upper left hand corner H u m a n i t i e s

upper left hand corner H u m a n i t i e s

Please write an essay based on one of the five questions below.

1.  Read this article from the New York Times based on the 1921 Tulsa Massacre: https:// .  I encourage you to look online for other information as well, here is the site from the Tulsa Historical Society: https://  

Should the state of Oklahoma or the city of Tulsa pay reparations to the descendants of the people that were killed or lost property in the massacre?  If so, how and why, and if not, why not?

2.  Japan surrendered to the United States shortly after atomic weapons were used on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.  Nearly 150,000 civilians died in the bombings.  Considering the effects of World War II, was the use of atomic weapons on Japan justified?

3.  Frances Willard and Walt Whitman, two significant 19th-century American figures, may have been homosexuals.  When public school students learn about them, should history textbooks and history teachers explain that they were homosexuals?

4.  Read the following article from the New York Times about attempts to change the design of the state flag of Nebraska:  Nebraska’s Flag Lacks Pizazz .  Afterward, pick any state in the Union except California, and research the state flag of that particular state.  Who designed the flag you chose, and what does the design say about the people that created it?  After writing a brief history of that flag, create a flag of your own design that you think would represent the state of your choice today.  Use the following website to design your own flag, and post the flag to the assignment:  Flag Designing Software (Links to an external site.) **Please do not write about the California state flag.  I will lower your grade by a full letter grade if you write about the California state flag.  Also, you should be aware that the history of the flag of the state of Georgia is long, winding and complex.  Should you choose that state flag you would be writing about an extra challenging history.**

5.  Oral History Interview.   ***This writing prompt is a little different from the other ones.***

Interview a person that has lived in the United States for most of their lives.  This is a good opportunity to interview a family member or loved one, and to keep that interview for posterity.  In my experience interviews can sometimes lead to new revelations and insights if the interviewer is brave and the interviewee is willing to participate and speak at length.

-They must be 60 years of age or older

-They should be talkative or friendly.  Don’t try to force an interview, it may turn out to be uninteresting and frustrating.

Your name, the name of the class, and the date should be on the front page in the upper left hand corner.  You may write a summarizing paragraph of the interview if you like at the end of the interview, describing your thoughts on the interview, or you may simply submit the interview as a transcript.

Ask the following questions.  You may ask other questions if you like.

  • What is your name, and when and where were you born?
  • Tell me about your parents or your family background
  • Where was your family originally from?
  • What did your parents do for a living? Did you contribute to the family income or help parents in their work in any way?
  • What was your parents’ religious background? How was religion observed in your home?
  • What were your parents’ political beliefs? What political organizations were they involved in?
  • Describe the community you grew up in.
  • Describe your neighborhood.
  • What was school like for you? What did you like about it? What was hard about it for you?
  • Who were your friends at school?
  • Who were your favorite teachers?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • How did your relationship with your parents change when you became a teenager?
  • If you had conflict with them, what was it over?
  • Who were your friends? What did you do together? What individuals did you spend the most time with during this period?
  • Was your group of friends single-sex, or did it include both boys and girls?
  • At what age did you begin dating? What kinds of activities did you do on dates? Describe your first date.
  • What was your parents’ advice/rules related to dating/contact with opposite sex? Did they give you a “birds and bees” lecture? Did you get teaching on this in church or school? What was it?
  • Marriage or Formation of Significant Relationships
    • When and where did you meet? What drew you to him/her?
    • When and how did you decide to move forward with your relationship, move in together and/or marry?
    • What was originally the most difficult for you about being married/being in a relationship? What was most satisfying?
    • What advice would you give to someone today who was contemplating a serious relationship?
    • Children
    • Describe the birth of your children.
    • What were they each like when they were young? How have they changed or not changed?
    • What were their relationships with each other and with you like when they were young? Now?
    • What activities did the family do together?
    • What family traditions did you try to establish?
    • Does your family have any heirlooms or objects of sentimental value? What is their origin, and how have they been passed down?
    • Historically significant events
    • Did you or anyone close to you serve in a war? What do you remember of that experience?
    • Did you support or oppose the war in Vietnam? How did you express your political opinions?
    • Did you participate in, or do you have any memories of any of the movements that came out of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, such as the civil rights movement, the women’s liberation movement, or the gay liberation movement?
    • If the family member belongs to a group that has traditionally been discriminated against: what were you told, both positive and negative, about your group inside your family? Outside? Did you experience discrimination? Who were your role models?
    • If the family member is an immigrant or the child/grandchild of immigrants: what do you know of the country you or they came from? Why did you or they immigrate? How did you or they immigrate? What were some of your or their experiences and difficulties of beginning a life in a new country?
    • Do you remember your first contact with such significant inventions as radio, television, or a computer? When did your family first buy these items?

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