American Time Capsule

Here's an oldie, but goodie — a film telling the story of United States history from the American Revolution through the election of Richard Nixon. The story is told with over 1300 images shown in less than three minutes.

The film was created by
Chuck Braverman and first shown on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968. It became so popular that the Smothers Brothers showed it a second time and helped make it the best-selling educational film of the time.

I recommend showing the film several times to students. The more they watch it, the more they will see, and the more students know about the chronology of U.S. history, the more they will know what to expect during the film. The image of Truman holding up a newspaper stating "Dewey Defeats Truman" runs by so quickly we shouldn't be able to see it. However, if we know what happens chronologically and have seen the image before, we are more likely to catch it.

If you teach U.S. history, give this film a try. It can be great fun for students.