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FREE Resources: History

from Educators' eZine

More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE web site. FREE stands for Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. The web sites listed below are excerpted with permission from the FREE web site. This month, we highlight web sites for history; in other months, we feature other subject areas. You can search our site for the word FREE to find them.

America's Founding Fathers
features biographies of delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in May 1787. The 55 delegates had been sent by the 13 states to revise the Articles of Confederation, but they ended up drafting an entirely new plan of government. They ranged in age from 26-year-old Jonathan Dayton to 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin, who had to be carried to sessions in a sedan chair. (National Archives and Records Administration)

Early History of the California Coast
is a travel itinerary that highlights 45 historic places that help tell the story of Spanish colonization of California. Learn about forts, churches, adobe houses, historic districts, and other places. Find out about the Presidio, which was established in 1769 as the base for Spain's colonization efforts and was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast. (National Park Service)

Maritime History of Massachusetts
is a travel itinerary highlighting 89 historic places that tell the story of Massachusetts' relationship with the sea. Read essays about lighthouses and lifesaving stations, ships and shipbuilding, the U.S. Navy, and maritime commerce. (National Park Service)

Along the Georgia-Florida Coast
is a travel itinerary that helps us understand key developments in America's past: encounters between Europeans and Native Americans, European settlement, plantation agriculture, and African American culture. Learn about more than 50 historic forts, churches, plantations, camps, cemeteries, districts, and monuments. (National Park Service)

Chronicling America
lets us search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published since 1690. (Library of Congress)

Florida Shipwrecks: 300 Years of Maritime History
is a travel itinerary featuring 13 historic shipwrecks in waters near Florida, a convergence point for maritime trade routes. Learn about the historical significance of these 13 shipwrecks. See photos and an essay on Florida maritime history. (National Park Service)

Holocaust Memorial Museum: For Students
offers multipmedia exhibits to help students learn about the Holocaust. Topics include Kristallnacht, the St. Louis ocean liner, the rescue of the Jews of Denmark, Oskar Schindler, the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Father Jacques, the dress of Lola Rein, Nazi book burnings, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, America's responses, Arthur Szyk, maps, and children. (Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor
is a travel itinerary that takes us to 50 houses, farms, churches, historic districts, and other sites. Learn about the first organized American settlement in the Northwest Territory (1772) and the history and impact of canals and railroads. Read essays on transportation, ethnicity, industry, and preservation. (National Park Service)

Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery
tells the story of Camp Chase, one of the largest prisoner-of-war camps for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Located on the western outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, the camp — now a cemetery for Confederate soldiers — played a key role in the evolution of federal policy on marking Confederate graves. (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)

Independence Hall: International Symbol of Freedom
recounts the history of the building in Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence and where, a decade later, delegates to the "Philadelphia Convention" formulated the Constitution: the Pennsylvania State House. The Pennsylvania Assembly, which had been meeting in homes and taverns, moved into the building in September 1735. It was considered the most ambitious public building in the colonies. (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)