Weekly Reflection, 5/16

What was the most interesting thing you learned from your studies this week?
The most interesting thing I learned this week is how President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal forced him to resign from office.

How might you apply something you learned this week to your life today?
I’ve realized that the Watergate scandal raised questions of public trust that still affect how the public and media view politicians today.

What would you like to learn more about? Why might you research more on your own?

I’d like to learn more information about the steps that the White House took in trying to cover up its involvement in the Watergate break-in, as well as the significance of Nixon’s taped conversations.

Write one detailed question about something you have studied this week that you would like an answer to:

If Nixon had admitted to and apologized for the Watergate break in, how might things have been different?

Weekly Reflection, 5/12

What was the most interesting thing you learned from your studies this week?
The most interesting thing I learned this week is how through protests and marches, women confronted social and economic barriers in American society during the women’s movemnt of the 1960s.

How might you apply something you learned this week to your life today?
I’ve realized that the rise of the women’s movement during the 1960s advanced women’s place in the work force and in society in today’s world.

What would you like to learn more about? Why might you research more on your own?

I’d like to learn more information about the counterculture movement and what factors led to the decline of the movement.

Write one detailed question about something you have studied this week that you would like an answer to:

What role did the counterculture and antiwar movement play in helping Richard Nixon Win the presidency?

Weekly Reflection, 5/4

What was the most interesting thing you learned from your studies this week?
The most interesting thing I learned this week is how activism pushed the  government to end segregation and ensure equal civil rights for African Americans.

How might you apply something you learned this week to your life today?
I’ve realized that many Supreme Court decisions made in the 1950s are the same ones that have gauranteed the civil rights for all Americans today.

What would you like to learn more about? Why might you research more on your own?

I’d like to learn more information about major civil rights leaders such as Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Write one detailed question about something you have studied this week that you would like an answer to:

What assumptions and beliefs guided the fierce opposition to the civil rights movement in the South?

American Dream ~ Pre-Reading Reflections

1. What is the American Dream?

I think the American Dream has changed over time. Initially, the American Dream represented the pursuit of material prosperity and unrealistic goals of instant and easy wealth. People often overlooked individuality and hard work, and desired acceptance and material goods instead. However, today, I think the idea of the American Dream means much more than fancy cars, big houses, and loads of money.  The American Dream has become less focused on financial gain and more focused on living a simple and fulfilling life. It’s the idea that anyone can succeed through hard work and that everyone has the potential to live happy and make individual choices. The American Dream has become something to work for, not a shortcut to wealth.

2. Is fiction sometimes more effective than fact to convey the “truth”?

Yes, I think fiction is sometimes more effective than fact to convey the truth because fiction can teach a reader many things about life that non-fiction, or fact, can overlook. In my opinion, fiction does more to show the truth on human feelings, thoughts, and ideas because it helps you understand different point of views and exposes you to things in life that you may not be aware of.

3. What is the purpose of a Tall Tale?

A Tall Tale is an exaggerated story about a larger-than-life character that can be fictional or based on a real person. I think the purpose of Tall Tales is to influence people to believe exaggerated stories, wether they’re based on actual events or not. Many newspapers during the late ninteenth century used yellow journalism by publishing exaggerations of news events in order to get more people to read and buy their paper. I think yellow journalism was similar to the telling of tall tales in the sense that they both used exaggerated information and unrealistic details.

Weekly Reflection, 4/27

What was the most interesting thing you learned from your studies this week?

The most interesting thing I learned this week is how the United States and the Soviet Union emerged from World War II as two superpowers with extremely different political and economic systems, leading to one of the longest wars in history, the Cold War.

How might you apply something you learned this week to your life today?
After World War II, China became a communist nation and Korea was solit into a communist north and a democratic south, which led to the Korean War. I’ve realized that many of the tensions that existed with China and Korea after World War II are similar to the ongoing tensions that continue to involve the United States today.

What would you like to learn more about? Why might you research more on your own?

I’d like to learn more about the role of the CIA in the Cold War and how the U.S. benefited from the newly developed agency.

Write one detailed question about something you have studied this week that you would like an answer to:

What factors led to the Communist takeover in China?

American Heroes of World War II ~ Right Click, Open in New Tab

Although many went unrecognized, there were many American heroes of World War II, one of the bloodiest and most devestating oversea wars in history.

