StMU Research Scholars

Featuring Scholarly Research, Writing, and Media at St. Mary’s University

Course Readings – HS 1302 United States History since 1877

Emergence of Modern AmericaThe Great Depression & World War IIPostwar United StatesLate 20th Century America

Annie Oakley: Contributor to the Feminist Ideals Today

Rachel White

With the ever increasing wave of feminism arising this century, it is important to travel back in time and explore the life of one of the most distinguished American feminists: Annie Oakley. With her sharp shooting skills and her ideology that women are as independent as

Have Fun, Will Travel: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Nelson Smithwick

In 1883, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, famous frontiersman, army scout, and buffalo hunter, opened the doors of his Wild West Show for the first time.1 This show was a fantastical, exaggerated portrayal of life on the frontier, complete with reenactments of famous frontier battles with

The Dalton Gang won’t Ride Again: The Coffeyville Raid of 1892

Nelson Smithwick

It was October 5, 1892. Three men wearing fake beards and wigs stood inside the C. M. Codon & Company Bank of Coffeyville Kansas, brandishing their revolvers and rifles at the cashiers and the patrons of the bank. They were forced to wait as the

The Ghost Dance and the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890

Gabriela Serrato

The Ghost Dance, introduced by the Northern Paiute tribe, was a ceremony that acted as a hope to bring back prosperity and liveliness to all of the natives who had fallen under attacks and displacements from their homelands by white American settlers. These Ghost Dances sought

The Wright Brothers: From Kite Flying to Airplane Riding

Thomas Fraire

For many, flying was a dream, but Wilber and Orville Wright made it a reality. The Wright brothers accomplished something that seemed intangible to many in the early twentieth century. These two helped jump-start aerospace programs everywhere and became the stepping stone for all things air powered that we

From Child to Commodore: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Became The Commodore

Aaron Sandoval

Cornelius Vanderbilt led a life of conflict and economic success, and during that life, he earned the nickname “The Commodore.” This nickname had an incredible impact on all who heard it. The child that grew up to become the Commodore was taught to be ruthless and smart

The Secret Pneumatic Subway: Beach vs Tweed

Iris Henderson

Although it only lasted one year, in 1789, New York City was once celebrated as the first capital of the United States. Today, the city is recognized by many as the most densely populated city in America. In fact, the population of New York City

“Fleet”: The Story of the First African American Catcher

Rebekah Esquivel

Moses “Fleet” Walker was born on October 7, 1857 in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. His parents were Reverend Moses W. Walker, M.D. and Caroline Maria Simpson. Moses was the fifth oldest out of seven children. His family nicknamed him “Fleet” growing up in order to distinguish

Upton Sinclair: His Rise to Fame

Gabriella Urrutia

During the late summer of 1904, Upton Sinclair was approached by Socialist magazine Appeal to Reason. Having read his newly published book, Manassas, the editor of the newspaper, Fred D. Warren, enjoyed Sinclair’s portrayal of slavery so much that he approached Sinclair with an idea for a

Charles Darwin: What He Really Said

Tyler Sleeter

Charles Darwin was a naturalist that proposed the theory of natural selection and the theory of evolution still studied and widely accepted as true today. He wrote many books during his life, but the two most well-known books, The Origin of Species by Means of

Teddy and a Splendid Little War

Seth Roen

Within the historic city of San Antonio, set between the Alamo and the River Walk, stands the Menger Hotel, a Victorian-era gem. This quiet antique hotel played center stage to the changing destiny of the United States. In 1898, recruits trained nearby and chanted the

The Annexation of Hawaiʻi

Irene Astran

In 1887, wealthy descendants of American missionaries forced the King of the Hawaiian Monarchy, King Kalakaua, to sign a constitution that would disenfranchise many native Hawaiian people, as well as place property qualifications on voters. At the time, those descendants dominated the sugar industry in

