Congratulations NHD Winners!

To those students who were involved in National History Day this year, a job well done!

We are especially delighted to send our warmest congratulations to students who attended workshops or researched at our National Archives or Presidential Library locations and took their projects all the way to the national contest in College Park, MD, last month. We commend those students who worked with us at:


The National Archives at Atlanta:

  • Makena Massie, Haleigh Massie, and Isabella Rogers, of McDonough, GA, placed fifth in Junior Group Performance with their entry: “Pink Cadillacs, Diamond Bumble Bees & the Golden Rule: The Leadership and Legacy of Mary Kay Ash.”  They attend Impact Academy and studied with teacher Kelley Theodocion.
  • William Mason and Jackson Brown, Junior Group Documentary, “The Waters of Warm Springs: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Less Commonly Known Legacy”
  • Darin Momayezi and Damon Lin, Junior Group Documentary, “Iranian Democracy: Mohammad Mossadeq”
  • Susie Dorminy, Junior Individual Performance, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing for Democracy
  • Pate Williams, Walt Stewart, Pierce Skinner, and Robert Reese, Junior Group Performance, “Jackie Robinson: American Legend”
  • Jissela Flores, Giovanni Alfred, Rohan Kalvakaalva, and Jamal Faqeeri, Junior Group Exhibit, “Osama bin Laden: Legacy of Fear”
  • Nathan Wright, Senior Individual Documentary, “The Great Uncompromiser: The Leadership and Legacy of Lucius D. Clay”
  • Anthony Dukes, Senior Group Performance, “Leadership and Legacy of H.L. Hunley”
  • Thomas Dorminy, Senior Group Performance, “Leadership and Legacy of Wernher von Braun”

The National Archives at New York City:

  • Scott Leff of New York, NY, placed 13th in Senior Paper with his entry: “Bringing Ballet to the United States: The Story of George Balanchine.”  He attends Friends Seminary and studied with teacher Kristen Fairey.
  • Lily Seltz, “Your Words Are Your Monuments: Frederick Douglass’ Leadership and Legacy in Writing”

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum:

  • Jay Mehta of Kansas City, MO, placed first in Junior Individual Performance with his entry: “Victory at All Costs: The Leadership and Legacy of Winston Churchill.”  He attends Pembroke High School and studied with teacher Dan O’Connell.
  • Hannah Scott of Odessa, MO, placed ninth in Senior Individual Exhibit with her entry: “The Conscience of Kansas City: Lucile Bluford and Her Unparalleled Leadership in the Call for Change.”  She attends Odessa High School and studied with teacher Paula Hawk.
  • Grace Cogan of Weston, MO, placed fifth in Junior Individual Performance with her entry: “Paving the Moral Path – Frances Perkins’ Leadership informing a Legacy for Worker’s Rights.”  She studied with teacher Lenora Medcalf.
  • Lauren Brookins, Junior Individual Web Site, “Susan B. Anthony: Women Work, Women Vote”
  • Anna Praiswater, Junior Paper, “J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Ethical Side of Science”
  • Miles Allain, Senior Individual Performance, “Walt Disney: The Pursuit of a Dream”
  • Michaela Scarrow, Senior Individual Documentary, “Hans Berger and the Electroencephalograph: Playing with the Mind”

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum:

  • Allison Bushong, Junior Individual Documentary, “History and Cultural Significance of Seasame Street”

The William J. Clinton Library and Museum:

  • Noah Smith of Russellville, AR, placed 14th in Junior Individual Documentary with his entry: “Van Cliburn: Cross-Cultural Leadership Through Music.”  He attends Russellville Junior High and studied with teacher Aimee Mimms.
  • Jordan Isenbart, and Raegan Couch, of Springdale, AR, placed 12th in Junior Group Exhibit with their entry: “Madam C.J. Walker and Her Hair Raising Legacy.”  They attend Central Junior High School and studied with teachers Thomas Pittman, Sara Ayres, and Darren Vaughn.
  • Nicole Ursin
  • Bekki Chastain
  • Anna Eggburn
  • Ainsley Anderson
  • Samuel Lu
  • Aaron Tran
  • Anna Freyaldenhoven
  • Sydney Mulhearn
  • Claire Gillaspy
  • Vera Lambert
  • Mary Nail
  • Kennedy Reynolds
  • Connor Lichtenwalter
  • Noah Akey
  • Tia Sisemore
  • Sydni Walsworth
  • Benjamin Redmon
  • Vicente Guerro
  • Mattison Griffin

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum:

  • Cale Bowe and Brady Frank, “Herbert Hoover’s Leadership in the 1927 Flood: Building a Humanitarian Legacy”
  • We would also like to recognize Clara Sumin Yoon who placed third in the History Day Korea contest.

