Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 Teacher of the Year Nominations

The National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Teacher of the Year Awards. The Teacher of the Year program is part of the NCSS's continuous efforts to highlight social studies teachers and their importance in education.

Winners will receive $2,500 cash award and an opportunity to present at the NCSS conference and up to $500 in travel and lodging expenses.

If you've got someone in mind who is worthy of such an award, or perhaps you'd like to nudge someone to nominate you, you must have the nominations postmarked by April 1.

For more information and details go to

Keep reading for another award opportunity for teachers...

The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) is searching educators to honor in 2010. The NTHF is a non-profit organization that has been honoring outstanding educators for 18 years. They are now accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame. The nominations must be postmarked by January 2.

Nominees must have 20 years of teaching experience at the preK-12 level. For more information, hurry to


Friday, December 25, 2009

USHistoryBlog Rewind: The Americanization of Christmas

It seems the holiday of Christmas is a combination of many different cultures and many different rituals that have come together over the last 2000 years. The curiosity of the holiday is something that has always interested me.

It was last year that I showed a film about the history of Christmas to my World History students and since then, I've had a fascination with its history. Here's the post I wrote last year about the Americanization of Christmas, with the video in full.

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Naughty & Nice: A History of The Holiday Season -

The American History Guys of make history accessible... they talk in common terms and interview pertinent guests that help bring out the story of their discussion.

This month's podcast discusses the history of Christmas in America. I've downloaded the podcast and have enjoyed the conversation. Here's the rundown of this episode:

The History Guys, examine the history of the “holiday season” in America. Is Christmas more less religious then it used to be? How has Christmas evolved or changed? Is it true that Hanukkah was born as a reaction to Christmas? And how have American Jews helped to shape the winter holiday?

The conversation is laid back, informative and perfect for that long drive to the in-laws on Christmas afternoon.

So go to and download the show for yourself.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

You Are There - Walter Cronkite Reports World History

While sitting around eating left-over Thanksgiving turkey a few weeks back, the conversation turned to Walter Cronkite. It was at this time that somebody mentioned if I had heard of Walter Cronkite's television show... "You Are There" - I had not.

The series ran on CBS in the 1950s. Here's more information on the series:

I was told he would broadcast different events in world history and that CBS would recreate the scenes as if it were breaking news... I was hooked. I had to find some of these episodes, and I did...

After a few minutes of searching I discovered the Museum of Broadcast Communication and 13 of the episodes in their archives. Though only 8 of them have video. You can do a search for yourself here:

The show is a hoot... I've been having trouble uploading the video to the blog, but it was quite easy to pull it from The Museum of Broadcast Communication's website. They're a little dated, but still entertaining... and used in the right way, and with a sense of humor and a grain of salt, could definitely be used in the classroom.

Some titles include: The Assassination of Julius Caesar, The Chicago Fire, The Death of Socrates, The Emancipation Proclamation, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Grant & Lee, The Death of Stonewall Jackson, The End of the Dalton Gang and The Crisis of Galileo, et. al