| Semester 1:
The US through the 19th Century
Stage One: In Search of American Roots
09/13/00: Camels for sale: Daphne traces her roots
Daphne focuses on her family history, especially her Danish roots. This dispatch talks about how most of her family emigrated from Europe to South America, and how South America, like the US, is also made up of immigrants.
09/16/00: Death Valley sans air conditioning and big hair in Las Vegas, Daphne does it up right!
The US Trekkers explore geological sites of great importance in the Southwest, such as Death Valley, Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. They explain their formation in the context of their travels through this part of the US. They also visit Las Vegas.
09/23/00: The mysterious ways of the secretive Pueblos
Daphne visits Chaco Canyon and learns about its history and culture as told by archaeologists as well as the Native Americans who descend from the ancestral Puebloans. She also uncovers some exciting stories about ghosts, sacred pottery and astronomy
09/27/00: Cheerleaders and cowboys among the Native Americans?
Daphne visits her first powwow and meets some of the people who participate in the dance competition. She learns that Native Americans come in all colors and as a result, sheds some of her own prejudices.
09/27/00: Living with those pesky, loud tourists at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico
Daphne visits Taos Pueblo and meets many of its members. She observes the way in which tourism has both helped and hurt the Pueblo. She also catches a glimpse of the struggles members go through to be a part of the "modern" world while preserving their traditions and beliefs.
09/30/00: The low-down on New Orleans culture
Daphne explores the different histories of New Orleans, including the myth behind the French Quarter, red beans and rice, Code Noir and the significance of Congo Square. She gives a brief introduction to what is known as "revisionist" history (even though she doesn't use this term) and presents the debate behind the word Creole.
10/04/00: When greed for money can make a good idea go bad
Daphne explores Savannah, GA and learns about the history of the Georgia colony. She studies the way in which James Oglethorpe started the colony and how, little by little, his ideas were corrupted by colonizers intent on owning slaves, rice plantations and land
10/07/00: Nathaniel Bacon: a rebel with a cause
Daphne and Kevin discuss Nathaniel Bacon and Bacon's Rebellion. Daphne, for her part, highlights the plight of indentured servants during the colonial period in Virginia, and uncovers some of the reasons that they felt ready to rebel against the British elite
10/11/00: Sing out strong and loud! I speak Gullah, and I'm proud!
Stage Two: The Birth of the United States
10/18/00: What they did was treason!
Daphne visits Philadelphia and Carpenter's Hall, the place where the 1st Continental Congress convened for the first time in 1774. She also visits Independence Hall, home of the 2nd Continental Congress and discusses its role during the Revolutionary War. She mentions key players, such as Sam Adams, John Jay and Patrick Henry, and ponders the real reasons behind the colonists' rise against the British crown.
10/21/00: Letters from the trenches of the revolution
Some of the most important moments in the Revolutionary War of 1775-1783 were the battles of Trenton (1776) and Saratoga (1777), and the winter encampment at Valley Forge (1777-8). Daphne recounts these events through the letters of an imaginary soldier named Johnny, and brings them to life.
10/25/00: Just what were they fighting for?
Daphne discusses the backgrounds of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and their motivations for leading the American Revolution. She analyzes different arguments, including the one put forth by Charles Beard's An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution and urges students to think critically about this very important subject.
11/11/00: Know-Nothings without a clue
Daphne explores the legacy of the Know-Nothing Party, a political party that emerged in the 1850s in the United States. The Know-Nothings were an anti-immigration, anti-Catholic and populist party that galvanized tremendous support from the working classes. She examines their rise in the state of Massachusetts as well as their demise, and links the issues raised by the Know-Nothings then to issues today.
11/15/00: Standing up for the mentally ill
Daphne recounts the life of Dorothea Dix, teacher, social reformer and humanitarian, who spent most of her adult life, from 1841 to 1881, fighting for the rights of the mentally ill. She lobbied for legislation to improve conditions in state hospitals, prisons and jails, and was directly responsible for founding numerous state and local institutions. Daphne also looks back at her own experience volunteering at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington DC and how that affected her outlook on this subject.
11/18/00: Stirring the cauldron of equality
Daphne visits Seneca Falls, NY, site of the 1st Convention for Women's Rights, which took place in 1848. She learns about the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and the other organizers, and tours sites of historical relevance. She details some of the grievances listed by the participants as part of the Declaration of Sentiments, the main document that emerged from the convention, and looks beyond Seneca Falls to the future of the movement.
Stage Three: Expansion and Reaction
12/06/00: All aboard the Underground Railroad
Daphne visits the town of Ripley, Ohio and some of its most famous points of interests, including the Rankin House, the Parker House and the banks of the Ohio River. She gives a brief introduction of the Underground Railroad and Ripley's role in this abolitionist movement, which was responsible for helping thousands of runaway slaves reach freedom.
12/09/00: Bloodshed in Kansas: we're part of the war now, Toto
Daphne discusses the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, all of which brought the issue of slavery to a head in Kansas. She also looks at the Pottawatomie Massacre of 1856, led by John Brown and other violent events that coined the term Bleeding Kansas.
12/09/00: Abraham Lincoln: A log cabin boy wonder!
Daphne visits Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and boyhood home in Hodgenville, KY and Lincoln City, Indiana. She uncovers some stories of his childhood, and presents his early years to the readers. Lastly, she highlights some of the reasons that Lincoln has been an inspiration to so many people.
12/09/00: And the answer is "c) We are ignorant of our past"
Daphne discusses the role of Native Americans in the Civil War and details the accomplishments of some of their leaders, such as Stand Watie and Black Beaver. She emphasizes the issues surrounding the tribes' decisions to support either the Union or the Confederacy. She also highlights the Sand Creek Massacre
Stage Four: Civil War and Reconstruction
12/20/00: A couple of aliens and a not-so-grand wizard
Daphne discusses the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Pulaski, Tennessee, after the Civil War. She describes some of the reasons why they became so successful in the South and details some of their crimes against blacks.
Stage Five: The Transformation of the US
01/10/01:Philanthropy's Dirty Little Secret
Daphne discusses the philanthropy practiced by the robber barons, including Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. She analyzes the seeming contradiction between their benevolent acts of charity and their ruthlessness toward their workers. She compares their business ethics with those of companies such as Nike and Ben & Jerry's, and ponders the future of corporate America.
01/13/01:Anarchy and angry ghosts in the Battle of Homestead
Daphne details the events surrounding the strike at the Carnegie Steel mill at Homestead, Pittsburgh, in 1892. She looks at all the major players, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, the Pinkerton agency, Sasha Berkman and John Morris. She also highlights the work of the Battle of Homestead Foundation to preserve sites of relevant historical significance.