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More Primary Sources in DocsTeach!

by on October 22, 2013


Today’s post comes from Clara O’Shaughnessy, former intern in the Education and Public Programs division.

As an intern at the National Archives this past summer, I helped increase the number of primary sources available to educators on DocsTeach. It was a wonderful experience. I, along with National Archives staff and other interns, uploaded many different types of documents, ranging from World War I to the Cold War. Seeing these documents and being able to upload them in order to share with teachers, students, and the public was one of my favorite parts of my internship.

An anti-draft rally that has disrupted traffic; a protestor spray painted propaganda onto the side of a Coca Cola delivery truck

Draft Protest in Traffic” was one of my favorite documents to upload. It is a picture taken during Vietnam War draft protests that was identified by teachers participating in the Primarily Teaching Workshop in Boston this summer. “This photograph depicts an anti-draft rally that has disrupted traffic. A protester spray painted propaganda onto the side of a Coca Cola delivery truck.” Citizens who were drafted by the Selective Service but had an anti-war, anti-draft view about the Vietnam war organized protests, rallies, and marches, even burning their draft cards to avoid conscription.

I think the photograph is really great because it shows what was on people’s minds and how they reacted to it. They were so against the war in Vietnam that they were willing to, in this case, stop traffic in order to exercise their right to freedom of speech and make sure they were heard. I think students will find this protest interesting because of the extreme reactions that people had to the war, going so far as to graffiti a Coca-Cola truck.

The teachers in Boston worked with the staff at the National Archives at Boston to digitize over 30 primary sources, now available on DocsTeach.

Wanted poster for Leavenworth inmate John Allen Kendrick

My second favorite new document is the wanted poster for John Allen Kendrick. John Allen Kendrick was an escape artist and bank robber who had been charged with assault to kill; “the wanted poster is a result of his conditional release (parole) violation.” I really like the poster because it reminds me of old Western movies and 1920s gangsters. But it’s something you don’t see much anymore, and I think students will find it interesting as well.

This document was uploaded along with a “Photograph of President Harry S. Truman as he Inspects the Personnel of the USS Missouri” and a photograph of a “Cannon of largest size mounted in Fort, at Battery Rodgers” in a group of documents that were recently digitized and added to our main online catalog.

Notes of the Cabinet Meeting Regarding the Evacuation of Saigon

This summer we also added documents featured on the Presidential Timeline—an interactive website with audio, video, documents, and educational materials from all of the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives—to DocsTeach. Many of the documents are connected to the Vietnam War, including this first page of the document “Notes of the Cabinet Meeting Regarding the Evacuation of Saigon,” and “Helicopter Pilot Radio Transmissions during the Saigon Evacuation.”

You can find them all on DocsTeach!


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