Digital Collections

Tracked in America

Digital collection. Explores the historical context and stories of individuals who have been targets of U.S. government surveillance during the 20th century.

Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights

Tracked in America introduces the stories of 25 individuals who have been targeted by the U.S. government: Max Werkenthin, Will Bergfeld, Fred Korematsu, Arturo Shibayama,Vincent Hallinan, Eric Hallengren, Charles Muscatine, Jack O’Dell, Julian Bond, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gren Whitman, Abdeen Jabara, John Fife, Peggy Hutchison, Eric Shaw, George Christian, Samina Sundas, Ruth Obel-Jorgensen, Roxanne Attie, Edith Bell, Bridget Colvin, Leslie Salgado, Konstanty Hordynski, George Main, and Peter Ackerman.

The stories begin in World War I and span across many time periods; including Pearl Harbor and the internment of Japanese-Americans, the McCarthy era, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, the Sanctuary Movement, and the War on Terror during the post 9/11 era. Six eminent historians provide historical perspective and context to the time periods in which these individuals were under surveillance. Together, the profiles convey the courage of these individuals and reveal a dangerous pattern of government surveillance.

This documentary Web site explores more than two centuries of surveillance in America. Included are two hours of audio interviews, 300 photographs, and 25 personal stories beginning in 1917. The site is designed for you to choose your path of exploration. Suggested paths include a chronological journey by time period (via the main navigation bar) or a thematic approach following similar experiences across time (via the “Themes” box on the page of each individual’s story). [Description from website.]