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Yesturday's meeting of the Browns is one that I will always remember. I was moved by listening to them speak and their account of their own personal experience. I will treasure the experience. I can't wait to share with my incoming students!

Today's lecture was not what I expected, much better than I anticipated. This morning, Shawn's presentation was extremely gratifying. For those who are not familiar with the contributions that President Truman choose to invoke concerning the civil rights of Black Americans, should have been here. These lectures, morning and afternoon with Dr. Lang was a mind blowing experience. I wish I had professors like these gentlemen. Also Professors Rury and Hill's take on From Slavery to Freedom and their research on this subject was a blessing, I will use it and will purchase their book.

Clarence was dynamic. I very much enjoyed his lecture but even better was the Q&A discussing Truman in a very real light rather than strictly lecture. The morning was a little boring but there some 1st hand quotes that were very good but most of the numbers were not clear. John Rury was clear and very informative. The quotes were good. Stats were not as clear. Overall a good day. I still think Truman was a racist. He does speak about civil rights in a way that was positive and helps begin the post 50's civil rights movement.

I want to share with you a great web site that offers oral history testimony from social change activists in the US and worldwide. There are listening guides and ready-to-use lesson ideas to accompany the testimonies.

You will also find great testimonies from activists around the world at

The best part of today was the lecture from Clarence Lang. Not only was he an engaging speaker, but he shared excellent insight into the Truman administration, Civil Rights and the affects of the Cold War on the Civil Rights movement.

One of the biggest things that I took from Clarence's lecture is the idea that domestic and foreign policy. When teaching the Cold War and anti-communism next year, I will be sure to introduce the idea that the Civil Rights Movement was greatly affected by the communist scare.

What did it mean to me to hear Leota Brown Montgomery the wife of Oliver Brown and mother of Linda Brown the named plaintiffs in the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education speak a long with her other daughter Cheryl Brown Henderson? As a American Government Teacher it will give great credibility to my lessons over Civil Rights and the Brown case to be able to say I learned these details by talking to this two outstanding cultural resources. This is better than any primary document;it is living oral history from the people who lived the case. What a great learning experience.

John and Shirley's presentation reiterated to me and my classmates the hidden treasure found in oral histories and individual stories. In their research, they were able to gather such valuable nuggets of truth that often are overlooked in the historical canon.
Clarence emphasized the debate that we can have with our audience about different sides of the same coin issue and the benefits of an ensuing discussion.

Dr. Lang was a very dynamic speaker. Very engaging and able to connect with us on the link between foreign policy and civil rights under Truman. This is an image of Black "Rosie the Riveters." Picture of Plessy and Ferguson descendants.
This site has good information and pictures of the Brown plaintiffs. I think I will use the Farmville, VA ones.

Today we had four speakers who were all very informed and added a lot to the subject. They were all professional and were great at answering all of our questions

The lectures today were stimulating and engaging. The only complaint I have is that there just isn't enough time. So many questions come to mind as Shaun and/or Clarence were talking. I have a whole bunch of questions that popped into my head and there just wasn't enough time to ask or discuss them. Hopefully, at dinner we will have some time to discuss these issues.

Many times we refer to people as “walking history” because of their ability to memorize volumes of minutiae and their ability to spout trivia. However, when referencing Mrs. Brown-Montgomery and Mrs. Brown-Henderson “walking history” is appropriate. When sharing their heritage and legacy they provide information, insight and perspective to a period of American history the textbooks routinely fail to properly address. Publishers should avail themselves of the Brown’s insight and knowledge and publish this family’s story for both adults and students to learn. WELL DONE!!!

I have always found Truman to be mildly frustrating and generally felt that he was too timid and slow on civil rights issues, but I found the discussion today enlightening. I still haven't forgiven Truman for his shortcomings, but I am willing to see him in a slighly more sympathetic light. Lectures have been thought-provoking and have already inspired me to modify the way I teach my entire course, not just civil rights/Brown. Lectures from Lang and Alexander have been especially compelling.

