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Listed under:  American history
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Treasures of American history - online exhibition

This is an online exhibition showing the objects, artefacts and images that make up some of the treasures of US history. The treasures shown in this exhibition document eight of the challenging situations and issues that have helped to shape the USA. Topics include: revolution and the new nation; slavery; western expansion; ...

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'United States slave trade, 1830'

This is a black-and-white print showing the trading of slaves in the USA. Two white men, one on horseback and both carrying whips, appear to be negotiating the sale of five slaves seen on the left in shackles. A woman and two children, also in chains, appear on the right. In the background are slaves working in the fields, ...

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Sketch of a slave cabin in Virginia, 1864

This is a black-and-white sketch showing a slave cabin with a small girl standing in front. The handwritten caption reads 'Slave Cabin near the Long Bridge, Chicahominy River, Va [Virginia], June 13th 1864'. The artist was Edwin Forbes and elsewhere on the drawing he noted, 'Sketched while on the march from Long Bridge ...

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'Landing negroes at Jamestown from Dutch man-of-war, 1619'

This is a black-and-white illustration showing how the well-known American artist Howard Pyle (1853-1911) imagined the landing of the first Africans at Jamestown in the colony of Virginia nearly 300 years after the historical event. Pyle depicts 20 emaciated captives kneeling or sitting on the ground, guarded by men with ...

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Forms of protest

Imagine the internal conflict for an African American policeman in 1968 New York. Against a background of race riots stimulated by racial inequality, African American policeman Chief-Inspector Frederick Waithe must convince African Americans to act within the law. At the same time he sympathises with their grievances.

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Slave decks of the bark Wildfire, 1860

This a black-and white engraving showing emaciated Africans on the slave decks of the ship Wildfire. Women are seen in the background on an upper deck, and in the foreground men and boys are crowded together. The engraving was published in Harper's Weekly on 2 June 1860. It was entitled 'The Africans of the slave bark "Wildfire." ...

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Second atomic bombing of Japan at Nagasaki, 1945

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the mushroom cloud rising from the explosion of an atomic bomb with an estimated force of 20,000 tonnes of TNT, 560 m above Nagasaki, Japan, on 9 August 1945. Part of the wing of the camera plane that accompanied the bomb-carrying plane can be seen at bottom right. The image ...

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Slaves using a cotton gin, 1869

This is a black-and-white illustration captioned 'The first cotton gin'. It shows how the US artist William L Sheppard imagined the scene of the first gin in operation, some 80 years after the actual event. Sheppard depicts two male slaves operating the machine with two white men examining the ginned cotton while female ...

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First African American tenants moving into the Sojourner Truth housing project, 1942

This is a black-and-white photograph showing an African American family attempting to move into the Sojourner Truth housing project in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The photograph was taken in February 1942 by Arthur Siegel. Part of its caption reads 'Riot at the Sojourner Truth homes, a new U.S. federal housing project, caused ...

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Apple Macintosh software game 'Gold of the Americas', 1990

This is the cover of an Apple Macintosh software game called 'Gold of the Americas'. It shows a three-masted square-rigged sailing ship on the water. In the background are mountains. The text on the cover reads: 'GOLD OF THE AMERICAS / The Conquest of the New World / Stephen Hart and Ian Trout'. At the bottom left is a ...

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Race riots after the death of Martin Luther King

Discover what the USA was trying to come to terms with in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Destruction and killing in more than 100 cities is what followed the event. This Weekend Magazine special report features African American civil rights activist Floyd McKissick commenting on the riots and calling ...

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US race riots, 1968

Imagine a country arming its police force with tanks, heavy weapons and chemicals to combat its own people. This extract shows the escalation of violence and the results of racism in the USA in 1968. Army, police and fire units are shown practising new riot control activities in preparation for expected violent demonstrations ...

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Attaining equality

Explore the idea of pride in your forebears as famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson reflects on being both African American and a citizen of the USA. In this 1960 'Spotlight' panel discussion, Robeson points out the difficulty and importance of gaining equality in a society that is based on conquest ...

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Power, religion and the civil rights movement

Imagine what you could achieve if you joined together with people who thought the same way as you did about an important issue? In a panel interview in 1960, US entertainer and rights activist Paul Robeson points out the potential political power African Americans could wield if they voted as a bloc, or single group.

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'Girl at Gees Bend', 1937

This is a black-and-white photograph of Artelia Bendolph, a member of an African American tenant farming family at Gee's Bend in Alabama, USA. The photograph was taken by Arthur Rothstein. Bendolph is portrayed looking out through an unglazed window. The open window shutter lined with sheets of newspaper is to the left ...

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Lend-lease petroleum in use in Australia, 1940s

This is a black-and-white photograph showing petroleum, probably aviation fuel, being pumped into a tanker truck and two trailers during World War II. The full drums are stored on what appear to be rail freight wagons. The empty ones are stacked alongside. The photograph forms part of the collection of the US Library of ...

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Police arresting an African American during the Sojourner Truth housing riot, 1942

This is a black-and-white photograph showing an African American being arrested by two policemen in Detroit, Michigan. One mounted policeman looks on and another stands guard. The photograph was taken in February 1942, almost certainly on 28 February, by Arthur Siegel. Part of the photograph's caption reads: 'Riot at the ...

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Lend-lease food for the USSR, 1943

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the ingredients used in canned pork supplied to the USSR by the USA under the lend-lease program during World War II. The photograph is in the collection of the US Library of Congress and its caption reads: 'Cincinnati, Ohio. Preparing canned pork (Russian: "svinaia tushonka") ...

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African American teacher and pupils at a segregated rural school in Oklahoma, 1940

This is a black-and-white photograph showing an African American female teacher with two students in a school in Creek County in the US state of Oklahoma. The photograph was taken by Russell Lee in February 1940. Part of the caption he wrote for the image reads, 'This year, despite the fact the white school received free ...

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Legacy: Spain and the USA in the age of independence, 1763-1848

This resource is a bilingual exhibition, in English and Spanish, that provides an overview of the complex relationship between the USA and Spain from 1763 to 1848. It covers the political and economic interactions between the two countries from the signing of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, after which Spain controlled about ...