There is an abundance of historical information contained in the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) web site. One area I'd like to draw your attention to is the quarterly magazine Prologue.
Prologue is a great resource. Did you know that there was a court case about frozen ice cream and flavored ice between Popsicle and Good Humor? Or that there were inconsistent rules applied to women and naturalization between 1802 to 1940?
Many people have issues about the response handling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but did you know that there were slackers, looters and governmental incompetents that added to the confusion on who was responsible during San Francisco 1906 Earthquake?
You can read and decide for yourself if history repeats itself in the article "When an American City Is Destroyed, The U.S. Military as First Responders to the San Francisco Earthquake a Century Ago".
There is a lot of talk recently about subversives, anti-Americans and being "the other." It is scary stuff but it is not new to the country. In Prologue magazine there is an article about how the McCarthy era came into being by the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations (AGLOSO).
You can learn about how fear took root the government and in the country. Once you know how it got started you can be on the look out for new versions that are being implied or suggested.
This is your tax dollars being put to wonderful use. I would certainly add this to your information tool kit.