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Learning with Young Indiana Jones

Acclaimed Historical Documentaries

Stories Inspire Curiosity

Lucasfilm is releasing free companion historical documentaries on YouTube for the benefit of teachers, students, and curious people everywhere. Originally made as companions to The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones in 2007, these films elucidate early 20th century history that shaped the world we live in today. 94 half-hour documentaries cover a diverse range of topics across art, history, science, literature, politics, and philosophy.

George Lucas in 2007:

Documentaries Are Released Every Week on the Lucasfilm YouTube Channel

Archaeology: Unearthing Our Past (20 mins)

Archaeology is the study of past human cultures through the discovery, recovery, and examination of human remains and the materials of everyday life that they left behind. Although today technology has taken some of the guesswork out of archaeology, some things haven’t changed. Shovels, trowels and brushes remain the basic tools of the trade, and there are mysteries left to be solved and discoveries yet to be made.

Hellfighters: Harlem’s Heroes of World War One (30 mins)

When the 15th New York National Guard was formed in 1916, it was a matter of pride for the African American community in Harlem. The unit was another example of the cultural and economic vitality of what became known as the Harlem Renaissance. But when the Black soldiers eagerly deployed with other U.S. troops to Europe’s battlefields in 1918, they had to fight racism before they could fight the enemy.

They felt that if they could demonstrate their performance on the field of battle, then how can they be denied the opportunity to demonstrate their performance in other fields?

Late Secretary of State Colin Powell in "Harlem Hellfighters"

Fighting for the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in America (30 mins)

The women who fought to establish voting rights in the United States didn’t begin as a suffrage movement, but as an abolitionist movement. The fight to end slavery seemed like a basic matter of equality and justice. But in 1840, when two of their leaders were turned away from an anti-slavery conference because of their gender, they sat outside and discussed women’s rights. The American suffrage movement was born.

When I went to college, there was one sentence in my text. It said, women were given the vote. Not only did it ignore the entire history, it chose the wrong verb. Women weren’t given the vote. We fought for the vote.

writer and activist Gloria Steinem in "Fighting for the Vote"

Upcoming releases:

  • Psychology: Charting the Human Mind
  • Demanding the Vote: The Pankhursts and British Suffrage
  • Anthropology: Looking at the Human Condition
  • The Russian Revolution: All Power to the Soviets!
  • Jazz: Rhythms of Freedom

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I have always found that it is easier for students to relate to historical figures when they see them as human beings rather than dates and dry descriptions of events. I feel this approach makes history easier to understand and more accessible to students.

George Lucas

For more educational resources from Lucasfilm, visit our Tuskegee Airmen page.