Monday, September 28, 2009

Thought for the Day: Teaching as a Pilgrimage

"I believe that the American teacher is the most solid supporter of democracy and that education ought to be teacher-centered as well as child-centered. Teaching can never be mediocre or it becomes self-defeating. Teaching must be great, yet greatness has many dimensions. It is not a possession, but a pilgrimage. It is measured by consequences -its influence on the lives of students and on culture."

Frederick Mayer

Recipe for Education from Teacher's Treasury of Stories



1 cup of thinking
2 cups of dreams
2 to 4 years of youth
3 1/2 cups of persistence
3 teaspoons of ability
1 cup of cooperation
1 teaspoon of borrowing
1 cup of good books, lectures, and teachers
1 cup of health
1 cup of plans made and followed through


Cream the thinking and the dreams.
Add the years and beat until creamy.
Sift persistence and ability together and add alternately, with cooperation, to the first mixture.
Add borrowing, books, lectures, teachers, health, and plans.
Fold in the years of youth, beaten stiff.
Bake in any moderately good college or university.
Time in college: 4 or more years, depending on how you like your finished product.
Temperature: plenty hot.

Servings will last for life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ABC World News: Holocaust Survivors Reunite with WWII Liberators

On this evening's broadcast of ABC World News the impact history teachers can have on their students was featured in the Person of the Week segment.

In 2001 Matt Rozell, a history teacher in the small town of Hudson Falls, New York started an oral history project focusing on stories from World War II. His students ended up discovering a nearly-forgotten chapter in history. Click here for the text of the story on ABC World News.

Here is a similar story from the Associated Press. Click here. And here on ABC 33/40 Talkback.

We also furnish for our visitors the Hudson Falls High School World War II Living History Project. Click here.

You can also view the broadcast via the ABC News channel on YouTube. Click here.

Our congratulations are extended to Matt Rozell and his students for a job well done.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History

The Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association (AHA) to support significant scholarly research for one semester in the collections of the Library of Congress by scholars at an early stage in their careers in history.

The fellowship is named in honor of J. Franklin Jameson, a founder of the Association, longtime managing editor of the American Historical Review, formerly Chief of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and the first incumbent of the Library's Chair of American History. It is designed to assist scholars early in their careers.

Research Grants from the American Historical Association (AHA)

The American Historical Association (AHA) has published a list of available research grants. Please note that only AHA members are eligible to apply for these grants, all of which are offered annually and are intended to further research in progress.

Preference is given to advanced doctoral students, non-tenured faculty, and unaffiliated scholars. Grants may be used for travel to a library or archive; microfiliming, photography, or photocopying; borrowing or access fees; and similar research expenses.

Applications are all due on February 15, 2010 for the following:

The Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the Western Hemisphere are available to support research in the history of the Western hemisphere. Individual grants do not exceed $1,000.

The Michael Kraus Research Grant in colonial American history, with particular reference to the intercultural aspects of American and European relations, offers cash awards of up to $800.

The Littleton-Griswold Grant offers grants of up to $1,000 for resear4ch in U.S. legal history and the field of law and society.

The Bernadotte Schmitt Grants support research in the history of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Individual grants will not exceed $1,000

For more information click this link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thought of the Day: Andrew Carnegie

"Only in popular education can man erect the structure of an enduring civilization."
Andrew Carnegie

AHA Calls for Nominations: Nancy Lyman Roelker Award

The American Historical Association has published a ‘Calls for Nominations’ for the Nancy Lyman Roelker Award in the September 2009 edition of Perspectives on History.

This award was established to honor history teachers “who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives. Mentoring is as important to the discipline of history as fine scholarship and good teaching. The ideal mentor is forthright, supportive, and constructively critical, committed to the student as a person, regardless of age or career goals.”

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award is given on a three-year cycle for graduate mentors, undergraduate mentors and secondary school teachers. The 2010 award is for secondary school mentors and carries a cash award.

