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First British Royal Visit (1939)

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth became the first reigning British monarchs to visit the United States. Their six day visit lasted from June 7th-12th, 1939, following a visit to Canada. The King and Queen first spent their first two days in Washington, D.C. where they were welcomed by crowds of cheering spectators. After enjoying receptions, entertainment, and site seeing in Washington, D.C., the King and Queen traveled with President and First Lady Roosevelt to their home in Hyde Park, NY. The purpose of bring the royal couple to Hyde Park was to demonstrate the reliability of the King and Queen to the American public, especially in an area of growing isolationist sentiment. Here they ate a traditional American picnic:...

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Alcatraz Prison (1934-1963)

Alcatraz Island, known as "the rock" is a small island 1.25 miles west of San Francisco, California. The island has facilities for a lighthouse (oldest operating on the West Cost of America), military fortification and prison, and a federal prison which was in use from 1934 until 1963. Aerial photograph of Alcatraz island (1934)  Alcatraz federal prison was a high-security prison and it's high visibility and proximity to San Francisco was intended to display the federal government's seriousness about fighting crime, especially after a wave of crime in the 1920's and 30's. The prison became famous for housing the most dangerous criminals in the federal prison system, such as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly, either the most violent or the most likely to...

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Influenza Pandemic (1918)

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic attacked an estimated 500 million people, more than 20% of the world's population, and killed an estimated 50 million people globally! This is even more than the total amount of casualties from WWI, which ended the same year. 25% of America's population contracted the virus with 650,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Within the span of months, the influenza virus had become the deadliest disease outbreak in modern history.  The flu virus filled people's lungs with fluid and they suffocated. The virus was found virtually everywhere, from densely populated urban areas to remote rural areas. Doctors and health officials could not identify the cause of the disease although crowded conditions during wartime and WWI troops moving throughout...

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Lincoln's Farewell Address (1861)

Above is the typed version of Abraham Lincoln's Farewell Address to the people of Springfield, IL, as published by the American News Company.  Since Lincoln's impromptu oral address was not transcribed at the time it was spoken, we will never know exactly what Lincoln said. However, several people who witnessed the speech, wrote what they recalled. One version is printed above.   

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WWII Animals (1941-1945)

Animals have been used to aid military efforts for thousands of years. The U.S. military in WWII enlisted animals to carry supplies, transmit messages, track enemies, protect troops, and more. An estimated 20,000 dogs served in various U.S. Military branches during WWII. 

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