Setting a Precedent for American Aid; The Freedmen’s Bureau

Authored by Marion Ward

Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner, Indexes and Registers, Register 14, Jan. 1–July 31, 1869.

On March 3, 1865, the War Department of the United States established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; it has since come to be known as the Freedmen’s Bureau (National Archives 2021). Facing the aftermath of the Civil War and the havoc it wreaked on the American economic system, President Andrew Johnson worked alongside Congress to create the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was a federal agency that was established for the purpose of promoting the social welfare of the recently freed population of enslaved African Americans (Hatfield 2020).

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“The Girl I Left Behind Me” and The Wait for Loved Ones to Return Home from War

Authored By Leah Phelan

Eastman Johnson, created in 1872, describes this oil on canvas by analyzing an Irish ballad popular with the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. The photograph depicts Civil War art and the impact of the war on America. The Smithsonian American Art Museum purchase was made in part by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton Rice in memory of her husband and Ralph Cross Johnson. The object number is 1986.79.

The oil canvas painting “The Girl I Left Behind Me” was painted by Eastman Johnson. The picture’s title was known to be an Irish ballad title in was made notable during the Civil War (Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide 2015, par. 2). The woman is surrounded by darkness as the wind blows, unsure of what will come next. Through the lyrics, a connection of unity as this woman in the painting is not the only woman to have to say goodbye to their loved one; “until I see my love again for whom my heart is breaking” (The Girl I Left Behind 2021, under “Brighton Camp”). Although other paintings were prevalent, this was the first time an artist depicted the impacts of war in American art, allowing artists to voice concerns for the nation (Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide 2015, par. 2).

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Cold War Détente: Perturbation during a Period Designed for Peace

Authored by Ryan McDonnell

Photo of a primary source document in the Center for Migration Studies of New York’s Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection. Congressional Record – Extension of Remarks: What Price Détente?, submitted by Honorable John R. Rarick of Louisiana in the House of Representatives, December 12, 1974.

During the late 1960s period of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union began to share concerns over rising geopolitical tensions in a world ever conscious of the potential for nuclear devastation. Such concerns led to a roughly ten-year period of “détente,” where both nations sought to ease tensions through negotiations pertaining to arms control from 1969 to 1979 (Cahn 1998, 96). Though initially détente was popularly perceived as a step toward a safer and more peaceful world, a growing number of U.S. citizens condemned the program for functioning against the social and economic welfare of the nation (Zanchetta 2013). The 1974 article “What Price Détente,” found in a Congressional Record from the Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection of the Center for Migration Studies, features a strong argument that sought to reveal the economic harm of the détente in order to garner support for the modification or abandonment of this foreign policy initiative.

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United States Immigration Policy: A Decades-Old Conundrum

United States Immigration Policy: A Decades-Old Conundrum

Authored by Casey L. Stiller

This scanned excerpt, written by Charles B. Keely and included in Mary M. Kritz’s U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy, describes the challenges faced in changing United States immigration policy. Keely gives a brief overview of the current immigration climate within the United States in the early 1980’s.

There have been three major migration periods in the United States in the last century: a largely laissez faire outlook in the 1930s; the Bracero Program, in effect during and after World War II; and, following the elimination of the Bracero Program, passage of major immigration laws in 1965 (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 1). The Bracero Program was a formal agreement signed between the United States and Mexico in 1942, establishing “a migrant guest worker program,” which had favorable conditions for Mexican immigrants (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 4). The Bracero Program experienced significant pushback, and upon its expiration in 1964, was followed instead by the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, which established per-country caps and a tiered preference system for rationing visas within a country (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 5). 

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The Captain’s Log: A Firsthand Account of the Honolulu Fire Department’s Response on December 7, 1941

Authored by Cuyler K. Otsuka

An excerpt of page 95 of the captain’s log of the Honolulu Fire Department, from December of 1941, showing the captain’s handwritten notes from December 6 and December 7, 1941.

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, shortly before 8:00 a.m., Imperial Japanese airplanes approached the island of Oʻahu and began their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field, two United States military installations on the island. The alarm sounded at 8:05 a.m., and Engines 4 and 6 were promptly dispatched to Hickam Field to respond to the blazes and medical emergencies caused by gunfire and bombs (Bowen 1979, 126). As part of a “mutual aid pact,” the Honolulu Fire Department, a civilian fire department, assisted the United States military, and vice versa (Bowen 1979, 127).

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The Pilgrim: A mission to the world

Authored by Caleb Daubenspeck

The Board pictured above contains the logo suggestions for The Pilgrim missions’ letter sent from the Pilgrim Fellowship Inc. as a monthly ministry update to their supporters. The phrase “Into all the world” was added to the logo in 1959.

In November 1959, E Schuyler English, editor, and president of the Pilgrim Fellowship addressed his supports, encouraging them to give towards the ministry and missions. “For nineteen centers, since our Lord told His apostles to be witnesses concerning Him to the uttermost part of the earth, one generation after another has followed the apostolic Christians in carrying the Gospel to those in darkness throughout the world” (English, E. Schuyler 1959b, 4). The small monthly letter sent out to supporters provided the supporters an opportunity to engage with missions around the world. In an earlier newsletter, English suggested that there are three ways that people can participate in missions to the poor and oppressed; those who can go, those who can support, and all can pray (English 1959a, 2). The newsletter allowed people to engage with missions overseas in personal missions and financially through gifts. 

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