We the Teachers

Program Report: FDR vs. Hoover at the MA Historical Society in Boston

On Saturday, May 21st TAH.org brought Dr. Gordon Lloyd to the Massachusetts Historical Society to present on FDR’s “Forgotten Man” vs. Hoover’s “Rugged Individual”. This seminar discussed the Great Depression, speeches and policies of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt.

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The conversation considered topics such as Executive Power, the Constitution, The Supreme Court along with the national morale of the people. All of the selected readings can be found in The Two Faces of Liberalism: How the Hoover-Roosevelt Debate Shapes the 21st Century by Dr. Gordon Lloyd.

As Dr. Lloyd says, “May the blessings of Liberty be upon you.”

Program Report: James Madison Colloquium in Montpelier, VA

This past weekend Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison, hosted teachers from the western Pennsylvania region, courtesy the Allegheny Foundation. The topic was James Madison: The Father of the Constitution led by Dr. Chris Burkett. Discussions spanned Madison’s forty year career as a leading proponent for this republic, his contribution to the U.S Constitution and Bill of Rights. This seminar examined the extraordinary statesmanship of Madison and his lifelong defense of liberty and constitutional self government.

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The weekend began Friday evening with Dr. Burkett’s introduction of James Madison. Participants enjoyed a private house tour of Montpelier that concluded with a special session of questions from Mr. Madison, who explained his position on a myriad of topics such as Interposition, Ratification, and answered questions from the teachers.

The final session centered on “Guarding Liberty: The Constitution in the New Republic.” The colloquium concluded with Mr. Madison’s final advice to his country in 1834, “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated.”

Plessy v. Ferguson: May 18th, 1896

May 18th is the anniversary Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the doctrine of “equal, but separate” was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. This landmark case helped to cement the Jim Crow laws already prevalent throughout the South, and paved the way for another 60 years of legal segregation before it was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Learn more about the details and historical context of this case at TeachingAmericanHistory.org, where it’s one of our 50 Core Documents. The case, with Justice Harlan’s dissenting opinion that the “Constitution is color-blind,” is also accompanied by a summary, guiding questions, links to related documents, and a search tool to help you find state academic standards relevant to the case.

Our 2016-17 Saturday Webinars will focus on developing a deeper understanding of Landmark Supreme Court Cases, including Plessy v. Ferguson. Registration details will be published soon. In the meantime, you can access all our archived webinars, and subscribe to our iTunes podcast, too.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Announces New Fall Teacher Institutes

Our friends at George Washington’s Mount Vernon have taken the best elements of their highly popular Summer Residential Program to create their NEW Fall Residential Programs. The two programs being offered are focused on George Washington’s role in the founding of the U.S. Government, as well as his experiences in the military.

They have also extended the deadline for these programs to Friday, May 20, 2016.

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The two programs being offered are:

Each session is designed to support K-12 educators who teach about the life, leadership, and legacy of George Washington and the 18th-century world in which he lived. Join them this fall and return to your classroom with relevant new resources. Learn More

Again, the deadline to apply for these program is now Friday, May 20, 2016. If you are a George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Program Alumni you are eligible to apply as well!

Get more details about the programs and how to apply here.

Program Report: Nuremburg War Trials Seminar in Palm Beach County, FL

IMG_3527On Saturday, May 7, the Palm Beach County School District (FL) hosted a seminar for thirty area teachers about the Nuremburg War Trials led by Dr. David Krugler. Educators discussed the creation of the Tribunal, the charges, the trials, and concluded with the verdict and sentences of convicted. This seminar was the final in a six part series that Palm Beach County Schools held during the 2015-2016 school year.

Please join us for the 2016-2017 TAH.org Series in Palm Beach County School District for the following seminar topics:

  • Origins of the American Idea
  • Civil Rights in America
  • Supreme Court Cases that Changed America
  • Labor History in America
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

Registration will be opening soon.

American Presidents: Ronald Reagan

 

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reagan43Our last Saturday Webinar of the 2015-16 school year took place on Saturday, May 7, with Ronald Reagan as our focus. Teachers from around the country joined our panelists for a discussion about Reagan the person, president, and thinker. Questions ranged from his core political beliefs to his transformation from an FDR Democrat to a Republican, and included questions about both foreign and domestic policy. A good deal of attention was paid to his views on Communism and his enduring belief that it was an oppressive, morally bankrupt system that could be made to fail, and without war. Additionally, his genuine desire to eliminate – not just reduce – world arsenals of nuclear weapons was discussed, in the context of his personal outreach to and relations with Soviet leaders, especially Mikhail Gorbachev.