1) Audie Murphy was raised an orphaned son of Texas sharecroppers, and enlisted in the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday in 1942. He landed at Casablanca in February of 1943 and spent the next two years fighting his way across North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany during World War II. During Murphy’s service as a combat solder, he became one of, if not the best fighting combat soldier on the battlefield. It was during military action in a French forest on January 26, 1945, when Murphy climed aboard a burning German tank destroyer and used its 50-caliber machine gun to kill dozens of attacking Germans that he rose to fame as the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. In his 3 years of active service, Audie recieved 33 awards, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery that can be given, for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above the beyond the call of duty.” Among these awards he also recieved 5 decorations by France and Belgium. Murphy was promoted from private to 2nd lieutenant and fought in 9 major campaigns across Europe during the war. By the end of the war, Murphy was not even 21 years old and was a surviving legend of the war within the 3rd infantry division. After the war, he was invited to visit Hollywood in 1945 where he pursued am up-and-down career as a movie actor, songwriter, and businessman. He published a war memoir called To Hell and Back about his war experiences in 1949, and played himself in the 1955 movie version of his book. Audie Murphy was killed in a private plane crash in Virginia in 1971. The U.S. Army has always declared that there will never be another soldier like Audie Murphy.
Sources: audiemurphy.com and who2.com

2) George S. Patton Jr., also known as “Old Blood and Guts”, was one of the greatest generals of World War II. George attended the Virginia Military Institute and West Point, where he was recognized as a remarkable athlete. After serving as a cavalryman and swordsman in the U.S. Army during World War I, he became an expert on newly developed battle machinery, especially tanks. After the first World War, he continued to study tanks and eventually held administrative posts in the Army as a pilot and a sailor. During World War II he served in North Africa and Sicily before becoming the commander of the Third Army. Patton was a highly skilled commander and used his tanks to their full effectiveness throughout the war. He led his Third Army and successfully drove the Nazis across France and back into Germany. Although a great contribution to the Allies success during World War II, his outspokenness caused him to be relieved of command of the Third Army after the war due to an infamous incident where he slapped a hospitalized soldier for what he believed was cowardice.
Sources: who2.com

3) George C. Marshall served as chief of staff of the U.S. army from 1939 to 1945, where he built and directed the largest army in history. After attending the Virginia Military Institute, Marshall served in posts in the Philippines and the United States, where he was graduated with honors from the Infantry-Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth in 1907 and from the Army Staff College in 1908.  Marshall quicky rose through the administrative ranks and accepted a post with the General Staff in Washington, D.C. in July of 1938. In September, 1939, he was named chief of Staff, with the rank of general, by President Roosevelt. As chief of staff, Marshall urged military readiness before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and was greatly responsible for the building, supplying, and deploying of over 8 million American soldiers. He also supervised the atomic studies until he resigned at the end of the war in November, 1945. After the war, Marshall was the U.S. ambassador to China before returning to the U.S. and serving as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense in President Truman’s cabinet. One of his greatest achievements was the Marshall plan, an economic policy to help Western Europe recover from the effects of the war. For his efforts toward world peace, Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
Sources: who2.com and nobelprize.org

Reading Reflection: If it weren’t for the many Americans that gave their lives for their country during World War II, the United States wouldn’t hold the leading role in military forces that it does today. Every single American that fought, wether their actions are still remembered and recognized to this day or not, they all contributed to the powerful nation that we’ve become. They are forever heroes.

Obama releases birth certificate to end “birther” issue

On April 27, the White House released President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate in response to rumors started by “birthers”, people that believe Obama was not born in the U.S., therefore making him ineligible to be president. It has been confirmed that New York real estate entreprenuer and possible Republican candidate Donald Trump has recently revived this rumor, after following the birther conspiracy since Obama was elected in 2008.
“Birther” theorists have insisted since the beginning of the 2008 campaign that Obama was actually born in his father’s native Kenya, however, an authentic birth certificate has been released showing that he was born in Hawaii, in an effort to put an end to what Obama says is “pure silliness”. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Mr Obama said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I have better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve, and I’m confident we can solve them, but we’re going to have to focus on them – not on this,” Obama said in his televised discussion about the issue on Wednesday. The White House released copies of the original birth certificate accompanied with a stamp verifying its authenticity. White House officials say that they had been given a waiver by Hawaii public health officials as the state’s policy in realease of long-form birth records after recieving a letter of request from president Obama and his attorney. The document shows Barack Hussein Obama II was born 4 August 1961 at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, to Barack Hussein Obama, a 25-year-old student, and Stanley Ann Dunham, 18, and includes the signature of the attending physician. Donald Trump has claimed credit for Mr. Obama’s decision to publicize the release of his birth records, saying  “I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish, he should have done it a long time ago.” Whether the nationwide release of the document has satisfied hard-core birthers or not is still unclear, however, cheif executive of a birther-oriented website, Joseph Farah has said on his website that “the document raises as many questions as it answers”.

Sources:
BBC News and New York Times