March 2015 - History Gal

The Fall of Rome Websites

By History Gal

Here are some of my favorite sites to use when teaching about the Fall of Rome.
Fall of Rome Song
The Fall of Rome (BBC article)
General Observations of the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West
Eyewitness to History: The Fall of Rome
Dining with Attila the Hun, 448 AD
Ancient Romans
List of Internet Resources about Rome

Looking for some easy lessons? You might like:


Websites for Teaching about Medieval Knights, Castles, and Warfare


Using St. Patrick's Day to Help Students Connect to History

Ever since my daughter was in preschool, the leprechauns have visited our house during the early morning of St. Patrick's Day. We are not Irish so the fact that they visit us is quite amazing! They are extremely mischievous during their yearly visits. They like to turn the water in our toilets green and surprise the kids with green milk. This year they also made a mess in our family room. They must have had a party while we were sleeping! They left toys in strange places and scattered shamrocks all over the floor. After careful searching, the kids discovered that they left some green and gold candy hidden in the room. The kids were all smiles as they ate their breakfast - Lucky Charms, of course! They can't wait to see what happens next year!

Now, as a high school history teacher, my students were never very excited about St. Patrick's Day. It was just another day of school. I'd love to go back now and have them arrive to a mixed up room, backwards handouts and all kinds of other mischievous actions and then transition to a lesson on immigration - particularly focusing on the wave of Irish immigration!
While you can't take too much time away from the curriculum since it is getting close to crunch time, you might want to take a little bit of time to create a puzzle or even use my power point on How St. Patrick's Day Came to America which takes a brief look at Irish immigration to the United States as a way to incorporate St. Patrick's Day into your lesson for the day.

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Financial Literacy Websites


The Children's Crusade

By History Gal

Often kids sit on the sidelines of history, but this was not the case in 1963 Birmingham.

A Little Background:
1963 Birmingham, Alabama was a deeply segregated city. Learn more about it by reading the Birmingham Segregation Codes, 1951, viewing photographs from the Library of Congress, or visiting the site Kids in Birmingham.

Birmingham Campaign
In April 1963, the Alabama Christian Movement of Human Rights and the SCLC led by Martin Luther King, Jr. began a series of marches and sit-ins to challenge the segregation that existed in the city.

The 16th Street Baptist Church served as a headquarters and meeting place for the campaign.
On April 12, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr and more than 50 others were arrested for violating a court ordered injunction. While in jail, King wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail. With many of the movement's leaders imprisoned, the protest was at a critical point. SCLC leader James Bevel believed that a Children's Crusade might turn the tide in Birmingham and began teaching thousands of children non-violent tactics.

May 2, 1963 - Over a thousand students, including some in elementary school, skipped school and met at the 16th Street Baptist Church. One principal tried to keep his students safe by preventing them from joining the marches. He locked the school fence to keep all the students safely inside. Determined students just scaled the fence, joined the protestors at the church, and marched to downtown Birmingham. By the end of the day, several hundred students had been arrested.

Why would students join the protest? Check out these sites to learn why: New Yorker article, interview with Miriam McClendon, interview with Audrey Hendricks, and BBC Witness.

May 3-5, 1963 - The Children's Crusade continued. This time, Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Conner, was prepared to meet the peaceful marchers with powerful fire or water hoses, vicious police dogs, and police armed and ready to attack with batons.

Despite the violence, each day more students and more marchers arrived at the 16th Street Baptist Church to continue the non-violent marches and protests. Photographers and news crews captured the violent actions. Images of school children being knocked down by high pressure water and being challenged by police dogs resulted in a worldwide outcry against the Birmingham police and government. The Communist world, in particular, devoted a lot of media attention to the events in Birmingham. Why do you think they would do that?

See some of the images seen by the world:
Photographs from Charles Moore

By May 6, so many students and adults had been arrested that the Alabama State Fair grounds had to be turned into a makeshift prison!

May 10, 1963 - Birmingham store owners agreed to desegregate all lunch counters, bathrooms, water fountains, and fitting rooms. Stores would hire African American clerks and sales people and the city agreed to free all who had been arrested. However, the Birmingham Board of Education decided to expel all students who had participated in the protests (the expulsions were eventually overturned with a court ruling).

May 11, 1963 - A bomb destroyed the motel where King had been staying.

May 13, 1963 - President Kennedy deployed 3000 federal troops to Birmingham to restore order.

The actions of the incredibly brave students who participated in the Children's crusade, changed United States history. After the events in Birmingham, President Kennedy announced his support of a Civil Rights Act. The Civil Right Act was finally passed in 1964 at the urging of President Johnson.

Looking for more Civil Rights Movement Resources?

You might like:


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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X Speech Analysis Websites

By History Gal

Have you ever had your students compare the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X? If not, here are some site to help you! I hope you will find some to incorporate into one of your lessons.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Speeches
A reenactment of one of King’s speeches
Listen to Sermons and Speeches 
Freedom's Ring: King's "I Have a Dream" Speech
Video of King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

Malcolm X Speeches
Audio excerpts from6 speeches
Transcripts of 4 speeches
Audio recordings of 10 speeches

Looking for more resources?

You might like:

Or this blog post:
By History Gal

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Selma and the March to Montgomery

by History Gal

March 7, 2015 marked the 50th
anniversary of Bloody Sunday when peaceful Civil Rights marchers were attacked by police and deputized citizens at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The March 7th march was the first of three 54 mile voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama organized by SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) leader James Bevel.

