This week I discovered that PowerPoint has the capability to record presentations as videos that can be uploaded to YouTube or any website. This capability provides the opportunity for me to actually give the lectures I write. Below are examples of this capability. However, they are not the best from a performance standpoint; but the information is accurate.
I suppose what follows is a journal or a log. It is by no means complete. It covers July 2019-August 2020. It starts two years after I started the project. The project took a detour in July-August 2017, when I discovered that I did not know enough about McCarthyism to include it in the lecture; so I researched and wrote an article, which was published in 2018. Then, life happened and the project had to be put on the back burner. Notes begin near the end of July 2019 and end in the beginning of August 2020 when the creation of all the content was completed, and work switched to preparation for publication.
I completed the Consumer Culture section of the lecture. I need to move on to the suburbs and the changing population of the American city. Then, the major events that occurred in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s.
Work continues on the Civil Rights section of the lecture. I am taking notes from the American Pageant Chapter 38.
I have completed notes on the NAACP’s court efforts. Next I will explain the Little Rock crisis of 1957. Then, I will move on to Rosa Parks and the Alabama Bus Boycott of 1955 and the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership conference (SCLC).
I decided not to include the SCLC in the lecture for reasons of space and time. Space, the lecture was getting too long, and time; although formed in 1957 most of the group’s activities took place in 1960s.
I have almost completed first subsection of the Civil Rights portion of my lecture. Brown v. Board of Education (1954). I still need to explain Brown II and with all deliberate speed. Additionally, in April, I added the section on the Cold War.
Created a 1950s folder in soc Document Archive directory. It contains all the files that where in Duck and Cover sources. The 1950s folder will be used from now on as I continue to work on the unit. Additionally, I have completed the PowerPoint lecture. The only remaining slides or works cited and publication information. Furthermore I have decided to split the presentation into several smaller parts.
I have completed the last two slides of the lecture. I have divided it into four files, and made PDF handouts. Additionally, I have created links to each file and embed code for the web page, and I have started putting the research and opinion questions into worksheet form.
I have completed the research and opinion questions, and I have created a question sheet for the Point of Order video; and the Eisenhower video on his reasons for sending the 101st Airborne to Little Rock. I have also sourced The Great Black Migration reading from Chapter 38. I still need to make questions for it.
I have completed all the content for the 1950s unit. I’m moving on to construct the webpages.
The Teaching Guide for the Equal Justice Under Law series stated that John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson disagreed over many issues including The Mazzei letter, in which Jefferson maligned George Washington.1 However, in the letter Jefferson did not attack Washington by name he attacked the Federalist party and the government; which under the United States Constitution was his right.2 The original letter was private, not meant for publication. The offending passage which was not even the full paragraph was published without his knowledge or consent.3 First in France and then in many newspapers in the United States. Even in the published version, printed in a New York newspaper, Washington is not mentioned by name.4
The commentary was only tangentially related to the passage and provides no insight into the meaning of the passage. Furthermore, the Executive Branch of the government is more than just the president. Jefferson more than likely was not referring to Washington with the phrases “all officers of the government…” and “all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty…”.5
Many words can be used to describe George Washington timid is not among them. Washington was not a Federalist. In fact, he was against political parties, or factions as he referred to them. That was why Alexander Hamilton was considered the leader of the Federalist party. Washington was held apart from his cabinet and the other officers in the Executive Branch. While Jefferson maligned Hamilton and other federalist cabinet members, he certainly would not have maligned Washington. Federalists commonly interpreted the letter as a thinly veiled attack against Washington, but they would, wouldn’t they. That’s what political parties do.6
It was clear that John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson had “deep-rooted philosophical differences,” and were “members of opposing political parties with often irreconcilable positions.7 But, John Marshall was far from a party ideologue. Marshall voted against the Federalist party on several occasions.8 Furthermore, his dislike of Jefferson did not cause Marshall to support Burr in the presidential election of 1800. In fact, he did not use his influence to support Jefferson either. Marshall took Alexander Hamilton at his word regarding Aaron Burr’s character. Marshall made clear while he could not support Jefferson, he was less dangerous than Burr. In that same letter to Alexander Hamilton, Marshall made only one reference to the Mazzei letter stating, “the morals of the Author of the letter to Mazzei cannot be pure.”9
That phrase comes at the end of a paragraph in which Marshall explains to Hamilton his opinion of Thomas Jefferson, which is negative. Nevertheless, if the letter was a major irreconcilable issue between them why doesn’t Marshall clearly name Jefferson as a person of impure morals, instead of the word author? In any case, Marshall and Jefferson’s adversarial relationship had been clearly established. Referring to the letter introduced an unnecessary and confusing item into an unrelated complex event. It should have been removed.
