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American 20th Century history articles. U.S. History 20th century. Free Article collection, from online newspapers, magazines & websites.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Library Research Guide (LibGuide) – Internet Sites with Primary Sources for U.S. History

This research guide from the librarians at Bowling Green State University has links to websites with substantial collections of online primary sources for U.S. history.

A 100-year-old US riot only now being talked about

It’s almost 100 years since 19 African-American soldiers were executed following a violent mutiny in Texas. Why is the US only now coming to terms with what happened?

James Jeffrey, BBC 2017

A 1957 Meeting Forced the FBI to Recognize the Mafia -And Changed the Justice System Forever

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover previously ignored the growing threat in favor of pursuing Cold War bugaboos

Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian.com 2017

A Brief History of Surveillance in America

“With wiretapping in the headlines and smart speakers in millions of homes, historian Brian Hochman takes us back to the early days of eavesdropping.

April White, Smithsonian Magazine 2018

A History of American Protest Music: ‘We Have Got Tools and We Are Going to Succeed’

Lead Belly, Lee Hays, and the hammer songs that powered the folk movement.

Tom Maxwell, Longreads October 2017

A New History of the Right Has Become an Intellectual Flashpoint

Nancy MacLean, a professor of history and public policy at Duke U., has riled libertarians with her new book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.” A phalanx of largely libertarian critics has waged an online battle against the Duke University historian who wrote the book, Nancy MacLean, accusing her of scholarly misdeeds so egregious that she should be stripped of tenure, fired, and perhaps sued.

Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education 2017

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been

As Hurricane Irma prepares to strike, it’s worth remembering that Mother Nature never intended us to live here.

Michael Grunwald, Politico 2017

We have free books about the Vietnam War among our Southeast Asia history books pdf

America’s first birth control clinic

A family planning clinic opened in New York on October 16th, 1916. It lasted only a few days.

Richard Cavendish, History Today 2016

American Radio Networking – a history of early radio (page 12)

Scroll down to page 12 in this PDF download of a newsletter.

Henry L. Morse, The Old Radio Times 2014

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Americans shouldn’t be shocked by Russian interference in the election. The U.S. does it, too.

Frustrated with foreign interference in our elections? So are the people of Latin America.

Timothy M. Gill, Washington Post 2018

Aregood on gun laws: ‘We must be crazy’

In 1984 it still seemed possible to think that gun laws in the United States might be tightened. Editorial writers across the country regularly took up the cause, including Richard Aregood of the Philadelphia Daily News

Richard Aregood, Pulitzer Prizes 1984

Before There Could Be a Los Angeles, There Had to be Water

California’s first state engineer, along with a team of surveyors, created this hand drawn map in 1880 to explore Los Angeles’ water resources

Esri , Natasha Geiling, Smithsonian.com 2013


The CIA poured billions into a jihad against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, creating a militant Islamist Abraham Lincoln Brigade believed to have been involved in bombings from Islamabad to New York. Is Bosnia next?

Mary Anne Weaver, Atlantic 1996

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Brown vs Board of Education

The Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (347 U.S. 483 [1954]; 349 U.S. 294 [1955]) was actually four cases considered under one rubric, with a companion case, Bolling v. Sharpe (1954). The central question considered was whether legally imposed racial segregation in public primary and secondary education violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Staff, Encyclopedia of American Studies

CBS: The Power and the Profits

However the Toynbee or the Gibbon of the future adjudges what happened to American society, he will need to reckon large with the impact of radio and television.

David Halberstam, The Atlantic 1976

See our Books on the Korean War pdf


The counterculture belonged to a strain of antinomianism that went back to the Protestant sources of American culture, including an aversion to hierarchy and tradition, a tendency to form small dissident sects, and a romantic faith in self-expression and personal morality as vehicles of salvation.

Staff, Encyclopedia of American Studies

See our collected articles about World War II

Creating the National Park Service

Today over half the sites the Service manages interpret some nationally significant person, place, event, movement, or idea in American history. Even large natural parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone often employ historians to study how humans have lived in, used, and affected the great natural resources the parks preserve.

Todd Arrington, We’re History 2016

Department of State’s Dissent Channel Revealed

Cables sent by State Dept FSOs via the Dissent Channel are formal critiques of US policy by employees of the State Department.

History News Network 2018

Fallout protection : what to know and do about Nuclear Attack

The purpose of the booklet was “to was to give the American people the facts they need to know about the dangers of a thermonuclear attack and what they can do to protect themselves.” It also describes the national civil defense program.

