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1968

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

The year of 1968 was a rough for Americans to come back from, with all the events, betrayals, assassinations and movements pressed forward in our country. Americans were left more questions than answers and confusion spread across the country like it was a plague with a wide range of symptoms. The country was in a mixture of panic, distraught, confusion, and a worried state of mind of where to go next.
Electing a new president to attempt to grasp control of a completely out of control country was just the start to the year, President Nixon was hopefully that new set of stern, soaring eyes to help bring the country back to its feet. It wasn’t easy. Martin Luther King Jr. a large source in attempt to bring peace was assassinated in April. Due to King’s assassination sparks rioting in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Newark, Washington, D.C., and many others. Across the country 46 deaths will be blamed on the riots.
Meanwhile, across the world, Americans are fighting in a war that shouldn’t have been this severe. What is the cost of freedom when soldiers on either side just know they are fighting for “freedom” against the other country?

 

Space

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

As we established the first day of class, the presidential campaign of 1960 already started pushing America in new directions. Kennedy and Nixon’s first debate was also the first televised debate. New technology starts to boost after the election of Kennedy. Space becomes attainable, and as Kennedy says in his address at Rice University, America was very near putting a man on the moon. I think most of this need for trying new things and becoming more technologically advanced has to do with power. In fact, I’m pretty sure all of it has to do with power. It has to do with the power of America, the power of man, and more specifically the power of John F. Kennedy and his role as President of the United States. Because power is immensely important in contributing to America’s success, Kennedy stresses that many of these extreme advances in technology should happen in the 1960s. Kennedy also mentions that America should not give in to fear, however, because Kennedy is fearful that another country may beat America to space, and in turn take over the world, he seems to make his mission to send man to the moon a pressing one. While technology starts to progress in the sixties in a very exciting way, it also becomes a dangerous and risky tool, which is obviously still happening in America today.

Word Count: 220

Discussion Question: If America was not the first country to send a human being to the moon, in what ways would that have drastically changed our history and how do you think others would perceive America? Would it have even made a difference?

Class Participation Attributes and Evaluation

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
  • Everyone Participates
  • Minimal repetition
  • Do the reading and be prepared
  • Be committed and interested
  • Conversational tone
  • Listening
  • Be bold
  • Respectful
  • Link to the contemporary when relevant
  • Be willing to jump in
  • Stay engaged
  • Cite and reference specific passages
  • Enthusiasm
  • Be willing to have disagreements, but respectfully
  • Engage open-ended questions
  • Take chances and be willing to make mistakes
  • Be willing to ask questions
  • Engage one another and pay attention to each other’s ideas and contributions

Participation Grade Profiles
A – I attended and spoke in every class; my contributions to class discussion consistently reflected thorough preparation and critical reading of course materials; the vast majority of my contributions helped move discussion forward and reflect attributes in discussion expectations and points of importance; I listened and engaged with my colleagues.

B – I attended almost every class and spoke frequently; most of my contributions to class discussion reflected thorough preparation and a good understanding of course readings; most of my contributions helped move discussion forward and reflect attributes in discussion expectations and points of importance; I listened and engaged with my colleagues.

C – I missed more than a few classes and did not speak much at all; when I did contribute to class discussion my comments did not consistently reflect preparation or engagement with the reading; my contributions and participation did not reflect attributes in discussion expectations and points of importance; on occasion, I was not listening to my colleagues or caused a distraction.

D – I missed class frequently; I rarely contributed to class discussions; when I did contribute my comments did not reflect that I had done the course reading and did not adhere to attributes in discussion expectations and points of importance; I did not listen to my colleagues or caused distractions.

Radical

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The sixties, filled with radical youth and scandalous activities, turned America into an uncertain place for its citizens. Almost every new year marked another societal change or at least some attempt toward societal change. Many people, especially younger people, became enthused with the Civil Rights Movement, and made more forceful attempts to end Jim Crow laws. Feminism became increasingly popular, and sexuality was starting to be embraced by most liberals. Many feared the sixties would be the downfall of America for these reasons, as well as the continued fear of communism and a broken government. For people who enjoyed the 1950s, the sixties were sort of mocking their happiness. As Bloom and Breines note in their book “Takin’ It To the Streets,” young intellectuals found ways to protest the 1950s, or the “happy days,” as well as most events in the 1960s by physically protesting the government and forming more activist groups that sought to disban social binaries such as white and black, man and woman, and allow inclusion and acceptance of the queer community. In both Mark Lytle’s America’s Uncivil Wars and Bloom and Breines’s “Takin’ It To the Streets,” they talk about how there is so much to talk about regarding the sixties, which may have much to do with how today’s youth (mostly liberal) are still trying to make America more progressive, and it is still scaring older generations, including those who were young during the sixties.

Word Count: 240

Discussion Question: The first day of class we talked about how the sixties affect American culture and politics today. In what specific ways is this true?

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013

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