Nine Ways to Assign Extra Credit with the Gilder Lehrman Institute

We know that teachers are facing extraordinary challenges this school year and the Gilder Lehrman Institute would like to help carry the load by being an aid to teachers who are trying to keep their most committed students engaged. Our Teacher Advisory Group and staff present a list of nine ways that you can use GLI resources with students for extra credit or independent study assignments that are easy to incorporate into instruction and require NO extra work by the teacher.

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"Document of the Month" - October

If you don’t see the full story below, click here (PDF) or click here (Google Docs) to read it—free!
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Patriotic Verse in a Schoolboy’s Math Book during the Revolutionary War

Between the pages of his math exercise book John Barstow jotted down a patriotic tune called "The Amaricans Challing" on January 2, 1777. Carefully written in a youth’s unsteady hand, the text appears to be a transcript of a popular camp song from the Revolutionary era. How this declaration of patriotism found its way into Barstow’s math lessons is unknown.
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Civil War–era sketches by David Stauffer

When the Civil War broke out, David McNeely Stauffer (1845–1913) was only sixteen years old. While attending Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania from September 1861 through June 1863, he served brief, emergency enlistments when the state of Pennsylvania was threatened by Robert E. Lee’s forces. He joined the 2nd Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment in September 1862 and served until winter. In June 1863, he joined in the defense of Gettysburg with the 
Independent Battery of Pennsylvania.
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Mother’s Day, 1919: "may you never get another letter from France as long as you live!"

What would be a better Mother’s Day present than learning that your child would be returning home from war? In 1919, thirty-year-old Lawrence Hopkins of the 305th Engineers was at the Forwarding Camp in Le Mans, France, awaiting orders to return home. On Wednesday, May 7, he wrote his mother in Ashtabula, Ohio, an early Mother’s Day letter in hopes he would be at sea by Sunday. With great excitement he announced the possibility of being home by Decoration Day (Memorial Day):
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Abraham Lincoln, Mary Owens, and the accidental engagement

In 1836, Abraham Lincoln found himself in a tenuous situation. He was engaged to a woman he barely knew and didn’t want to marry. Mrs. Elizabeth Abell had been pushing for a romance between Lincoln and her sister, Mary Owens, whom Lincoln had met briefly in 1833. When Elizabeth went home to visit her family in Kentucky three years later, she said she would bring Mary back to Illinois if Lincoln would agree to marry her. Lincoln jokingly agreed. He realized the consequences of his rash statement when Mary came to New Salem and considered herself engaged.
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Washington Dodge: <i>Titanic</i> Survivor, April 1912

One hundred years ago this weekend, the RMS Titanic sank, claiming the lives over 1,500 passengers and crew. In this account, Dr. Washington Dodge recounts his tale of survival. Written on board the RMS Carpathia during the three-day journey back to New York, this eyewitness account is one of the earliest and most compelling accounts of the disaster. Dodge’s handwriting and sentence phrasing offer a glimpse into his state of mind as he penned his testimony.
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Recent Press Mentions

Daina Ramey Berry's "Lives of the Enslaved" Pace–Gilder Lehrman Online MA Course Featured in NBC News Article

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In a Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate article exploring “How to Transform Black History Education in Schools,” Daina Ramey Berry’s “Lives of the Enslaved,” a Pace–Gilder Lehrman Online MA in American History course, was featured prominently.

Berry is quoted directly and indirectly throughout the article, assessing the state of teaching Black history and how to improve it:

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The New York Times Remembers Richard Gilder

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Sam Roberts wrote a comprehensive obituary for Richard Gilder on May 14, 2020, calling him “a billionaire investor and benefactor who was instrumental in revitalizing two neglected exemplars of American democracy — the study of American history and Central Park.”

In sumarizing some of the work done by the Gilder Lehrman Institute, Roberts wrote, of Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman

They amassed a collection that would eventually consist of 70,000 original documents, letters, pamphlets, diaries and other primary sources that illuminate American history.

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EduHam at Home Announced in a Washington Post Feature Article

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The Washington Post announced the EduHam at Home program on April 21, 2020, with a feature article by theater critic Peter Marks. Along with exploring the development of EduHam itself, the article highlights Gilder Lehrman Institute president James Basker’s explanation of how and why EduHam at Home works:

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