The National Archives in Washington, DC:

The majority of the 58 DC students who advanced to the national competition attended a workshop or help session this year!

  • Caroline Katzive of Washington, DC, placed first in Junior Paper with her entry: “Margaret Sanger.”  She attends Alice Deal Middle School and studied with teacher Yvette Simpson.

Congratulations to all! We look forward to working with students for the coming year’s NHD contest! Our National History Day resource page includes: information about researching at a National Archives facility, online tools and databases, and details on upcoming workshops and webinars.

We made every effort to include all students who researched at the National Archives and made it to the National Contest. If you know of other students who did so, please acknowledge them in the comments section!

National History Day activities at the National Archives are made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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Fatal Crash

Just five years after their successful flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright had begun demonstrating their Wright Flyers in both the United States and Europe.  Today we shine a spotlight on a photograph taken during one of the darkest days of the brothers’ testing.

Wright Brothers Crash

Bystanders help extricate the mortally wounded US Army (USA) Lieutenant (LT) Thomas Selfridge from the wreck of the Wright Brothers Flyer after its crash at Fort Myer, Virginia (VA). At right, several men attend the injuries of Orville Wright, who lies on the ground at their feet, 9/17/1908. From the Records of the Department of Defense. National Archives Identifier: 6641476

While Wilbur was in Europe negotiating contracts with the French, Orville made the trip to Fort Myer, Virginia, to demonstrate the flying machine to the United States military.  On September 17, 1908, Orville and passenger Army Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge took to the skies.  The flyer had made three uneventful passes over the field before disaster struck.  A propeller disconnected from the machine, and with Orville unable to regain control, the Wright Flyer crashed.

In the picture, bystanders pull Lieutenant Selfridge and Orville away from the wreckage.  The Wright brother, though severely injured, survived the accident.   Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge never regained consciousness; he was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and is noted as being the first powered aircraft fatality.

You can find this photograph and use it to create a teaching activity on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.

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Native American Fishing Rights: Digitized in Seattle

Last week, we held our annual Primarily Teaching summer institute at the National Archives at Seattle.  For the workshop, teachers were given the task of researching in original records to find classroom-appropriate documents showing the effects of Lewis and Clark on Modern Native America.  The educators who participated scanned some great documents on the topic, specifically relating to Native American fishing practices in the states of Oregon and Washington.

“Dip-net” fishing was a usual practice employed by Native American tribes in Oregon.
Fisherman at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River, Oregon, 1911.  From the Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers.

In the early treaties between the United States and Native American tribes during times of westward expansion, many tribes had signed over their lands but retained exclusive rights to fishing in the waters running through their villages or reservations.

However, American and immigrant settlers, with new technology and fishing equipment, gradually supplanted Native Americans as the main fishing groups on the rivers of the West.  Regulations and fishing restrictions further limited the rights of Native American tribes, and made it nearly impossible for their members to make a living as commercial fishermen.

In this testimony, Harold George describes how Boldt’s fishing rights affect his livelihood.  Affidavit of Harold George, 7/14/1976. From the Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In his testimony, Harold George described how Boldt’s fishing rights affected his livelihood.
Page 1 of Affidavit of Harold George, 7/14/1976. From the Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A campaign to reassert fishing rights for local tribes sprang up in the 1960s by way of “fish-ins” and written protests, and continued until the issue was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In 1974, Federal Judge George Boldt pronounced the ruling (U.S. v. Washington) to reaffirm the rights of Native American tribes in western Washington to fish and manage fisheries on their accustomed grounds.  A similar case from 1969, U.S. v. Oregon, had provided for the enforcement of rights for those tribes living in the state of Oregon.

Because of the Primarily Teaching educators’ hard work, with assistance from National Archives staff and volunteers, documents on western Native American tribes and their fishing policies have been scanned and uploaded to DocsTeach—our online tool for teaching with documents—for anyone looking into the topic.

Seattle is one of the last locations hosting Primarily Teaching this summer.  Each of the workshops focuses on a specific case study, which then fits into the National History Day theme for 2016,Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” 

Thanks to the effort of the teachers in Seattle, 20 documents on the effects of Lewis and Clark on Modern Native America have been digitized and can now be accessed and used for teaching and classroom activities!

