National History Day: Triumph and Tragedy

With the generous support of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Jane Addams Papers and Teacher Education program at Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Jane Addams Papers Project has developed this guide for teachers and students participating in National History Day.

Triumph and tragedy can be a useful theme to interpret historical events. In her work for social reform during the Progressive Era, Jane Addams witnessed tragic conditions in cities, homes, the workplace and in schools. By exposing these daily tragedies to the American public, Addams was able to successfully advocate for change. Addams spread the word using speeches, articles, and conferences to publicize the issues and get work started with like-minded activists. Some of the more important issues Addams focused on were the abolition of child labor, juvenile delinquency, social welfare, the plight of immigrants, and woman suffrage.

In the Jane Addams Digital Edition you will find letters, speeches, articles, and other documents that illuminate this year's themes. We have highlighted a few research topics to get you started, but you can find other topics, subjects, and events that will also fit the theme.

Happy researching!

If you are a teacher and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form so we can continue to improve the Jane Addams Digital Edition.

If you are a student and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form. Thank you!


Renee DeLora, Michael Romano, Christina Dwyer