Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

New on Records Search: The Emergence of Modern America to the Contemporary United States (1890–Present)

New primary sources added to Records Search are ready to use in the classroom. Each document includes a downloadable PDF of the record, primary source analysis worksheet, and transcription if the document is handwritten. Below is a selection of the most recently added records, conveniently organized by historical era and including a related discussion question and options for learning more. Additional resources for educators and students are available on this page.

The Emergence of Modern America (1890–1930)

Discussion question: What are some positive and negative effects of the country's modernization during this period?

Central Hotel in Round Pond, Oklahoma Territory 

Central Hotel in Round Pond, Oklahoma Territory/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-RoundPond-lfp_064imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
This photograph from 1894 shows a group of settlers standing in front of the Central Hotel in Round Pond, Oklahoma Territory. Round Pond, Enid, and Wharton were showcased in a series of photographs of Oklahoma Territory towns situated along rail lines. The House collected them as part of its research on the merits of a railroad bill, H.R. 3606, which became law in August 1894. The legislation required “companies operating railroads in the Territories . . . to establish stations and depots at all town sites” along the rail lines.

Higher Education for People Who Are Blind

Higher Education for People Who Are Blind/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-HigherEd-c_108imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
Residents of Leavenworth, Kansas, asked the members of the Rules Committee to back a bill under consideration to create a national commission supporting education for people who are blind.

Looking for more? Take a look at other primary sources related to education in the United States.

The Great Depression and World War II (1929–1945)

Discussion question: What is the government’s role in investigating and responding to the consequences of war?

Loans on Veterans’ Bonus Payments

Loans on Veterans’ Bonus Payments/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-Loans-c_117imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
An unemployed veteran, R. Cooper, wrote to Ways and Means Committee Chairman William Green asking for assistance for himself and other veterans like him who needed loans on their bonus payments. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924, popularly known as the “Bonus Act,” promised veterans compensation for the loss of potentially higher wages they could have earned had they not served in the military during World War I.

Radar Plot from Station Opana

Radar Plot from Station Opana/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-RadarPlot-hi_015imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
This radar map, plotting the movement of Japanese fighter planes as they advanced on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, was submitted to the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

Looking for more? Listen to oral histories related to World War II.

Postwar United States (1945–Early 1970s)

Discussion question: What is the role of schools in fostering civic engagement and inspiring the next generation of public servants?

Conference Managers for National School Lunch Act

Conference Managers for National School Lunch Act/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-SchoolLunch-lfp_066imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
Food and labor shortages during World War II threatened school lunch programs. The National School Lunch Act (H.R. 3370) provided for the permanent establishment and operation of programs administered by the Department of Agriculture to feed the nation’s schoolchildren.

Model Legislature Resolution for Hawaiian Statehood

Model Legislature Resolution for Hawaiian Statehood/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-Hawaiian-pm_042imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement for statehood gained traction. In 1958, a local chapter of a nationwide youth civics group, the Territorial Hi-Y Model Legislature of Hawaii, sent this petition to Speaker Sam Rayburn asking for immediate statehood.

Looking for more? Read about the Asian and Pacific Islander experience in Hawaii.

Contemporary United States (1968–Present)

Discussion questions: What brings Americans together as a nation? What makes someone an “American?” Who is included in that definition?

 Letter Regarding National Folk Dance

Letter Regarding National Folk Dance/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-FolkDance-c_113imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
In this letter from 1973, Representative Robert Tiernan responded to Robert Young, a fellow Rhode Islander and a square dance enthusiast. Young urged his Congressman to support legislation making the square dance the National American Folk Dance. However, other folklife experts pointed out the diversity of American dance, from clogging to Choctaw circle dances.

Looking for more? Learn about efforts to make square dancing the national dance.

9/11 Commission Map and Timeline

9/11 Commission Map and Timeline/tiles/non-collection/1/11-22-records2-9-11-hi_014imgtile1.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
About this record
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, widely known as the 9/11 Commission, used poster-sized versions of this map and timeline during its public hearings investigating the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Looking for more? Read more about this and other maps.

This is the second blog post featuring newly added documents. Read the first post, featuring documents from the American Revolution to the development of the industrial United States, here.