Education News for November 2021

African American CCC recruits thinning trees along a freeway

This primary source is a photograph of six African American Civilian Conservation Corps,CCC, recruits thinning trees and clearing brush along a freeway in Tennessee. They are stacking trimmed branches into a flatbed truck. 

Congress created the CCC in 1937 to succeed the Emergency Conservation Program, which began in 1933. The CCC built roads, homes and furniture and was instrumental in building the infrastructure for the Tennessee State Parks system and National Parks in Tennessee. The CCC later added remedial education and vocational training programs. Approximately 200,000 African American men served in the CCC. African American enrollment in the CCC was capped at 10 percent, reflecting the racial profile of the national population. African Americans and Native Americans enrolled in the CCC were housed in segregated camps.

This source meets the 5.16, US.43, TN.51 and AAH.34 Tennessee social studies standards.

Discussion Questions
  1. Under which U.S. President's administration was the Civilian Conservation Corps created and why?
  2. Looking at this photograph, what might make this job easier for present-day workers? Consider all modern-day technology we have in place.
  3. How did the Civilian Conservation Corps affect the lives of Americans?
  4. The CCC was one of the earliest New Deal programs. Name three other New Deal programs.
  5. How were minorities living in the South treated in the Civilian Conservation Corps? 

For more primary sources on the CCC and other New Deal programs, be sure to visit our website.

DocsBox Reservations for the 2021-2022 School Year

Teachers, our engaging, uniquely designed and free DocsBoxes are available for you now! DocsBox reservations are open to educators in all 95 counties. DocsBoxes are educational resources that provide hands-on original and reproduction materials and historical primary sources to supplement the Tennessee social studies curriculum standards. Topics include the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Civil Rights and more. 
Each DocsBox includes creative lesson plans created by current classroom teachers and all the materials needed. 

To reserve a DocsBox:
  • Select the free DocsBox you would like to reserve
  • View the appropriate DocsBox calendar for availability
  • Fill out the contact form for the specific DocsBox with an open availability
  • Wait for confirmation from Library & Archives education staff

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL)

TEL is a collection of 40+ databases that provide access to over 400,000 magazines, journals, newspaper articles, essays, podcasts, primary source materials, videos and more. 

Click here for information on upcoming and archived webinars providing training on some of the resources available in TEL. 

On This Day in History

- Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th U.S. President and the first Republican. He received 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40% of the popular vote.
Nov. 11 - Veterans Day (formerly called Armistice Day to commemorate the cessation of hostilities in WWI) is celebrated in the U.S. with parades and military memorial ceremonies.
11/17/1863 - Siege of Knoxville begins
11/30/1864 - Battle of Franklin
11/28/1925 - Grand Ole Opry premieres as WSM Barn Dance on WSM radio

Visit our website for primary sources relating to these events and other sources represented in our Eras of History.

Stories from the 16th State:  Creating Classroom Engagement with Local History

During the 225th anniversary of Tennessee statehood, the Tennessee State Library & Archives invites Tennessee teachers to attend  workshops exploring our state’s history. Through June 2022, we're offering this workshop series to educators across the state.

Focusing on the use of primary sources found in the collections of the Library & Archives, these workshops will examine Tennessee history topics from the 4th, 5th, 8th and high school American history curriculum standards for social studies. Workshop locations include:
Memphis (postponed for a later date to be determined)
Chattanooga - December 4
Murfreesboro - January 27
Union City -  February 10
Jackson - February 11
Nashville - March 5
Columbia -  March 8 
Cookeville - June 7

Click here for registration information and locations for all workshops.

Discover Tennessee History Webinar Series

Discover Tennessee History will offer a seven-part webinar series for the 2021-2022 school year. Each month one of the Discover Tennessee History partner organizations will offer a one-hour session exploring topics in Tennessee history with related educational resources that can be used with your students. 
Recordings from this year's series and last year are available. You can earn Professional Development for each session. If you wish to receive PD credit, please complete this survey after you watch each session. Certificates are sent out weekly. 

Click here for details and to register for all sessions, including the Dec. 14 webinar:  Tennessee 225:  Artifacts are Primary Sources Too, presented by the Tennessee State Museum.

National History Day

National History Day is a year-long curriculum enhancement program that engages students in grades 6-12 in discovering and interpreting historical topics. Students produce dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, websites and research papers related to an annual theme. These projects are evaluated at local, state, and national competitions.
The 2022 competition theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History:  Successes, Failures, Consequences.  To explore primary sources, please visit the Education Collection in our Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA!)
Go to the Tennessee History Day website for complete information about National History Day in Tennessee, organized by the Tennessee Historical Society and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office and Humanities Tennessee.
Questions? Email the state coordinator, Nikki Ward, at
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