History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Saying farewell

AskJeeves.com is dropping the iconic butler Jeeves -- borrowed from the late novelist P.G. Wodehouse -- from its name. Starting today, the site will be called Ask.com. It will feature a more straightforward search service than the original, which allowed users to phrase queries as questions to the fictional Jeeves.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Dog...That I Will Miss

This is Rommel and he was a loyal companion. He died this weekend of a sudden stroke. I am glad that he went quickly but I am going to miss him.

Vietnam- National Archives

The National Archives has a lot of good, high quality digital images of documents availiable online for teachers to use. Upon doing a simple search for 'Vientam" I discovered President Johnson's White House schedule/diary from the day after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The schedule shows that President Johnson met with his closest advisors in the morning. The incident would end up leading to Congressional authorization to send combat troops to Vietnam and the massive escalation that would lead to the Vietnam War. This document is highly teachable because a class could use the document research and investigate to find out:

  • Indentify who the people were who met the president during the day.
  • Discuss what was going on in the US at that time.
  • Make inferences about what they discussed at the meeting.
  • Find out what happened in the weeks after August 3rd.
I should also point out that you could always hook kids by talking about the scandal that would erupt a few months later concerning Walter Jenkins.


Arc Identifier: 192444
Title and Description: President's Daily Diary Entry, August 2, 1964: In the early hours of Sunday, August 2, 1964, President Johnson received a message that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had attacked an American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. In the morning the President met with Secretary of State Dean Rusk and others to discuss the situation in Vietnam. At the meeting it was decided not to retaliate at this time, to strengthen the American patrols, and to issue a protest note to North Vietnam. Later that day, the President walked to church services at St. John's Episcopal Church with Lady Bird Johnson.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Making History Questions For Paper

Country you will focus on:
Time you will focus on:
Name of scenario you are playing:

Real Events:

Name of your country’s leader:
What political party did he represent?
When did he come to power?
How did the leader come to power?
Who were the countries allies?
What earlier actions helped or hurt the country?
What governmental actions did the government take during the time period?
What military actions did the government take during the time period?
What were the goals of the country during the time period?
How modern was the country?
Did the country have freedom of the press and other civil liberties?
What were the economic conditions of the country during the time period?
What was the country producing?
Were there any resources the country had to import?
Who did they import with?
Was there ample food and consumer goods?
Were there any strikes going on in the country?
Were the any protests in the country?
What was the US’s view of the country?
Was the country getting stronger during this period? Why?
What were key events during this time period?
What were the treaties or agreements that the country participated in during this time?
Who would say was this countries major friend?
Was the country heavily involved in foreign affairs?
What was the biggest obstacle for the country in this time period?
How did the country’s actions affect them in the future?
What were some mistakes or good decisions the country made?

Your Game:

What decisions were similar to real life?
What decisions were different?
What did you do better than real life?
Who did you make alliances with?
How did you help the economy?
How did you make your country strong in the international world?
What was your biggest obstacle?
What did you find very easy?
What did you do about dissidents?
Who did you trade with?
How did you help the economy of your country?
What military strategy did you employ?
Did you use any Clausewitzian ideas?

Free Trade Sites

For our geography assignment today you might want to look at these sites to find some information pertaining to different views on free trade:

The Globalist : Both

The Economist : Both (watch the ad to get premium content)

Adbusters : Anti-

Global Policy Forum : Anti- (look under case studies)

Corpwatch: Both but more anti-

Heritage Foundation: Mainly pro-

National Review: Mainly pro-

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Truman Library

The Truman Library in Independence Missouri is one of the most teacher and school friendly places I have been to. Their exhibits are well made and their White House Decision Center is one of the most popular field trips for secondary students in Kansas and Missouri. It has been so successful that the other ten presidential libraries are adding their own decision centers in the upcoming years. With this knowledge I was fairly certain that the Truman Library website would be of equal quality for educators and I was not disappointed.

The website had a lot of quality information and was easy to navigate. The Harry Truman PowerPoint was especially nice since many times teachers can make power points but it is often times difficult to find pictures, graphics, quotes and questions to accompany the presentation. This had it all. It maybe had too much information but it could be saved as a .ppt file so it could be edited by teachers to customize it for their class. Also, their were PowerPoints for Bess and Margaret.

The secondary sources were impressive but the biggest appeal of www.trumanlibrary.org was the immense amount of primary sources waiting for teachers. The variety of material was of high quality and would appeal to students. Some of the more interesting items include a series of cartoons during the Berlin Airlift. These were published by the Airlift Task Force and show the feelings of the air force during the airlift in 1948. They also show some sexual stereotypes of the day and could be used to relate to recent humanitarian efforts. A teacher could easily integrate them into a Cold War unit as a bell ringer activity or in an anticipatory set (Wow I haven’t used those words since 1997 in my techniques class).

The website also has downloadable audio files that reflect a lot of the Kansas Social Studies Standards. Of particular interest to me was Truman’s address on the surrender of Japan. It included some discussion questions and gives a good idea what Truman saw for the future. Another good audio file was and interview with Truman regarding the firing of Gen. Doulas MacArthur during the Korean War. It would be neat to play MacArthurs farwell address and compare it to this interview to see how each felt about the situation and their position.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Truman Library website and will use a lot of the information in my class. It is also easily navigable and students could use it as a basis of research and find their own information on Truman and his administration on the site.

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