“Gatling Gun Parker” and the Battle of San Juan Hill

Tyler Sleeter

General John Henry Parker is best known for his role as the commander of the Gatling Gun detachment during the Spanish-American War. In early 1898, then Lieutenant Parker, a recent graduate of the United States Military Academy, was placed in charge of training soldiers in

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: A Man-Made Disaster

Josselyn Arrieta-Meraz

It was March 25, 1911, in New York City. It was a Saturday afternoon just like any other at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, where young immigrant women sat in front of sewing machines, day in and day out, sewing. But on that day a fire

“The Most Dangerous Woman in America,” Emma Goldman

Gabriela Serrato

Winner of the Spring 2017 StMU History Media Awards for Best Article in the Category of “Gender History” Emma Goldman, who would later in life be a known anarchist and women’s rights activist, had a very dismal beginning to life. Emma Goldman was born on June 27,

The Reemergence of Terror: Ku Klux Klan

Kimberly Simmons

Since its origins, the infamous Ku Klux Klan has influenced the attitudes and views of many Americans. The KKK will forever be recognized as the largest political hate group in United States history. Despite the rise and fall of the Klan, it wasn’t until the

Wilson’s Fourteen Points: the Road Map for World Peace

Cameron Mays

Catastrophic war is something most people loathe and fear, and World War I brought exactly that, with over 38 million causalities, including approximately 17-20 million dead. There were many efforts to end the war, and various strategies to crush each side’s enemies. However, few at the

The Lynching Era: The Tragic Hanging of Laura and L. D. Nelson

Gabriela Serrato

Winner of ten Spring 2017 StMU History Media Awards for Best Descriptive Article Most Captivating & Engaging Article Best Use of Multiple Images Best Featured Image Best Article in the Category of “United States History” Best Article in the Category of “Social History” Best Overall Research Best Use of Primary

Manfred von Richthofen: Der Roten Baron

Seth Roen

Imagine the western front during the spring of 1917. The sound of the whistleblowing indicated the start of an assault. Masses of soldiers crawled out of their trenches and into No Man’s Land. They rushed across the field full of mud, craters, and remnants of

Woman Made of Stone: The Murder of Albert Snyder

Patricia Arechiga

Born in Manhattan, New York, on the 27th of March in 1895, Ruth was raised by Scandinavian immigrants. Though her family struggled to make ends meet from time to time, they tried their best to assure that she had the best possible life within their

Tulsa Massacre 1921: Buck Colbert Franklin in the Greenwood District

Alicia Martinez

On the night of May 31, 1921, the black community of Tulsa Oklahoma’s Greenwood district would fall victim to one of the deadliest and most destructive episodes of racial violence in American history.1 As described in his manuscript, “The Tulsa Race Riot and Three of

The Impossible Record: The Legend Behind Babe Ruth’s 1927 Season

Jake Mares

Babe Ruth is one of the greatest legends to ever step onto a baseball field. From batting average to slugging, Ruth topped basically every statistical leaderboard during his time with the 1920’s and early 1930’s New York Yankees. His fame and popularity knew no bounds.

The Roaring Twenties: Flappers

Aurora Torres

Winner of the Fall 2016 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Culture” When one thinks of the 1920’s era one immediately thinks about Flappers. A flapper was considered a young woman who was very fashionable. This was a young female

Lydia Mendoza, a Pioneer in Mexican Popular Culture

Victoria Villaseñor

The moment she walked past the walls of one of the most influential Tejano radio stations in Texas, seventeen-year-old Lydia Mendoza knew that she was right where she was meant to be. She situated herself on a wooden stool, clutched her bajo sexto (12-string guitar),

Clarence Norris: The Last Voice of the Scottsboro Boys

Kathryn Martinez

April 7, 1931. Thousands of people gathered in the small town of Scottsboro, Alabama. A brass band entertained them with the song “There’ll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”1 The verdict of nineteen-year-old Clarence Norris was read, convicting him of a crime

