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Classroom Activities

National History Day 2004–2005

Suggested History Topics, Keywords, and Search Returns

Labor Movement

Search for images using the keyword "labor" or "industry."

  • (Study for The History of Labor in America: Technology), 1975, Jack Beal, 1977.47.39

  • Early Mail Service and Construction of Railroads (mural study, Commerce, Georgia Post Office), 1938, Philip Guston, 1962.8.77

  • Paper Workers, 1934, Douglas Crockwell, 1964.1.152


Search for images using the word "sea" or "lighthouse."

  • Waterfront at Night, 1964, Alexander A. Maldonado, 1991.96.3

  • Captain's House, 1929, Morris Kantor, 1976.146.9

  • Life Saving Patrol, about 1893, Edward Moran, 1925.12.3

Invention & Innovation

Search for images using the word "occupation" or "science."

  • Samuel F.B. Morse, 1831, Horatio Greenough, 1919.1.1

  • Hall of Science, Chicago Fair, 1933, Charles L. Morgan 1935.13.626>

  • Technology, 1991, Nam June Paik, 1994.29


Search for images using the word "student" or "education."

  • Booker T. Washington Legend, about 1944–1945, William H. Johnson 1967.59.664

  • The Library, 1960, Jacob Lawrence, 1969.47.24

  • The Morning Bell, 1873, Winslow Homer, 1979.98.111

Politics and Political Movements

Search for images using the word "civic" or "allegory."

  • Boycott Grapes, Support the United Farm Workers Union, 1973, Xavier Viramontes, 1995.50.58

  • Wi-jun-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington, 1837–1839, George Catlin, 1985.66.474

  • Water Gate or Government Machine No. 3, 1974, Harold Garrison, 1986.65.248


Search for images using the word "war" or "battle."

  • Foot War Party in Council, Mandan, 1835–1837, George Catlin, 1985.66.458

  • Ruins of the Charleston Lighthouse, Morris Island, South Carolina, about 1863, J. R. Foster, 1994.91.52

  • The Armistice Letter (Mural Study, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Post Office), about 1940–1941, Eugene Higgins, 1965.18.101


Search for images using the word "slave."

  • Slave Dance, Sac and Fox, 1835–1837, George Catlin, 1985.66.450

  • The Underground Railroad (mural study, Dolgeville, New York Post Office), about 1940, James Michael Newell, 1962.8.97

  • A Visit from the Old Mistress, 1876, Winslow Homer, 1909.7.28

Early America

Search for images using the words "United States" or "frontier."

  • The Land is Bought from the Indians (Study for mural, Blakely, Georgia post office), 1937, Daniel Putnam Brinley, 1974.28.305

  • Study for The History of Labor in America: Settlement, 1975, Jack Beal, 1977.47.37

  • Concord Minute Man of 1775, 1889, cast 1917, Daniel Chester French, 1991.193

The Great Depression

Search for images using the words "Depression era" or "New Deal."

  • Dismissal, 1940, Howard Taft Lorenz, 1971.447.62

  • Artists on WPA, 1935, Moses Soyer, 1968.61

  • Unemployed Rally, 1931, Harry Brodsky, 1982.78.2

Civil Rights

Search for images using the words "black history" or "injustice."

  • Untitled (Birmingham, Alabama), from the portfolio Ten Works x Ten Painters, 1964, Andy Warhol, 1965.37.1E

  • Death of Rubén Salazar, 1986, Frank Romero, 1993.19

  • Private Law and Order Leagues (study for medallion, Medals for Dishonor series), about 1938–1939, David Smith, 1988.60

Harlem Renaissance

Search for images using the words "African American" or "Harlem."

  • Harlem Dancers, 1937, Margaret Brassler Kane, 1993.2

  • Café, about 1939–1940, William H. Johnson, 1967.59.669

  • Lenox Avenue, about 1938, Sargent Johnson, 1967.72.124


Search for images using the word "ethnicity."

  • Máh-to-tóh-pa, Four Bears, Second Chief, in Full Dress, 1832, George Catlin, 1985.66.128

  • That Is No Longer Our Smoke Sign, about 1950s, Justino Herrera, 1979.144.99

  • Placa/Rollcall, 1980, Charles "Chaz" Bojorquez, 1992.64.1

Urban Life

Search for images using the words "urban" or "cityscape."

  • In the Barber Shop, about 1934, Ilya Bolotowsky, 1964.1.79

  • Newspaper Boy, 1869, Edward Mitchell Bannister, 1983.95.85

  • 42nd St. Nocturne, 1953, Xavier J. Barile, 1979.14.2

For a list of keywords that we use to index our collection, see the Subject Term Manual (PDF file, 148K).

Pictured: Stow Wengenroth, Old North Church, 1976, lithograph, 15 3/4 x 11 5/8 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Frank McClure