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of Texas Instruments and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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Digitizing Chinese Immigration in Our New Innovation Hub

Document Digitization During Primarily Teaching Workshop

Teacher Nicole Thornton scans a document in the “Hub” during Primarily Teaching.

This past week, we were excited to host our Primarily Teaching summer institute in our new Innovation Hub at the National Archives in Washington, DC!  For this summer workshop, educators from around the country came to research our holdings to find and digitize documents suitable for lesson plans and classroom activities dealing with Chinese immigration.

Beginning in the 1850s, Chinese immigrants came in search of work laboring in gold mines or on the railroad. But the Chinese who crossed the Pacific were met with challenges. Economic pressures fostered ethnic discrimination and anti-Chinese sentiment in America, culminating in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

Despite suspicions and strict immigration policies, Chinese laborers, families, and merchants continued finding their way into the country and avoiding deportation.  Angel Island in California became the most famous—and hardest—way for the immigrants to enter America.  But many Chinese took their cases to ports across the country, while others turned to smugglers at the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Documents Scanned During Primarily Teaching

Page 8 from a Letter from Commissioner-General F. P. Sargent to Inspector in Charge George W. Webb, 1/8/1907; Business Card for Chinese Interpreter L. A. Fawn, 1906; and Photograph Attached to Application of Wong Bong Siao to Enter the United States as a Native-born Citizen, 8/28/1889 from the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Available on DocsTeach.

Due to the dedicated work of the Primarily Teaching educators, various types of documents related to Chinese Immigration have been scanned and made available on DocsTeach—our online tool for teaching with documents—for anyone curious on the subject.

Primarily Teaching Workshop Presentation

Teacher Melissa Taylor presents the online DocsTeach activity she created using National Archives documents.

Washington, DC, is one of five National Archives locations hosting Primarily Teaching this summer.  Fitting with the broader National History Day theme of “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History,” each Primarily Teaching workshop focuses on a specific case study topic.

Thanks to the educators who were digitizing in our Innovation Hub this past week, affidavits, letters, newspaper clippings, and other interesting documents relating to Chinese immigration can now be accessed on DocsTeach.

The National Archives at Seattle held their Primarily Teaching institute during the same week, so check back with us shortly to discover what they found!

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of Texas Instruments and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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Using Primary Sources to Analyze the 2015 AP U.S. Government FRQ: Civil Rights & Liberties

Today’s post comes from Emily Worland, an intern with the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC, and an AP U.S. Government & Politics teacher at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas.

July 6th and 7th are upon us and we finally get to see the fruits of our collective labor—how did our students do on the 2015 AP U.S. Government & Politics exam?

I can recall the concern my students had for the Free-Response Questions (FRQ) when the prompts were revealed online. Question 4 seemed like a constitutional law prompt from an L1 course! The question required a far more nuanced and in-depth analysis of the 14th Amendment then I have ever previously seen on an exam.

14th Am, RG 11, 07536_2002_001_PR

Joint Resolution Proposing the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, June 13, 1866; General Records of the U.S. Government. NAID 1408913

While many believe teachers’ summers are filled with endless pajama days, we know that we spend much time looking to the next school year and strategizing how we can better prepare our students through improved lessons and the construction of better materials. Through my summer internship at the Center for Legislative Archives, I have unparalleled access to primary source documents at the National Archives. Let me walk you through how we can use primary sources to work through 2015’s FRQ 4 —5s for everyone!

Every FRQ begins with a statement of fact that students should use to answer each part of the question. 2015’s FRQ 4 began, “The 14th Amendment protects civil rights and civil liberties.”

Part A asked students to discern between civil liberties and civil rights. This is certainly analytical because in colloquial speech we tend to use the terms interchangeably. I tell my students that civil rights is the verb and civil liberties is the noun—government action versus given freedom. Civil liberties are the freedoms guaranteed to us through natural rights, the Bill of Rights, and laws and regulations of government. They are the freedoms that belong to us; the freedoms we possess. For example, when accused of a crime, everyone is entitled to a speedy and public trial via the 6th Amendment. Civil rights are the actions that governments take to ensure our civil liberties are protected. When governments define, ensure, and protect American civil liberties, they are engaging in an act of civil rights. To say that the 1960s saw a “civil rights” movement is to say that people were seeking action from the government to define and protect civil liberties.