Dorothea Lange: Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words

Pamela Callahan

What can a single image possibly say about our complex world? Of course, one picture can’t possibly capture everything. All of the tragedy and despair or all of the celebrations and joyful moments can hardly be captured in a million pictures. So, what difference can

The Chronicle of Walt Disney and his famous sidekick Mickey Mouse

Christine Sackey

Winner of the Fall 2017 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Cultural History” Best Use of a Featured Image Mickey Mouse is a symbol of laughter and joy to many, but to Walt Disney, the character was a symbol of perseverance

Eunice Carter: The Unlikely Hero Who Brought Down the Mob

Mariah Cavanaugh

Winner of the Spring 2019 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “African and African-American History” New York City in the 1930s was a very different city from the sprawling metropolis we know and love today. At the time, Charles “Lucky”

A Company of Heroes: The Story of the Band of Brothers

Amanda Gutierrez

World War II began in September of 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany after its invasion of Poland. Although other allied nations, such as Canada and Australia, joined Britain and France in their battle against Germany, the United States remained uninvolved.

Dorothy Kamenshek: Playing ball during WW2

Reba Reyes

Balls were thrown all over, girls trying to look their best in front of the scouts. Outfielders showed off their arms, pitchers showed off their best pitches, while catchers were diving left and right to block every ball they could. It may have seemed like

USS Yorktown Hit by Torpedo during Battle of Midway

Code Breakers Ride the Wave to the Midway

Samuel Vega

Sunday, December 7, 1941 promised blue skies and warm temperatures at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Just prior to 8:00 a.m., the course of America’s history changed when the Japanese dropped bombs across the naval station from 350 planes. The unanticipated attack

Eisenhower’s Yes: Operation Overlord

Antonio Coffee

General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew he was fast approaching a crucial moment in the Western theater of the Second World War. In the early morning hours of June 5, 1944, Eisenhower was faced with one of the hardest decisions of his life, and one of

James Doolittle: The Man and the Raid

Cameron Mays

The United States’ entrance to World War II was sudden and unexpected, and Americans were stunned by the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. While the Germans had attacking Poland, France, and Great Britain in the years just prior to Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had remained

The Peculiar Case Of Robert Oppenheimer

Luis Morales

J. Robert Oppenheimer, often referred to as one of the “fathers of the atomic bomb,” was a world-renowned physicist whose discoveries and contributions made a great impact on modern physics and on history itself. However, Oppenheimer’s legacy is also clouded by the shadow of accusations

The Candy Bombers of the Berlin Airlift

Tyler Sleeter

“Remember us children and we will remember you our whole life”                                                                         -ten year old Helma Lurch 1 Near the end of World War II, the Allied Powers had to decide what to do with Germany and its largest city, Berlin. At the Potsdam Conference in

Emmett Till: The Opposite Ends of the Race Spectrum in the South

Emmanuel Ewuzie

Emmett Louis Till was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, which is situated in the northern part of the United States where racism and discrimination were much less overbearing when compared to its southern counterparts. Desiring a vacation, Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother, sent her fourteen-year-old

Claudette Colvin: The Woman Who Wasn’t Rosa Parks

Abilene Solano

“That was the whole point of the segregation rules – it was all symbolic – blacks had to be behind whites.” – Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice It was Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. A young black girl boarded a city bus and sat down

The Singer of Singers: The Legacy of Héctor Lavoe and Latin Music

Rafael López-Rodírguez

Latin America and the Caribbean is mostly known for the rich culture of its music, particularly the genre of Salsa. But this famous genre came to be during the decades of the 1960’s and 1970’s thanks to many artists from many parts of Latin America

The Second Leap For Mankind: The “Buzz” Aldrin Story

Nathan Alba

July 20, 1969—a day that would go down in history, as the first humans went on to set foot on the Moon. With an estimated 530 million people worldwide watching at the time, today’s generation can recall their parents or grandparents describe the chills they

