This post is part of a series of narrative articles I wrote for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women, people of color, and the non-west.

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On July 1, 1946, over 90 naval warships, many crowded with livestock and rats, crowded a spot on the Pacific. Forty-two thousand people, including scientists and journalists, observed them with nervousness and anticipation. They had collected specimens to study from the surrounding islands, and would do so again soon. The stakes were high: what they were about to see was the potential of the United States to become a new kind of superpower in this postwar world — the effects of dropping a nuclear bomb, a carbon copy of what was used on Nagasaki the previous year, on naval warships. …


This post is part of a series of narrative articles I write for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women and people of color.

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One hot August evening, a group of guests at a Westport, Connecticut dinner party suggested a “citizen’s arrest of Nixon,” an abduction of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, and a sit-in at the White House. It was 1970; frustration toward American foreign policy in Vietnam was at its height. …


This post is part of a series of narrative articles I write for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women and people of color.

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Just before 10 am on the morning of June 11, 1963, over 300 monks and nuns marched down a busy Saigon street. A 73-year-old monk named Thich Quang Duc emerged from a car at a crowded intersection, and sat down in the lotus position on a cushion. Two fellow monks doused him in petrol from a five-gallon can. …


This post is part of a series of narrative articles I write for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women and people of color.

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In January of 1869, Leland Stanford, former Governor of California and then-President of the Central Pacific Railroad, wrote an urgent letter to Butler Ives, an assistant engineer and surveyor with the company. “I wish a few men placed immediately on our line at the point where the U.P. line strikes east of Ogden,” Stanford implored.

By this time, Stanford had already been extremely dependent on both Chinese and Chinese American labor for his railway line, the Central Pacific, which was one of the two railroad companies building the Great Transcontinental Railroad that stretched west from Nebraska to California. Chinese and Chinese American labor were instrumental to the Railroad’s existence, and therefore to the entire settlement of the West; but this did not stop their experience as new and old immigrants from being one of heavy exploitation and discrimination. …


This post is part of a series of narrative articles I write for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women and people of color.

In July 1960 in a packed auditorium in Los Angeles, Patsy Takemoto Mink got up in front of an audience of about 10,000 people, and delivered a speech from notes she had scribbled on the back of an envelope. “If to believe in freedom and equality is to be a radical,” she said, “Then I am a radical.”

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Mink was on the drafting committee for the Democratic National Convention that year, and was giving a speech to second the Democratic Party’s civil rights plank. Some news accounts the next day made comments about “the lovely Oriental doll of a delegate” and her “diminutive and attractive” appearance, but they also recognized that her passion “drew repeated, prolonged, and swelling cheers.” …


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This post is part of a series of narrative articles I write for Nearpod, an interactive classroom tool for students. My focus is history, specifically women and people of color.

October 1971, Persepolis: a lavish city had been built from scratch in the desert by French construction companies. A forest had been planted in the ground. Eighteen tons of food had been called for, all from Paris, and 4,500 bottles of wine. Fifty thousand songbirds brought in from Europe (though within three days they would all be dead). …

About

Apoorva Tadepalli

I write about literature and history, with a focus on women and the non-west.

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