America's Ultimate 20th Century Resource Page

If there is anything that has defined 20th century America, it is its people, its wars, and its technology. It's hard to separate the three because, for all intensive purposes, they are forever intertwined in an almost comical, paradoxical web where one outcome influenced another so greatly that there was no going back and sometimes a feeling of being unable to go forward. Yet, forward we came.

Perhaps, although people have always been harbingers of peace and war, never was there a time so many experienced it with a click of a dial on the radio, the television, or in milliseconds from a computer or cell phone video. Never have human beings witnessed such unrelenting greed for money and the power that technology brings. Yet they readily gave their lives in fights that often were not their own on foreign soil and in their own backyards, or on the streets.

Horses became cars, cars became planes, planes became instruments of destruction. And the heart of a nation came together for the suffering, for the lost, and a silent hug when words would not suffice...all before 9/11.

Moments were captured forever on film, musicals made our feet dance, the melting pot of nations showed its might from the inside out as America felt her growing pains. A century of turning points, of well-worn paths and paths not taken, from the perspectives of those who lived it, the generation that saw it all.

Art, Photographs, Images

Ansel Adams This is documentary information from PBS's "An American Experience" series. Includes a gallery of photos and a timeline.

20th Century Art A portal of art history resources on the web that includes general information as well as links to early and later 20th century art.

Slavery Image Gallery Images and documents regarding slavery in America.

Theater, Motion Pictures, and Television The American History Museum's Archive Center. First up, women in jazz. Then just click around and enjoy the gallery.

Predictions and Images Predictions for the 20th Century, then scroll down to see the images.

Voices from the Dust Bowl Photos of migrant workers from the 1940s.

The New Deal Photo Galleries Unexpected photography subjects: civil works, disaster relief, public buildings, Puerto Rico, resettlement, and many more.

The Lost Children Photographs with original captions of American child labor from 1908-1912.

Levittown Photos and documents of America's idea of an ideal suburb.

Advertising Digital collection of advertising depicting American culture from 1911-1955.

African American Resources

The Civil Rights Era Begins with desegregation and ends with the sit-ins and other demonstrations.

Slavery to Freedom The journey takes us into the 20th century. It covers the background of slavery as well as events and people involved.

Reference Lists & FAQs Good links include the Minority Online Information Service and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Human Rights and American Minorities The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities aids American minority groups through international law and enforcement.

Census Data Find detailed census data for any year in the 20th century.

Biographical Information of Famous People

Academy of Achievement Spectacular site of the events and people defining the past century.

Top Athletes of the 20th Century ESPN's top North American athletes.

Famous People by State Click on the state and read the associated biographies.

Studs Terkel The American oral historian discusses his life and work.

Famous Hispanic Americans Biographies Extensive portal of Hispanic heritage includes biographies, music, timeline, and activities.

Prominent African Americans Biographies of Marian Anderson, James Booker, Anthony Davis, and many congressmen and congresswomen.

Movie Star Bios Nothing says 20th century more than the movies.

American Business Leaders Harvard Business School's database of the business leaders of the century.

Latino Resources

Famous 20th Century Latin Americans Biographies of astronauts, politicians, sports and social science figures.

Spanish Language in the United States Trends, statistics, and the continuing controversy about the second most-widely spoken language in the U.S. becoming our second national language.

U.S. Government Resource en Español Selected government resources en Español.

Cultural Diversity Hispanic demographics in the Catholic Church.

Latino-American Links Major resource of Hispanic links includes border studies, crime, migration, entertainment, education, and news.

20th Century Latin America Common themes and issues, including conflicts with the United States.


Southern Music of the 20th Century Music from Kentucky southward to the Texas border.

Electricity in Music: A 20th Century Invention The evolution of electricity used to run musical instruments, beginning with the Telharmonium.

Popular Music Also includes sections on jazz, the roots of American music, the blues, Motown, country and rock, as well as the history of radio and political music.

100 Most Important Musical Works Listen to the music from National Public Radio. This is their compilation of the 100 most important, not necessarily popular, works from the 20th century.

Music History Western composers, their bios, and discography.


Interactive American History Timeline Check to see what famous people share your birthday and a weekly timeline of events.

American History Chronology Timeline dates from 1900-2001.

20th Century Science List of the major 20th century scientific achievements-not clickable.

Fashion Fads Fun! Check out the ups-and-downs of the hemlines and suits of the century that has arguably seen it all.

Medical Advances Timeline Greatest engineering advances in the medical field.

The People's Century (PBS) Interactive timeline includes sections on: God Fights Back, Master Race, Endangered Planet, Killing Fields, Breadline among many others.

Supreme Court Decisions Timeline of important Supreme Court decisions from 1947-1992.

War and Military

WWI Eyewitness Accounts These people lived to tell their stories of WWI. Be there with them.

WWII Resources All original documents of WWII.

Korean War Project The most extensive Korean War project online. All branches of military service databases and remembrance pages.

Vietnam Global Security's article on the Vietnam War...or was it the Vietnam Conflict?

War in the 20th Century Interactive conflict map, just click to see which war happened where.

Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century Listen to most of the speeches in their entirety (mp3 audio format).

Go For Broke The legacy of Japanese American Veterans of WWII. Check out the interactive volunteer program that depicts the decision process of whether or not to join the army.

Letters Hear original documents from America's wars.

Air Weapons Planes become weapons in WWII to the early fight against terror in the late 20th century.