Monday, February 27, 2012

March is Women's History Month

We at History Education Hawaii, Inc., call your attention to Women's History Month. This is held in the month of March each year. Here are some useful web links and online based resources:

Will Fitzhugh of The Concord Review sent word that the special Women's History issue is available at Click here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Welcome to

It's Friday, and we'd like to share with you a free resource available to teachers in the US:

Nearly half a million yearly visitors use this website to find valuable, free information. We invite our history teachers to do the same. We especially call your attention to these sections:

- Video Introduction to Historical Thinking.

- Spotlight on African American History Month.

- The February 2012 E-Newsletter.

- Free
Historical Thinking and Civil War posters.

Issues and Research section has an interactive database of state standards for each state and the District of Columbia, which complements its recently updated project, A Report on the State of History Education. is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History (TAH) program. It is a leader in providing K-12 history teachers with free access to resources and materials to improve their lessons.

Education Week Commentary: Don't Leave Gifted Students Behind

Education Week: Commentary

Don't Leave Gifted Students Behind

High achievers are essential to global competition

By Frances R. Spielhagen

The annual wars, aka school budget deliberations, are about to begin. Across the nation, states and local districts will once more struggle to maintain educational integrity in the face of annual budget shortfalls, "race to the top" to grab federal dollars, and, hopefully, improve overall student achievement.

Yet, as all eyes are focused on making sure that most, if not all, students meet minimum standards, one group continues to suffer from a kind of benign neglect that actually is not benign at all. These are the very students who can succeed at the highest levels, our gifted students. In classrooms from coast to coast, these students are languishing. They are simply not progressing and learning commensurate with their potential.

Last fall, a report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute brought into sharp focus the decline in achievement among the top students in our nation, those with the potential and demonstrated capacity to excel in school and assume leadership roles in the United States and the global community. Quite simply, the report, titled "Do High Flyers Maintain Their Performance: Performance Trends of Top Students," <> suggested that this nation's brightest students are the unintended victims of the lofty goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. Rather than making the much-heralded "adequate yearly progress" that is supposed to characterize school success, they are losing ground when their performance is tracked over time.

The Fordham report followed a Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, report <> in December 2010. Not only had a majority of 15-year-old students in the United States lagged in mathematics and science performance, but America's top students compared dismally with their peers across the globe. In math, only 1.9 percent of U.S. students scored in the 95th percentile on the assessment's highest proficiency level, below the average of 3 percent of the total sample of students from other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-member nations, and well below the top students in South Korea (7.8 percent), Switzerland (7.8 percent), Singapore (15.6 percent), and Shanghai (26.6 percent).

"In a nation devoted to the underdog, we seem to have forgotten that gifted students need to grow, too."

Why can't more of our brightest students attain this high level of proficiency? And, why should we care? Here's why: Providing for the continued growth, development, and achievement of our most capable students is akin to betting on the favorite. The most-talented students are most likely to bring this nation out of the economic basement, create new inventions, cure deadly diseases, and, yes, restore the United States to its former place as the international leader in innovation and scholarship. In a nation devoted to the underdog, we seem to have forgotten that gifted students need to grow, too. In fact, in many ways, gifted students are the new underdogs in American education.

Our struggle to bring all students up to a minimum level of proficiency is a laudable and necessary goal. However, attention to the majority has caused the nation to lose sight of the equally valid learning needs of the most-capable students in our care. Several factors have created this situation. First, fears of elitism permeate our collective understanding of the role of schools in a democracy. Second, justifiable rejection of rigid tracking policies has resulted in few grouping options for students who can learn more quickly than their peers, while classroom instruction remains at a uniformly homogenous level.

No one wants to see any student condemned to substandard education, a result of some tracking systems. However, the brightest students are condemned to working at levels below their potential. At the same time, acceleration to the next grade is often not considered or even allowed, despite research-based evidence, such as the 2004 report "A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students," that documents the benefits of acceleration for our top students. Finally, most teachers have not been trained to work with highly able students in the regular classroom, and that's where most of the high-flying students can be found.

