As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

On this day in 1929, the gang war between Al “Scarface” Capone and George Bugs” Moran culminated in the St. Valentine’s Massacre. Seven of Moran’s men were lined up against a garage wall and gunned down by hit men dressed as police officers. Although Capone’s gang was blamed for the slaughter, Capone himself was in Florida at the time of the slayings. You can read the New York Times account of that crime via Digital History.

That site, a collaborative effort between the University of Houston, the Chicago Historical Society, The national Park service and a host of other agencies, serves as gateway for students searching for primary source materials. Landmark documents, court testimony, material from historical newspapers and transcripts from oral history interviews are some to the items you’ll find on this site.

For more information on Al Capone, check out the FBI’s website. There you’ll find 107 pages of investigative files related to the St. Valentine’s Day assacre. You’ll also be able to see Capone’s mug shot from Alcatraz (pictured at left), his fingerprint card and criminal record. At right is a photo of bystanders gathered around the garage where Moran's men were gunned down. That image comes from The Chicago Daily News and is available from the Library of Congress's American Memory Project.

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