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History Happenings Newsletter: Timely lessons and activities in history and social studies for users of ProQuest research solutions
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  History Happenings at ProQuest: Free Lesson Plans National Women's History Month
Welcome to your new issue of History Happenings, a no-cost ProQuest publication that puts current events into historical context.

Your new issue contains hands-on lesson plans that employ Historical Newspapers, History Study Center, SIRS Decades, and World Conflicts Today (free trials) to power learning for students in middle through high school and beyond.

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  Women: Experiences & Achievements
Theme Overview

In 1987, the United States Congress declared March as National Women's History Month.

© Getty Images, Inc. (1917)

To celebrate National Women's History Month, this issue of History Happenings features content and activities from ProQuest history resources that focus on the experiences and achievements of women.

Learn more about women's suffrage, the lives of women in wartime, changing gender roles, and the sometimes dangerous politics of appearance.

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  Women's Suffrage
SIRS Decades

Most people now take it for granted that women should have the right to vote, but it has not always been so.

© Archive Photos (circa 1910)

In this new teaching activity from SIRS Decades, learn about some of the arguments for and against women's suffrage that were debated in the early part of the 20th century.

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"Housewife" or Career Woman: The Changing Roles of Women in WWII and Beyond
ProQuest Historical Newspapers

To what extent American women should work inside versus outside the home has long been a topic of debate in the United States. This debate was especially heated in post-World War II America, when women's roles underwent a variety of dramatic changes in response to returning soldiers, increased prosperity, the Baby Boom, and other factors.

© Getty Images, Inc. (1950)

In this new activity from Historical Newspapers, read about the evolution of women's roles during and after World War II and analyze the way that advertisements reflected and influenced what it meant to be a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.

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  What Not to Wear—a Political Choice
World Conflicts Today

Fashion magazines would have their readers believe that the clothes a woman wears are all about style. But women's clothing may also communicate messages that run much deeper than superficial appearances.

© Getty Images, Inc. (1996)

This is especially true in religiously conservative countries, where what women wear—or choose not to wear—is often a political choice. Read about examples from Sudan and Afghanistan in this new activity from World Conflicts Today.

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Haiti & Chile: CultureGrams in Focus 
Download the 2010 Haiti & Chile Country Reports from CultureGrams, available for open access for a limited time. CultureGrams is here to help students learn more about Haiti and Chile.

What challenges continue to face its peoples as they recover from recent earthquakes?

Download our full 2010 country reports (PDF open access) then watch a short slideshow of "Haiti Before the Quake."

Women in the Civil War
History Study Center

ProQuest Research Tool Icon The place of women in wartime societies has long been an overlooked area of historical inquiry. The lack of women on the battlefield has often been mistaken as an absence from all avenues of the war effort.

However, in 1861, when the American Civil War broke out between the North and the South, women became deeply involved in the conflict. In this new activity from History Study Center, learn more about the contributions of women during the Civil War.

American women had already proved their steel during the War of Independence of 1775-83. As nurses in the Civil War, women ran hospitals to tend the ill and wounded, with some women, such as Mary Walker Edwards, even rising to the rank of physician.

Other women served the war cause as "vivandieres," who supplied food and other vital provisions to the soldiers, or as "sutlers," who sold goods to military units on the battlefield. There was also work for women as military scouts, spies, and soldiers, although women who fought had to hide their identities in order to do so.

In a nation divided by war, these American women served their causes in ways that should not be ignored.

1. Have students read/examine the following sources from our study unit Women and the American Civil War. (Search for this unit by keyword using the link.)

Students should make a list of the diverse roles women played in supporting the war effort.

The Women and the War

Field Hospitals

Munitions Work

Union Hospital

Mary Edwards Walker: Civil War Doctor

Women Soldiers of the Civil War

Women Were There

2. As a class, discuss the role of women in the Civil War. Does the diversity of roles that women played in the war effort surprise students? Why or why not? What was it about the time period that allowed/necessitated women moving beyond their traditional gender roles?

3. Have students been taught about the contributions of women in their history classes, or do such classes still focus primarily on male accomplishment? How would a female-oriented history of the Civil War be different from a male-oriented history?

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