In the past decade, the emphasis on standardized testing has resulted in an information-retrieval model of instruction and assessment, rather than the problem-solving and higher-order thinking on which advanced learners thrive. Struggling to improve the performance of the majority of students, teachers often have neither the skill nor the will to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of their highest-performing students.

Last year, U.S. Reps. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and Donald M. Payne, D-N.J., along with U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Robert P. Casey Jr., D-Pa., introduced a bipartisan bill as part of the reauthorization process for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. The TALENT (To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation's Teachers) Act would require that state assessments capture when students perform above grade level and report the educational growth of the most-advanced students on state report cards required under NCLB. This would represent a critical improvement in the current reporting system and drive schools to consider the educational development of the highest-achieving students. It would also spur policymakers and curriculum developers to provide more-advanced curriculum for high-achieving students. It would expand professional-development opportunities for teachers and establish research initiatives to explore ways that teachers can support and serve high-ability students. The bill is still awaiting action in Congress.

As a former high school teacher and coordinator of programs for gifted students, I know firsthand the frustrations of the very capable student who must slog through drill-and-kill reviews every fall while teachers ensure that everyone is up to speed and ready to move forward. The situation repeats itself throughout the school year, as teachers and students progress toward the annual standardized tests that will be used to determine individual teachers' effectiveness.

The focus on teacher accountability has accentuated the very real pressures on teachers to make sure that all students perform at an accepted level of proficiency, and I am in no way suggesting that teachers are maliciously neglecting the brightest students in their classes. However, when one's job security is on the line, good will and the intention to differentiate instruction for highly able students easily fall prey to meeting the needs of the majority. If gifted youngsters already meet the minimum-proficiency standards, there is no need to move them forward. For now, there is no federal mandate to meet their academic needs.

Moreover, the states lack the grit, will, and resources to provide for these students. The TALENT Act would provide resources for highly able students and for professional development that would foster advanced teaching in the regular classroom. The students are there, waiting and longing to be instructed at the levels they are capable of attaining. How much longer must they—and we—wait?

Frances R. Spielhagen is an associate professor of education and the co-director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Development at Mount Saint Mary College, in Newburgh, N.Y., and the author of Completing the Equation: The Algebra Solution to Mathematics Reform (Teachers College Press, 2011). From 2009 to 2011, she co-chaired the education committee of the National Association for Gifted Children. She is the editor-in-chief of the Middle Grades Research Journal.

Vol. 31, Issue 21, Pages 28-29

Monday, February 20, 2012

American Historical Association: The Tuning Project

What Should History Degree-Holders Know and Be Able to Do?

By Julia Brookins, AHA Special Projects Coordinator

Washington, D.C.—The American Historical Association (AHA) is initiating a nationwide, faculty-led project to articulate the core of historical study and to identify what a student should know and be able to do at the completion of a history degree program. Professors Anne Hyde (Colorado College) and Patricia Limerick (University of Colorado Boulder) will lead accomplished faculty from more than sixty colleges and universities across the country to frame common goals and reference points for post-secondary history education. The project will engage employers, alumni, students, and others in exploring and enhancing how the study of history provides the foundation for a life of active citizenship, continued learning, and successful employment.

This “Tuning” project, supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation (Indianapolis, IN), will test the possibility of harmonizing the nation’s diverse degree programs in a single discipline. Initiated in Europe a decade ago and extended since then to higher education settings in six continents, Tuning has been adapted to the structure of American higher education only in more localized settings. Drawing in part on those pilot initiatives, AHA Tuning project members will convene in June 2012 and February 2013 to draft and refine commentaries on the skills, methods, and substantive range they believe characterize the study of history. Faculty participants will then build on this collaborative work inside their own classrooms and departments by aligning specific curriculum elements to the common competencies requisite for history degree-holders. Participants will scale these learning goals to introductory, upper-level, and capstone courses, as well as to three degree levels (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s). The AHA Tuning project will provide history faculty with a hands-on, collegial process to begin defining the terms of assessment that can best measure and demonstrate what and how their students learn.

