This week I wanted to highlight a source on our digital library that I came across a couple weeks ago and recently used with a field trip here at HSP. It is a small pamphlet called Anti-Semitic Propaganda in America written in 1940 by Richard Gutstadt, director of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League.
The 2015 World Meeting of Families, hosted here in Philadelphia, provides a unique opportunity for teachers to discuss the role of Catholicism in our community and the history of religious toleration here in Pennsylvania. To help foster that classroom discussion, we made our latest issue of Pennsylvania Legacies exclusively devoted to Catholics in Pennsylvania.
I was recently visiting the Hershey Community Archives, in my hometown of Hershey, PA, and it made me think of how we can teach local history, even of small towns, using a wide variety of primary sources. I had never thought of the rich history Hershey held until I had the opportunity to visit the Hershey Community Archives and check out the newspapers and oral history accounts for myself.
Our programs here at the Historical Society allow students to work directly with primary source documents, and some of the most interesting feedback received has been through documenting students understanding of political cartoons. As a part of the HINT project here at HSP, we polled over 200 students on what they thought of political cartoons and to learn if they were a good teaching tool. The feedback we received was wonderful as many students enjoyed studying the cartoons as a part of their history lesson.
Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, HSP spearheaded a weeklong teacher institute about Independence Hall as a landmark for teaching U.S. history – and not just July 4, 1776. That holiday, which we are celebrating now, may be the moment most people associate with the Hall, but the principles embodied in the Declaration signed there permeated events for the next 200 years.
With the announcement that our $10 bill will include a woman, it is the perfect opportunity to teach your students about the history of our currency and begin a conversation on the new look of the $10 bill. Coincidentally, this is not the first time a woman will be on United States currency.