See your professor’s Canvas site for instructions on using these research kits. The kits contain links to primary and secondary sources on the topics listed below and will be used to write your second paper.

The links go to a source on the web, an OU Libraries’ resource, requiring you to login with your OUNetID (4×4), or a companion Canvas page, requiring you to enroll here before you can access the document.

Report link problems to lscrivener@ou.edu.

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

On Saturday, March 25, 1911, shortly before the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory closed for the day, a fire erupted. The factory occupied the top three floors of a 10-story New York City building. Within 20 minutes, 146 garment workers had died—some from smoke inhalation or fire, others by falling or jumping to their deaths. Locked doors and a collapsed fire escape had limited escape. Most victims were young immigrant women. The company’s owners, who fled their office without warning workers, were acquitted of manslaughter when it could not be proved that they knew doors were locked.

Following the tragedy, labor organizers and reform-minded politicians successfully pushed for new fire codes and various protections of workers. Some two decades later, sociologist Ruth Milkman argues, the Triangle fire contributed to “New Deal standards for wages, hours and working conditions, and the right to organize and bargain collectively” at the national level. Nonetheless, even today, many workers still face immediate hazards and chronic health risks in the workplace. The materials below explore the fire’s complex causes and aftermath.  They include government and union reports from subsequent investigations as well as speeches, testimonials, and newspaper stories. –Prof. Kathleen Brosnan

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“141 Men and Girls Die in Waist Factory Fire; Trapped High Up in Washington Place Building; Street Strewn with Bodies; Piles of Dead Inside.” Newspaper Article. New York Times, March 26, 1911. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“147 Dead, Nobody Guilty.” Magazine Article. Literary Digest, January 6, 1912, p. 6. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Bruere, Martha Bensley. “What Is to Be Done?” Testimonial. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Cohen, Rose. “My First Job.” Testimonial. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Gompers, Samuel. “Hostile Employers See Yourselves as Others Know You.” Magazine Article. American Federationist, May 1911, pp. 356-361. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Lasser, Florence. “The Story of the ILGWU: A Radio Play in Six Episodes.” Songs and Plays. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Lemlich, Clara. “Life in the Shop.” Testimonial. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

McFarlane, Arthur E. “Fire and the Skyscraper.” McClure’s Magazine, September 1911, 467–82.

Newman, Pauline M. “Letter to Michael and Hugh.” Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“Recommendations of the Commission.” Report. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Report of the Joint Relief Committee, Ladies’ Waist & Dressmakers’ Union No. 25 On the Triangle Fire Disaster.” Report. New York, January 15, 1913. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“Results of the Data Obtained by the Investigation.” Report. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Scott, Miriam Finn. “The Factory Girl’s Danger.” Magazine Article. The Outlook, April 15, 1911, p. 817. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Schneiderman, Rose. “We Have Found You Wanting.” Testimonial. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Shepherd, William. “Eyewitness at the Triangle.” Testimonial. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“Stories of Survivors. And Witnesses and Rescuers Outside Tell What They Saw.” Newspaper Article. New York Times, March 26, 1911. Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Kessler-Harris, Alice. “Women’s Choices in an Expanding Labor Market.” In Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States, 108–41. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. (Companion Canvas page)

Orleck, Annelise. “Coming of Age: The Shock of the Shops and the Dawning of Political Consciousness, 1900-1909.” In Common Sense and A Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965, 31–52. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. (Companion Canvas page)

Roediger, David R. “Class Conflict, Reform, and War: The Working Day from 1907 to 1918.” In Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day, 177–208. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989. (Companion Canvas page)

Von Drehle, David. “The Triangle.” In Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, 35–54. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. (Companion Canvas page)

Background

“Fire!” Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“Investigation and Trial.” Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

“Sweatshops and Strikes Before 1911.” Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University.

The Battle for Yosemite

Most residents were sleeping when an earthquake shook San Francisco on April 18, 1906. Ruptured gas mains sparked thirty subsequent fires that destroyed 490 city blocks. Estimates suggest perhaps 2000 people died. For weeks after, the city struggled with an inadequate water supply, prompting municipal officials to search for a more reliable source of water and electricity. They proposed damning the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley. The proposal generated a national opposition seeking to protect the national parks.