The AHA’s initiative to “tune the history major” encompasses three broad objectives:

  1. To articulate the core abilities, habits of mind, and knowledge required of their discipline;
  2. To develop a clear, common language to express the distinctive value of history for students, employers, and public culture. Students who can see clearly what they are learning, and why, are better equipped to direct their studies towards lifelong learning, meaningful employment, and civic participation;
  3. To provide a nationwide framework in which historians can design the systems used by their institutions to measure their achievements as teachers.

“This project is part of the AHA’s emphasis on facilitating communication among historians and between historians and the general public,” says Executive Director James Grossman. “Our members will generate curricular frameworks that combine common themes and practices with the flexibility appropriate for institutions with different missions and circumstances.”


Contact: Julia Brookins, AHA Special Projects Coordinator (

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.

The American Historical Association serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area. Its approximately 14,000 members include historians in colleges, universities, schools, museums, historical organizations, libraries, archives, business, and government, along with independent scholars and nonprofessionals with an abiding interest in history. The AHA provides leadership for the profession, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship, and supplies services to sustain and enhance the work of its members.

Friday, February 17, 2012

OpSail Announces The Star-Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Essay and Art Contest



Operation Sail, Inc., the national non-profit organization that produces tall ship events commemorating patriotic American milestones, announced its sponsorship of an essay contest and an art contest for high school students in association with the USS Constitution Museum, the National Maritime Historical Society, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The prize, awarded in each of six ports, will be a ride on the Coast Guard tall ship Eagle.

OpSail has partnered with the Navy, Coast Guard, and navies around the world to commemorate the bicentennial of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812.

Some of the world’s largest sailing ships will sail into six major east coast ports from April through July, 2012.

Tall ships and navy warships will form up in parades of sail to begin week-long festivities this spring and summer in six cities: New Orleans LA, New York NY, Norfolk VA, Baltimore MD, Boston MA and New London CT.

Essay contest entrants will write a 1,000-word essay on one of three topics:


Essays must be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment in 12 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced, with one-inch margins. The entrant’s name, email and port of interest must appear on the top right-hand corner of the front page. Essay entries should be emailed to

Art contest entrants must submit a copy of their original watercolor, oil, or pencil drawing/painting, no greater than 18 inches x 18 inches depicting one of three topics:


Copies of original artwork must be submitted in JPG format under 6 mb in file size. The entrant’s name, email and port of interest must appear in the body of the email. Art entries should be emailed to Winners must agree to submit original artwork for display.

Contestants must follow specific deadline and submission requirements. The contests are open to students enrolled in public, parochial or private high schools and who will be at least 12 years old by date of the event for which their work is submitted. The prize is passage on a tall ship for a day during OpSail 2012.

One prize will be awarded in each OpSail event city: New Orleans LA, New York NY, Norfolk VA, Baltimore MD, Boston MA, and New London CT. Entrants must name the one port for which their work is competing (see table below) and meet the deadline for that port city. Deadlines for essays and artwork:

Port Due Date (2012)

New Orleans, LA March 16th

New York, NY April 20th

Norfolk, VA May 4th

Baltimore, MD May 11th

Boston, MA May 25th

New London, CT June 1st

Essays will be judged by a panel of experts led by William H. White, historian and author, and members of the National Maritime Historical Society. Art will be judged by a panel of experts from the USS Constitution Museum. One winner (and one parent/guardian) will be invited to ride the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle or a comparable tall ship as the vessel participates in an OpSail Parade of Sail, weather permitting. Winners must arrange for their own transportation to the city where the tall ship sails. Winners may be asked to video record their essays for use by OpSail and must agree to media interviews. Winners agree that their essay or art work may be used for promotional purposes. Submissions become the property of Operation Sail, Inc. for use in print or other media as Operation Sail in its sole judgment determines.

For student/teacher questions about rules,

For more information about OpSail, please visit their website.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Polynesian, Honolulu: Washington Refusing a Crown! (1845)

Washington Refusing a Crown!

The Polynesian. Honolulu: October 11, 1845.

J.J. Jarves, Editor.

The following letter has recently been brought to light by Mr. Sparks. It was written in a reply to a proposition made to Washington at the conclusion of the war, by certain officers of his army, to accept a crown. The following sentiments show the republican spirit than animated the man.

