The American history Research

175 views 5 pages ~ 1300 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The population can use the American history as a useful checklist because it teaches people about the significant steps the nation has made over time. The paper evaluates two main sources that cover a range of topics related to the history of America and disabilities. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is the first original source. The Disability Rights Movement is the name of the publication, which discusses disability rights. The second source mentioned in the essay, which concerns people who spent a significant portion of their time in mental institutions, is from the Community Consortium, Inc. The Lives they Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic is the description of the source. The point of significance in assessing these two primary sources is to analyze their context (i.e. author, date composed, the intended audience, etc.), content, and lastly the significance of each in contributing to a full understanding of American history and disability history.

The Disability Rights Movement from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History


This primary source, as has already been indicated is created by the National Museum of American History. Besides, there are various photographs pertaining to the disability rights movement, courtesy of Tom Olin (Smithsonian National Museum of American History). The information on the museum’s website indicates that the source was created in the year 2000; hence it remains apparent that there were intensified issues relating to disability rights for the Americans. Most of the events described by the source happened around the end of the 20th century (Smithsonian National Museum of American History) when there was increased struggle for civil rights.

From the images by Tom Olin, it is evident that the culture of the area and the people holding the demonstrations can be considered non-material as the individuals are interested in satisfying their emotions, ideas, and beliefs that they should be entitled to their rights, regardless of their disability. Furthermore, since the events portrayed in the source entails demonstrations, and the author (Tom Olin) managed to provide pictures of the activities, then it can be deduced that he was interacting with the demonstrators; thus he was close to them. The audience of the source is the general American population who are required to understand the need for granting full citizenship to individuals with disabilities. A significant limitation of the source is that it fails to provide details about the disability rights movement, and also the outcome of their demonstrations.


The primary source on disability rights movement addresses the persistent struggle by people with disability to be granted full citizenship. As explained in the source, there were ongoing struggles by individuals with disabilities in attempts to gain full citizenship, and the authors consider it an essential part of the country's heritage (Smithsonian National Museum of American History). The source further equates the disability rights movement with other civil rights struggles in the 20th century. Such other demonstrations were by movements struggling for equality, autonomy, independence, as well as full access to the American Society (Smithsonian National Museum of American History). As per the source, people with disabilities, their friends and families had great efforts to secure the current civil rights that are guaranteed to all Americans. Since such individuals only call for equal or same treatment as every other citizen in the country, they are justified to fight for inclusion.

As portrayed by the photographs by Tom Olin, there were demonstrations i.e. by the American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) in the year 1994 in Las Vegas. In addition, ADAPT held demonstrations in the year 1989 in Philadelphia (Smithsonian National Museum of American History). The images imply that any oppressed segment of the population have historically been and will be committed to fighting for their constitutional rights of equality and full citizenship as portrayed in the images.


In addition to enlightening the audience of the citizens’ rights to demonstrations, the source helps us understand the American history and how individuals with disabilities came to be granted full citizenship.

Individuals who spent much of their Lives in Mental Institutions- The Community Consortium, Inc


This primary source is on the Willard Suitcases and is created by the Community Consortium, Inc. The source was composed in the year 2015. There is the need to note that even though the content on the corporation's website was written in 2015, it describes events that occurred after the closure of the Willard Psychiatric Center in 1995 (Community Consortium, Inc.). The occurrences at the time of the composure of the source include the discovery of hundreds of suitcases in the floor of an abandoned building that housed the psychiatric center. The discovery of the suitcases happened years after the closure of the mental health center in the year 1995.

The suitcases are found in the abandoned building. The culture of the area as shown by the images represents isolation. It is evident that the author, as well as the photographer who took the images of the suitcases, was at the closed facility. In order to assess that the suitcases had not been touched for a long time since their owners packed them, there had to be in proximity.

With the explanation of the possible transformations experienced by the individuals in the mental health facility before its closure, the intended audience of the source can be thought deduced to be the public. The author attempts to explain how mental illness shutters aspirations, community connections, and also accomplishments (Community Consortium, Inc.). The source can be characterized as unbiased since there is consideration of both ends of mental health, i.e. before and after being admitted to such centers.


The source brings more insight on a New York's Finger Lakes-based mental health facility, Willard Psychiatric Center which was being closed in the year 1995, but later workers discovered many suitcases on the floor of the abandoned building (Community Consortium, Inc.). Most suitcases appeared unopened since their initial packing by their owners before being admitted to the institution. The author further describes the changes that can be fathomed from the materials in the suitcases. The materials assist in identifying the jobs and activities done by those who were admitted and also attempt to imagine their families and friends (Community Consortium, Inc.).

At the same time, the author raises the concept of their lives coming apart due to challenges such as poverty, unemployment, the death of a loved one, or other negative events. The author utilizes the approach of questioning to engage the audience in thinking critically about the conditions experienced by the people who owned the suitcases. In addition, the author questions the possibility of circumstances in the contemporary America that could be considered as having improved as compared to the situation during the first half of the last century. (Community Consortium, Inc.). The images presented provide clear insights of the condition of the abandoned suitcases in the mental health facility.


The source is significant as it attempts to compare the status and effectiveness of mental health facilities in the 20th century and the current circumstances. Individuals can assess the underlying challenges facing mental health institutions that ultimately hinder fast and effective recovery of individuals admitted. Lastly, the source is pertinent to understanding the changes occurring in the mental health sector in the course of the nation’s history, and thus the transformations observed.

In conclusion, the two primary sources can be considered as having some similarities. One, both describes the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. The other similarity between the two sources is that they both bring out insights on the transformations in the American history over time.

Works Cited

Smithsonian National Museum of American History. "The Disability Rights Movement." 2000. Web. 23 May 2017.

The Community Consortium, Inc. "The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic." 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.

June 26, 2023
Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Museum
Verified writer

GeraldKing is an amazing writer who will help you with History tasks. He is the friendliest person who will provide you with explanations because he really wants you to learn. Recommended for your history or anthropology assignments!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro