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Summer Institute 2010

Website Week #1

The Aftermath of September 11 in Immigrant and Refugee Communities

John Biewen and Elana Hadler Perl, “Days of Infamy: December 7 and 9/11,” America Radio Works, American Public Media: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/daysofinfamy/
Under the auspices of American Public Media, “Days of Infamy” displays selected primary sources collected by the Library of Congress both in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and also following 9/11. Some of the key themes the on-line exhibit considers are patriotism, racism, and sacrifice.

 “September 11, 2001: Documentary Project,” American Memory Project, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/911_archive/
This Library of Congress website preserves lay people’s responses to 9/11through photographs, drawings, audio and visual recordings. The collection was inspired by Alan Lomax, who conducted interviews just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and deposited them with the Library of Congress. The website includes materials donated from George Mason University’s 9/11 Digital Archive, http://911digitalarchive.org/. Excerpts from the collection were highlighted in the LOC’s “Days of Infamy” website (see below), and also in the Library of Congress’s exhibit:  “Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress” http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/911

“National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center:” http://www.national911memorial.org
This website is operated by the private, not-for-profit National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which oversees the design, construction, and operation of the commemorative museum being built at the site of the former World Trade Center. The website includes background information on what happened on 9/11, as well as artifacts, stories, photographs, and other artistic renderings. Of special interest to teachers will be the searchable podcasts of interviews under “Make History” and also the Education Resources under the History tab.

Online News Hour, “Teacher Resources: Special Coverage of the Attacks on NY and DC,” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/terroristattack/teachers/
This Teacher Resource, compiled by PBS as part of their Online NewsHour, documents the attacks on 9/11 in NY and DC, including the U.S.’s response to them and the international impact of that day’s events and their aftermath. Teachers will be particularly interested in the “For Teachers” section which lists on-line resources to help a range of age groups to confront tragedy. It also includes lesson plans for diverse ages including one focused on anti-Arab sentiment in the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11.

The September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project, Columbia University, Oral History Research Office: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/oral/sept11.html.
The September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project is a joint effort of the Columbia University Oral History Project and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.  Within the first year, the project collected over four hundred interviews about the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and added an additional two hundred follow-up interviews tracing the impact of the catastrophe over time the following year.  A broad range of professional and ethnic groups are represented.  Interviews include those who worked near the site of the twin towers, as well as immigrants and Muslims from both domestic and international communities.  These are still being processed and are not yet posted online but should be shortly.  Excerpts from three interviews are included as primary documents for this program.

H.R.3162: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:hr03162:]
The USA PATRIOT Act, colloquially known as the “Patriot Act,” was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The acronym stands for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” The act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records, eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States, expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities, and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. While the act itself is over 120 pages long, and is available through the Library of Congress website above, Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist for the American Law Division of Congress, wrote a helpful five-page summary which outlines its major tenants and impact entitled “CRS Report for Congress: The USA PATRIOT Act: A Sketch.” USA Patriot Act PDF File

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution: http://americanhistory.si.edu The National Museum of American History opened in January 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology, the sixth Smithsonian building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  In 1980, the museum’s name changed to the National Museum of American History to better represent its basic mission—the collection, care, and study of objects that reflect the experiences of American people.  The museum holds over three million objects, and hosts both virtual and actual permanent and changing exhibitions. Given the ONMAP program’s emphasis on immigration and diversity, the following exhibitions are especially recommended: “America on the Move,” which traces how both migrant and immigrant communities have traveled around the country during the last two centuries; “Communities in a Changing Nation: The Promise of Nineteenth-Century America,” which explores the experiences of industrial workers and managers in Bridgeport, Connecticut,  Jewish immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, and slaves and free blacks in the low country of South Carolina; “Landmark Objects,”  which features several key artifacts from the Civil Rights movement; and “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964,” an online exhibition describing recruitment and experiences of Mexican farm labor.

National Archives:  http://www.archives.gov Somewhat cumbersome to navigate, this website contains a wealth of useful information.  The education section, located at http://www.archives.gov/education/, contains information about working with the National Archives (both the central and regional branches), including field trip and in-school programs.  There is also an extremely valuable “Teaching with Documents” lesson plan databank that divides primary source-based classrooms activities into eight chronological categories ranging from “Revolution and the New Nation” to the “Contemporary United States” (each of these subsections contain between four and twelve lesson plans complete with relevant documents and worksheets).  Finally, NARA hosts a range of onsite and online exhibitions (located at http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/), including, relevant to past ONMAP themes, “The Charters of Freedom,” “The National Archives: Documented Rights,” and, most recently, “Discovering the Civil War.”

Newseum: http://www.newseum.org
The Newseum is an interactive museum of news and journalism located in downtown Washington, D.C. Recently renovated in 2009, it features 15 theaters and 14 galleries, including the largest display of sections of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany. The “Today's Front Pages” Gallery presents daily front pages from more than 80 international newspapers.  Other galleries present topics relevant to the ONMAP program, including news history, the September 11 attacks, the First Amendment, world press freedom and the history of the Internet, TV and radio.  There is also a well-developed education section with resources for both teachers and students, including several lesson plans on First Amendment issues, the Bill of Rights, media ethics, and global news reporting.


For more information about the Teaching American History Program click here