Got a topic-shopping COM student? S/he might consider the Interstate Highway System. The Summer 1996, Vol. 60, No. 1 issue of “Public Roads” magazine (available full-text through ProQuest) offers a history of the system, a contemporary evaluation, and articles on the poetry, art and movies inspired by the open road. Original source documents can be found in the Eisenhower Archives, and the Smithsonian offers a collection of images in the site’s America on the Move section, including one of a poster protesting a highway’s construction. Also, the USDOT Federal Highway Administration offers a list of links on highway history.
According to the “Folklore of American Holidays” (REF GT4803.F65 1991), the origin today’s holiday (AKA “All Fools’ Day”) “is uncertain, but it seems to have come about it France as a result of the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 when New Year’s was moved from March 25 to January 1. Thus, the first April fools may have been people who failed to make proper adjustment. In Mexico, where the borrowing of trivial items and the failure to return them is a feature, a similar day is celedrated on 28, and some countries like Germany and Norway have two such days on the first and last dates in April.” p 175.
The Jesus Seminar: “Convened in 1985 by Robert W. Funk, the Jesus Seminar has become a lightning rod for international debate about the “historical Jesus” – that is, the real facts about the person to whom various Christian gospels refer. The Seminar’s on-going project has been to evaluate the historical significance of every shred of evidence about Jesus from antiquity (about 30-200 CE). Over the past seventeen years more than 200 scholars from North America & beyond have participated in its semi-annual meetings.” (Site hosted by Rutgers University)
The Cherokee “Trail of Tears,” 1838-1839 : “This site explores the effects of the 1830 Indian Removal Act and the 1838 Treaty of New Echola that forcibly evicted Cherokees from their homes to unsettled lands west of the Mississippi. This forced march caused the death of over 4,000 people, approximately one-fifth of the Cherokee Nation. Includes statistics, narratives of participants, maps of the various routes, a timeline, and information about parks and historical sites.” (Annotation from Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
On This Day: The First of April, 1864 : “A lighthearted but accurate historical review of April Fool’s Day, illustrated with a cartoon by artist Thomas Nast. From the New York Times Learning Network.” Gives an interesting (but brief) history of April Fool’s Day. (Annotation from Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
California Occupational Guides: “The California Occupational Guides are a series of about 300 information sheets covering individual occupations or groups of related occupations. They provide statewide information about job duties, working conditions, employment outlook, wages, benefits, entrance requirements, and training.”
Ebook Library at the Electronic Text Center, Univesity of Virginia Library: “1,800 publicly-available ebooks from the University of Virginia Library’s Etext Center, including classic British and American fiction, major authors, children’s literature, American history, Shakespeare, African-American documents, the Bible, and much more.” (Note: These books are primarily classic texts that are old enough to be out of copyright (pre-1924).
“The Pew Internet & American Life Project will create and fund original, academic-quality research that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source for timely information on the Internet’s growth and societal impact, through research that is scrupulously impartial. ” (from the Project’s mission statement) Includes reports/statistics on older Americans and the Internet, the CAN-SPAM Act, libraries and the digital divide, &etc.
The University of Michigan Library Digital Archive: Brown v. Board of Education : “This archive contains documents and images which chronicle events surrounding this historically significant case up to the present. The archive is divided into four main areas of interest: Supreme Court cases; busing and school integration efforts in northern urban areas; school integration in the Ann Arbor Public School District; and recent resegregation trends in American schools.” (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
This website (www.pipa.org) reports on research performed by the PIPA of American attitudes on topics of foreign policy and international issues. This is a great resource for students to review when considering topics for their papers and speeches. It is also a great source for those interested in politics and International issues. Polls and surveys are organized in the “Digest” section by topic so that one can see the change of American attitude on issues over time.