The following books are recommended for additional reading about Reagan and his era:

The full archive, with documents and video, is available here.

Join us, starting in August, for our 2016-17 Saturday Webinar series, ‘Landmark Supreme Court Cases,’ beginning with Marbury v. Madison.

Program Report: Lincoln Collouquim in Washington D.C.

This past weekend, educators from the western Pennsylvania region attended a weekend colloquium in Washington, D.C. thanks to the generosity of the Allegheny Foundation.

IMG_3504Dr. Lucas Morel of the University of Washington and Lee, chaired the discussion on Abraham Lincoln. Topics and primary documents considered Lincoln’s view on slavery, secession, equality, the  path to emancipation and preservation of the Union. Teachers enjoyed a private tour of Lincoln’s Cottage in D.C. and spent time with the onsite curriculum specialist using many of their online educational resources.

If you are interested in attending one of our programs, please view our calendar to find one near you.

Program Report: LBJ and Vietnam

Seventeen teachers, ranging from California to New York, joined TAH.org andDr. David Krugler of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Austin, Texas, for a weekend colloquium about President Lyndon Johnson’s handling of the Vietnam War. The program included a visit to the LBJ Library and Museum, and discussion sessions aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of LBJ’s reasons for war, escalation, strategy for the conflict, and the impact of anti-war protests on him and American policy. In addition to the reading packet, which can be downloaded here, Dr. Krugler recommended both Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides, and for a thoughtful survey of American foreign policy, Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776.

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Program Reports: Three East Coast Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites

Northampton LF 2016.04This past weekend TAH.org conducted three east coast colloquia at historic sites attended by history and government teachers from across the country.

The Liberty Fund co-sponsored program in Northampton, Massachusetts on President Calvin Coolidge was held at the Historic Hotel Northampton Inn. Dr. William Ruger led discussions on Coolidge’s Political Economy, Education, Self-Government and the Constitution. Participants enjoyed a private tour of Calvin Coolidge’s Presidential Library housed at the Forbes Library in Northampton, then enjoyed some time to tour the town where President Coolidge and his wife lived.


 

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Teachers from western Pennsylvania came to Philadelphia to enjoy a weekend on Alexander Hamilton chaired by Dr. Stephen Knott of the Naval War College. This program was sponsored through the generosity of the Allegheny Foundation of Pennsylvania. Dr. Knott, a Hamilton expert, led the discussion on Hamilton’s View of the Executive, the launching of the new government, the Citizen Genet episode, and the French Revolution. Participants then toured Independence Hall as well as the Liberty Bell.


 

Mt Vernon WEC 2016.04The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation kindly sponsored a weekend colloquium at George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, with Dr. Bill Allen at the helm. The conversation began Saturday morning on the topic of “Saving the Revolution” followed by “Washington and Union” and ended the day considering, “Why Did Washington Succeed”. Teachers were treated to a private tour of the General’s home and his vast estate.

 

Please visit our events calendar to find upcoming programs near you.

 

Weekend Colloquium: Ronald Reagan Library and Museum

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TAH.org hosted a group of teachers from across the country at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, 8-10 April 2016. Reagan’s policies, ideas, and the crises he faced were discussed through a series of primary documents. Teachers were also able to visit the Reagan Library and Museum and take part in a two-hour presidential decision-making simulation, in which each person played the role of someone in Reagan’s leadership team or the media. The simulation challenged teachers to work through multiple policy and media crises, and utilized real-time simulated communications, news stories, and Situation Room information flow.

The discussion leader for the weekend was Dr. Joe Postell of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

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Program Report: Liberty Fund Co-Sponsored Weekend Seminar in Hyde Park, NY

Last weekend 18 teachers from around the country came together in Hyde Park, New York for a Liberty Fund Co-Sponsored Weekend Seminar on Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Topics of conversation considered whether or not the New Deal programs achieved their intended goal, the constitutionality of the programs and to what extent the New Deal has created today’s “entitled state”. Teachers discussed the need for expanded presidential powers when a crisis is at hand, yet, when the crisis abates, does any President relinquish the control? Roosevelt changed the dynamic of the Presidency and expanded government control over economics and domestic policies. After a long day of thoughtful discussion, teachers toured Franklin Roosevelt’s Hyde Park home and his Presidential Museum.

