Entries by Adam Strom

President Johnson and the 1965 Immigration Action

On October 3, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act. The bill ended national quotas restricting immigration that were signed into law in 1924. Before his assassination, President Kennedy had described the United States as a nation of immigrants, in fact, he was working […]

Birds of Passage: The Italian Americans

In the early years of the 20th century, the United States was going through a significant period of expansion. Cities like New York, Boston, San Fransisco, Philadelphia needed workers to take the hard, and often dangerous jobs of modern industry. Millions of Italian men were willing to leave home, endure harsh working condition, and live […]

Rudolph Valentino: The Italian Americans

 Rudolph Valentino was the first Italian American film star. However, Valentino’s success did not come without a challenge. There were not very many film roles for an Italian immigrant that looked like him. This short except follows Valentino’s brief career and raises important questions about the role of media and representation for immigrants. Below […]

Between Two Worlds: The Italian Americans

 This powerful except from PBS’s The Italian Americans explores dilemmas that can come with pressure to assimilate. Educators can use this film to explore the important questions about identity and belonging. Should immigrants have to give up their old ways – language, religion, cultural, and traditions – in order to fit into their new homeland? […]

Give a Gift

We are working to ensure that all young people grow up understanding migration as a shared condition of our past, present, and future in order to develop the knowledge, empathy, and mindsets that sustain inclusive and welcoming communities. To do that work we are catalyzing a community of educational leaders and social organizations around making […]

Backstory Radio: Americans and Assimilation

BackStory is a weekly podcast that explores the history behind current events in America. The show is hosted by noted U.S. historians, Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, Brian Balogh, Joanne Freeman, and Nathan Connolly. In the summer of July 2018, the entire episode explored what it means to assimilate and what is necessary to become an American. The […]

Excerpt from the play “The Melting Pot”

The term the “melting pot” is a common expressionon for a vision of the United States in which people from all different groups come together to form the nation. Some have argued that the “melting pot” requires people to assimilate and lose their cultural identity, whereas others see the melting pot as a place where […]

Ancient Human Migrations

 Scientific understanding of the human journey out of Africa is always changing. In the past, scientists explored this story through the paleontological record of skeletons and human artifacts. Recently genetics has offered new insights into the story of human migration. Breakthroughs in technology allow for further understanding, at the same time there are those that warn us […]