Dept of Defense Office of Civil Defense 1961

Health Insurance in the United States

This article describes the development of the U.S. health insurance system and its growth in the twentieth century. It examines the roles of important factors including medical technology, hospitals and physicians, and government policy culminating in the development of Medicare and Medicaid.

Melissa Thomasson, Miami University, Economic History Association

In declassified document, CIA acknowledges role in 1953 Iran coup

The documents, declassified in 2011 and given to George Washington University research group under the Freedom of Information Act, come from the CIA’s internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s and paint a detailed picture of how the CIA worked to oust Mossadegh.

Dan Merica and Jason Hanna, CNN, 2013

Information: The Revolution that Didn’t Happen

By Alex Sayf Cummings, Age of Revolutions 2016

Literacy Tests and Asian Exclusion Were the Hallmarks of the 1917 Immigration Act

One hundred years ago, the U.S. Congress decided that there needed to be severe limits on who was coming into the country

Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian.com 2017

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Sputnik should wake us to our failings

Walter Lippmann’s provocative musings on the state of American society following the Soviet triumph of Sputnik-1 and the Little Rock desegregation crisis earned the distinguished columnist a rare Pulitzer Prize Special Citation in 1958.

Walter Lippman, Pulitzer Prizes 1958

The Brown v. Board Of Education Of Topeka trial: An Account

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is widely known as the Supreme Court decision that declared segregated schools to be “inherently unequal.” The story behind the case, including that of the 1951 trial in a Kansas courtroom, is much less known.

Professor Douglas O. Linder, Famous Trials

The Question of Prayer in Public Schools

After the Supreme Court ruled on this hot issue, Anthony Lewis coolly sifted through the public response to it.

Anthony Lewis, Pulitzer Prizes 1962

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – The CIA Mission to Raise a Soviet Sub

In March 1968, a K-129 Soviet nuclear submarine cruising in the Pacific Ocean mysteriously disappeared from Russian radar. Following an unsuccessful search by the USSR, the United States, using sonic triangulation, secretly located the sunken submarine 1500 miles northwest of Hawaii. An operation was proposed to deploy a ship to recover the wreck of the K-129, its nuclear warhead and cryptographic material.

Various authors, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debate (Part I) – Video

The first televised debate in a U.S. presidential campaign, it is thought to have helped Kennedy a great deal in a close election.

Original TV broadcast saved on the Internet Archive

1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debate (Part II)

Original TV broadcast saved on the Internet Archive

America: A Personal History of the U.S. – Video Series

Deals with the transcontinental rail link driven across awesome terrain, the Mormons’ settlement in Utah, the populating of the midlands by European immigrants, and the Indians’ last desperate struggles which explode in the Custer massacre and the Battle of Wounded Knee.

Two episodes from a 1972-73 series made by BBC and Time-Life Books, hosted by Aleister Cooke.

Between the Wars: 1978 TV series

Several half-hour documentary episodes of series hosted by Eric Severeid, using historical film and interviews.

Bull in a China Shop – Podcast

Tensions with China are high, North Korea is testing nuclear warheads, and the Philippines is distancing itself. Professor Oriana Skylar Mastro explores the complicated web of U.S. trade and military relations in Asia and highlights potential challenges.

Professor Oriana Skylar Mastro, Scholars Strategy Network 2017

Civilian Conservation Corps, Camp 657, Summit Lake, Wisconsin – Narrated slide show

Community TV broadcast sponsored by the Forest History Association of Wisconsin. Lecture and slide presentation.

Joe Hermellin, Langlade County, Wisconsin Historical Society 2016

Of Prison and Politics – Podcast

Co-hosts Stephen Henderson and Laura Weber-Davis speak with University of Michigan professor and author of ‘Blood in the Water’, Heather Ann Thompson, about the Attica prison uprising. And we hear some of the personal story of writer Shaka Senghor, who was forced into a life of crime in the 1980s that led him to serve many years in prison.

Stephen Henderson and Laura Weber-Davis, Created Equal Podcast series, 2017

Paul Roberts on the History of Oil – Podcast

In the last installment of our four-part history of energy series, we speak to journalist and author Paul Roberts to discuss the complex role that oil has played in shaping the industrialized world, and the costs/benefits that oil has as an energy source in the 21st century.

Episode 64. The Road to Now Podcast

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