This is a petition drive to the White House urging the President to appoint a commission to explore the scope, costs, and benefits of digitizing all federal records holdings. The commission would establish a blueprint and do a cost/benefit analysis of such an effort. It is not clear what funds might be available for actual digitization, but this is a necessary foundation and practical first step towards a larger initiative.
Numerous political debates have already taken place in advance of the 2012 presidential election. As the parties pick their candidates and the debates continue, look to the past for a broader perspective on the speeches and strategies taking place today. To help, we’ve rounded up a number of presidential debate resources.
In the news this week, JSTOR is now offering free access to content before 1923, interviews with Jackie Kennedy are released, and Twitterstorians celebrate their second birthday. Read on for two articles on public history, C-SPAN’s new program on past presidential contenders, a man who used his retirement to earn a PhD in American history, and Jennifer Howard’s look at the lineages of scholarship. Finally, look back at September 11, 2001, through oral histories and online resources, and look forward to this year’s Constitution Day with EDSITEment and TeachingHistory.org.
Amidst the amateur singers, pets riding on Roombas, and other silliness on YouTube, there is also a large amount of primary source video that history teachers can use in the classroom.
Historian and teacher Jonathan Rees knows this, and uses YouTube clips regularly in his lesson plans. He’s even written two articles for Perspectives on History, one in 2008 and another in the most recent issue, detailing how other teachers can do the same.
But where does one find historic footage that would be useful in the classroom?
The President’s Day holiday was originally called the Washington’s Birthday when it was conceived in 1880, and in fact fell on George Washington’s birthday: February 22nd. In 1971, the date was changed to the third Monday in February, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Advertisers in the 80’s can be thanked for the name change, from Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day, which they used to promote sales between Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and Washington’s birthday on February 22nd.
Fifty years ago today, on January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy delivered his inauguration address and spoke the now famous and widely quoted words: “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Watch video of the full address below:
Even 200 years later our 16th President Abraham Lincoln continues to be studied, researched, and reinvented. Whether you’re teaching students history, conducting scholarly work, or casually satisfying your curiosity, here are some Lincoln resources you may want to check out.
The Lincoln Archives Digital Project
In 2002 the Lincoln Archives Digital Project set out to digitize all the records from the Lincoln administration and make them available online. While they continue toward this goal they have already put online over 6,000 documents and digitized 500,000 more.
Take a look back at U.S. presidents’ approval ratings and views on healthcare in our links to the “Presidential Job Approval Center” and a recent blog post from the Historical Society blog. We also link to two articles on the controversial Texas Curriculum issue from the New York Times and HNN. In museum news, the German-American Heritage museum in Washington, D.C. recently opened while the National Museum of Natural History celebrates 100 years in existence. Then, read about filing manuals from NARA, learn about Civil War photographer Charles Moore, and examine a century of eating habits.