Due to the Federal Government shutdown, the National Archives (www.archives.gov) is closed. We are unable to post or participate in any of our social media channels during this closure. All National Archives facilities are closed, with the exception of the Federal Records Centers and the Federal Register, until the Federal government reopens.
by Stephanie on September 30, 2013
Today’s post comes from Elizabeth Dinschel, education specialist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.
Come explore National History Day 2013/2014 with the National Archives, the National History Day organization, experienced teachers, and experienced students!
The free “Teaching Tools for National History Day 2013/2014″ webinar will take place on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Register online.
For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Dinschel at Elizabeth.Dinschel@nara.gov or (319) 643-6031.
by Stephanie on September 30, 2013
Today’s post comes from Anna Lewis, social media intern in the Education and Public Programs division.
Give your students the chance to make history!
We want you AND your students to vote for the first landmark document to be displayed in our new exhibition. “Records of Rights” opens December 10 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. We display the Charters of Freedom—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights—year round, but the rights laid out in those documents didn’t always apply to all Americans. “Records of Rights” will highlight the struggle for voting rights, equal opportunities, free speech and citizenship.
You and your students’ votes will help decide the very first special featured document displayed for the over 1 million visitors to the National Archives each year. Some documents, such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, are already scheduled to be displayed later to highlight special events and anniversaries.
Which of these five important documents do you and your students think deserves to go on display first? Vote now!
Polls are open until November 15, 2013. Vote as many times as you want for your opportunity to make history!
And if you’re interested in teaching with these documents, you can find them on DocsTeach: the Joint Resolution Proposing the Fourteenth Amendment, Certification of the 26th Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Executive Order 9981 in which President Truman banned the segregation of the Armed Forces, and documents related to Immigration Reform of 1965.
by Christopher Zarr on September 27, 2013
As part of our American Archives Month activities, the National Archives at New York City is hosting the 4th Annual Archives Education Institute on October 12th, 2013. This daylong program brings together 35 K-12 educators, archivists, librarians, and museum professional to discuss strategies for incorporating primary source documents into the classroom.
Now in its fourth year, this institute comes from a partnership of the National Archives at New York City, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York and the Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers (ATSS/UFT).
Every institute focuses on a specific topic area–this year’s theme is Food and Foodways in New York.
For the first time, the institute will be held in the new Learning Center of the National Archives at New York City. During the morning session, a panel of educators and archivists will discuss best practices for using primary source documents with students. The afternoon is broken down between presentations from archivists to introduce items from their collections and group discussions to create an educational resource using these primary sources. And throughout the day, teachers will have the opportunity to explore and make copies of photographs, posters, and written documents from the National Archives.
The Archives Education Institute is free, and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided for all participants. For more information about the event, visit http://nycarchivists.org/aei2013.
Today’s post comes from Joel Walker, education specialist at the National Archives at Atlanta.
On December 31, 1942, the Counter Intelligence Section of the Seventh Naval District based in Jacksonville, Florida, distributed its monthly summary of subversive activities. On page two of the summary, under the heading “Activities Concerning Negroes,” was printed a small paragraph credited to the FBI. It read:
The paragraph did not mention A. Philip Randolph, the national president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and one of the driving forces behind the March on Washington Movement.
Nearly two years earlier, in January 1941, in frustration over the federal government’s lack of support for opportunities in the booming war industries and equality in the military, Randolph had begun to organize the March on Washington Movement (MOWM). Calling for grass-roots action instead of political negotiation, MOWM gained traction and momentum within the Black population as the July 1, 1941, date for the event neared.
In reaction to the fear of tens of thousands—if not more—African Americans marching on the nation’s capitol, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 providing for “the full and equitable participation of all workers in defense industries, without discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”
To investigate “complaints of discrimination in violation of the provisions of this order” it established the “Committee on Fair Employment Practice.” In exchange for Executive Order 8802, signed on June 25th, Randolph called off the march.
The Committee on Fair Employment Practice, more commonly known as the Fair Employment Practice Committee (FEPC), has been disregarded by most historians as a powerless and ineffectual agency, especially in the South. The majority of records within the National Archives holdings seem to support this interpretation.
But a lone photograph in the holdings of the National Archives at Atlanta points to possible changes in at least some people’s thinking. This thought provoking image was taken at the Gadsden (Alabama) Ordnance Plant some time in 1942. It depicts a White employee and a Black employee working together at a machine press while manufacturing artillery shells. The photograph was found with the records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance (Record Group 156).
Confronting Work Place Discrimination on the World War II Home Front—a new DocsTeach activity—challenges high school students to question the effects the Fair Employment Practices Commission had on the coming fight for Civil Rights in post-war America.
Joel Walker expands on this topic in his article “A. Philip Randolph’s Attempt at Equal Economic Opportunity: A Case Study,” in the current issue of Social Education, the Journal of the National Council for the Social Studies.
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