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.
Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.
Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader from Jamaica, had great successes and failures before being jailed and deported from the US in 1927.
The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.
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.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
The trial of Charles Julius Guiteau, who assassinated President James A. Garfield, turned into a public battle over the meaning of insanity.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.