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US History

​In the wake of the American Revolution, political leaders insisted that their new republic could not survive without improved and more comprehensive public education meant to create better informed citizens. But the push for educational reform often ran afoul of local legislators and voters, who balked at the taxes needed to fund expanded systems of education. In his talk for the National Humanities Center, historian Alan Taylor discusses this​ ​intriguing irony—that republican reliance on popular sovereignty complicated efforts by elites to improve voters through education.

Lincoln's Papers Online (Library of Congress)

Abraham Lincoln’s papers from his time as a lawyer, congressman and the 16th president are now online in full color in a new presentation after a multi-year digitization effort at the Library of Congress. This collection includes Lincoln’s Inaugural Addresses, Draft of Emancipation Proclamation among more than 40,000 documents dating from 1774 through Lincoln’s presidency and beyond. There are materials from his campaigns, Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses and the earliest known copies of the Gettysburg Address.

Independent Prosecutors, the Trump-Russia Connection, and the Separation of Powers

The U.S. Constitution codifies a complex system of governmental checks and balances. But for all its innovation, our founding document fails to address the question of how to prosecute wrongdoing by personnel in the executive branch, including the president of the United States. 
Historical Period: 

Newtown (Independent Lens /PBS)

Explore the aftermath and resilience of a community devastated by the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which took the lives of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut.
Monday, December 11, 2017 - 9:00pm

Hamilton's America

This documentary follows the creation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pop culture Broadway phenomenon "Hamilton" and the U.S. history behind it. Interviews with former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as Questlove, Jimmy Fallon, Nas, Stephen Sondheim, and more.
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 9:00pm

The Pledge of Allegiance & Anthem: Protest, and Controversy (NCSS; National Constitution Center; First Amendment Center; Library of Congress; and more)

* The Pledge of Allegiance, its history, and the addition of the phrase "under God" can serve as a jumping off point into major themes of U.S. history and First Amendment freedoms. Here is a free article in Social Education, September 2013 by Eric C. Groce, Tina Heafner, and Elizabeth Bellows: https://www.socialstudies.org/publications/socialeducation/september2013....

National History Day: Events and Free Teaching Resources

For thousands of students around the world, autumn marks the start of another chance to get excited about learning with the National History Day Contest. Students enter their projects in local level contests, with the top entries advancing to regional, state/affiliate, and finally, the National Contest in June 2018. Along the way, students compete for the gold medal in their category as well as honors, awards, and thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarships.

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