History Shaping American Identity

Museum from the past, in the present, for the future

Museum Curator: Morgan Allen

Declaration of Indepedence

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Declaring Change

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. That was the day the United States of America was officially made a nation. Thomas Jefferson was the main writer of the document, detailing how this country is no longer one with Britain. Of the 56 delegates in the Continental Congress, John Hancock was the first to sign, with the most legible, largest signature on the historic document. This declaration made by the Continental Congress infuriated Britain and sparked their bloody feud known as the Revolutionary War.

This artifact and time period shaped America the most, for it created the country itself. The main, most imminent principles of the government and the nation's values came along with this document and the following Constitution. It defined the US as a great power that can define itself from others and stay strong as one. George Washington, being the first President of the United States after the Declaration's completion, set many traditions and values for the Presidents to follow, even today, with presidents not being allowed more than two terms in the presidency. This document, and those involved in its creation, set forth the making of the great nation we currently call our home.

Not-so-Civil War

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic ( American Civil War Song )

Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean

The Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865, caused the most blood to be spilt and casualties. The war was fought between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). Since this war was fought within America, with Americans, the casualties were only Americans, leaving us with a greatly horrible total of over 620,000 men left dead. Abraham Lincoln was President at the time, delivering the impacting Gettysburg Address after the deadly battle in the summer of 1863. Families were pitted against each other, and even against those within the families were torn apart due to the side they chose.

The Civil War caused a great divide between the North and South. This divide is still prominent today, just on a slighter scale. There are still many conflicts between different ethnicities, and there is much hatred between the political parties. The Civil War left the South with a strong hatred for African Americans and Northerners, with discrimination still bery prominent in this day and age. The North prospered and flourished because of the war, paving way for the later industrial age. The US still sees many differences between the North and South, but we are still together as one proud nation.

Roaring Twenties

Top 20 Greatest Songs 1920-1929 (According to Dave's Music Database)

Roars Leave Echoes

The Roaring Twenties is considered the most prosperous time period of the nation. The nation's wealth doubled throughout the decade's duration, and many Americans began to find eyes for success. Wages were rising, hours were cut, and leisure time was to be had. People throughout the nation could connect and have fun with use of the same goods, dances, hairstyles, music choice, and slang. This new, hip, urban society may have been frowned upon by older generations, but the teens of this time could have a keen time at their speakeasy, which was the Bee's knees, and meet some nifty flappers and eggs.

The 1920's made today's technological and industrial success and society possible. With the invention of Ford's Model T, the idea of travel for fun sparked and took flight. People began traveling across the country without reason, spending money on keeping themselves happy, which is what happens even more so today. The US has grown on the new invenitons and ideas of the time, pulling the US further and further ahead of the rest of the world. The "consumer culture" was started in the 20's, and, excluding the dreadful Great Depression, it has only grown since.

The Boxing Match that Knocked Out a Nation

Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling - 1st Round Knockout

Fighting Effects

The boxing rematch between American Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling defined America's strength and shocked the world. The match took place on June 22, 1938, right before the start of the second World War. The Germans had won the first match against the African American, naming the US as weaklings compared to the European superpower. This rematch, from start to finish, lasted a measly 124 seconds. This match was broadcasted all over the world in four languages, spreading the news of American victory over the Germans to families across the globe.

This rematch symbolized the United States' ability to stand strong after any defeat, and totally decimate the enemy. This idea was put to action when the US's force helped the allies win WWII. Without this two-minute knockout, America might not have had the pride to pull themseves through and fight to victory in the bloody, troublesome war. This sense of pride is seen hugely in the present day, and it is quite rare to find an American who doesn't feel like their country can do anything.