Roosevelt at White House, December 8, 1941Ken Burn’s newest PBS documentary called “The War,” reminds us how primary sources can help us to see the past more clearly, and really make history come to life. If you are watching the Burns series, studying the crash of the Stock Exchange or reading the “Triangle” book for class…check out some of the historical newspapers that covered the incidents when they happened. Keep in mind that newspaper reporters had to write the stories and get it to press, so be sure to search the few days after an event to make sure you get the most coverage (for example: President Roosevelt’s Message regarding “…day that will live in infamy speech” was delivered on December 8th, 1941 and printed in the Newspaper on December 09, 1941.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle covers 1851 to 1902. ProQuest Historical Newspapers [How do I? ] Allows you to search several historical newspapers simultaneously, Including Chicago Defender (1905 to 1975); Christian Science Monitor Historical (1908 to 1993); Hartford Courant (1764 to present); New York Times Historical (1851 to 2001); Wall Street Journal Historical (1889 to 1987); Washington Post Historical (1877 to 1988)

You might also check for audio and video files: Ex: Roosevelt’s “fireside chat” before and after Pearl Harbor. Check out Michigan State University’s Vincent Voice Library http://vvl.lib.msu.edu/findingaids.cfm

Picture: Franklin D. Roosevelt at The White House, 12/08/1941 Public Domain, courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library; The President’s Message. (1941, December 9). New York Times (1857-Current file),1. Retrieved September 25, 2007, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2004) database. (Document ID: 105168402).
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