June 10

Blog #88 – Final Reflection

This blog is part of your final exam (20%), so please take some time and think about your answers.

400 words minimum for your total response.  Please number your answers in the comment section.

1. A lot of our time this year has been spent reading, writing, studying, watching videos, reflecting, and talking about American history.  Discuss what your favorite learning style was this year and why it was effective for you.  Also, explain which was your least favorite way to learn and explain why it doesn’t work for you.

2. We studied a lot of stuff this year – from the Pilgrims to the Revolution to Andrew Jackson (soon to be leaving the $20) to Abe Lincoln to Alice Paul to the Yippies to the Iraq War and beyond.  What did you wish we had spent more time on than we did this year and why?

3. Yep, we studied a whole lot of stuff this year, but I bet you wish there were some units that were shorter or didn’t go as in depth.  What did you wish we had studied less of and explain why (keep in mind that if the info didn’t make it onto the test doesn’t mean it won’t be there next year)?

4. What were your strengths and weaknesses as a student?  Explain with some specific examples.

5. People talk a lot about takeaways – a summary of an experience, distilled down to one or two sentences.  What is your takeaway from APUSH (or in other words, what did you truly learn about American history)?


I will truly miss you guys and gals.  I think a lot of what has made me enjoy this year is seeing you grow as a person and as a student.  I’ve had the privilege of watching you become history nerds along with me this year (or not hate history as much, I hope!).  We’ve been able to geek out about Hamilton, the Era of Good Feelings, the Cold War, and many other things.  I hope that you had more fun learning in APUSH than I did teaching, because I loved working with all of you.  I also hope that you get great news about your APUSH exam on July 5 (and the SAT subject area exam if you took that too).


Due before your final exam class (1st and 2nd hour – Wed., 4th Hour  – Thurs., 5th Hour – Fri). 

June 3

Blog 87- Obama + Hiroshima = Apology?

“I will never apologize for the United States – I don’t care what the facts are.”
George H.W. Bush

President Obama went to Hiroshima recently and some people were clamoring for an apology to the city or the Japanese people for the dropping of the atomic bomb(s) in August 1945. An individual quoted in the New York Times was quoted as saying that “an apology by the president ‘would set the tone of reconciliation that all nations can respond to.'”

In the same article, another person said that Obama could “lament the damage caused by the atomic bombs without apologizing for their use.” A third person said that the president shouldn’t apologize for the bombs because the bombs “saved lives by avoiding a [total war] military invasion of Japan.”

A fourth opinion suggested that Obama use his speech to get the Japanese to confront their troubled legacy from World War 2 and their atrocities in Korea and China. A fifth person suggested that since Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons, he should announce his veto of a previously approved plan to spend $1 trillion on improving our nuclear arsenal.

When Obama gave his speech at Hiroshima, he said about the victims:

“Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become… How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to the [truth that science allows us to bend nature to our will]? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause… Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well… Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering [as at Hiroshima]. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.”

Please read the whole speech here:  Click here. 

Some things to think about:
– Does America have a moral obligation to lead the way with nuclear weapons since we were the only country to use them on a population?
– Would an apology open up the door to Japan asking for reparations for the bombing?
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for his country’s treatment of Native Canadians in the past. An apology “doesn’t cost anything… Has no effect on policy. It was just the nice thing to do.”
– America has apologized to Japanese Americans for their internment, to Rwanda for not getting involved in their genocide. But there are many, many things that America (the president, Congress) has NOT apologized for.
– Americans have been worshipping our war heroes, but the nuclear bombs makes it seem like they might have done something wrong.
– Japan hasn’t apologized for Pearl Harbor, but are the two acts comparable?
– It seems that liberals want to be transparent, self-critical, and ask “are we living up to our values?” Conservatives stress national strength and unity, they want to instill pride, and remember the great things that we have done as a country.

My questions:
1. Read over Obama’s speech. Do you think he apologized for the atomic bombings? Why or why not?
2. Using the “things to think about” section, which of these comments resonates with you the most? Explain.
3. Which of the five opinions from the New York Times article fits best with your own views on this issue? Why?

300 words minimum. Due by Thursday, June 9 by class.

May 27

Hurricane Katrina – When the Levees Broke

We started watching around 8:15 on Thursday after the quiz. It ends on Friday w/ the arrival of General Honore in New Orleans at 1:46:00. There will also be a discussion w/ the article, “Does George W. Bush Care about Black People?” by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and a look at some statistics and quotes on poverty and its relationship to the hurricane.

Also, here is No End in Sight. We watched the whole thing on Tuesday / Wednesday.

Inside Job, the documentary on the financial meltdown in 2008. We’ll watch the whole thing Tuesday / Wednesday, June 7/8.

May 23

Blog #86 – Oral History of 9/11/01

Subject: The 9/11/01 terrorist attacks and the days afterwards.