Nominations should include:

1) A completed cover sheet and checklist.

2) A minimum of five letters supporting the nomination. These letters can be from students, former students, parents, colleagues, and others. There is no set proportion or formula for the “right” mixes of letters. Individuals organizing nominations should solicit a cross section as appropriate to address the essential elements noted above. Preferred maximum length of letters is two pages.

3) The nominee’s vita highlighting educational experience and student mentoring (publications and professional activities should be summarized in no more than 2 pages). The preferred maximum length of a c.v. is two-to-five pages.

Mail to: Roelker Mentorship Award, AHA, 400 A Street S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Coversheet and checklist, all letters supporting the nomination, and vita must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2010.

The 2010 award will be announced at the January 6-9, 2011 AHA 125th annual meeting in Boston.

The History Education Council of Hawaii recognizes that there are many qualified secondary-level history teachers and mentors and urges Hawaii educators to pursue this opportunity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On This Day: Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation Issued

September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This document was issued by Lincoln after the Battle of Antietam, threatening to free all slaves in the Confederate states if those states did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863. Legally, it was binding only in territory not under the control of Union forces.

The original hand-written copy of this document has been part of the New York State Library’s collections since 1865. The library has published an online exhibit that visitors anywhere can access here.

The online edition of the Atlantic Monthly features a transcript that visitors may access here.

The Memory Project of the Library of Congress features an online site with copies of the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation dated July 22, 1862, the preliminary version dated September 22, a photograph copy of the Emancipation Proclamation dated January 1, 1863, and a letter from President Lincoln to Albert G. Hodges, editor of the Frankfort, Kentucky Commonwealth, dated April 4, 1864.

Gilder Lehrman Institute: History Now and the American Revolution

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has just released Issue 21, September 2009 of its online journal History Now.

"The story of the birth of our nation is a fascinating onecomplex, surprising, difficult and triumphant. Although it is sometimes told in simplistic terms, this issue of History Now attempts to grapple with the ambiguities that define this critical moment in our past, and to offer thoughtful suggestions about how to teach the struggle for independence."

The journal also features classroom materials for teachers. Click here to see more. A series of video clips for classroom use are also featured.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bill of Rights Day: September 25

The American Constitution includes a Bill of Rights comprising its first ten amendments. We call attention for the benefit of teachers, historians and students Bill of Rights Day celebrated each September 25th. It was on this day in 1789 that the Bill of Rights passed both houses of Congress. By December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights had been ratified by three-fourths of the states, thus making the Bill of Rights the law of the land.

Fundamental rights guarnteed under the state constitutions varied, and most Antifederalists appealed for greater legal protections of individual liberties. These included specific guarantees for jury trials, freedom of religion, prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, support for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

We call your attention to a number of online resources available for classroom and supplemental learning purposes.

The Charters of Freedom maintained by the National Archives includes exhibits and educational materials about the Bill of Rights.

In addition, Cornell University's Law School features an array of materials, including a transcript of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

A Hawaii-based online source called Know Yours Rights! features a listing of the Bills of Rights found in each of the state's constitutions and more.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Constitution Day: A New Beginning for America's Experiment in Self-Government

It is said that as Benjamin Franklin observed delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia come forward and sign the new American Constitution he noted a sun carved on the back of George Washington's chair. Said Franklin, "I have noted in the course of the session... looked at [the sun] behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun."

The signing and subsequent ratification of the U.S. Constitution represents a celebratory phase in the political experiment in self-government. On September 17, 1787 thirty-none men signed. James Madison was the convention's driving force. "There never was an assembly of men," said Madison, "charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively and anxiously devoted to the object committed to them."

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) celebrates this important day in our nation's history by presenting activities, lesson plans, and information. NARA encourages teachers and students at all levels to learn more about our Constitution and government.

