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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Okie Near Muskogee: 1939

Okie Near Muskogee: 1939

July 1939. "Elmer Thomas, migrant to California, tying sack of laundry onto front lamp bracket near Muskogee, Oklahoma." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration.

 

American History

I had just one "American History" class in 9th grade (1991) that spent most of the year on European exploration, colonization, the American Revolution, and the Civil War. After that, the school year was nearly over, and we spent just a few days on everything that happened from 1865 through WWII.

As for everything past WWII... well, I knew there'd been some fighting in Korea and Vietnam at some point, but I was a college junior before I even heard of the Cuban missile crisis.

Re: What they teach

I think the person who said that it was all in recent memory has part of it right. Things that are recently experienced are seldom taught in school because they did happen so recently. But a big part is that today's schools systems and the state and federal agencies that mandate curricula are often bloated bureaucracies that — like all bureaucracies — are slow to respond, slow to request textbooks... just slow in general.

What they taught

I was in the 8th grade and WWII was taught, this was the school year 67-68, the text book went from 1900-1950, its interesting to hear that others did not have this in class.

What they taught

I went to school in the 50's and 60's and I don't remember being taught anything about WW2. I just remember it because my dad was in that war and he had pictures of himself and others during the war. I used to look at them when I was a child. He would answer questions I had but I never learned anything about it in school. I only remember learning about the wars before WW2. I never knew a thing about Nazi's and the Holocaust until the 70's when I discovered books about it in the library. Children should have been and still should be taught about WW2. There was great patriotism back then and people understood why we fight wars.

what they teach

It's very sad that public schools refuse to teach students what has taken place in the world that has led society to where we are today.

We are where we are due to what happened in the past and unless/until we learn from our past we are going to continue to have problems that can be fixed if we only learn from our past, not ignore it.

What they teach

I was born in 1957 and was never taught any 20th century history in school. In the late 1960s one teacher told us that we weren't being taught about WWII because, she said, "We all still remember that."

Poverty Bad

Many Okies were desperately poor in the 30's. Getting a fender or headlight fixed was probably a few items below "find work," "find food," and "find shelter" on this gentleman's to-do list.

Do they teach the Great Depression in school anymore, or is it just passed off as some kind of goofy camping craze that swept the nation?

Vintage Ford Truck

Just look at the way he treats that old Ford truck! Check out that cracked left fender and grill molding, the missing right headlight lens, the unmatching front tires ... funny the armless hood ornament still seems to shine like new! You wouldn't get 10 feet in a car in such bad shape these days without being stopped and thrown off the road. Just goes to show why an original one of these in good condition would be worth so much nowadays.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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