Time machines may still be the stuff of science fiction, but students can go back in history with the Time magazine archive—a free online database of the nearly 300,000 stories published since the magazine’s launch in 1923. The Web site brings a new dimension to history lessons because the articles were not written in retrospect, but as events unfolded.
The archive is organized into collections, which contain handpicked covers and excerpts from coverage of important historical events, people, and social issues. In the World War II collection, for example, readers learn that a gentle rain fell on the gray day in 1939 when a German training ship fired the first shell of the war, at a Polish underground ammunition dump.
Readers can also search for keywords or browse by date. The articles offer detailed accounts of monumental events, such as the Brown v. Board of Education case. “There was an awesome quiet in the high ceilinged, marble-columned courtroom,” reads a passage from a story published one week after the court’s decision. “The eight Associate Justices gave Warren rapt attention. In the press section, reporters strained forward to catch every word.”
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2006 edition of Teacher