After defining this subtle difference, Part B asks students to identify the passage within the 14th Amendment that extends civil rights—the Equal Protection clause. By ensuring the equal protection of the law, the Constitution defined civil liberties as belonging to all. And the creation of this definition is a civil rights action. Our students have certainly earned their college credit in answering this law school-esque question!

Next, the students must take this a step further and apply this Equal Protection clause in Part C. First, how did a specific legislative act extend civil rights to women and persons with disabilities? In thinking of pieces of legislation our students would need to know for other parts of the exam or may remember from AP U.S. History, I selected the following acts in which Congress has prohibited a government action that would lead to a curtailment of civil liberties for women or persons with disabilities while ensuring that they are treated equally under the law.

  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Congress has taken an action to ensure that women can participate in all education programs to the same extent their male counterparts are able.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says, ‘It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer…to otherwise to discriminate against any individual… because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.’ Similar to Title IX, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from making both hiring and firing decisions based on gender.
  • The 19th Amendment extends suffrage—a basic civil liberty in saying, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
  • For persons with disabilities, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a prime example of a legislative extension of civil rights. It states that, “No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.” While rather overarching, this particular piece on employment ensures that guaranteed freedoms are not curtailed due to physical or mental disability.

Once the students know the difference between civil rights and liberties and we have applied civil rights through the 14th Amendment and legislative action, then we must do the same with civil liberties.

Part D requires that students identify the passage within the 14th Amendment that extends civil liberties. The Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees that the protections for the accused, as outlined in the Bill of Rights (Amendments 4-8), are extended to the states. This extension of rights to the states from the Federal Government is referred to as incorporation. Our civil liberties of “life, liberty, or property” will not and cannot be “deprived” without “due process of law” at all levels of government within our federalism system.

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari from Clarence Gideon to the Supreme Court of the United States, January 5, 1962, Records of the Supreme Court of the United States. NAID 597554.

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari from Clarence Gideon to the Supreme Court of the United States, January 5, 1962, Records of the Supreme Court of the United States. NAID 597554.

Finally, in Part E students must identify the incorporation of civil liberties through the precedents of three specific Supreme Court cases:

    • Gideon v. Wainwright (1962): Gideon was denied his right to a lawyer as guaranteed by the 6th Amendment because his offense did not meet the threshold for indigent counsel appointment as established by the state of Florida. In the 1962 ruling, The U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the civil liberty guarantee of a right to counsel to the states in all levels of offense.
    • Mapp v. Ohio (1961): When illegally obtained evidence was seized from Dollree Mapp and then used against her to convict her of a crime, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that evidence collected in violation of the 4th Amendment must be excluded from trial in all levels of government courts.
    • Miranda v. Arizona (1965): In the three cases that comprised Miranda v. Arizona, those accused of
      Amicus curiae submitted to the Supreme Court in Mapp v. Ohio, October 9, 1961, Records of the United States Supreme Court.

      Amicus curiae submitted to the Supreme Court in Mapp v. Ohio, October 9, 1961, Records of the United States Supreme Court.

      crimes were made to confess and sign statements without first being informed of their right to counsel as guaranteed by the 6th The U.S. Supreme Court extended the civil liberties for those accused of crimes in mandating police warnings of rights prior to interrogation—thus giving us the most widely quoted phrase on TV.

Wow! That was a tough one! I am looking forward to a new round of students eager to gain political efficacy and overcome apathy. I think this better, more analytical understanding of the 14th Amendment, civil rights, and civil liberties coupled with the primary source documents for each element will be crucial in achieving this goal.

Good luck in 2016—it will be fun to see what College Board puts out next!

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Educators in Chicago Digitize the WWI Homefront

Teachers in Chicago

Last week we welcomed educators to our annual Primarily Teaching summer institute in Chicago to explore documents on the homefront of World War I.  These teachers delved into the holdings of the National Archives at Chicago, and found some great documents on this topic appropriate for classroom lessons and activities.

The WWI homefront is a broad subject, but these teachers stepped up to the challenge, and selected documents on food regulation and substitution, and those investigating Bolshevik labor activists, espionage and sedition, and detained enemy alien cases.

Supportive of the food substitution effort, Cracker Jacks advertised  their use for replacing nuts in cookies and cakes.  Page 2 of The Real Food Value Pamphlet from Rueckheim Bros & Eckstein, 1918. From the Records of the U.S. Food Administration.