“Sir-With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, I have read with attention the sentiments you have submitted to my perusal. Be assured, sir, no occurrence in the course of the war has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army as you have expressed, and which I must view with abhorrence, and reprehend with severity. For the present, the communication of them will rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation of the matter shall made a disclosure necessary.

I am much at a loss to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to an address which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my country. If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable.

Let me conjure you, then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.

I am, &c.


Hawaii State Library System CLOSED February 18-20, 2012

We wanted to remind our history teachers, students, history buffs and, indeed everyone, that due to the Presidents Day holiday the Hawaii State Library System will be closed Saturday, February 18 through Monday, February 20, 2012. The libraries will reopen again on Tuesday morning, February 21.

We at History Education Hawaii wish everyone an enjoyable and historical Presidents Day holiday. HEH will reopen its offices on Tuesday. As always, feel free to e-mail HEH anytime!

Call for Papers: Society for the History of Technology 2012 Annual Meeting

The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 4-7, 2012 at the Copenhagen Business School.

NOTE: The proposal deadline is March 31, 2012.

The Program Committee invites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the history of technology, broadly defined. The Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers or sessions, as well as works-in-progress from researchers at all levels (including graduate students, chaired professors, and independent scholars).

It welcomes proposals from those new to SHOT, regardless of discipline. Multinational, international, and cross-institutional sessions are particularly encouraged.

SHOT especially encourage proposals from non-Western and Eastern-European scholars. Since this is a non-North American meeting, the Program Committee will permit scholars who presented at the 2011 Cleveland meeting to give papers in Copenhagen.

It is SHOT's policy to relax its rule about not presenting papers at two consecutive meetings in order to attract as many people as possible to meetings outside of North America.

For the 2012 meeting the Program Committee continues to welcome unconventional sessions; that is, session formats that diverge in useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment. These might include round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with papers that are pre-circulated electronically, or "author meets critics" sessions. SHOT also welcomes poster proposals for presentation in poster sessions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Presidents Day Hawaii: John Quincy Adams

The voyage of the Isabella from Mazatlan took 17 days. Upon its arrival in Honolulu Captain Briggs furnished the editors of The Polynesian with copies of American newspapers. The May 6, 1848 edition presented the news to its Hawaii readers, including the death of one of America’s most venerated statesmen and a final direct link to the American Revolution.

“The venerable John Quincy Adams is no more,” quoting the Daily American Star. President James Polk’s announcement was quoted in full, followed by remarks delivered to Congress by House Speaker Winthrop.

“As a contemporary of the illustrious Washington, and almost a co-worker in laying the foundation of his country’s freedom and greatness, the name John Quincy Adams will be remembered in all future time as one of the illustrious sons of the American Republic,” stated the Polynesian. “In the year 1830, shortly after he retired from the Presidency, he descended, neither ungracefully, nor without advantage to the nation to a seat in the House of Representatives and had, up to the moment of his death, wielded an influence unequaled by any other member of that body, securing also for himself a greater share of attention and respect.”

In Jaunary 1849, Samuel C. Damon, editor of The Friend in Honolulu, reflected, “Nations have been overturned, families broken up, and multitudes in public and private life passed away. Most have gone, leaving no footprints on the shore of time which the hurrying tide of life will not soon efface. Not so with one memorable individual. John Quincy Adams will be remembered so long as one is found to appreciate the genuine patriotism and love true liberty.”

* Click here for the White House page on John Quincy Adams.

* Click here for John Quincy Adams on Twitter! :)

* Click here for the Miller Center's page on John Quincy Adams.

* Click here for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's page on Adams.

* Click here for the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Washington's Birthday in Honolulu: 1845

From The Polynesian. (Honolulu: Saturday, March 1, 1845. J.J. Jarves, Editor:

Saturday, the 22d ult., was the birthday of the man of all nations, the immortal Washington, whose fame grows brighter with every succeeding year, and the luster of whose example stimulates men of all races to emulate his virtues.

