Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Civil rights movements--Iowa--History--20th century; Cedar Rapids gazette--History; History--Sources; Civil rights movements--Iowa--History--20th century--Sources; Cedar Rapids gazette--History--Sources;


The Civil Rights Movement is one of the largest social movements in the history of the United States. We learn about it in our history classes and celebrate it during Black History Month. Movies and books depict its trials and successes. However, for many young people in Iowa, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, like much of history, seems like a story that took place far away and a long time ago with little connection to their lives. Looking at local newspapers is one way to connect history to students and help them understand how these events affected the American people. By analyzing the Cedar Rapids Gazette from 1954-1968, it becomes clear how different our perceptions of the Civil Rights Movement are now than they were at the time. Events focused on in textbooks and history classes today may have barely been mentioned in the newspapers of the day, while events often left out of curriculum completely were the subject of headline after headline in local newspapers. As we see in news media today, violent events in the Civil Rights Movement were covered with much more frequency and focus than events such as court decisions or speeches. Looking at newspapers reveals patterns such as these that can promote critical thinking and discovery in a history classroom.

Year of Submission



Department of History

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


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