December 2017 Blog Posts

Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, Washington, DC
On the third Monday of January, Americans celebrate the life and achievement of one of our most respected citizens—Martin Luther King, Jr.  Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Washington Irving: author of America’s Christmas

Currier & Ives, “Winter in the Country: A Cold Morning”, ca. 1863
There is something in the very season of the year that gives a charm to the festivity of Christmas…In the depth of winter, when nature lies despoiled of every charm, and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn for our gratifications to moral sources. The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle.—Washington Irving, Old ChristmasRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

Opening the Literature of Christmas

The Coming of Father Christmas
“When it’s Christmas we’re all of us magi.” —Joseph Brodsky, “December 24, 1971”Early December is an exciting time—looking forward to the holiday festivities and celebrations this month brings. Introduce your students to classic literary selections and seasonal poetry that highlights Christmastime as a special occasion for charity, good will, family togetherness and meaningful reflection.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Celebrate the Bill of Rights

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/files/2013/01/christy-four-freedoms.jpg
Why do we have a Bill of Rights? What difference does it make?A brief historyIn the summer of 1787, as the delegates to the Constitutional Convention debated how to establish a system of government that would secure the rights of citizens better than that under the Articles of Confederation, very little time was devoted to discuss the inclusion of a declaration of individual rights against government in the new Constitution. Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Addiction in American History

Federal Narcotic Farm Dedication Ceremony, 1935. Lexington, Kentucky
By Cody J. Foster* Is the United States experiencing a resurgence of addiction or has it always been a part of the nation’s darker past? In what ways has addiction affected families and communities across the country? What can we learn from the history of addiction treatment and how might these lessons better inform our present-day policies?Read More »
Categories Closer Readings