Today's lecture and discussion regarding Truman's presidency and his civil rights record was fascinating! Dr. Lang included many ideas that will challenge students to use their critical thinking skills. Also, I loved Dr. Alexander's discussion about how rhetoric often misrepresents a reality.

Yesterday Cheryl Brown Henderson & her mother Mrs Leota Brown Montgomery gave an amazing presentation on the background of Brown vs Board of Education at the Seminar of Presidential Politics Civil Rights & Road to Brown. Through their presentation I found myself totally involved in the historical event. The presentation gave me the human element that was missing from just reading about the civil Rights Episode. I will try & implement a lesson on Brown v Bd from the aspect of the plaintiffs involved. Possibly using role playing with the use of documents instructing the class on what the African-Americans of Topeka KS were facing everyday that they went to school.

Getting to hear Leota Brown Montgomery and Cheryl Brown Henderson. Its not often that you get to hear from history directly. How nice will it be to inform my students that I heard the story directly from the source.

In case you don't know about the Bill of Rights Institute collection of Landmark Supreme Court cases:

They will also email you weekly eLessons that are timely and easy to use in class...

I've always maintained that there is no substitute for 'being there'. There's no other way to get as full an appreciation for the subtleties of a place than to walk where events transpired. If that's true, then how much better could it be than to talk with someone who was there at the place AND time when history has taken place. This was surely the case with the presentation of Linda Brown's mother and sister. Over time, we all acquire material we come to believe is factually true. Going through that experience was incredibly useful for me.

Humbling day. I decided at the outset that I'd take whatever notes I took in one place and I'd keep a separate list of books or articles on the subject I'll want/need to read.

Today's notes are not as much on the content of the day's lectures, but are an extensive, extensive list of so many things I have not read. And need to.

Truly an example of the more you (think you) know, the more you need to learn.

Engaging presenter who filled in details and gave me a better way to tie together the readings we did on Truman. Fabulous to have a great scholar to bounce ideas off and gain new perspectives.

I agree with Howard, and I highly recommend the resources, teaching modules and video lessons available at

I also encourage you to consider participating in their many online and face-to-face seminars and workshops!

The opportunity to hear Ms. Henderson and her mother was not only an enriching opportunity on a personal level, but gave me the opportunity to earn "credibility" with the young people I serve.

The discussion was not only invigorating, but rigorous as group members continue to challenge and grow as scholars and teachers.

Great to hear from the scholars Shirley Hill and John Rury, and Clarence Lang lead us in our exploration of "Presidential Politics, Civil Rights and the Road to Brown" seminar...

I am also excited to know that these scholars will join us again this week for more examination of this important subject.

Thanks again for allowing us to experience this seminar in the state significant for the history we are studying.

I am excited to know that the learning we have begun will deepen as the week unfolds...

Eisenhower Library, here we come!

It was amazing to listen to Mrs. Brown talk about her family's decision to join the case. It made me feel closer to history. I can now tell the story more meaningfully to my students. I enjoyed listening to details she shared that books do not include.

It was such a powerful opportunity to meet with the Brown family and discuss their experiences related to that historic case. As a government teacher for many years, I have certainly covered Brown v. Board and read a lot about it, but to MEET the parties involved and attach real emotion to the event will completely alter the way I share it with my students.

I was absolutely fascinated listening to Cheryl Brown Henderson and Leola Brown. Mrs. Brown, the wife of Pastor Brown is a treasure. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her and her presentation but it was her mother who awed me. Here is a living, breathing part of one of the most significant events in modern history. Had we not been in Kansas, I think it would have been impossible to meet and hear her speak. My students always appreciate when I tell them first person accounts of my own brush with history and this seminar provided me with that opportunity. It was more than worth the trip.