As the debate moved to the U.S. Congress, San Francisco’s advocates emphasized the city’s needs and its large population. Their opponents offered a vision of development grounded in nature, tourism, and recreation. In 1913, Congress passed the Raker Act, granting the city the right to flood the Hetch Hetch Valley. Nonetheless, burgeoning environmental groups gained new constituencies and stirred greater interest in the national parks.

The primary sources below include letters, reports, articles, and congressional testimony on both sides of the debate. The documents also tell much through their silences. Neither side acknowledged that the park encompassed the traditional lands of the Ahwahnechee people. Some Native Americans remained through much of the twentieth century as park managers found them useful for labor or as tourist attractions, but eventually all faced expulsion. –Prof. Kathleen Brosnan

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

Freeman, John, selections from On the Proposed Use of a Portion of Hetch Hetchy, Eleanor and Cherry Valleys for the Water Supply of San Francisco, California and Neighboring Cities (San Francisco: Board of Supervisors, 1912).  >> Read

Gregory, Mary Houston. “Checking the Waste: The Evolution of the Conservation Movement.” In Library of Congress. The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920. Washington D.C.: The Library of Congress, 2002.  >> Read

Lawson, Andrew C. and A.O. Leuschner to: George C. Pardee, Governor of California.  “Preliminary Report of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission, 31 May, 1906.” Berkeley, CA: California State Earthquake Investigation Commission, 1906. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Memorandum from John Muir, president the Sierra Club, received May 14, 1908, by J. Horace McFarland, president, American Civic Association and read into the Congressional Record “San Francisco and the Hetch Hetchy reservoir,” Hearing held before the committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives, December 16, 1908, Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read (scroll down to “Hetch Hetchy Damming Scheme”)

Metcalf, Victor H. Letter from Victor H. Metcalf to Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, 26 April, 1906. San Francisco: Headquarters Pacific Division, 1906. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Muir, John. “A Brief Statement of the Hetch-Hetchy Case To Date. In Let Everyone Help to Save the Famous Hetch Hetchy Valley and Stop the Commercial Destruction Which Threatens Our National Parks. San Francisco: Society for the Preservation of National Parks, 1909. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Muir, John. “A Dozen Sources of Water Supply Are Available for San Francisco.” In Let Everyone Help to Save the Famous Hetch Hetchy Valley and Stop the Commercial Destruction Which Threatens Our National Parks. San Francisco: Society for the Preservation of National Parks, 1909. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Muir, John, “The Endangered Valley. The Hetch Hetchy Valley in the Yosemite National Park.” (1909). John Muir: A Reading Bibliography by Kimes. 302. University of the Pacific. Scholarly Commons. John Muir Papers.  >> Read  

Muir, John. “Map of Yosemite National Park.” In Let Everyone Help to Save the Famous Hetch Hetchy Valley and Stop the Commercial Destruction Which Threatens Our National Parks. San Francisco: Society for the Preservation of National Parks, 1909. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Muir, John. “San Francisco Wants Water Power at the Expense of the Nation.” In Let Everyone Help to Save the Famous Hetch Hetchy Valley and Stop the Commercial Destruction Which Threatens Our National Parks. San Francisco: Society for the Preservation of National Parks, 1909. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Muir, John. “What the Press Thinks.” Various Titles. 1908-1909. In Let Everyone Help to Save the Famous Hetch Hetchy Valley and Stop the Commercial Destruction Which Threatens Our National Parks. San Francisco: Society for the Preservation of National Parks, 1909. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Olmsted, Frederick Law. “Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove; A Preliminary Report, 1865.”  Yosemite Online.  >> Read (full report)  or  >> Read (excerpt)

Perry, Victor Elmo. “Pass Bearer Through Lines.” San Francisco: Museum of the City of San Francisco, 1906. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Pinchot, Gifford. “The Present Battle.” In The Fight for Conservation. New York: Doubleday, 1910.  >> Read  

Pinchot, Gifford. “Principles of Conservation.” In The Fight for Conservation. New York: Doubleday, 1910.  >> Read 

