In the May/June 2017 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article features a letter that Walt Whitman wrote to his mother on December 29, 1862. Whitman wrote the letter to let his mother know that he had found his brother George alive and healing from an injury sustained during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
As my job title indicates, I both edit the work of authors who publish works under the Library’s aegis and write books and other materials. My most recent writing project is America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History, published on May 30, 2017, by Bloomsbury Press, in cooperation with the Library.
I would invite all teachers to introduce their students to the Library's Web site with creative assignments. These assignments may encourage the exploration of the stories of generations past with a search through the online resources on LC's site.
I left New Jersey with good wishes, lots of hugs, and a few tears. When I got to Washington, DC, I was welcomed by the Educational Outreach staff of the Library of Congress with a mutual eagerness to collaborate and a personal hope that my contributions could affect educators.
My son is graduating from high school this coming weekend and I am feeling mixed emotions.
On the one hand, I am proud, excited, and looking forward to what the future holds. On the other hand, I feel the winds of change, and with them a bit of sadness and apprehension about what lies ahead.
At times like this, I take comfort in knowing that I am not the first person to feel this way. Connecting with primary sources always helps. (Seriously, it does.)
This year marks the centennial anniversary of both the U.S. entry into World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, the events that led to the fall of Russia's tsarist government and the eventual birth of the U.S.S.R. By analyzing reports in historic newspapers, students can explore the Great War’s role as a possible catalyst in starting the revolution and U.S. responses to the rise of communism in Russia.