Suggested equipment: paper and pen/cil for notes; maybe a phone to record the interview.


  1. Get permission to take notes / record interview.
  2. You can use the questions below or add more / different questions – try to make questions that elicit more than a “yes” or “no” answer. You can always ask follow-up questions for clarification, explanation.
  3. Keep eye contact, nod and smile at appropriate times.
  4. Thank them for their time after you’re done. Also, ask them if they’d like a written transcript of the interview. Provide them w/ one if they say yes.  (For this assignment, you can direct them to the blog website: grovesapush.edublogs.org).


Potential questions

  1. What is your name? How old were you on 9/11?
  2. What is your first memory of when you first heard about the attacks? What kind of conclusions did you come to about the planes crashing into the buildings (did you at first think it was an accident or was it something worse)? Why?
  3. Where were you when the attacks happened? What were other peoples’ reactions to the attacks?
  4. Have you ever been to New York City or Washington D.C.? If so, how did that affect your reactions to the attacks?  If not, how did the attacks alter / change your views of the cities and their inhabitants?
  5. Did you know anyone in the cities? If so, did you try to contact them to see if they were o.k.?  What was the conversation like?
  6. If you were stranded in another city after 9/11, how did you cope with being away from family?
  7. What were other peoples’ reactions like in the days after the attacks?
  8. Could you describe your most vivid memory of that day, 9/11?
  9. How did life change for you in the immediate aftermath of the attacks?
  10. What do you remember of the media coverage of the attacks?
  11. What did you think of President Bush’s address later that night? (Show them the transcript on the back)
  12. How did life change for you and your family in the weeks and months after 9/11?
  13. Now that it’s been almost 15 years since the attack, how do you think America has changed since that day? Why?

Your job:

Share a minimum of five questions and answers on Blog #86 (300 words minimum) and include your personal reaction to the interview and the shared memories of 9/11/01 (100 minimum).  If you interview more than one person for this blog, please indicate the persons’ names.  Use the Memorial Day holiday to talk with family and friends – they should be old enough to have been in school or work when the event occurred.

Blog due by Tuesday, May 31st by class.


Congress finally takes care of 9/11/01 first responders: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/congress-sept-11-responders_us_566effdbe4b0e292150e9994

May 9

SAT American History Subject Area test

Here’s the info on signing up for SAT Subject Area test on American history.

We had briefly talked about the SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History.  Now would be a great time to take the test after you’ve finished a year of APUSH.  The test is given on two dates, Saturday, May 7 (the day after the APUSH exam), or Saturday, June 4.  The test is 90 multiple choice questions with NO WRITING!  The cost is only $26.

Info to register / payment / etc.: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests  You can register online or by mail.  

What are the advantages?  1. This is a way to stand out on your college application.

2. Some colleges require that you take a subject area exam or recommend that you take at least one.  Michigan is on this list.  Check the list of colleges here.

3. Some colleges may give you credit for intro level U.S. history depending upon how well you do.

Where is it offered?

June 4, 2016 – Bloomfield H.S., West Bloomfield H.S., Cranbrook / Kingswood, Grosse Pointe North HS, Cass Tech HS, Mercy HS, Oakland University, Waterford Kettering HS.

Good luck!  Tell me how you did when you get your score.

Also, there’s a great review here on the Gilder Lehrman website.


May 9

Blog #85 – Forrest Gump as Nostalgia

The movie, Forrest Gump, takes viewers on a ride through the 1950s, and tumultuous 60s and 70s right into the mid 1980s. Along the way, Forrest and Jenny represent two different paths that Americans traveled during the time period (albeit, for white people).

The movie also represents a way of interpreting that time period of history, and it brings to mind this quote from Joel Achenbach:

“History isn’t the thing itself, but rather a story we tell, and the story changes, new elements are added, others forgotten, myths invented, causes imagined, facts debunked.  History is a process of imposing order on a chaotic process, inventing causality and finding meaning.”

Your job is to apply this quote to FG and explain how the movie is trying to tell a story about history, doing the things that Achenbach said.

Minimum of 300 words. Due Monday, May 16 by the beginning of class.

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/when-forrest-gump-stumbled-into-the-90s-culture-wars-90475343717.html – read this article for more thoughts on the movie.

April 18

Google Docs – Imperialism and WW1

1st Hour – http://bit.ly/1NjTrnL

2nd Hour – http://bit.ly/1WC9tLS

4th Hour – http://bit.ly/1Tg2NjB

5th Hour – http://bit.ly/1S6Tunb

Due Friday, Aprl 22nd by 11:59 pm 

Crash Course Imperialism – https://youtu.be/QfsfoFqsFk4?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

Crash Course World War I – https://youtu.be/y59wErqg4Xg

TR Film: American Experience – https://youtu.be/a3sJ2ACpFv0