Tuesday, March 30, 2010

100 Online Documentaries for Presidential History

Once again, in an effort to create more back links to their site to increase page rankings in the search engines, the wonderful team at online universities dot com has put together a cool list for us history buffs.

This one, is a list of the documentaries that have focused on presidents and their administration. Our commanders-in-chief are often the subject of documentaries and films, and now you've got many of them all in one place.

Here's the link: 100 Excellent Online Documentaries for Presidential History Buffs


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Pacific: HBO Miniseries - For Free!

About 6 weeks ago my wife and I went to a friend's house for dinner. Knowing I'm a history teacher and looking for something to chat about, our friend Tom asked me if I was excited for The Pacific. Not being an avid TV watcher and because I don't have HBO, I had no idea what he was talking about. I made a quick assumption it was a show about the Pacific theater of World War II. He told me he was looking forward to watching it, and that it looked like it was going to be pretty good with Steven Spielberg behind.

I dismissed it, as something I'll probably hear a lot about, and never take the time to rent it from Blockbuster. But the world has changed.

I can watch HBO for free - and thus, can watch The Pacific for free. Just go to HBO.com and register your email address. This is quick and easy, and has some behind the scenes footage you can take a look at.

In the meantime, here are some links to the behind the scenes footage / historical background:


And the interactive battle maps:

PS - Tom Hanks was on the cover of this week's Time magazine labeled as a History Maker... he's the producer of The Pacific.... (if you recall... he's had a hand in other history projects including, Saving Private Ryan, HBO's John Adams series, Apollo 13, Charlie Wilson's War and one of my all time favorites The Burbs ;) )


Saturday, March 13, 2010

National History Day Needs Your Help

This message is from the National History Day Organization - it's an organization that works with teachers and students in creating projects to present in a variety of formats to a panel of judges. Each year there is a theme where students choose and manage their own projects. It's a good organization. It's losing some funding - and this email below is a call to action to try and keep some of that money coming in to help continue the great things this organization does.

Please read below....

"To our supporters:

We are now at a critical juncture in our efforts for the 2011 congressional budget. We have until Wednesday, March 17th 2010 to contact members of the House. Please, please do what you can to have as many people as possible take those few minutes to call or email their Representative. Keep in mind that congressional funding will benefit every state, especially those state programs that have been suffering in this economy.


Please read this full email.

National History Day (NHD) is asking for your help to gain support from members of Congress for a $1 million National History Day appropriation that will help our state programs grow and improve.

Thanks to your efforts, NHD was included in the omnibus bill for FY 2009 & FY 2010 with an appropriation of $500,000! It’s important to note that to be included in a congressional budget for the first time is a major accomplishment. National History Day clearly has the attention of members of Congress, so let’s try and build on our success. Keep in mind that we have programs across the country that could use the extra help of an increased congressional appropriation.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is circulating what is called a “Dear Colleague” letter. The letter is similar to a petition that members of Congress sign in support of funding a program (click here to view the Dear Colleague Letter).

The Dear Colleague asks all members of the House to sign their name to the letter supporting NHD. This letter is addressed to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee asking them to support funding NHD in the FY 2011 budget. It is very important to get support from as many members of Congress as soon as possible. This is a very common practice, which is implemented during the appropriations process. It is important that we get as many signatures as we can – as soon as we can (in the next two weeks). The appropriations committee will literally count every signature and the more signatures we have the better chance we will have of getting $1 million in support.

What to do?

Never called your Member of Congress before? Don't worry, it's easy! 
When you call your Representative, your call will be answered by a receptionist. Tell him or her that you want to leave a message for the Representative. The receptionist will take down your message.

We need your help. Congress must hear from you today!

NHD NEEDS YOUR HELP TODAY! We have two weeks and it is critical that you pick up the phone today to contact your members of Congress and ask them to sign the NHD Dear Colleague Letter. Our goal is get as many members of Congress to sign this letter in two weeks, which will demonstrate wide-spread support for funding for the NHD program.

When calling a Representative’s office, tell them:
• Your name and the city and state you live in.
• You’re calling today to urge the Representative to sign the Dear Colleague letter, in support of funding for National History Day in the FY 2010 budget. The letter is being circulated by Rep. Van Hollen.
• Why this money would be helpful to the NHD program in your state and district, how it would make an impact to increase the number of participants and improve overall programmatic efforts in the state.
• They can contact Sarah Schenning in Rep. Van Hollen's office at (202) 225-5341 with questions or to sign the letter.

How to Contact a Member of Congress

To find your Member’s contact information, including phone and fax numbers, visit www.house.gov,www.senate.gov, or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Representative.

If you have any questions contact Kim Fortney at National History Day at (301) 314-9542."

Aja Julian
National History Day


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Links to History: 100 Great Moments in American History You Can Catch on YouTube

Did you ever wish someone would take the time to scour YouTube for a bunch of useful history videos? Your wish has been granted...

Below, you'll find links to some of the greatest presidential speeches, moments of turmoil, moments of triumph and some moments we wish we could erase from American history. But without all of these moments, our history would be quite different.

Enjoy these links... use them in class, save this page, it could come in handy...