“Houston, we’ve had a problem”: Apollo 13

Eduardo Foster

The Apollo 13 lunar expedition suddenly turned into a survival mission when an explosion risked the lives of the crew, but turned out to be a successful failure. Before we examine the remarkable success accomplished by NASA, let’s travel back to the beginning of the

Four Inches of Fun: What We Gained From Mercury-Redstone 1

Samuel Stallcup

It’s November 21, 1960, and it’s fifteen minutes before launch. Chris Kraft, the Mercury flight director, is a little nervous. He and his team have been preparing the past month, and it’s finally time to see if it works. Gene Kranz, a former Air Force

The Race For Space: “We choose to go to the Moon”

Matthew Rios

The United States is the greatest country on the planet. While we don’t always win (Vietnam War), we do always prevail (back to back World War champions). But our venture to continue to be the dominant super power of the world does not stop at

Innovations From NASA’s X-15 Program

Nathaniel Bielawski

On April 20, 1962, Neil Armstrong, wearing a bulky and cumbersome space suit, sat in the ejection seat of a dart-shaped aircraft. Looking out the aircraft’s window, he viewed the massive B-52 mothership carrying his aircraft over Mud Dry Lake, Nevada, at 45,000 feet. As

The Young and Courageous: Ruby Bridges

Gabriela Serrato

As one walks into school on their first day, feeling nervous is normal to most. But in 1960, walking into a newly integrated school as a black student meant extreme danger and numerous threats. There would be crowds of dozens, maybe hundreds of people yelling

The Love Story of the Lovings

Maria Mancha

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind

The Rage of Nina Simone: “Mississippi Goddam”

Amanda Figueroa

It is a jaunty ragtime melody that fools listeners into briefly perceiving the number as a feel-good pop song, yet sustains its relevance by acknowledging the continued failure of a full realization of Black freedom a century after the Thirteenth Amendment.1 It took Nina Simone

The Picture That Ended the Vietnam War

Jose Sanchez

Winner of the Fall 2018 StMU History Media Award for Article with the Best Use of Images Article with the Best Introduction The year was 1968. The month of January was almost over and “Tet,” the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, was about to begin. By

Columbia University Protest of 1968: Over 700 Students Arrested

Bictor Martinez

In the year 1968, across the globe, many college campuses cried out for change as the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, and the draft inflamed the passions of college students everywhere. Students pushed for change and as a result, in some places, violence resulted.

Black Power Salute: The 1968 Summer Olympics

Thomas Fraire

1968 was a year of racial division and tragedy. African American’s had discussed the possibility of a boycott of the 1968 Summer Olympics. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a huge supporter of this boycott, said he would join Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith in

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Serves Up Racial Equality

Annissa Noblejas

Winner of the Fall 2018 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Year 1968” The moment of truth was finally at hand for Stanley Kramer. Flashing camera lights could only capture his calm reflection, but underneath his tailored tuxedo, carefully styled

The Pacification of My Lai

Sterling Henarie

A Buddhist monk, donning a stark-white robe with graying hair on his face, was bent over a sick elderly woman, praying, when he heard the gruff voice of an American soldier demand, “VC Adai?” Not knowing where they could find the Viet Cong (VC), he

Billie Jean King: Ruler of the Court

Charli Delmonico

The night of September 20, 1973 is considered one of the most influential nights in history for women in America. On this grand night, at the Houston Astrodome, the famous “Battle of the Sexes” took place, and to this day, it is considered one of

Behind The Tapes: The Actions Taken Towards Impeaching Nixon

Thalia Romo

Winner of the Fall 2019 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Political History” “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”1 President Richard Nixon at

A Failed Gate: The Water of Scandal Flows Over Richard Nixon

Cameron Mays

Winner of the Spring 2017 StMU History Media Awards for Article with the Best Use of Scholarship   The Nixon Watergate Scandal was one of the worst scandal that a president has ever been embroiled in. Americans put all of their trust into this highest and more

