Teaching History Online
Number 132: 11th April, 2004
9. The Jesuits
Spartacus Educational publishes Teaching History Online every week. The newsletter includes news, reviews of websites and articles on using ICT in the history classroom. Members of the mailing list are invited to submit information for inclusion in future editions of Teaching History Online. In this way we hope to create a community of people involved in using the Internet to teach history. Currently there are 38,386 subscribers to the newsletter.
Fair Play Magazine: Between 1995 and 2000 John Kelin has produced Fair Play, a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the JFK assassination. With the help of Deanie Richards and the JFK Place website, 35 of these magazine are now available online. This includes articles on Roger Craig, Gaeton Fonzi, Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, Ruth and Michael Paine, HSCA and JFK's Skull Wound, Perry Russo, Shots, Trajectories and Wounds, Sylvia Meagher, Richard Case Nagell, Grassy Knoll, James Files, Zapruder Film, Single Bullet Theory and Kerry Thornley.
The Men Who Killed Kennedy: Nigel Turner is the producer of the television series, The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Made for the Central Independent Television company, it started off a two-part documentary broadcast in October, 1988. Three more installments were made two years later. The sixth episode, The Truth Shall Set You Free, was added in 1995. For the 40th anniversary of the assassination Turner produced three more installments. The last of these, The Guilty Men, caused a tremendous stir, because it claimed that Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of JFK. Last week the History Channel promised never to show the documentary again. This is the debate that has followed that decision.
Genealogy of the US Presidents: It is claimed that of 43 American Presidents to date, 34 can trace their ancestry back to the Sax-Coburg bloodline (the same one as the British monarchy). Recent presidents who have not been part of this family include Harry S. Truman, Dwight David Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. However, George Bush and John Kerry are both members of this illustrious family. This website provides a browsable database of the genealogy of the US Presidents.
Judging the Past: Three lesson ideas that involve students using the web to research a topic before making judgements about controversial issues in history: Churchill and the Dardanelles (1915), Haig and the Battle of the Somme (1916) and Chamberlain and the Policy of Appeasement (1938). For example, in the Haig lesson, students get into groups. Two play the role of historians who have to explain what happened. Others play the role of a journalist, soldier and members of an Enquiry Commission.
Edward Teller: In a recent book Peter Goodchild described Edward Teller as the real Dr. Strangelove. Teller, the major figure responsible for the H-bomb, persuaded a succession of American presidents that it was impossible to have a verifiable nuclear test-ban treaty and was the leading advocate of the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative. This Academy of Achievement website provides a profile, biography and a long interview with the man himself.
The Battle of Hastings: A comprehensive website on the Battle of Hastings that with the right backup material could be used successfully in the classroom. The website consists of 850,000 words and 300 graphics. There is no search-engine but the material is well organised under headings such as: Kings of Wessex and England, Where is 1066 Country, Why did the Battle Happen?, The Build up to the Battle, Harold's Battle Force, William's Battle Force, The Battle, The Aftermath, Norman Rule After 1066, etc. The author has also provided a comprehensive glossary of words and people.
Women Veterans: Barbara Wilson, a former captain in the USAF has produced Women Veterans, a website that explains the role of US women in warfare. This includes Women in Vietnam a website dedicated to explaining the role of the 10,000 women who took part in this conflict. Captain Wilson explains that for many years "accurate records on how many women were there, what decorations they earned, where they served and most important - what after effects they have suffered - and continue to suffer" were unavailable. Women in Vietnam attempts to answer these questions about the 10,000 women who took part in the war.
Martin Luther King Jr. Project: The King Papers Project is a major research effort to assemble and disseminate historical information concerning Martin Luther King, Jr. and the social movements in which he participated. Initiated by the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, the website includes sections on papers, speeches, sermons, autobiography, chronology and articles.
The Jesuits: Over the course of five centuries members of the Society of Jesus have been accused of killing kings and presidents, they have travelled as missionaries to every corner of the globe, founding haciendas in Mexico, exploring the Mississippi and Amazon rivers, and serving Chinese emperors as map-makers, painters and astronomers. Whether loved or loathed, these missionaries had a dramatic and wide-ranging impact. Jonathan Wright's fascinating study draws the reader into a gripping tale of myth and counter-myth, of adoration and banishment, of extraordinary achievements and spectacular failures. (Jonathan Wright, HarperCollins, ISBN 0 00 257180 3, £20.00)