1865 - A Nation Reunited

This April marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. After four years of bloody conflict and over 620,000 casualties, the long process of healing and reconciliation could begin. As soldiers returned home, and a people made free, many sought to create a better, stronger Union.

Voicing the Absent: Crafting History

In this audio recorded at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, historian Jane Kamensky, filmmaker Louis Massiah and Ain Gordon discuss the ways hsitorians try to describe past events as they really happened. They aim at faithful representation. Yet we cannot know what others feel and think, and so historians must always take license with their subjects.

The Truth Behind "Hold These Truths"

This is an audio recording of the event held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The program begins with a presentation by Dr. Franklin Odo, visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania. It's followed by  a sneak peak of Hold These Truths, performed by local actor Makoto Hirano, a one-man show about the real life journey of Gordon Hirabayashi, the man who famously defied forcible removal and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court... twice!  It concludes with a discussion between Dr.

Preserving American Freedom in the Classroom

David Reader wrote the lessons plans for Preserving American Freedom and talks about as a teacher using primary sources in the classroom and how other teachers can utilize Preserving American Freedom in their own classrooms as well.

The Contested History of American Freedom

Eric Foner explores the centrality of freedom to America’s identity and its complicated legacy.

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of numerous works on American history. His most recent book is The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner, among other awards, of the Bancroft, Lincoln, and Pulitzer Prizes.

Citizenship and Freedom in Post Civil War America

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Walter Licht explores who is considered a rightful citizen of the United States and what rights and liberties these citizens could or could not exercise.

Walter Licht is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches American economic and labor history.  He is an award-winning author of historical studies on industrialization, work, and labor markets.

Preserving American Freedom and the Common Core Standards

Sally Flaherty talks about how Preserving American Freedom fulfills Pennsylvania and Common Core standards.


Liberty, Slavery, and the Civil War

Richard Newman “Liberty, Slavery, and the Civil War”

Richard Newman explains the importance of primary documents in helping students understand and engage in discussion about the meaning of freedom. In particular, he talks about the contested nature of the meaning of liberty both during slavery prior to the Civil War and  for African Americans after.