Monthly Archives: April 2016

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.


 

Philly WEC 2016.04

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.

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