Roosevelt, Theodore, “Conservation as a National Duty,” Opening Address, Conference of Governors, Washington, D.C., May 13, 1908. Voices of Democracy.  >> Read

U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. An Act Granting to the City and County of San Francisco Certain Rights of Way In, Over, and Through Certain Public Lands, the Yosemite National Park, and Stanislaus National Forest, and the Public Lands in the State of California, and for Other Purposes. 63rd Cong., 2nd Sess. Washington D.C. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1913. Hetch Hetchy: Preservation or Public Utility. Virtual Museum of San Francisco.  >> Read

U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Public Lands for the House of Representatives. Hearing Held Before the Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives, December 16, 1908 on House J.R. 184-Part IV. Statement from James R. Garfield. 60th Cong., 2nd Sess. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1908. Virtual Museum of San Francisco.  >> Read

U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Public Lands for the House of Representatives. Hearing Held Before the Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives, December 16, 1908, on House J.R. 184-Part VIII. Statement of the Honorable Robert Underwood Johnson. 60th Cong., 2nd Sess. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1908. Virtual Museum of San Francisco.  >> Read

U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives. Petition of Marsden Mason, City Engineer of San Francisco, on Behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, to the Secretary of the Interior Department, Washington D.C.: to Reopen the Matter of the Application of James D. Phelen for Reservoir Rights of Way in the Hetch Hetchy Valley and Lake Eleanor Sites in the Yosemite National Park. 60th Cong., 2nd Sess. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1908. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Public Lands for the House of Representatives. San Francisco and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir S2575 Hearing Held Before the Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 184. On 16 December, 1908. 60th Cong., 1st Sess. December 16, 1908. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Offices, December, 1908. The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Various Authors. “A Great Civic Drama: A Chronology.” San Francisco: Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, 2002. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Watt, Rolla V. “Supplementary Particulars Concerning Proposed Auxiliary Water system for San Francisco.” Annual Meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California, 10 April, 1907. San Francisco, 1907. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.  >> Read

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Clements, Kendrick A. “Politics and the Park: San Francisco’s Fight for Hetch Hetchy, 1908-1913.” Pacific Historical Review 48, no. 2 (1979): 185–215.  >> Read 

Jackson, Donald C. “The Engineer as Lobbyist: John R. Freeman and the Hetch Hetchy Dam (1910–13).” Environmental History 21, no. 2 (April 1, 2016): 288–314.  >> Read

Righter, Robert. “The Hetch Hetchy Controversy.” In Natural Protest: Essays on the History of American Environmentalism, edited by Michael Egan and Jeff Crane, 117–35. New York: Routledge, 2009. >> Read

Spence, Mark David. Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, 101-132. >> Read

Stoll, Mark. “Milton in Yosemite: ‘Paradise Lost’ and the National Parks Idea.” Environmental History 13, no. 2 (2008): 237–74.  >> Read

Tyrrell, Ian. “America’s National Parks: The Transnational Creation of National Space in the Progressive Era.” Journal of American Studies 46, no. 1 (2012): 1–21.  >> Read

The Tulsa Race Massacre

In an era defined by a violent, white supremacist regime known as Jim Crow, some 10,000 African Americans created the nation’s most successful Black community in Tulsa’s Greenwood District. On May 31, 1921, the Tulsa Tribune, a White newspaper, published a false and inflammatory article about an encounter between an African American man and a White woman in an elevator. White Tulsans, already resentful of Black wealth, sought to execute the man without a trial. When African American men intervened, the lynch mob attacked Greenwood. After overwhelming African American defenders, White Tulsans murdered hundreds of Greenwood residents, placed the survivors in an internment camp, and burned down the thirty-five city block district.

The massacre fit a pattern of White attacks on Black communities across the United States between 1917 and 1945, while its aftermath reflected Jim Crow’s influence on civil institutions. National guardsmen forced survivors into temporary servitude. The city government passed an ordinance – later declared unconstitutional – to prevent Greenwood’s reconstruction. Insurance companies refused to compensate many Black property owners. Prominent Greenwood residents fought off criminal charges, while White perpetrators avoided legal consequences. Unknown persons physically removed the inflammatory article from the newspaper when the Tribune was later archived.