8 Harold H. Burton, “John Marshall. The Man,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 104.1 (October 1955): 5.
9 “To Alexander Hamilton from John Marshall, 1 January 1801,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified March 30, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0154. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 290–292.]
Equal Justice Under Law was a television series that first aired in 1976 and again in 1987, to mark the 200th anniversary of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. A production of the Judicial Conference of the United States and WQED Pittsburgh, The programs were intended “to inform the general public as well as educational and professional audience on the American constitutional heritage as exemplified in the major decisions of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall” (1).
I started the process of creating activities for the Equal Justice Under Law videos. I found the videos and teaching guide sometime ago. The videos I found on YouTube, and the teaching guide I found at archive.org. I am working on United States v. Aaron Burr (The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr). Going through the background section of the teaching guide, I found a mistake. The guide states that Thomas Jefferson Vice President of the United States presided over the House of Representatives (2). That was not the case the United States Constitution Article 1 Section 3 Clause 4 states that the Vice President is President of the Senate.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
Finding such an error, I decided to research Aaron Burr because any author or group of authors that would make such a mistake may gloss over or simplify Aaron Burr’s background. As a historian and teacher, I understand the need to condense content at the high school level, but accuracy should not be a casualty of that exercise.
The most recent biography of Burr was published in 2007 by Nancy Isenberg. The next piece “The Real Treason of Aaron Burr” by Gordon S Wood was published in 1999 in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. There are a variety of other articles dating from 1951 to 1896. This information comes from a search of Jstor, search term Aaron Burr. This research may show that except for the one error teaching guide is accurate or it may reveal other flaws in the document.
Since Microsoft Office365 announced that it will discontinue the public facing website feature, I have been working on an alternative. I described the first part of that alternative in an earlier post. Once I moved all my Word Documents, and PowerPoint presentations to OneDrive for Business, I had to find a place to put the webpages. Until recently, I used jgkeegan.org, which pointed to the public facing website, as my Document Archive. That is to say I put any webpages there I want to share publicly, but I do not feel belong on my personal website jgkeegan.com. In the main, the pages stored there were for the presentation of teaching resources on a variety of history/social studies topics.
I could not move the domain that pointed to the public facing website because I use that for email. So I registered another domain keegan.wiki. I have just completed creating public links for all my documents in OneDrive for Business and rewriting all the webpages in HTML5 for the new domain. The Document Archive is live. I should note the archive does not have a traditional HTML navigation structure, while the site has an index page it does not link to any other page apart from the copyright statement. Each page stands on its own and is linked to from my Teaching Resources page, the Topics page, or from a page about a specific topic. Additionally, each page is designed for use in an academic, professional environment where laptops, desktops, and iPads are readily available. Its minimum optimal screen size is the iPad mini 7.9 inches diagonal. Use of this site on any screen smaller than 7.9 inches diagonal is not recommended. This allows teachers, the target audience, to use a specific resource page without any distractions such as links to other pages within or outside the site. Except for a link to the copyright statement in the footer, students are presented with a webpage that has a finite set of links related to a specific assignment.
My hope is that teachers across the United States will find the resources in this document archive useful.
I have a lot of teaching resources on my site. Some of them I sell, and some of them I give away for free. All I ask from people who use my content is that they ask permission to use it. The above episode is about requesting use of content.