Use primary sources to learn what happened on Bloody Sunday.

On March 9, 1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers in a symbolic march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Once they reached the police barricade they, as planned, turned back.

Marchers demanded protection for the 3rd march and a federal voting rights law.

On March 15, 1965- President Johnson asked a joint session of Congress for the introduction and passage of a voting rights bill.

March 21, 1965 - The 3rd march began. The marchers were protected by 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers and 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command. Alabama Governor Wallace refused to provide protection for the marchers.
By History Gal
March 24, 1965 - 25,000 marchers arrived in Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the marchers.

August 6, 1965 - President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law and spoke to the nation.

The above links will take you to some great primary sources about Selma and the March to Montgomery that you can use in your own lesson.

If you'd like a lesson that has already been created, you might like:


A Closer Look: Civil Rights Movement Primary Sources

By History Gal

When you teach about the Civil Rights Movement do you use primary sources? 
Below are links to some of my favorite primary sources to use. I hope you will find them helpful and will find a few to incorporate into your lessons.

Literacy Test
More Literacy Tests
Birmingham Segregation Codes, 1951 

Non-Violent Protests and Reactions
New York Times Photo Slideshow
Selective Buying Campaign Flyers
February One Video Clip
King's Fill the Jails Speech
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
Resistance to the Brown Decision
JFK Presidential Library Exhibit

The Murders of Emmett Till, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner
The Testimony of Willie Louis
Look Magazine Confession (requires an account)
Emmett Till Murder Trial
Right to Vote in Mississippi
CNN Photo Slideshow

Looking for other resources?
You might like:               









Or this blog post:

Websites for Teaching the Battle of Gettysburg

by History Gal

Here are some websites you should be using to teach the Battle of Gettysburg!

 Video: The Battle of Gettysburg in 4 Minutes
This YouTube Video by the Civil War Trust provides a nice summary of the battle.

Interactive Battle Map
This map will take students through each stage of the battle from July 1 - July 3, 1863.

Gettysburg National Military Park
This site has a great online exhibit about soldiers' life during the Civil War. *this site is currently down but I'm leaving this up here in hopes that they bring it back - it was really awesome!*

 History Channel
The History Channel has lots of video clips on the Battle of Gettysburg.

Eyewitness to History
Eyewitness to History is one of my "go-to" sites for primary source accounts. It has several for the Battle of Gettysburg. Choose Print Friendly for advertisement-free viewing.

 University of Virginia's Valley of the Shadows
This site is full of great primary source accounts: newspapers, journals, and so much more!

 Documenting the American South
Documenting the American South is another great resource for digitized books and primary accounts.

The National Archives is on Flickr!

Smithsonian Institute
The Smithsonian has some great online exhibits

Looking for other resources?

You might also like my At a Glance Civil War Doodle Notes:

Or this blog post:

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Helpful Websites for Important Events During the Civil Rights Movement

By History Gal

Brown v. Board of Education 
Brown v. Board of Education Decision
Library of Congress Exhibit about Aftermath of Brown v. Board
Resistance to Brown v. Board of Education Exhibit
The Legacy of Brown v. Board
The Story of Ruby Bridges
Non-violent protests
About Mahatma Gandhi
Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience
The King Center: Nonviolence
February One
Eyes on the Prize: Montgomery Bus Boycott
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Rosa Parks
Bus Boycott in Alabama
Eyes on the Prize: Montgomery Bus Boycott
Little Rock 9
Life Magazine Photos
Meet the Students
Sit-in Movement
February One
Freedom Riders
PBS: Meet the Players
PBS Freedom Riders Videos
PBS: Animated Map
Freedom Riders: Then and Now
Desegregating Universities
U.S. Marshals and Ole Miss
BBC News: Mississippi race Riots
American Radioworks: State of the Siege: Mississippi
JFK Presidential Museum Exhibit
Birmingham Campaign
Children's Crusade
NPR: How the Press Covered Birmingham
PBS: Birmingham Campaign
Birmingham Campaign of 1963
Birmingham Demonstrations
New York Times article
JFK Presidential Library Exhibit
March on Washington
I Have a Dream Speech
Josephine Baker's Speech
JFK Presidential Library Exhibit
BBC: Mahalia Jackson
Bombing of 16th St. Baptist Church
CNN: Fast Facts
New York Times Article
NY Daily News Article
NPR Story
JFK Presidential Library Exhibit
Ballad of Birmingham
FBI Re-opened Case
NY Times Article: Trial Begins
NY Daily New: Justice for Birmingham Church Bombing
NY Times Article: Last Suspect is Convicted
Freedom Summer
PBS: Freedom Summer Project
PBS: Video Clips
PBS: 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer
NPR: 50th Anniversary
NPR: Training for Battle
Freedom 50
JFK Presidential Library Exhibit
CBS News: Mississippi Burning
PBS: Freedom Summer Murders
March to Montgomery
PBS: George Wallace
Library of Congress: Eyewitness
LBJ Presidential Library: Speeches
Marching for Justice
King's Address to Marchers
Watts Riot
NPR: Watts Revisited
PBS: Huey Newton on Watts
NPR: 40th Anniversary of Watts Riots
King and Johnson Remark on Watts Riots
Black Panthers 
Video Clip
10 Point Platform

Looking for other resources?

You might like my Civil Rights Movement Timeline Hunt Activity:
By History Gal
 Or this blog post:
By History Gal

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Helpful Websites for Important People During the Civil Rights Movement

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