American Presidents Webinar: Lyndon Johnson

 

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Saturday, April 9th’s American Presidents webinar focused on Lyndon Johnson and the two pillars of his administration: the Great Society, and the Vietnam War. Panelists discussed topics ranging from the impact of Johnson’s political skill and legislative experience on the development and passage of his policies, as well as the role of Democratic majorities in Congress at the time. Of interest was the broad, bipartisan support expansion of Social Security enjoyed, as compared against other large social programs of the 20th and early 21st centuries, and how this support, or lack of it, shaped the policies and the politics surrounding and following them.

johnson2LBJ’s views on and actions related to Vietnam were discussed at length, touching on what seemed to be his lack of interest in being involved, and yet his sense of necessity to stay involved in the war he inherited. The panelists also touched on the different rhetoric LBJ used when promoting his social programs versus that he employed regarding Vietnam and foreign policy. View the archive page, with document and YouTube links, and scholar bios, here.

To register for the final webinar of the 2015-16 school year on Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 AM EST discussing Ronald Reagan – The Great Communicator, click here.

Abraham Lincoln Program Report

18 teachers from across the country gathered in Springfield, IL, April 1-3, to deepen their knowledge of IMG_0482Abraham Lincoln at our latest Liberty Fund co-sponsored weekend colloquium. Discussion sessions focused on Lincoln’s early public life, his election in 1860, and his handling of the many issues, challenges, and crises associated with sectionalism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Special emphasis was placed on Lincoln’s keen legal thinking, his deep respect for the traditions of the Founding – especially those embodied in the Declaration of Independence – and the evolution of his ideas and solutions over time.

In addition to the six 90-minute discussion sessions, the group benefitted from visits to the Lincoln Home and his library and museum.

Program Report: 2 Thomas Jefferson Colloquia in Charlottesville, VA

This past weekend TeachingAmericanHistory.org and the Ashbrook Center hosted two weekend colloquia in Charlottesville, VA about Thomas Jefferson. Professor Eric Sands of Berry College, led a colloquium on The Politics of Thomas Jefferson while Professor Robert McDonald of the U.S. Military Academy, led a colloquium on Thomas Jefferson and Education.

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Teachers from across the country at Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson believed that “if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.” Dr. McDonald’s group focused on only on Jefferson’s education and his plans for educational reform in Virginia but also his founding of the United States Military Academy in 1802 and the University of Virginia in 1819.

Dr. Sands facilitated conversation that centered on Thomas Jefferson and Politics, which considered topics as the Constitution, Race, Religious Freedom, Education and his lasting legacy. Participants enjoyed an afternoon tour of Monticello which was in full bloom with Spring tulips. After dinner Dr. McDonald delighted everyone with a tour of the University of Virginia to discuss Jefferson’s architectural designs.

Freedom Day Resources

 

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In support of ‘Freedom Day,’ TeachingAmericanHistory.org has collected a variety of resources for you and your classes. Freedom Day encourages people of all ages to explore how Americans’ freedoms of speech and expression are exercised, threatened, and protected in the past and today in the world. Join with the Civics Renewal Network and National Constitution Center in conversation, activities and online programs to discuss the meaning for Freedom and its relevance in modern society.  The Center has chosen April 13th to celebrate the understanding and meaning of freedom expressed by the Constitution and other founding documents however, schools can choose to celebrate on that day or any day that week.

  • Primary Document-based lesson plan collections - lessons on a wide variety of topics related to American history, government, and civics, all based in primary documents
  • The Constitutional Convention Online Exhibit - the web’s most-visited and comprehensive resource on the Convention of 1787
  • The Bill of Rights Online Exhibit - An extensive study of the politics, ideas, origins, and legacy of the United States Bill of Rights
  • Religion in America – A unique and powerful study of the place and impact of religion in American politics and life
  • 50 Core American Documents – The essential starting point from which to consider what it means to be an American. Over 67,000 print and ebook copies of this volume have been distributed since late 2014
  • Presidential Academy – 31 sessions addressing the broad scope of American history, challenges, and ideas from the Founding through the late 20th Century
  • Thomas Jefferson – An extensive collection of letters, political writings, and other resources spanning the years from 1774 to his death in 1826

 

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