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Emma Newcombe

Emma Newcombe has a Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Her research interests include nineteenth century American cultural and literary history, as well as the history of tourism. She is currently a writing instructor and a college advisor in Boston.

In 1968, thousands of Mexican American high school students in East Los Angeles walked out of classrooms to protest discriminatory and substandard education. Despite mixed results, their demonstration ignited a new civil rights movement.
In the 1940s, Black Georgians elected the second woman in the state to Congress. Her political rise and fall reveal the lengths that state officials would go to disenfranchise Black voters.
The Good Roads Movement of the late 19th century began as a grass-roots crusade to improve roads for bicyclists. By the 20th century, it had turned into a national effort embraced by the automobile industry, railroad tycoons and presidents.
Now a federal holiday, its roots are based in local, grass-roots celebrations dating back to the Civil War. Once nearly forgotten, the rebirth of Juneteenth speaks to America’s ongoing struggle for racial equality.
In the 19th century, Franconia Notch, a popular tourist site known for its pristine beauty, came under threat from the logging industry. A coalition of women’s groups started a grass-roots campaign to conserve the region.
In 1917 the Supreme Court knocked down a discriminatory land use practice in Louisville, Ky. While the case made overt zoning segregation illegal, state and local government continued to find alternative ways to divide communities along racial lines.
From 1890-1930, they exploded across the American landscape, offering people the chance to own a home just outside the city. Lack of government support curtailed their growth, but these historic neighborhoods serve as models for efficient urban planning.
Located in upstate New York with a population of less than 4,000, Lake Placid was not an obvious choice for the 1932 Winter Olympics. But one man used his political savvy – with a little help from a future president – to turn the town into a two-time Olympic host.
Native Americans have had a deep-seated dislike for Thanksgiving and its sanitized version of colonial history. Fifty years ago, they took action and said enough is enough. A protest was born.
A collapsing rural economy and what to do about it has been a long-term policy problem. In the 1890s, states combined sentimentality and patriotism to woo young people back to their hometowns in New England and beyond.