HBO, The March of Time, and free historical videos
It’s never easy finding short video clips that you can use in a history or geography class. Thanks to HBO’s YouTube channel, it’s gotten just a little easier.
HBO has created a series of playlists that includes a variety of old and new video clips. And they seem like a perfect fit for talking about human geography and regions or for using as introductory activities to different history topics.
The March of Time started as an American radio news series broadcast from 1931 to 1945, and later morphed into a newsreel series shown in movie theaters from 1935 to 1951. Created by broadcasting pioneer Fred Smith and Time magazine executive Roy E. Larsen, the program combined actual news events with reenactments. The HBO playlist obviously doesn’t have every newsreel but it’s got enough to get started.
I got sucked into one called The Tourist’s Europe. You gotta love the casual gangplank look, complete with lit cigarette in hand. And I’m so loving the poodle accommodation question at the 1:01 minute mark. Cause it’s not a vacation unless I can bring my lapdog.
Incredibly cheesy but it does have some clips of historical places including Notre Dame in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome, and the canals of Venice. And because of the time period, the clip could be used as a primary source of the period. If nothing else, just fun to watch for the awkward interviews.
But the list also has one titled The Kremlin’s Problem People: The Ukrainians – a current events connection that actually helps explain some of the problems now occurring in that country.
Other playlists include:
The clips are all over the place in terms of length – some under a minute and others close to half an hour. The solution to the longer clips? Use TubeChop.
TubeChop lets you edit YouTube videos into exactly the length and chunk you want. Easy to use and free. Get the tutorial here.