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  • jesse owens

    in 1936, the olympic summer games were held in germany, and adolf hitler wanted it to be a great showcase of german-or aryan-racial superiority. but jesse owens, an african american track and field star, stole the show, setting records and winning four gold medals.

  • hideki tojo

    he was the most important military leader in japan after 1931 and led japan during world war 2.

  • ku klux klan

    the kkk, which had terrorized southern blacks after the civil war, was reestablished in georgia in 1915. the new klan claimed it was protecting america's "pioneer heritage" from not only blacks but also radicals, foreigners, jews, and catholics. membership soared following a series of antiblack riots in 1919, when white mobs rampaged through black neighborhoods in chicago and washington, d.c., killing at least 100 african americans.

    money poured into the ku klux klan treasury, and its membership swelled to more than four million. for a few years the klan was a political force in small towns in the south, midwest, and southwest, helping elect senators and governors in several states. by 1925, economic prosperity and full employment reduced fear of radicals, and the popularity of the klan went into a steep decline. by 1930, membership had dropped below 10,000.

  • mustafa kemal ataturk

    a nation devoid of art and artists cannot have a full existence.

  • buffalo soldier

    known for their service on the western frontier, buffalo soldiers were segregated regiments of african american soldiers in the u.s. army. historians disagree on the origin of their nickname, with some suggesting it was given by native americans who compared their hair to that of buffaloes, while others suggest it reflected their fierce fighting skills. several generations of buffalo soldiers fought bravely for the united states across nearly 200 engagements from 1866 to 1951. they were the only african american soldiers to fight in cuba during the spanish american war, earning five medals of honor among them.

  • square deal

    in 1902, a coal miners' strike threatened the nation's supply of heating fuel. roosevelt invited the mine owners and union officials to the white house, but the owners refused to negotiate. furious, the president got them to back down, and the strike was settled, with the miners receiving a pay raise and a nine-hour work day, down from 12 hours.

    in his bid for reelection in 1904, roosevelt said that in brokering the settlement he had tried for a "square deal"—a fair result-for both sides. the square deal became his motto for the rest of his career. roosevelt won a landslide election to become president in his own right in 1904.

  • robert m. la follette

    robert m. la follette was the most famous progressive in state government. he fought to overcome the all-powerful political party machines in wisconsin before being elected governor in 1900. his nickname was "battling bob." la follette's goal was to give the people more control over government. wisconsin became one of the first states to use a direct primary, where voters rather than political parties choose candidates to run for office. "battling bob" also passed a law requiring that civil-service workers take exams to qualify for jobs. that way, party bosses couldn't hire their friends in exchange for political favors.

    to reduce the power of utility companies, la follette established commissions to watch the cost and the quality of service. professors from the university of wisconsin served on the commissions, and he worked with the university's president to make sure powerful lumber companies did not overuse the state's forests. la follette's reforms became known as the wisconsin idea.

  • corn flakes

    in the 1880s, dr. john kellogg, operator of a sanatorium in battle creek, michigan, developed a ready-to-eat cereal he named corn flakes. the nation's first instant breakfast," packaged by his brother w. k. kellogg, was an instant success. the kelloggs soon had competition from charles w. post, a former patient at the sanatorium, who began to market a very similar product under the name post toasties. the conflict became known as the "cereal wars." both the post and kellogg companies survived to become major corporations that still make cereal today.

  • wounded knee massacre

    in 1889, some plains indians turned to a prophetic religious movement based on the "ghost dance," a group ritual that was supposed to give followers a vision of the world in 1891, when the whites would disappear and buffalo herds would return. the movement spread, and army officials feared a sioux uprising, so they rounded up suspected leaders. late in 1890, soldiers were holding 350 sioux at wounded knee creek in south dakota. gunfire was heard, and the soldiers opened fire on the sioux. nearly 200 men, women, and children were killed or wounded. organized indian resistance was at an end.

  • nat love

    also known as deadwood dick, was a former slave from tennessee who became a rodeo star. black cowboys were common in the old west. in fact, about one in seven cowboys was african american; many of them were former slaves.

  • shooting buffalo from trains

    became a cruel sport after the railroad system was established. the great herds were seen as hindrances to the settling of western lands. then, in 1871, a process was developed for tanning buffalo hides. tanning companies sent teams of hunters to kill the animals for the hides, leaving the meat to rot and threatening the survival of the plains indians, who relied on the herds for their livelihood.

  • robert edward lee

    regarded as the best officer in the u.s. army, lee symbolized the conflict faced by many, lee had mixed feelings about slavery. though he never publicly spoke against it, he considered it a "moral and political but also felt it was a necessary lesson to civilize the slaves. he opposed secession, however, and so president lincoln offered him command of the union armies in 1861. but when virginia joined the confederacy, lee turned down the offer and accepted a commission in the confederate army. he said,

    "i cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children."

  • william tecumseh sherman

    sherman was the head of a military school in louisiana when the civil war began. ohio-born, sherman rejected the south's offer of a command and enlisted in the union army. early in the war, he suffered from severe depression, considering himself a failure. sherman went on to become a relentless leader, and was grant's most trusted general.

  • banjo

    an adaptation of an african lyre, was a common instrument in slave quarters. singing songs reinforced slaves sense of community and tied their lives in america to their ancestors' in africa.

  • peter cooper

    peter cooper was an inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist who believed that the wealthy have a duty to help society. before the age of 30, cooper made his fortune with a glue factory. about 1828, he built an ironworks in baltimore and began a second career in the iron industry. during his life, cooper produced many inventions, including a steam-powered locomotive and flavored gelatin, and he supported the development of the new telegraph network. he also helped to secure public education and improve sanitation in new york city. in 1859, he founded the cooper union, a university that gives all its students a free education.

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