Salutes were fired, morning, noon and night, from the Brandywine, and the occasion otherwise celebrated by his countrymen, to whom all climes and among all people the name of Washington stirs within them the proud remembrance of their country.

Monday, February 13, 2012

NCHE Home School Institute: July 8-13, 2012

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) will be hosting a unique summer institute. Hawaii educators and students are encouraged to apply now:

Enjoy a week at beautiful Black Rock Retreat, located in Quarryville, right in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. This unique opportunity allows parents and children to gain knowledge while spending quality time with each other. This Institute focuses on the American industry, from robotics to manufacturing still untouched by the passage of time -- all while enjoying the summer activities afforded by the retreat location.

The Summer Institue will be held July 8-13, 2012.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lincoln's Birthday 2012

(President Lincoln showing Sojourner Truth the Bible presented by "loyal colored people" of Baltimore. Picture credit: Library of Congress)

Tomorrow, February 12, 2012, is President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

We decided to share with our readers the text of an article that appeared in the November, 1864 edition of The Friend. This monthly newspaper was published in Honolulu by Rev. Samuel C. Damon of the American Seaman’s Friend Society.

The article was taken from an earlier edition of the Baltimore American. It focuses on a gift by the African American citizens of Baltimore to Lincoln:


PRESENTATION TO THE PRESIDENT. –The colored people of Baltimore, desirous of testifying their appreciation of the distinguished services of President Lincoln in the cause of human freedom, are about the present him with a copy of the Holy Bible, which is a masterpiece of art and taste.

It is the imperial quarto of the American Bible Society, bound in purple velvet with heavy gold mountings, appropriately engraved, and inclosed in a walnut case lined with white silk.

The total cost of this elegant gift is $580.75. The inscription upon the presentation plate is as follows:



President of the United States.

The friend of Universal Freedom,


The Loyal Colored People of Baltimore,

As a token of Respect and Gratitude.

Baltimore, 4th July, 1864.

Intrinsically valuable as this gift may be, it is of little account in comparison with the sentiment it represents or embodies. It will be properly appreciated by the great champion of emancipation; it will take its appropriate place in the history of his efforts toward the accomplishment of the grand consummation in which Maryland has taken a leading part. It will form one of the best and proudest memorials it has ever fallen to the lot of any public man to transmit to posterity. The expression of “the respect and gratitude” of our colored citizens is highly creditable to them, and we are glad to chronicle so noteworthy an occurrence. –Baltimore American.


NOTE: Go to this link for the text of Reply to Loyal Colored People of Baltimore Upon Presentation of a Bible by Abraham Lincoln.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Honolulu, 1844: A School Girl's Reply to Her Teacher's Enquiry-What is Your Age?

The Polynesian was a 19th century newspaper that served as the official voice of the royal Hawaiian government.

The following poem was published in the Saturday, November 16, 1844 edition. We post it here for the enjoyment of our readers everywhere.

My Yankee privilege I use,
And ask by way of answer,
Why, in the name of politeness,
My age, you wish to know, Sir?
I’ve gazed on summer’s glowing sun,
On winter’s starry sky, -
And just how many I have seen,
Could tell-but why should I?
As a deposite annually,
The forest-green receives,
So if my mind new stores of thought
Gained, as each year recedes,
I would have answered you in brief,
How many years have fled;
And you the trouble had been spared,
This sad excuse to read.

Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the National Anthem

History Education Hawaii, Inc., welcomes and encourages all our partners and our history educators to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner, America's national anthem.

"From 2012 to 2015, the US Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and partners will commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and The Star Spangled Banner." For more information we recommend clicking the link to OurFlagWasStillThere.Org and these sub-links on the site:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Presidents Day Hawaii: The National Monument at Washington (1849)

This month will mark the annual observance of Presidents Day. Throughout the month of February we'll provide our readers with historical reflections on the presidents taken from Hawaii-based sources.