These sources include survivor accounts, newspaper articles, reports, telegrams, photographs, and historical analyses. – John Truden

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“$2,500,000 of Negro Property Destroyed.” The Black Dispatch, June 3, 1921, pp. 1, 5. >> Read

Barrett, Charles F. (Oklahoma National Guard), Field Order No. 4, June 2, 1921, Report, Tulsa Race Riot Disaster Relief, American Red Cross, Tulsa Race Massacre Collection, Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, Tulsa, OK. >> Read

Carlson, I. Marc. “Selected Postcards.” The Tulsa Race Massacre (blog). Accessed July 27, 2020. >> Read

Dunjee, Roscoe. “Editorial: A White Man’s Country.” The Black Dispatch, June 3, 1921. >> Read

George Baker to James Robertson, Folder 16, Box 3, RG 8-D-1-3, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK. >> Read

Interview of Binkley Wright, Eyewitness Accounts, n.d. >> Read

Interview of Juanita Delores Burnett Arnold, Eyewitness Accounts, n.d. >> Read

Interview of Kinney I. Booker, Eyewitness Accounts, n.d. >> Read

Interview of Otis Clark, Voices of Oklahoma, November 23, 2009. >> Listen

Interview of Wessley Hubert “Wess” Young, Sr., Voice of Oklahoma, August 21, 2009. >> Listen

Interview with Major Frank Van Voorhis, October 25, 1937, Works Progress Administration, Indian-Pioneer Oral History Project, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries. >> Read

“Kill Ordinance!” The Black Dispatch, September 8, 1921, p. 1. >> Read

“Loot, Arson, Murder!” The Black Dispatch, June 10, 1921, p. 1. >> Read

“Many Thousands Leave Tulsa.” The Black Dispatch, June 17, 1921, p. 1. >> Read

“Release Dick Rowland.” The Black Dispatch, September 29, 1921, p.1. >> Read

Rev. M.A.N. Shaw to Governor James B.A. Robertson, June 2, 1921, Folder 16, Box 3, RG 8-D-1-3, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK. >> Read

“To Rebuild Greenwood.” The Black Dispatch, June 24, 1921, p. 1. >> Read

Tulsa Disaster Relief Statistics, July 30, 1921, Supplement to Report, Tulsa Race Riot Disaster Relief, American Red Cross, Tulsa Race Massacre Collection, Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, Tulsa, OK. >> Read

“Tulsa Negroes Collect Insurance.” The Black Dispatch, August 19, 1921, p. 1. >> Read

W.A. Wallace to James Robertson (Reply included) Folder 16, Box 3, RG 8-D-1-3, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK. >> Read

White, Walter F. “Eruption of Tulsa.” The Nation 112 (June 29, 1921): 909–10. >> Read

Willows, Maurice. “Burnings,” n.d., Report, Tulsa Race Riot Disaster Relief, American Red Cross, Tulsa Race Massacre Collection, Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, Tulsa, OK. >> Read (In Canvas, see note at top of page.)

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Chang, David A. “The Battle for Whiteness: Making Whites in a White Man’s Country, 1916–1924.” In The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929, 175–204. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010. >> Read

Halliburton, R. “The Tulsa Race War of 1921.” Journal of Black Studies 2, no. 3 (1972): 333–57. >> Read

Messer, Chris M., Thomas E. Shriver, and Alison E. Adams. “The Destruction of Black Wall Street: Tulsa’s 1921 Riot and the Eradication of Accumulated Wealth.” American Journal of Economics & Sociology 77, no. 3/4 (May 2018): 789–819. >> Read

Selected Maps, Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot, February 28, 2001, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK. >> Read

Teague, Hollie A. “Bullets and Ballots: Destruction, Resistance, and Reaction in 1920s Texas and Oklahoma.” Great Plains Quarterly 39, no. 2 (May 4, 2019): 159–77. >> Read

Williams, Chad Louis. “The War at Home: African American Veterans and the Long ‘Red Summer.’” In Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, 223–60. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.  >> Read

Green Book Guides

In 1936, New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green (1892-1960) published the first The Negro Motorist Green-Book, an annual guide for African Americans travelers. Automobiles offered African Americans greater mobility, but journeys beyond their own communities in the Jim Crow era presented hazards from restaurants that refused service to “sundown towns” that banned people of color after nightfall. The first edition identified New York hotels and restaurants which welcomed African Americans. As Green gathered reports from readers and Black members of his postal workers’ union, subsequent editions included dining establishments, hotels and guest houses, service stations, taverns, and other facilities across the United States. Calvin Alexander Ramsey, the author of a children’s book and a play about the guides, observes that they “created a safety net. If a person could travel by car—and those who could, did—they would feel more in control of their destiny.”