OK I will meet Monica at Dulles and you can pick us up there, Sharon. If you two can work out the time of pickup based on Monica's flight arrival, I will make sure to be there as well. I will need to get lunch at some point before we hit the road. Sharon I will call you on Friday to touch base one last time, and Monica I may do the same for you as well.

There was a reference made today on Mary Chestnut. Here is some information.

here is a link to the Freedman and Southern Society project

There are links to several primary sources we could use in class.

JSTOR article: Francis Lieber and the Civil War

JSTOR article: Francis Lieber and the Civil War
Mission US is a multimedia project that immerses players in U.S. history content through free interactive games. There are currently two missions - One revolving around the events of colonial Boston, the other is about the Underground Railroad. It presents as a choose your own adventure style of online game. Registration is free. My 7th graders love it!

Here's a good history of the freedom suits in St. Louis, demonstrating just how dramatic a departure from the long established state of the law Dred Scott was.

The website for Maggie L. Walker NHS. She would be a great way to tie in various topics: Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Suffrage, Great Depression, etc.

Here is a lesson plan for elementary students on the 15th Amendment. Since I am taking this class for grad credit, I have to submit a lesson plan for a primary source.
An oldie but goodie. I think that it could work into an introduction of The Civil War by using the "united and indivisible" phrases.

This is a link to a series of podcast from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The focus of various topics relating to Lincoln's life presented by the site's curator. It might be a great way for students to critically think about how objects can tell stories and have greater meanings. They have two podcasts that tie directly to our topic: the 13th Amendment and a sale documents for slaves.

Here's a site put up by Dickinson College.....I've used it and it's great


Teaching students to analyze primary personal documents with differing points of view on a historical event. This can be used with any event, but I have including journal entries during the Civil War.

A few more websites: has a timeline and info. about parks and upcoming evens is a great resource to search for a soldier, unit, or battle. You can use this to find out what battles a unit or soldier were in and find out about local units from your area. All 3 million soldiers of both sides are in the system! The Museum of the Confederacy has a series of programs you can watch, including one on Secession

This website contains photographs of Storer College which was located in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Storer was founded to education former slaves and opened in 1867.

This is a whole book of foldables geared towards social studies content. Foldables are a great way for students to dynamically organize material in a visually stimulating way. Great way to practice new information or review in a hands-on way!

Great site for primary sources on all kinds of American History topics.

This a website from West Virginia University that explores the government of the Restored government of Virginia and contains the papers and telegrams of the governor Francis Pierpont. I provides insight into the Pierpont's efforts to maintain Union rule in western Virginia during the first two years of the war.

This is my park (come visit!)

The park covers several topics that may be of interest, including:
-Home Front: several house sites on the battlefields and stories about the families caught in the vortex and the participation of slaves
-Confederate War Effort: Tredegar Iron Works, Chimborazo Hospital illustrate the mobilization of resources for the conflict
-Technology- Tredegar and Drewry's Bluff sites cover weapons innovations and scientific research (including naval iron warships)

This is a graphic organizer that allows my students to scaffold their interpretations of political cartoons and any sort of image. It helps them get to the main "IDEA" by moving up Bloom's Taxonomy. First, they identify the main components of the image (simply list what you see! No wrong answers!). Then, we describe what we identified in the image. (So how does this man LOOK? What is he wearing? His expression?). Then, they explain what these descriptions and the caption/title may mean. (Who is this man? Why is he angry?). Finally, they get to the analysis where they determine the author's opinion. (So, based on everything you have described and explain, what is this author trying to convince you of?).

The discussion we had this morning regarding Civil War Pensions and the rise of the modern welfare state reminded me of a lesson plan video podcast my wife and I put together a few years ago.

The 1890 Atlantic Monthly article we used can be found here:;cc=a...

I've also attached a copy of the pension file.

Here is a Structured Academic Controversy I used with my AP class - the SHEG website has great stuff on a good amount of American History topics.