Monday, November 30, 2009

Thomas Jefferson Foundation: Barringer Research Fellowship for Teachers of American History 2010

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation is pleased to announce the Barringer Fellowship for Teachers of American History, which is designed to provide individual teachers an opportunity to research and study at Monticello and the Jefferson Library. The fellowship will allow teachers to work on Jefferson-specific projects such as lesson plans, curricular units, resource packets, or syllabus outlines that will enhance their classroom teaching. Fellowship recipients will spend two weeks in independent research and consultation with Monticello scholars on projects that relate directly to Thomas Jefferson and that will enhance their classroom presentations.

The successful applicants will be chosen by a selection committee according to evidence of their success as a teacher; demonstration that the fellowship will relate to the teaching skills and needs of the applicant; and the commitment and qualifications of the applicant to undertake a concentrated study relating to the life and times of Thomas Jefferson.

Fellowships will be awarded to qualified elementary and secondary teachers who are employed full-time in the classroom. The Barringer Fellowship grant will include: a stipend of $1,500; travel costs up to $1,000; up to $1,400 for lodging in a local hotel; and up to $50 per day for food. The grant can be taken at any time during the recipient's summer vacation, with Foundation approval.

Fellows will be asked to turn in a copy of their research project as well as a lesson plan suitable for publication on the Monticello Digital Classroom. To access the portal for students click here, and to access resources for teachers click here.

The Barringer Research Fellowship Program was made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Barringer II.

For more information:
Filing deadline: February 5, 2010.

High School Research Papers: A Dying Breed by Jay Mathews

Doris Burton taught U.S. history in Prince George’s County for 27 years. She had her students write 3,000-word term papers. She guided them step by step: first an outline, then note cards, a bibliography, a draft and then the final paper. They were graded at each stage.

A typical paper was often little more than what Burton describes as “a regurgitated version of the encyclopedia.” She stopped requiring them for her regular history students and assigned them just to seniors heading to college. The social studies and English departments tried to organize coordinated term paper assignments for all, but state and district course requirements left no room. “As time went by,” Burton said, “even the better seniors’ writing skills deteriorated, and the assignment was frustrating for them to write and torture for me to read.” Before her retirement in 1998, she said, “I dropped the long-paper assignment and went to shorter and shorter and, eventually, no paper at all.”

Click here for the remaining text of this insightful article.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving: 1789 Proclamation by President Washington

New York, 3 October 1789

By George Washington, the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Become a Millionaire: 1867

How to Become a Millionaire

From the December, 1867 edition of The Friend, published monthly in Honolulu by Rev. Samuel C. Damon, Chaplain, American Seaman’s Friend Society:

John McDonough, the millionaire of New Orleans, has engraved upon his tomb a series of maxims he had prescribed as the rule for his guidance through life, and to which his success in business is mainly attributed. They contain so much wisdom that we copy them:

Rules for the Guidance of My Life, 1804:

Remember always that labor is one of the conditions of our existence.

Time is gold; throw not one minute away, but place each one to account.

Do unto all men as you would be done by.

Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.

Never bid another to do what you can do yourself.

Never covet what is not your own.

Never think of any matter so trifling as not to deserve notice.

Never give that which does not first come in.

Never spend but to produce.

Let the greatest order regulate the transactions of your life.

Study in the course of life to do the greatest amount of good.

Deprive yourself of nothing necessary to your comfort, but live in an honorable simplicity.

Labor, then, to the last moment of your existence.

Pursue strictly the above rules and the Divine blessing and riches of every kind will flow upon you to your heart’s content, but first of all remember that the chief and great duty of your life should be to tend, by all means in your power, to the honor and glory of our Divine Creator.

The conclusion to which I have arrived is, that without temperance there is no health, without virtue no order, without religion no happiness, and that the aim of our being is to live wisely, soberly and righteously. JNO. McDONOUGH.

Mr. McDonough might have known how to make a million, but he did not know how to dispose of it when made. His large property was left to poor relatives, public charities and city corporations, and for twenty years has been the source of legal prosecutions. When will rich men learn to become the executors of their own charities? They will screw, turn, pinch and worry to make money, and their heirs and executors will screw, turn, pinch and worry to spend it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hagley Prize in Business History: Hagley Museum and Library

The Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference jointly offer an annual prize for the best book in business history, broadly defined. The next Hagley Prize will be presented at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, March 25-27, 2010.

The prize committee encourages the submission of books from all methodological perspectives. It is particularly interested in innovative studies that have the potential to expand the boundaries of the discipline.

Scholars, publishers, and other interested parties may submit nominations. Eligible books can have either an American or an international focus.

They must be written in English and be published during the two years (2008 or 2009) prior to the award.

Four copies of a book must accompany a nomination and be submitted to the prize coordinator:

Carol Ressler Lockman
Hagley Museum and Library
P.O. Box 3630
298 Buck Road,
Wilmington DE 19807-0630

The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2009.

Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Teaching: AHA

The American Historical Association (AHA) is accepting nominations for the Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The award recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities. The award is named for the late Eugene Asher, for many years a leading advocate for history education. The Society for History Education shares with the AHA the sponsorship of this award.

The award is intended for inspiring teachers whose techniques and mastery of subject matter made a real difference to students of history. Nominations of mentors or teaching colleagues are appropriate. An individual may not nominate his or her thesis adviser (current or within the past five years). At the time of nomination, a nominee must still be alive but may be retired or emeritus. Each letter of nomination must include the address (home & work) of the nominee.

Letters of nomination (no more than two pages each) should be submitted to the AHA. The prize committee will select a short list of finalists, each of whom will be asked to electronically provide five copies of a short curriculum vitae (CV) and a syllabus or syllabi, and a teaching statement to a total of 15 pages or less.

The recipient will be invited to attend the award presentation at the 2011 annual meeting in Boston and will receive a $1,000 award.

The letter of nomination must be postmarked by April 15, 2010. Only the letter of nomination should be mailed -not faxed- to:

Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award,
American Historical Association
400 A Street, SE,
Washington, DC 20003-3889

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Election Day Editorial from Hawaii, 1888

Pacific Commercial Advertiser: Monday, November 5, 1888

The choice of an executive and a legislature by the votes of the people to be ruled, cast in an orderly and peaceable manner, can never be to anyone who looks below the surface of things, other than an interesting and suggestive spectacle.

But when the result of the election is to be the choice of the rulers of fifty millions of the most intelligent and enterprising people of the world, and the deciding for four years of the public policy of one of the great powers of the earth, the occasion rises fairly into the region of the sublime.

When we reflect that on the same day, at the same hour, throughout a region extending thousands of miles from ocean to ocean, millions of men are assembling at thousands and even tens of thousands of places, in crowded cities and quiet country villages, far up on mountain slopes and out on wide and breezy prairies, beside the rattle and whirl of busy factories and in secluded mining camps to decide such vast and possibly far-reaching issues by the quiet and simple process of dropping little pieces of printed paper into a box, we realize, in some measure, the vast progress the world has really made in substituting the peaceable processes of law and reason for the reign of violence and brute force.

When we remember further, that the result of this election, whatever it may be, will be accepted and submitted to, quietly, peaceably and as a matter of course, we are inspired with a new faith in the possibilities of human nature, and feel that those who wrought and suffered for the establishment of popular government and liberty under the restraints of self-imposed law were not constructing an edifice of cardboard and cobwebs, but erecting an enduring temple upon a foundation of solid rock.

The election of President of the United States; the fact that there is such an occasion, that it is so vast, that it is conducted as is, and has such results is full of encouragement for all who desire the enfranchisement and elevation of their fellow men.