Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Inspired Me to Learn More About Events in U.S. History

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Hello my lovelies!  It’s Tuesday and that means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday post!

  What is TTT? TTT is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Check out their blog for more info and to see upcoming themes.


This week’s theme is…

July 26: Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

It’s no secret that I LOVE historical fiction.  I love learning about history through fiction and getting new perspectives on historical events.   Reading historical fiction often inspires me to do my own research into historical events in order to learn more.  For this week’s topic, I decided to share with you a few books that have inspired me to do more research about historical events, narrowing it down to U.S. history…

» The Salem Witch Trials (1692-1693)

The infamous Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem’s Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. By September 1692, the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials. Though the Massachusetts General Court later annulled guilty verdicts against accused witches and granted indemnities to their families, bitterness lingered in the community, and the painful legacy of the Salem witch trials would endure for centuries.


» Interested in the Salem Witch Trials?  Read The Crucible by Arthur Miller


» John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry (1859)

Abolitionist John Brown leads a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an attempt to start an armed slave revolt and destroy the institution of slavery.


» Interested in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry?  Read The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy


You can read my review here → Book Review: The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy

» The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (1865)

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.


» Interesting in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln?  Read Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham


You can read my review here → Book Review: Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham

» The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. Those on the West Coast were especially prone to attribute declining wages and economic ills on the despised Chinese workers. Although the Chinese composed only .002 percent of the nation’s population, Congress passed the exclusion act to placate worker demands and assuage prevalent concerns about maintaining white “racial purity.”


» Interested in The Chinese Exclusion Act? Read The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes


You can read my review here → Book Review: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes

 » Women’s Issues in the 1880s

»Interested in women’s issues in the 1880s?  Read The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati


» Orphan Trains (1850s-1920s)

An estimated 30,000 children were homeless in New York City in the 1850s. Charles Loring Brace, the founder of The Children’s Aid Society, believed that there was a way to change the futures of these children. By removing youngsters from the poverty and debauchery of the city streets and placing them in morally upright farm families, he thought they would have a chance of escaping a lifetime of suffering.

He proposed that these children be sent by train to live and work on farms out west. They would be placed in homes for free but they would serve as an extra pair of hands to help with chores around the farm. They wouldn’t be indentured. In fact, older children placed by The Children’s Aid Society were to be paid for their labors.

The Orphan Train Movement lasted from 1853 to the early 1900s and more than 120,000 children were placed. This ambitious, unusual and controversial social experiment is now recognized as the beginning of the foster care concept in the United States.


» Interested in orphan trains?  Read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

 Orphan TrainAmazonGoodreads

You can read my review here → Book Review: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

You can learn more about the history of orphan trains from my post here → Orphan Train Meet the Author Event – Christina Baker Kline

»  The Dust Bowl (1930s)

The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains region devastated by drought in 1930s depression-ridden America. The 150,000-square-mile area, encompassing the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and neighboring sections of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, has little rainfall, light soil, and high winds, a potentially destructive combination. When drought struck from 1934 to 1937, the soil lacked the stronger root system of grass as an anchor, so the winds easily picked up the loose topsoil and swirled it into dense dust clouds, called “black blizzards.” Recurrent dust storms wreaked havoc, choking cattle and pasture lands and driving 60 percent of the population from the region. Most of these “exodusters” went to agricultural areas first and then to cities, especially in the Far West.


» Interested in The Dust Bowl?  Read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


» The Civil Rights Movement (1960s)

Nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in Southern states still inhabited a starkly unequal world of disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. “Jim Crow” laws at the local and state levels barred them from classrooms and bathrooms, from theaters and train cars, from juries and legislatures. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine that formed the basis for state-sanctioned discrimination, drawing national and international attention to African Americans’ plight. In the turbulent decade and a half that followed, civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change, and the federal government made legislative headway with initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Many leaders from within the African American community and beyond rose to prominence during the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Andrew Goodman and others. They risked—and sometimes lost—their lives in the name of freedom and equality.


» Interested in the Civil Rights Movement?  Read Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal


You can read my review here → Book Review: Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

Which books have inspired you to learn more about events in U.S. history?

*Feel free to link to your own TTT post!

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Inspired Me to Learn More About Events in U.S. History”

  1. Yessss! I LOVE History & the fact that you started this post with The Salem Witch Trials…GAHHH!. Visiting the museum in Salem is on my bucket list, oddly enough lol. I read The Crucible in elementary school & still remember how much I enjoyed that book. Now I get my dose of that time period via the tv show Salem lol. Doll-baby is already on my TBR, so many good picks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My US history is very vague to say the least. I’ve always focused on Europe and the Middle East instead. My obsession with Hamilton has made me want to know more. Your list is perfect! Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful suggestions! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky is a fantastic look at France under Nazi occupation during WWII. All of her novels are amazing. She just has this way of exploring human emotions. It’s so hard to explain.

        Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa examines how the Palestinians were affected by the creation of Israel and life under occupation.


  3. I love historical books since I’m kind of a history nerd so these books are definitely up my alley! I loved reading “The Crucible” in high school, it’s one of my favorite plays. I have heard of Doll Baby and Orphan Train and plan on reading them. The others are a bit new to me so I’ll have to look them up. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

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