Supportive of the food substitution effort, Cracker Jack was advertised as a replacement for salted nuts, and as a base ingredient for cookies and cakes.
Page 2 of The Real Food Value Pamphlet from Rueckheim Bros & Eckstein, 1918.  From the Records of the U.S. Food Administration.

As the documents from this workshop show, WWI was a battle on both the field and at home.  While soldiers risked their lives in trenches across the sea, the rest of America was vigilant in the fight for both food and labor.  Wheat, sugar, and meat were being substituted out of meals all over the country in order to give these precious food items to “our boys overseas.”  The regulation of food was an important effort that depended on homes, restaurants, and even hotels to cut back on consumption.

Leo Dergis of Detroit was found guilty of circulating socialist and anti-draft literature. Page 1 of Indictment of Leo Dergis, 6/1917.  From the Records of District Courts of the United States.

Leo Dergis of Detroit was found guilty of circulating socialist and anti-draft literature.
Page 3 of Indictment of Leo Dergis, 6/1917. From the Records of District Courts of the United States.

Then, on the production side of things there was a sense of increased scrutiny between workers.  This watchfulness was especially directed towards labor activists and those in support of socialist agendas, as anyone threatening to disrupt the efficiently run manufacturing plants was considered a danger to wartime production.

Thanks to the educators and the National Archives staff who assisted with the document scanning and uploading, these documents on the WWI homefront are now digitized and available for anyone to read and use on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.

And, better yet, the teachers spent time during the workshop creating interactive DocsTeach activities using their uploaded documents. So not only are the documents accessible online, but some great ready-made student activities on the WWI homefront are as well! (If you complete the free registration to set up an account, or log in to your existing account, you will see all of the activities created with a document when you look at a specific document’s webpage.)

The teachers hard at work hunting for documents in the Chicago Archives.

The teachers hard at work hunting for documents in the National Archives at Chicago.

This summer, Chicago is one of five Primarily Teaching locations across the country.  Each of the summer institutes highlights the National History Day theme of “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History,but individually chose a specific case study to explore under the broader topic.

The educators who participated in Chicago did a wonderful job researching the theme. And because of their hard work, documents like those on the wheatless and meatless meals of the World War I homefront are readily available to the classroom.

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of Texas Instruments and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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New NASA Documents Digitized by Teachers in Atlanta

Last week, we welcomed teachers to Atlanta for our annual Primarily Teaching summer institute.  These educators explored the holdings of the National Archives at Atlanta for classroom-suitable documents, and ended up discovering NASA documents on really interesting space topics like the SkyLab 3 zero-gravity student experiment.

Design for the Student Experiment's Spider Compartment. Page 1 of the I-V-23 Skylab Student Project: Web Formation in Zero Gravity, 1973. From the Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. National Archives Identifier: 20150116

Proposed design for the spider compartment.
Page 4 of the I-V-23 Skylab Student Project: Web Formation in Zero Gravity, 1973. From the Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Available on DocsTeach.

The year 1973 found two spiders, Arabella and Anita, blasting off into space.  The SkyLab 3 spider experiment started with a curious high school student, Judy Miles, who wondered if spiders could spin webs in zero gravity.  NASA was intrigued with the idea, and promptly began working on the logistics of sending spiders into weightlessness conditions.

Both Spiders were successful in spinning webs, but only Arabella returned to Earth to keep spinning. Anita, Job Done, Dies Aboard Skylab, 9/19/1973. From the Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Archives Identifier: 20150119

Both spiders were successful in spinning webs, but only Arabella returned to Earth to keep spinning.
Anita, Job Done, Dies Aboard Skylab, 9/19/1973. From the Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Available on DocsTeach.

Arabella and Anita spent a few days of sloppy web-weaving adjusting to their new conditions in space, but by the end of their mission, they were spinning webs in the same patterns they had spun back at home, proving that spiders really can spin webs in zero gravity—and just as well as they can on Earth!

Because of the hard work of these educators, and the staff who assisted with scanning the documents, anyone curious about the SkyLab spiders can now find these documents on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.

Atlanta is just one of our Primarily Teaching locations this summer.  Each workshop focuses on a specific topic, but all fit into the National History Day theme of Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” The research in Atlanta was a great success, and thanks to the effort of these teachers, documents on the SkyLab 3 student experiment and other space endeavors can now be accessed and used for teaching and classroom activities.