Green’s widow published the guides for six years after his death. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in public facilities, led to the guide’s obsolescence. Green anticipated this ending in his first edition: “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published.” –Prof. Kathleen Brosnan

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1937.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1938.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Motorist Green-Book: 1940.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1947.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1948.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library.  >> Read

“The Green Book Vacation Guide: 1949.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1950.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Travelers Green Book: 1952.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Negro Travelers’ Green Book: Fall 1956.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“The Travelers’ Green Book: 1961.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

“Travelers’ Green Book: 1963-64 International Edition.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. >> Read

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Chambers, Jason. “The Rise of Black Consumer Marketing.” In Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry, 20–57. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. >> Read

Flink, James J. “Diffusion.” In The Automobile Age, 129–57. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988. >> Read

Ortlepp, Anke. “The Emergence of the Jim Crow Airport.” In Jim Crow Terminals: The Desegregation of American Airports, 13–35. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2017. >> Read

Wolcott, Victoria W. “The Fifth Freedom: Racial Liberalism, Nonviolence, and Recreation Riots in the 1940s.” In Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America, 47–87. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. >> Read

Japanese-American Internment 1

Clara Breed Collection
Japanese American National Museum

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the American government decided to incarcerate over 120,000 Japanese-Americans, approximately two-thirds of whom were United States citizens.  This action was taken due to national security concerns, post-attack hysteria, and racist perceptions of Japanese-Americans.  Two months after the attack, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which cleared the way for the eventual incarceration of the Japanese-Americans in ten large relocation centers, most of which were located in isolated areas of the American West.

The collection of letters below are from young Japanese-Americans locked up in the camp at Poston, Arizona.  They are all written to a librarian in San Diego named Clara Breed.  Breed was the children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library from 1929-1945, and during those years she befriended many of her young Japanese-American patrons.  When they were incarcerated, she not only sent some of them letters but, as the correspondence attests, sent them many books and supplies as well.  What we have below is a collection of letters from these young Japanese-Americans to Clara Breed.  –Prof. Robert Griswold

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“The Letters and Postcards of Tetsuzo Hirasaki to Clara Breed,” 1942-1944. Clara Breed Collection. Japanese American National Museum.

  1. April 13, 1942
  2. April 16, 1942
  3. April 22, 1942
  4. August 10, 1942
  5. September 16, 1942
  6. October 3, 1942
  7. November 16, 1942
  8. December 1, 1942
  9. December 22, 1942
  10. February 19, 1943
  11. March 2, 1943
  12. March 3, 1943
  13. March 15, 1943
  14. April 9, 1943
  15. April 21, 1943
  16. May 6, 1943
  17. June 17, 1943
  18. August 27, 1943
  19. September 27, 1943
  20. October 30, 1943
  21. November 11, 1943
  22. December 3, 1943
  23. December 29, 1943
  24. June 10, 1944
  25. December 20, 1944

“The Letters of Louise Ogawa to Clara Breed,” 1942-1944. Clara Breed Collection. Japanese American National Museum.

  1. January 6, 1942
  2. April 23, 1942
  3. April 30, 1942
  4. May 16, 1942
  5. June 24, 1942
  6. July 15, 1942
  7. August 3, 1942
  8. August 14, 1942
  9. August 27, 1942
  10. September 16, 1942
  11. September 27, 1942
  12. October 20, 1942
  13. November 11, 1942
  14. November 30, 1942
  15. December 22, 1942
  16. January 27, 1943
  17. March 20, 1943
  18. April 9, 1943
  19. May 14, 1943
  20. June 19, 1943
  21. June 28, 1943
  22. July 25, 1943
  23. August 5, 1943
  24. August 17, 1943
  25. September 3, 1943
  26. September 14, 1943
  27. October 8, 1943
  28. November 14-15, 1943
  29. December 27, 1943
  30. February 27, 1944
  31. July 14, 1944
  32. October 28, 1944
  33. December 3, 1944

