly sources, to assist in student research for National History Day 2019. Including documents, objects, artwork, and video, these resources show President Abraham Lincoln’s triumphs and the tragic end of his life by assassination. In particular, this collection contains primary sources about reactions to Lincoln’s assassination, which give us insight into the mood of the still-divided country as the Civil War wound down.

Ford's Theatre
88
 

Triumph and Tragedy: Exploring World War I through Transcription

This collection brings together Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History." #NHD2019

These resources - including photographs, museum objects, newspapers, diaries, administrative records, pamphlets, and correspondence - explore the varying military and civilian experiences during World War One. Resources highlight what the Great War was like for soldiers, and how the military experience differed for African Americans and whites during a time of legalized segregation and racism in the United States. Other materials featured include diary entries, correspondence, and publications discussing the impact of WWI -both during and after the war- on the home front.  Many of these primary and secondary sources were featured as projects on the Smithsonian Transcription Center, and have been fully transcribed by digital volunteers--making these collections easier to read, search, and explore. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research. 

Smithsonian Transcription Center
51
 

Triumph and Tragedy at the National Portrait Gallery

This Learning Lab collection has been created to support the 2019 National History Day theme, Triumph and Tragedy in History. Utilizing portraits and other resources from the National Portrait Gallery, this collection is organized by Topics within the Triumph and Tragedy theme. 

Be sure to check out the following at the end of the collection: 

-Reading Portraiture Guide for Educators highlights close looking strategies that can be used with the portraits listed

-Triumph and Tragedy In History Theme Book from National History Day 2019

#NHD2019 #NHD

#NPGteach


Briana White
105
 

NHD 2019: Triumph and Tragedy in American Art

This collection is designed to support teachers and students exploring the 2019 National History Day theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. Included in this collection are four prospective topics aligned with the NHD theme, for each of which we have supplied American artworks that could be used as primary source texts and/or inspiration for further research.

Was George Catlin's Indian Gallery an artistic triumph or exploitation of tragedy? How did the expansion of the railroad in the U.S. lead to both triumph and tragedy? How did the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) -- the first New Deal program supporting American artists -- create triumph out of the tragedy of the Great Depression? And finally, how was the fight for African American civil rights shaped by triumph and tragedy?

#NHD2019 #NHD

Phoebe Hillemann
41
 

Triumph and Tragedy: Pittsburgh's History of Innovation in Science

This collection connects the 2019 National History Day theme of "Triumph and Tragedy in History" to a selection of topics related to Western Pennsylvania, science, and innovation. This region’s history features many stories of triumph over tragedy, including two key events: the creation of the polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh, and Rachel Carson’s fight against the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment.

The first half of the collection focuses on the story of the polio vaccine, including context on the polio virus, movements to raise money for a cure, and Salk's work in Pittsburgh. It also mentions Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were used without permission for a range of medical advancements, including the polio vaccine.

The second half of the collection highlights Rachel Carson, her talent for writing and interest in animals as a child, how she came to be interested in the effects of DDT, and her legacy as an environmentalist. 

These objects, images, and sources can be used to help form an idea for a project, provide a new angle on an existing project idea, or lead to new ways of including primary sources into NHD projects. They are drawn from a range of primary source repositories, which can be helpful sources of information for students working on these topics. 

#NHD2019 #NHD 

HeinzHistoryCenterEducation
35
 

Triumph and Tragedy: Voting Rights (NHD @ the National Museum of American History)

This collection includes objects and resources related to founding of the American system of democracy and those who have and have not been eligible to  vote. When it was established, the United States of America boasted more eligible voters than ever before. But it was still just a fraction of the new country’s population. The nation’s founders never envisioned the numbers, classes, sexes, and races of Americans that cast ballots each Election Day. Throughout American history, voting rights have expanded, contracted, and expanded again as Americans dealt with shifting issues of politics, race, class, and wealth. 

Additional resources on this topic can be found by visiting the National Museum of American History's online exhibitions at AmericanHistory.si.edu and History Explorer at HistoryExplorer.si.edu

Each National History Day collection from the National Museum of American History includes selected resources to support NHD projects under the 2019 theme - Triumph and Tragedy. This collection is by no means comprehensive, but should be used as a place of inspiration for new projects or source of additional information for ones already in the works.

#NHD2019 #NHD

NMAH Education
61
 

Triumph and Tragedy: Westward Expansion (NHD @ the National Museum of American History)

This collection includes objects and resources related to Westward Expansion in the 19th century. During this time the nation expanded its borders into territory held by American Indians, France, and Mexico, claiming millions of acres and thousands of people as part of the United States. Additional resources on this topic can be found by visiting the National Museum of American History's online exhibitions at AmericanHistory.si.edu and History Explorer at HistoryExplorer.si.edu

Each National History Day collection from the National Museum of American History includes selected resources to support NHD projects under the 2019 theme - Triumph and Tragedy. This collection is by no means comprehensive, but should be used as a place of inspiration for new projects or source of additional information for ones already in the works.

#NHD2019 #NHD

NMAH Education
50