The National Constitution Center is located only steps away from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It is also located on the Internet where teachers, students and constitutional scholars can access a variety of educational resources. provides visitors to its web site with a series of education resources and Internet links "to help educators comply with the new federal regulation requiring the development of student programming to celebrate Constitution Day."

We also highly recommend Annenberg Classroom, an ongoing project featuring an array of learning resources for teachers and students, including lesson plans, video resources, and multimedia materials in 14 different languages, all sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.

We also recommend Constitution Day materials provided by the Federal Court Educational Outreach, a project of the Federal Judiciary.

Podcasts are a relatively new education tool a growing number of educational institutions are embracing. We're pleased to recommend podcasts courtesy of the American Constitution Society for law and Policy at Stanford University Law School, the We the People Stories from the National Constitution Center, and the Lewis & Clark Law School Podcasts.

Finally, do you know where the first law school in the United States of America was founded? Many might be surprised to find it in Litchfield, Connecticut: the Litchfield Law School, founded by Tapping Reeve in 1784. It's buildings are preserved by the Litchfield Historical Society in northwestern Connecticut. For more information click here. For a list of the more than 1,100 graduates of this law school visit this link.

You may also visit the History Place to read the text of the American Constitution.

Friday, September 11, 2009

102 Minutes That Changed America

This evening the History Channel will be broadcasting its documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America. This web link features a timeline, actual radio broadcasts from September 11, 2001 and much more that will be useful to historians, teachers, students, indeed everyone.

We also call your attention to a web site co-sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Click here to learn more.

The Library of Congress' Memory Project also features online resources. Staff at the Library of Congress issued a call within hours of the tragic events in New York City, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon for original materials. You can see the online results of their work here.

We also recommend the September 11 Digital Archive at this link.

Finally, as we pause this day to remember those who lost their lives and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom a visit to the Flags of Honor and Heroes web site.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What should history organizations be doing to advance history education online?

"Teaching information literacy, how to access materials online, search techniques, reading a site for reliability, and attribution. We want the student/non-professional person who approaches historical materials online to get engaged with them. This means putting as much as one's collection online as possible. Our users won't always be fascinated with those artifacts that fascinate us. By making as much of our collection available online as possible, we allow each user to explore and follows his interests."

Dan Cohen, director, Center for History and New Media,
George Mason University
Interviewed by Tim Grove, History Bytes,
HistoryNews, Summer 2009
Published by the American Association for State and Local History

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Brumidi Corridors in the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

The U. S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., features priceless murals. Most noted among the murals are those by Constantino Brumidi. The History Education Council of Hawaii brings to the attention of Hawaii historians, students of all ages and interests as well as teachers that there are a number of online-based resources available.

The Architect of the Capitol is an office established in 1793. Go to this link for its online text and images of the Brumidi Corridors. Links on this page connect online visitors with specific works.

In addition, the frieze of the Rotunda of the United States Capitol contains a painted panorama depicting significant events in American history. Click here for a direct link as well as images.

The Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol was painted in the true fresco technique by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. Click here for a direct link as well as images.

The book
Constantino Brumidi: Artist of the Capitol, Prepared under the Direction of the Architect of the Capitol, by Barbara A. Wolanin, Curator, is available for purchase from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. A copy is also available for borrowing at the Hawaii State Public Library (759.13 Brumidi Wo) in downtown Honolulu.

NCPH Outstanding Public History Project Award

The National Council on Public History offers the Outstanding Public History Project Award to recognize excellence in work that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. The prize consists of $1,000 and a framed certificate presented at the NCPH Annual Meeting. Projects by individuals, groups, community organizations, businesses, or other organizations—or work done in support of such projects—may be nominated. The deadline for submissions is December 10, 2009. See the Outstanding Public History Award web page for more information and instructions on how to apply. See also the other awards offered by the NCPH.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jefferson: "History, by apprising them of the past..."

“For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826

Notes on Virginia and Other Writings

PBS History Detectives Series