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Bearden, Russell. “Life Inside Arkansas’s Japanese-American Relocation Centers.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 48, no. 2 (1989): 169–96. >> Read

Chiang, Connie Y. “Imprisoned Nature: Toward an Environmental History of the World War II Japanese American Incarceration.” Environmental History 15, no. 2 (2010): 236–67. >> Read

Fujita-Rony, Thomas. “Arizona and Japanese American History: The World War II Colorado River Relocation Center.” Journal of the Southwest 47, no. 2 (2005): 209–32. >> Read

Lillquist, Karl. “Farming the Desert: Agriculture in the World War II-Era Japanese-American Relocation Centers.” Agricultural History 84, no. 1 (2010): 74–104. >> Read

Muller, Eric L. “A Penny for Their Thoughts: Draft Resistance at the Poston Relocation Center.” Law and Contemporary Problems 68, no. 2 (2005): 119–57. >> Read

Sims, Robert C. “‘A Fearless, Patriotic, Clean-Cut Stand’ Idaho’s Governor Clark and Japanese-American Relocation in World War II.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 70, no. 2 (1979): 75–81. >> Read

Japanese-American Internment 2

Clara Breed Collection
Japanese American National Museum

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the American government decided to incarcerate over 120,000 Japanese-Americans, approximately two-thirds of whom were United States citizens.  This action was taken due to national security concerns, post-attack hysteria, and racist perceptions of Japanese-Americans.  Two months after the attack, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which cleared the way for the eventual incarceration of the Japanese-Americans in ten large relocation centers, most of which were located in isolated areas of the American West.

The collection of letters below are from young Japanese-Americans locked up in the camp at Poston, Arizona.  They are all written to a librarian in San Diego named Clara Breed.  Breed was the children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library from 1929-1945, and during those years she befriended many of her young Japanese-American patrons.  When they were incarcerated, she not only sent some of them letters but, as the correspondence attests, sent them many books and supplies as well.  What we have below is a collection of letters from these young Japanese-Americans to Clara Breed.  –Prof. Robert Griswold

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“Letters to Clara Breed,” 1942-1943. Clara Breed Collection. Japanese American National Museum.

  1. Tetsuzo Hirasaki, May 26, 1942
  2. Katherine Tasaki, July 24, 1942
  3. Louise Ogawa, August 27, 1942
  4. Fusa Tsumagari, September 8, 1942
  5. Margaret and Florence Ishino, September 15, 1942
  6. Yaeko Hirasaki, September 16, 1942
  7. Louise Ogawa, September 16, 1942
  8. Louise Ogawa, September 27, 1942
  9. Margaret Ishino, September 28, 1942
  10. Tetsuzo Hirasaki, October 3, 1942
  11. Fusa Tsumagari, October 9, 1942
  12. Katherine Tasaki, October 12, 1942
  13. Louise Ogawa, October 20, 1942
  14. Louise Ogawa, November 11, 1942
  15. Tetsuzo Hirasaki, November 16, 1942
  16. Fusa Tsumagari, November 23, 1942
  17. Tetsuzo Hirasaki, December 1, 1942
  18. Margaret and Florence Ishino, December 10, 1942
  19. Hisako Watanabe, December 25, 1942
  20. Jack Watanabe, December 28, 1942
  21. Louise Ogawa, January 27, 1943
  22. Hisako and Jack Watanabe, February 10, 1943
  23. Margaret Arakawa, March 3, 1943
  24. Fusa Tsumagari, May 3, 1943
  25. Louise Ogawa, May 14, 1943
  26. Fusa Tsumagari, May 19, 1943
  27. Louise Ogawa, June 19, 1943
  28. Fusa Tsumagari, June 29, 1943
  29. Fusa Tsumagari, July 21, 1943
  30. Louise Ogawa, August 5, 1943
  31. Louise Ogawa, August 17, 1943
  32. Louise Ogawa, September 14, 1943
  33. Hisako Watanabe, October 5, 1943
  34. Louise Ogawa, December 27, 1943

