Friday, December 30, 2011

Historical Retrospect and Happy New Year from History Education Hawaii

On behalf of Hawaii’s lovers of history and advocates for historical literacy we wish all, near and far, Hau’oli Makahiki Hou, Happy New Year.

The tradition of reflecting on the onset of a new year began in Hawaii long ago. As an example we offer our loyal readers around the world a glimpse into this tradition. The following text is a transcript of an editorial from Honolulu’s ‘The Polynesian,’ the official newspaper of the Hawaiian royal government. Edited by Edwin O. Hall, these remarks were published on Saturday, January 3, 1852:

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO –The old year, with its joys and sorrows, its fluctuations and changes, has vanished into the past, and the sound of its retreating footsteps is lost in the din and hurry of the busy present. It can never be recalled, nor can its record be effaced. Whatever that record may be, in regard to each of our readers, it is sealed up, to remain unopened, till the last great day, for which all other days are made. Let a review of the past make us wider and better for the future.

The New Year opened upon us with a clear sky, and a summer temperature. To the residents from colder climes, the seasons seemed reversed, and June appeared reposing in the arms of January. But this was all the more fortunate for those who desired to keep up the good New York custom of calling upon friends, and greeting them with the compliments of the season; and it was improved accordingly. A large number were out, and we have heard of many who made from thirty to forty calls during the day, and a happy custom it is, and one becoming more and more domesticated in the city of Honolulu.

Other portions of the community enjoyed themselves in riding, feasting, &c. We have seldom seen the streets more crowded with horsemen then on the first of January, 1852. Everybody seemed to be mounted, and determined on enjoyment. Natives, and foreigners generally, made a holiday of it, and appeared determined to make the first day of the year, at least, a “happy” one.

We hope our readers, out of town, participated in the pleasures of the metropolis; to them, and to all, we wish a “HAPPY NEW YEAR.”

Holidays have their uses and beneficial tendencies. When properly observed, they renew friendships, and break up the tedious round of every-day cares and labors. The mental and physical tone is renewed, and becomes more elastic under the influence of those social enjoyments, of which social man is so susceptible. In this view of the case, we were pleased to notice the very general suspension of business in Honolulu, on New Years’ Day, especially, after ten or eleven o’clock, and have no doubt that the recreation thus enjoyed will, very generally, better qualify men for the “battle of life” and its arduous toils, in which they have now fairly commenced another year’s campaign.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

History Bee and Bowl Results: Congratulations!

Iolani School in Honolulu was the setting for the first-ever held statewide National History Bowl and Bee. The event, sponsored by History Education Hawaii, Inc., an allied organization of the National Council for History Education, was held on December 17. It was organized and facilitated by Dave Madden, founder of the National History Bowl and Bee.

Participating schools included Waianae High School, Iolani School and a student from the island of Kauai representing Hawaii Technology Academy.

The National History Bowl is an interscholastic team history competition with a quiz bowl format. From Oct. 2011-Mar. 2012, students across the nation are scheduled compete in teams at the regional-level tournaments, with the top teams qualifying for the National Championships in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The National History Bowl is a competition for teams of students.

The History Bowl competition consisted of teams of up to four students.

Students competed with buzzers in a system of four sets of questions. In addition to rote memorization, the questions sometimes required students to utilize critical and analytical thinking skills to establish connections from pieces of information to correctly answer the questions.

In the Varsity Bowl Division the 'Iolani team of Ken-Ben Chao (13), Keke Liu (13), Jason Loui (13), and Michael Mow (13) won in the final round by beating the 'Iolani team of Courtney Kobata (13), Eden Koo (13), James Teruya (13), and Nick Yim (13).

The Junior Varsity Division is for students in tenth grade or below. Here the 'Iolani team of Kenneth Lee (14), Nick Lee (15), and Spencer Oshita (15) defeat their opponent, Andy Anderton of Hawaii Technology Academy.

In the History Bee students compete as individuals to answer questions. In the Varsity Bee Division Ken-Ben Chao (13) won the first place plaque by defeating Jason Loui (13) in the final round. In the Junior Varsity Division, Kenneth Lee (14) defeated Matthew Beattie-Callahan (14) for the title.

The team is coached by 'Iolani History teacher, John Bickel and plans to attend the national competition in Washington, D.C., April 27 -29.

The competition was attended by NCHE Hawaii Liaison Jeffrey Bingham Mead.

“This is just the beginning,” Mead said. “These competing students were among the most enthused about the subject of history I’ve met in some time. They were passionate throughout the competition, the questions and about history. Their instructors have clearly imparted in these students a love for the subject. I look forward to more competitions in the years ahead.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

From our house in Hawaii to yours wherever that may be, History Education Hawaii extends to all our sincerest aloha and holiday wishes.

We will re-open again on Monday, December 26.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest Submission: Carrie Oakley of

The Best Undergraduate History Programs in the United States

Are you interested in earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History, or do you teach a student or know someone who is interested? If you want the opportunity to go far with a degree in history, consider attending a university or college with a top-ranked history department.

The following schools are top-ranked when it comes to their department of history and their undergraduate history programs, according to a 2009 ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Even if you are a history professor, this list could offer insight into where the top professors go to teach.

Many of these schools are also coincidentally among the top-ranked universities in the nation. Earning a degree or teaching at one of these prestigious colleges would be an honor and a privilege for anyone who loves the subject of history.

1. Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

2. Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

3. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California.

4. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

5. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

6. University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

7. Columbia University, New York, New York.

8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

9. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

10. University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

To learn about what you need to do to qualify for admittance to one of these universities, visit the admissions section located on each college’s corresponding website. You can also find information about how to receive financial aid and scholarships for tuition and board payment in the admissions section, as well.

Carrie Oakley is editor and writer for Online Universities. She likes to write articles about many topics of interest, including education and career planning.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Exploring the Past: Archaeology in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

The Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse will offer a three-week NEH Summer Institute on July 9–27, 2012. This dynamic learning experience for K-12 teachers will explore how Native Americans and Euro-Americans have adapted to the Upper Mississippi River Valley over the past 13,500 years, and how archaeology leads to an understanding of how human cultures change and adapt through time.

The Institute will feature a one-day excavation experience, field trips to archaeological sites, hands-on laboratory and workshop activities, demonstrations, and classroom activities. Individual projects will help participants tailor the content to their own teaching areas. NEH Summer Scholars receive a $2,700 stipend to help offset their expenses.

Walking beside thousand-year-old burial mounds, flaking raw stone into tools, learning how potsherds tell us about human behavior, and understanding how humans adapt to complex, ever-changing environments ­our 2012 NEH Summer Institute features all this and more.

Application and other information on the Institute will be available online at this link.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2012.