The People vs. Angela Davis: The Black Intellect on Trial

Sydney Hardeman

It was 6:50 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 1970, and a warrant was issued by Marin County Superior Court Judge Peter Allen Smith for the arrest of Angela Yvonne Davis, an African-American Communist, scholar, and activist who advocated for prisoners’ rights. Angela Davis was charged

“My Name is Harvey Milk and I Wanna Recruit You”

Erin Vento

In a time of Phyllis Schlaflys, Anita Bryants, and rhetoric that depicted homosexuality as a crime, going from being a careful and closeted man to California’s first openly-gay elected public official seems like a leap, but it was a leap Harvey Milk made. Despite knowing

Boston: The Band | Tom Scholz: The Rockman

Samuel Ruiz

Winner of the Spring 2018 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Music” When people think of rock guitar players in classic rock bands, they typically think of guys who are loud, have long hair, are in it for the money,

Music from the heart: How Heart influenced rock and roll

Michael Hinojosa

When one thinks of the musical hall of fame, names such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica are sure to come to mind.1 One band, however, deserves to be brought back into the spotlight due to the

Steve Jobs: “We’ll just name it Apple…”

Maria Callejas

Winner of the Fall 2017 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “People” It was a sunny summer day. A sea of graduates, proud parents, family members, and faculty had their sights fixed on a bony and haggard individual. It seemed age

“Ab Sofort”: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Eduardo Foster

The evening of November 9, 1989 quickly became a historical one as Günter Schabowski, an official of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany, announced in a press conference that the inhabitants of East Germany could now travel to the West German side of the

Silhouette showing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her iconic dissenting opinion collar.

The Notorious RBG

Alicia Guzman

Winner of the Spring 2019 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Political History” Being admitted into law school is difficult. Being admitted into Harvard Law is significantly harder. However, being admitted into Harvard Law as a female in the 1950s

Stitches of Healing: The AIDS Memorial Quilt

Michaela Jeanis

In the 1980’s, America was a storm of confusion, grief, and pain for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) spread rapidly through the gay community as the decade progressed. A lack of knowledge on the disease and the

The Central Park Five: How the Truth Set Them Free

Nicole Ortiz

Winner of the Fall 2019 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “Social History” In 1989, members of the media, as well as portions of the criminal justice system of New York City, wrongfully accused a group of Black and Latino

ACT UP! Fight Back! Fight AIDS! The AIDS epidemic

Mariah Cavanaugh

In December 1989 Sean Strub sat nervously in a pew near the front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. He quietly listened to the chants of 4,500 angry people outside as they yelled and waved signs that read: “Condoms, not Coffins” and “Papal

The Campaign of a Century: Dove’s “Real Beauty”

Kimberly Simmons

The beauty industry is one that has dominated in terms of sales and marketing for decades. It is a field that many are attracted to, yet few take the time to understand how their projected images affect one’s self-image. Though, as many say, “beauty is

The Massacre at Columbine: How Boys Can Become Murderers

Timothy ODekirk

Winner of the Spring 2018 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “United States History” Best Descriptive Article It was April 20, 1999 in Littleton Colorado. Seventeen-year-old Eric Harris and his eighteen-year-old friend Dylan Klebold both drove separately on a Tuesday

Selena Quintanilla-Perez: A Star That Will Always Shine

Valeria Hernandez

Texas is known for its unique culture, food, traditions, sports, and music. The Texan attitude towards Tex-Mex bands is uniquely appreciated and patriotic for Texan residents, especially to those living in Texas during the 1980-1990s when singer/songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Perez was at the peak of her

Persistence is Key: The New, New Orleans.

Deanna Lummus

With its blends of French, Spanish, German, African, Irish, and Native American influence, Louisiana is very culturally diverse. Folk tales, spicy food, Jazz music, and its swampy perimeter come together to form a very deeply connected and proud population that is unlike any in the