The National Archives at Chicago held Primarily Teaching last week too, digitizing documents related to the WWI homefront, so check back soon to hear more about their findings!

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of Texas Instruments and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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The First National Park

Today’s post comes from Holly Chisholm, social media intern in our Education and Public Programs Division.

With the end of school, and the beginning of summer, we’ll be switching up some of our posts for the season.  Look for document spotlight posts like this one to learn about some of the interesting documents, photographs, and other records we have at the National Archives.

Yellowstone Park Act

“Dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
First page of the Yellowstone Park Act, 3/1/1872. From the General Records of the United States Government. National Archives Identifier: 596351

Today’s spotlight document is the 1872 Yellowstone Park Act.  This public law was an ingenious American invention, born from a desire to protect the natural wonders of the West.  In 1864, the State of California had reserved Yosemite as parkland, but the Federal Government officially made the land at the head of Wyoming’s Yellowstone River the first national park by signing this act into effect.

The 1872 Yellowstone Park Act highlights the borders of Yellowstone National Park, and protects the wildlife, natural wonders, and resources of the area from being spoiled by settlement or profit-seekers.  It also stipulates accommodations for visitors to be built on property, and that the proceeds of such places return directly into the park for road upkeep, as well as for nature’s protection.

Yellowstone National Park is home to beautiful canyons, plains, and one of the world’s largest collection of geysers—the most famous being the one pictured here, Old Faithful.

Yellowstone National Park is home to beautiful canyons, plains, and one of the world’s largest collection of geysers—the most famous being the one pictured here, Old Faithful.
Photograph of Old Faithful Geyser Erupting in Yellowstone National Park, 1942. From the Records of the National Park Service. National Archives Identifier: 519994

Most importantly, though, this act dedicates the land to the people.  Generation after generation, we can still view America’s natural curiosities and untouched landscapes thanks to the establishment of the first national park.

You can see more about the Progressive Era or our national parks on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.

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Congratulations, Barrie Moorman, NHD Teacher of the Year!

Today’s post comes from Missy McNatt, education specialist at the National Archives in Washington, DC, and DC National History Day Coordinator.

NHD logoCongratulations to Barrie Moorman, teacher at EL Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, DC, for being named the Patricia Behring Senior Division Teacher of the Year at the National History Day (NHD) Awards Ceremony today!

Ms. Moorman won the DC Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award at the DC NHD competition at the end of April. She then competed against affiliate winners from across the nation to win the national title for 2015. Along with the honor of being selected as the teacher of the year, as the national winner, Ms. Moorman receives $10,000.

Why is Ms. Moorman an outstanding teacher? First and foremost, she cares about her students. And she believes in her students.

National History Day at EL Haynes is not reserved for the advanced students. Rather it a program for the students who failed a year of history, scored in the bottom 50% of their class, and had learning differences. Ms. Moorman believes that high expectations and requiring high-level products from all students is the way to make a difference. The students receive support from start to finish with their NHD projects.

When the students shared their projects at their school and city competitions, the pride in their work was palpable. For many students, this was the first time they had completed a major project working over months rather than just a few days.

According to Ms. Moorman: “During the quarter in which we focused on NHD, we had our highest course grades of the year and lowest rates of failure. Students started to mentor their peers on other research projects, and for many of them, taking on leadership roles was atypical; they were proud to show off their new knowledge and able to help others to catch up. It was a transformative experience for the students and for our school.”

The National Archives supports the National History Day program nationwide in a variety of ways. Thousands of students from across the nation use primary sources from the National Archives in their research. The National Archives at Philadelphia manages the Philadelphia city competition; and the National Archives in Washington, DC, facilitates the year-long DC National History Day program. Other National Archives locations offer NHD student and teacher workshops and host competitions. And many National Archives employees serve as judges, from the local level to the national NHD competition in College Park, MD, in June each year.

National Archives’ History Day activities are made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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Congress Creates the Bill of Rights App: Android and PDF Release

The Center for Legislative Archives is pleased to announced that our mobile app for tablets, Congress Creates the Bill of Rights, is now available for Android devices and as a PDF. The app situates the user in the proposals, debates, and revisions that shaped the Bill of Rights. Its menu-based organization presents a historic overview, a detailed study of the evolving language of each proposed amendment as it was shaped in the House and Senate, a close-up look at essential documents, and opportunities for participation and reflection designed for individual or collaborative exploration.

Congress Creates the Bill of Rights App

We also have online resources available for teachers and students to facilitate learning with the app.

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