Today we share with our readers a story from a newspaper called The Polynesian, the official voice of the Hawaiian government in the mid-19th century. The story we feature here, The National Monument at Washington, has been transcribed in full from The Polynesian's February 17, 1849 edition:

We find in our American exchanges an account of the laying the corner stone of the National Monument to be erected in commemoration of the name of Washington. Mr. Winthrop of Massachusetts was the orator of the day, and we find in the ‘New York Herald’ an outline report of his speech, from which we make the following elegant extracts:

Other monuments to this illustrious person have long ago been erected by not a few of the great States of our Union, and by not a few of the great cities of our States; but there remains to be reared a monument here, which shall bespeak the gratitude –not of the States nor of the Government- not of separate communities nor of official bodies- but of the people, the whole people, of the nation –a national monument erected by the citizens of America (applause). Of such a monument we have come to lay the corner stone here and now –on this day, on this spot, in this presence, and at this precise epoch of the history of our country and the world- we have come to commence this crowning act of commemoration. The day, the place, the witnesses, the precise period in ourn own history, and the world’s history, all are full of the most felicitous appropriateness to the occasion. On this day, the fourth of July we come to acknowledge a public debt to our first benefactor.

The witnesses are such as befit the occasion. The President of the United States is here, and he feels, I am assured, that the official distinction which he brings to the occasion has no higher personal charm than that is was possessed and realized by a most illustrious predecessor. We have the Vice President of the United States, the municipal authorities, the Congress, and the army, navy, and the marine corps, from many a field of earlier and later fame. The people are here. Nor have I mentioned all. Hamilton and Madison, the joint framers of the constitution, are visibly present –present in the venerated persons of those whom they held dear in life. (Referring to Mrs. Hamilton and Mrs. Madison.)

We behold on the continent of Europe the influence of our institutions; we see spontaneous germination of seeds which were wafted over the ocean from our liberty tree (tremendous applause).

In the history of the world it is doubted whether one can be found who had more influence over men’s minds and events than George Washington. It was not in consequence of his vast learning and varied acquirements. He made no pretensions to scholarship; he had not sharp wit and glowing rhetoric. It was not the power of personal fascination. That august person rather inspired awe than affection, and his friends were bound rather by ties of respect than love. His life was tinged by no romance, nor by the reckless spirit of daring adventure. On one decision he remarked, “If ever I said that there was charm for me in the whistling bullet, it was when I was young.” He sought not

‘The bubble reputation at the cannon’s mouth.’

When Patrick Henry returned from the first Continental Congress, he was asked who was there the greatest. “If you speak of eloquence,” replied he, Rutledge, of South Carolina. If you speak of judgment and sound information, Col. Washington –he was the greatest man on the floor.” (applause.)

It was his great moral power, his incorruptibility, his reliance upon God, his purity of life, his disinterestedness of all parties, his solid information and sound judgment, that made a character for the world, and challenges an equal for an example.

Recently, on the other side of the Atlantic, Lamartine, in replying to the Indians, said, “Erase the name of Michiavel and substitute that of Washington. We want not a conqueror or a politician, but a man of the people. The great wants of the age is a European Washington (applause). Though we fear to receive disastrous intelligence through the magic wires –telling of his downfall- we say to Lamartine, Go on in your high career; your high character is appreciated; still oppose the upraised banner of blood, and the reign of terror; still aim, by willing words, to gain willing hearts, and make persuasion do the work of fear.

While commending Washington to others, do not fail to imitate his virtues. I will not disturb this assembly by one word of political allusion; but I must say that there has never been a moment when two great leading principles of his should be more especially cherished and remembered than at this time. The first is the more complete, cordial, and indissoluble union of the States; the second, the separation and disentanglement of our own country from other countries. Let the column about to rise be at once a pledge and emblem of the perpetuation of the Union! (applause.) Let the foundation be laid; let the superstructure be reared; let every stone be raise in support of the union. Let us seize this occasion to renew our vows to the constitution, and let us contemplate the power that holds the stars of our confederacy in a glorious constellation forever! (applause, long continued). Proceed to the noble work for which you have assembled. Build the monument to the skies. You cannot overreach the loftiness of his principles; found it on the massive and eternal rock, you cannot make it more enduring than is his fame; construct it of Parian marble, you cannot make it purer and more spotless than was his life; exhaust on it the principles of ancient and modern art, you cannot make it more proportionate than was his character.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution Results

Ka`ahumanu Hale-First Circuit Court in Honolulu was bustling with activity on Saturday morning, February 4, 2012.

