Featured Primary Sources

The Roaring Twenties

Nothing can enrich and enliven our understanding of the nation’s past, or dispel apathy about it, more powerfully than primary sources. The primary sources below open up a variety of viewpoints and have been chosen by master teachers specifically for use in the classroom. Affiliate School members can print a packet that includes an image of the document, photograph, or other resource, a transcript where applicable, text to place the document in historical context, and document-based questions. In addition, you may want to search the Gilder Lehrman Collection itself for other resources to enrich your lessons.

Gutzon Borglum,  National Monument Mount Rushmore Black Hills South Dakota..., S

Building Mount Rushmore, 1926

Creator: Gutzon Borglum Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels:
William E. Mitchell to Lester D. Gardner, July 26, 1924 (Gilder Lehrman Collecti

Creating the Air Force, 1924

Creator: William E. Mitchell Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, “Justice the Issue! Shall Sacco and Vanzetti

Sacco and Vanzetti, 1921

Creator: Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Primary Sources from Other Sub-Eras

Inaugural Address of President Herbert Hoover, March 4, 1929 (Gilder Lehrman Col

Herbert Hoover’s Inaugural Address, 1929

Creator: Herbert Hoover Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
John P. Sousa to John W. Hughes, March 12, 1930. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

John Philip Sousa critiques modern music, 1930

Creator: John P. Sousa Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Supreme Court upholds national prohibition, 1920

Creator: Wayne B. Wheeler Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
William Howard Taft to George Lorimer, October 10, 1922. ( GLC08052)

William H. Taft recalls dispute with Theodore Roosevelt, 1922

Creator: William H. Taft Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: