Day In History: January 16-23 Free Resources

Prohibition, Doomsday Clock, Martin Luther King Jr, Tokyo Rose, Barack Obama, Concorde, CIA, Poll Tax

January 16–Prohibition

Prohibition was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. January 16, 1919 prohibition takes effect. has a number of activities for teachers to use in their classroom related to prohibition. This includes music of the prohibition (Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong etc–with links to audio files), prohibition characters (such as Al Capone, Carry Nation), prohibition editorial cartoons, prohibition in your town, the roaring 20s, women of prohibition, and more. Also check out their lesson plans which include downloadable lessons with video excerpts.

January 17–Doomsday Clock

The Doomsday Clock was created to show how close the world is to nuclear destruction. The Doomsday Clock was set to 5 minutes until midnight on January 17, 2007.

The Doomsday Clock debut was in 1947, when the greatest threat to humanity was nuclear weapons. Although the nuclear threat is still with us today, now catastrophic natural disasters related to climate change are also considered. The nonprofit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists website lists all the changes in a timeline. Clicking on the “full statement” gives detailed information about the changes which occurred. Using the menu at the top of the screen and clicking on nuclear risk, climate change, or disruptive technologies will direct the reader to relevant articles.

January 18–Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 states on January 18, 1993.

Stanford University houses the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Educational Institute. The King Papers includes speeches, manuscripts, and correspondence. Featured documents include primary sources such as the certificate of birth for Martin Luther King, arrest report for Rosa Parks, Announcement, Another Negro Woman has been Arrested–Don’t Ride the Bus, Invitation to the inauguration of President Kennedy, address to Freedom Riders rally, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, correspondence from Malcolm X, and many more. The documents are indexed and available from the search bar. The Liberation Curriculum lists lesson plans available on a variety of topics and can be filtered by grade level or subject. Lessons provide background information and are appropriately engaging with important essential questions. The heading King Resources will navigate to the King Encyclopedia (over 300 people, events and organizations in the civil rights movement) and related documents, photographs, and publications.

January 19–Tokyo Rose

Tokyo Rose was a name given by Allied troops during World War II to what they believed were multiple English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. January 19, 1977, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri who served ten years of imprisonment for her actions as Tokyo Rose. 

A quick 1 min 30 second video Iva Ikuko Toguri reads propaganda from Radio Tokyo (1944) and talks briefly about her personal life.

January 20–Barack Obama

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States was the first African-American president. He was inaugurated for his second term on January 20, 2013.

The Barack Obama Presidential Library website has a great deal of free information for the classroom. Under the tab “The Obamas” you will find information about President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and the White House family residence. The site also contains an extensive timeline. Another feature is the photo and video galleries which are all public domain and do not require licensing for use. The research section provides additional information for learning about the Obama presidential history. The website is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (a federal agency).

January 21–Concorde

The first commercial flight of the Concorde was January 21, 1976.

Students will enjoy looking at the images of the interior and exterior of the Concorde. Click here to see the pictures from Cnet.

January 22–CIA (Central Intelligence Agency

On January 22, 1946 the Central Intelligence Group, predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency was formed.

The CIA website contains a great deal of information, but click on the Spy Kids tab for fun resources for your class. There are high interest stories, information about their spy dogs (K9 unit), and online games. Clicking on the lesson plan tab brings links to PDF lesson plans for grades 5-12 on intelligence’s role in war, gathering and analyzing information, codes and code-breaking, problem solving, and accurate communication (all grades).

January 23–Poll Tax

The 24th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited both Congress and this states from levying a poll tax in order to grant a citizen the right to vote in federal elections on January 23, 1964.

A first-hand story of Dorothy Guilford is featured in the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mrs. Guilford (Montgomery Alabama) lived through poll taxes and literacy tests designed to limit voting. The article talks about her experience and includes a 2:25 second video clip. The article and video talk about the importance of voting and express the opinion voter laws can impose burdens on voters.

Looking for additional resources?

Click on any of the titles in the list below to be taken to my TPT store where you will find a differentiated passage with comprehension questions for each of these topics.

1 thought on “Day In History: January 16-23 Free Resources

  1. I just checked out the Spy Kids site…so much fun! Thanks for the info! Love your blog!! 🙂

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