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Bearden, Russell. “Life Inside Arkansas’s Japanese-American Relocation Centers.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 48, no. 2 (1989): 169–96. >> Read

Chiang, Connie Y. “Imprisoned Nature: Toward an Environmental History of the World War II Japanese American Incarceration.” Environmental History 15, no. 2 (2010): 236–67. >> Read

Fujita-Rony, Thomas. “Arizona and Japanese American History: The World War II Colorado River Relocation Center.” Journal of the Southwest 47, no. 2 (2005): 209–32. >> Read

Lillquist, Karl. “Farming the Desert: Agriculture in the World War II-Era Japanese-American Relocation Centers.” Agricultural History 84, no. 1 (2010): 74–104. >> Read

Muller, Eric L. “A Penny for Their Thoughts: Draft Resistance at the Poston Relocation Center.” Law and Contemporary Problems 68, no. 2 (2005): 119–57. >> Read

Sims, Robert C. “‘A Fearless, Patriotic, Clean-Cut Stand’ Idaho’s Governor Clark and Japanese-American Relocation in World War II.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 70, no. 2 (1979): 75–81. >> Read

Vietnam Vets Oral Histories

The United States involvement in Vietnam dates to the late 1940s, but it was not until the 1960s that America began pouring thousands of troops into Southeast Asia.   Imbued with Cold War assumptions, convinced that the Containment Doctrine was being tested, firmly believing in the Domino Theory, President Lyndon Johnson in the summer of 1965 made the agonizing decision to escalate the war.  Surely, the President believed, communist peasants could not prevail against the might of the United States; surely, too, the United States must honor its Cold War obligations.  Thus, by the end of 1965, nearly two hundred thousand American combat troops were in Vietnam; by 1969, the peak year, 543,400 were fighting in the jungles of that war-torn country.

Ultimately, some 58,000 Americans and 1.5 million Vietnamese died in the conflict.  For Americans, the war ultimately became one of the most controversial and divisive in history.  Soldiers fought bravely, but to what end?  How could one fight an enemy that one could not see?  Battling both North Vietnamese regular troops and the guerrilla forces of the National Liberation Front was extraordinarily difficult, no matter how many bombs the U.S. dropped, no matter how great the firepower of the American military.  Many Americans began to question the war, then protest against it.  The war abroad became a war at home, and the conflict over the Vietnam War literally tore the nation to pieces.

What you will find in these interviews of Vietnam veterans is the experience of everyday soldiers, not generals.  This is “history from the ground up,” a history of common Americans in uncommon circumstances.  You will be able to hear and/or read their experience fighting in this faraway land—what it was like to get drafted, what it was like to land “in country,” what it was like to encounter an alien culture, and what it was like to fight and to see fellow soldiers die. –Prof. Robert Griswold

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“Interview with Gonzalo Baltazar,” March 23, 2001. Gonzalo Baltazar Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. >> Read

Maurer, Harry. “Angel Quintana.” In Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History, 1st ed., 171–78. New York: H. Holt, 1989. >> Read

Maurer, Harry. “Anonymous.” In Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History, 1st ed., 514–19. New York: H. Holt, 1989. >> Read

Maurer, Harry. “Colonel Jerry Driscoll.” In Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History, 1st ed., 408–25. New York: H. Holt, 1989. >> Read

Maurer, Harry. “Harry Behret.” In Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History, 1st ed., 178–86. New York: H. Holt, 1989. >> Read

Maurer, Harry. “Warren Wooten.” In Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History, 1st ed., 525–34. New York: H. Holt, 1989. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “Colin Powell on Vietnam.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed., 246–50. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “Philip Caputo’s Perspective.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed., 240–42. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “Two Testimonies about My Lai.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed., 242–46. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “Westermoreland on the War.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed., 209–12. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

Terry, Wallace, ed. “Reginald ‘Malik’ Edwards.” In Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War, 1st ed., 1–14. New York: Random House, 1984. >> Read

Terry, Wallace, ed. “Robert E. Holcomb.” In Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War, 1st ed., 195–212. New York: Random House, 1984. >> Read

Willenson, Kim. “Bobby Muller.” In The Bad War: An Oral History of the Vietnam, 72–77. New York: New American Library, 1987.  >> Read

Willenson, Kim. “Charles Liteky.” In The Bad War: An Oral History of the Vietnam, 66–72. New York: New American Library, 1987. >> Read

Willenson, Kim. “Major General George S. Patton III.” In The Bad War: An Oral History of the Vietnam, 79–81. New York: New American Library, 1987. >> Read

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Buzzanco, Robert, and Marilyn B. Young, eds. “The Politics of Escalation in Vietnam During the Johnson Years.” In A Companion to the Vietnam War, 174–97. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2002. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “The Failure of Counter Insurgency Warfare.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed.., 220–34. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

McMahon, Robert J., ed. “A Grunt’s Life.” In Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays, 4th ed., 261–72. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. >> Read

Westheider, James E. “Racial Violence in the Military and the Military Response.” In The African American Experience in Vietnam: Brothers in Arms. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. >> Read

Background

Terry, Wallace, ed. “Chronology of the Major Events in the Vietnam War.” In Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War, 1st ed., 285–93. New York: Random House, 1984. >> Read

Gay Liberation Movement: The Gay Peoples Union Collection

The Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s and the willingness of women, Native Americans, and Latinx people to standup for their rights, inspired gay Americans to launch their own movement.  While a small number of activists in the 1940s and the 1950s advocated for an end to discrimination, the movement blossomed in the late 1960s, especially in the wake of the famous Stonewall Inn riot of 1969 against New York City police harassment. This event marked a turning point as the struggle for gay rights moved from the margins to the mainstream.  In the ensuing decades, what was to become the LGBTQ movement fought for an end to police harassment, the elimination of sodomy laws, the right to marry, and an end to discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, and other dimensions of life.  Activists also called gay men and women to “come out of the closet,” that is, to stop hiding one’s sexual orientation from family, friends, employers, and others.

The documents from the Gay Peoples Union of Milwaukee all date from the early 1970s and offer insights into gay conferences, political strategy, the battle for equal rights, religious struggles, police harassment, and popular media portrayal of gays.  Many other topics can be explored within the pages of the GPU News.  In addition, this “kit” includes five radio broadcasts, including the broadcast itself as well as a written transcription of the broadcast.  These radio shows focus on legal discriminations, the oppression of lesbians, and gay people and religion. –Prof. Robert Griswold

Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time

“Gay Liberation Organization Manifesto.” Milwaukee, 1970. Eldon Murray Papers. Milwaukee Area Research Center. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. >> Read

“GPU News,” March 1972. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” April 1972. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” September 1972. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” October 1972. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” December 1972. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” March 1973. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

“GPU News,” April 1973. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Read

Murray, Eldon. “Sex Laws .” (Gay People’s Union Radio Program.) Milwaukee, Wisconsin: WZMF, March 14, 1971. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Division. >>Listen

“Oppression of Lesbians.” (Gay People’s Union Radio Program.) Milwaukee, Wisconsin: WUWM, July 9, 1971. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Listen

“Oral History Interview with Carol Stevens and Jai Brett,” August 11, 2007. Oral History Interviews of the Milwaukee LGBT History Project, 2003-2007. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department. >> Listen

“Religion and the Gay.” (Gay People’s Union Radio Program.) Milwaukee, Wisconsin: WUWM, December 9, 1971. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Archives Division. >> Listen

Secondary Sources: What Historians Have Written

Escoffier, Jeffrey. “Fabulous Politics: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Movements, 1969-1999.” In The World the Sixties Made: Politics and Culture in Recent America, edited by Van Gosse and Richard R. Moser, 191–218. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003. >> Read

Faderman, Lillian. “‘Not a Public Relations Movement’: Lesbian Revolutions in the 1960s through 70s.” In Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America, 188–214. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991. >> Read

Meeker, Martin. “Behind the Mask of Respectability: Reconsidering the Mattachine Society and Male Homophile Practice, 1950s and 1960s.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 10, no. 1 (2001): 78–116. >> Read

White, Heather Rachelle. “Born Again at Stonewall.” In Reforming Sodom: Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights, 138–70. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. >> Read