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Free Resources: ABC-CLIO's "History and the Headlines—Sputnik Escalates the Cold War"

Posted Oct 3, 2007
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The next featured topic in ABC-CLIO's series of free online history resources, "History and the Headlines: Sputnik Escalates the Cold War," is now available. The materials enable educators to give students an in-depth look at the impact that the launch of Sputnik had on the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and how it helped to escalate the Cold War arms race.

Developed in partnership with The History Channel and National History Day, the site includes primary sources, video clips, expert analysis, and engaging activities to help students explore the conflict that held the world in its grip for nearly 50 years. The free collection will be available until Dec. 1, 2007.

Five engaging video clips from The History Channel offer students glimpses of major milestones of the space race, including Sputnik I, Gagarin's flight, and the moon landing. Then students can explore the Cold War in detail with online access to ABC-CLIO's five-volume Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History, edited by Spencer C. Tucker, Ph.D., and Priscilla Mary Roberts, Ph.D.

The encyclopedia includes detailed essays on the Cold War, nearly 1,300 reference entries, and an extensive chronology, offering students a resource for examining these historic events from many different perspectives. In addition, more than 450 images, documents and maps provide insight into the people, places and events of the Cold War.

The site's "Point of View" section features essays from leading scholars discussing how both the United States and the Soviet Union reacted to the launch of Sputnik.

In addition, three classroom activities developed by National History Day will help history teachers guide their students as they use the primary sources available from "History and the Headlines" to think critically about these landmark events and how they changed the world. The classroom activities focus on the American reaction to the Sputnik launch and how the Soviet Union capitalized on the public relations value of being the first country to enter space.

To visit "History and the Headlines: Sputnik Escalates the Cold War," go to

Other topics that ABC-CLIO will feature in upcoming "History and the Headlines" include "American Indian Heritage Month: Commemoration vs. Exploitation" (available Oct. 25) and "Darfur Now," marking the release of the documentary of the same name, narrated by actor Don Cheadle (available Nov. 2). To sign up to receive information about future topics in "History and the Headlines," visit

Source: ABC-CLIO Schools,

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