These polls, conducted from 2002-2010, asked over 1,500 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE viewers about their families' stories, time at school, work, and favorite activities.
Back when Ulysses was a teenager, the 1840 census counted 12.7 million people. But only a handful -- about 107,000 people -- were listed as "foreigners." Soon, huge waves of immigrants would change this picture, coming from other nations to make America their home.
When Ulysses S. Grant was young, not all kids went to school. Those who went spent an average of 25 hours there every week. Tell us about your time at school, and describe your favorite subject.
74% :more than 30 hours
25% :fewer than 30 hours
12th grade (high school diploma or G.E.D.): 19%
College, graduate school, or professional school: 80%
Back in the 19th century, kids as young as seven or eight worked to help support their families. The children of slaves were expected to work as soon as they were able. Ulysses Grant hated working in his father's tannery -- it was really stinky, messy, awful work. Do you work, doing chores or working for pay? Describe what you do and what you think of it.
In Ulysses' time, kids did some of the same fun things they do today: sports, music, reading, playing with toys. Of course, many of their toys and activities were different. After all, plastics, computers, and television hadn't been invented yet!
5: spending time with friends
7: watching TV
8: something else
Back in Ulysses' time, some kids left home before their late teens. Some went to work in factories. Others worked on ships. Still others stayed home, especially the kids who did farming and other agricultural work -- including slaves, who had no choice about where they'd live.
A courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
This 11-hour series analyzes the costs and consequences of the war that changed a generation and continues to color American thinking today.
The Alabama governor and presidential candidate promised segregation forever.
The American effort to relieve starvation in Soviet Russia in 1921 during the worst natural disaster in Europe in 500 years.
In September 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made an unprecedented visit to America, creating a media circus as he traveled from coast to coast.
What happened when the lights went out in New York City on July 13, 1977?
The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.
Martha Ballard was a midwife and mother in Maine following the American Revolution.