On that day the Hawaii high school state qualifying hearings were held as part of the annual We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition. Organized by State Coordinator Sandra Cashman, the event was sponsored by the Friends of the Hawaii Judiciary History Center and the Center for Civic Education.

For the third year Jeffrey Bingham Mead, NCHE Hawaii liaison and president of History Education Hawaii, served as a judge. Mead was paired with Robert Buss, executive director of the Hawai`i Council for the Humanities and Ret. Judge Gail C. Nakatani. Other judges included Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald of the Hawaii State Supreme Court, Dr. John Hart, professor at Hawaii Pacific University, Dr. Brian Richardson, professor at Windward Community College, and members of Hawai’i’s legal community.

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students. The program enjoys the active participation of members of Congress, as well as support from educational, professional, business, and community organizations across the nation. Since the inception of the We the People program in 1987, more than 30 million students and 90,000 educators have participated in this innovative course of study.

The following schools sent competing teams: Kahuku High & Intermediate School, Kahuku (Jan Harney, teacher); Kealakehe High School, Kailua Kona, Hawaii Island (Ezra Witsman, teacher); Iolani School, Honolulu (Woodie Milks, teacher); Island Pacific Academy, Kapolei (Kori Shlachter, teacher). Two showcase teams from Hawaii Technology Academy, Waipahu (Collin Kennedy, teacher) and La`ie Elementary School, La`ie (Colleen Spring, teacher) also participated.

“Our team of judges,” Mead said, “chose to ask this challenging question: Although the states experimented with various models in writing their new constitutions, all of them included some basic principles. What were those basic principles and why were they important? How would you explain legislative supremacy and why did most states favor it? What ideas drawn from the natural rights philosophy were reflected in the new state constitution?”

The 2012 Hawaii winning team are from Kahuku High & Intermediate School (Jan Harney, teacher); Island Pacific Academy, Kapolei (Kori Shlachter, teacher); and Iolani School Team Red (Woodie Milks, teacher).

“On behalf of the National Council for History Education and my colleagues with History Education Hawaii I offer my congratulations to this years winners,” Mead said. “That includes the teachers who spent many hours helping these student teams prepare for this day. By being judged on understanding, constitutional application, reasoning and critical thinking, providing supporting evidence, responsiveness to challenging questions and active participation the importance of understanding the American Constitution was reinforced.”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hawaii 1954: ‘Why We Americans Honor Abraham Lincoln.’

In 1954 students at Lincoln Elementary School participated in an essay contest entitled, ‘Why We Americans Honor Abraham Lincoln.’ The contest was sponsored by the Lincoln Day Dinner Committee of the Oahu County Republican organization, reported the Honolulu Advertiser on January 25, 1954.

The Advertiser reported that all contestants were limited to 267 words, “the number Lincoln used in his Gettysburg Address.

The winner would receive a $25 U.S. Defense Bond as a prize.

The February 3, 1954 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser announced the contest winner.

“Diane Takamune, 10-year-old fifth grader at Lincoln Elementary School, who wrote ‘Abraham Lincoln was a truly great American,’ seemed pleasantly surprised yesterday when she was called to the school auditorium stage and told she was first place winner of a Lincoln essay contest.” Her mother was a second grade teacher at Lincoln School, and her father principal of Washington Intermediate School.

The second prize winner was 11-year-old Marilyn Wong, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Yan Sau Wong and Penny Ho, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tim Ho. Both were sixth graders.

Diane Takamune wrote that, “we honor Abraham Lincoln because he was a fair, honest and kind person –he believed that all men are created equal.” She also said that the Gettysburg Address “was like a prayer.” “Abe was a kind man in all of his ways, at home, at work, and even in war.” Diane Takamune’s essay had 261 words.

Judges of the contest were Robert M. Faulker, district superintendent for Honolulu schools; William T.S. Wong, principal of Lincoln School, and Mrs. Byrd J. Lacy, vice principal.