History

"A Christmas Carol" movie (1951 starring Alister Sims)

I think this is the best movie adaptation of Charles Dickens classic story. In his book, Dickens was actually making a social commentary about the disparity of life in London during the middle 1800s as well as communicate a powerful story of redemption and reconciliation. Especially note the scene when one of the ghosts tells Scrooge to fear the two children of 'want' and 'ignorance' and think of why those two ideas would be a threat to English society. I think Mr. Sims provides the perfect balance to the character. This part of the movie is missed by most of the movie versions who just want to play the story light and make it just a feel good story. The final result to the movies may be the same, but taking up the serious social commentary of Dickins in this movie makes the ending so much more satisfying and meaningful. Enjoy the movie from YouTube.

History Simulations: Engaging Critical Thinking and Developing Multiple Perspectives from Other Cultures

I teach an introductory global history course for first-year undergraduates at the University of Minnesota.  I have been teaching introductory history courses for nearly four decades.  One of the learning activities that has most engaged the students are history simulations.  While I use a varied learning pedagogy, the most meaningful learning events for the students according to them are the simulations.  The students say that it is taking on the role of another country or group and engaging in highly-energized negotiations with two other groups leads to the following outcomes:  active learning like this is most meaningful, develop understanding of different perspectives of other countries and groups, and development of personal negotiation skills they will use in personal and future professional life. <Click here for the history simulation web page.>

My Global History Course Curriculum: Building Cultural Competency and Skill for a Diverse and Interconnected World

This course focuses on understanding the driving forces of change that have been most consequential for global societies in the twentieth century.  Along with traditional lecture, the course facilitates discussion based on primary and secondary sources.  Students read and discuss the meaning of historical documents that highlight forces of global change such as social movements, religion, and competing economic systems.  In addition to these primary source texts, students will gain a deeper understanding of the global past by analyzing interpretations of history by present-day historians. Through this work, students will gain a better understanding of the practice of history and a better understanding of what it has meant to live in the twentieth century. <Click this link to open the comprehensive course page, readings, lecture videos, historyu simulations and other resources.>

Dr. Rev. Billy Graham - "He is Risen"

In this podcast episode, we feature Reverend Billy Graham sharing a five-minute, low-key talk about importance of the Easter Story that he recorded in 1960 while on location in Jerusalem. There is a video of the same speech available through YouTube (click this link to watch it). Dr. Graham has retired from active preaching and lives in an assisted medical care facility. His wife passed a few years ago. I attended one of his revival meetings in a crowded Royals baseball stadium in Kansas City many years ago. It was an experience that I still remember today. Here is just a little bit of information about him. He was an active preacher and author for six decades. Dr. Graham sought to relate the Bible to contemporary social issues. He preached jointly with Dr. Martin Luther King at some crusades in the 1950s. Graham provided some of the bail money to release Dr. King when he was arrested after a civil rights demonstration. It is estimated the total audience at revival meetings, listeners on radio, and viewers on television of Dr. Graham’s messages exceeds two billion people. Click this link for a PDF from Wikipedia on the life of Dr. Graham.

"Broken Arrow" starring Jimmy Stewart and Jeff Chandler

The movie "Broken Arrow" was one of the first Hollywood films to provide a sympathetic view of the Native Americans. While highly imperfect, especially since Jeff Chandler played the role of the great Native American leader Cochise of the Apache tribe, it was groundbreaking in 1950 to reveal the violation of the Indians by the U.S. Government and the honor displayed within the tribe. After his time flying bombers in WWII against Germany, Jimmy Stewart's movie roles were less the idealistic ones from before the war (It's a Wonderful Life, etc>) and more gritty and realistic. this movie is a good example of his change of movie roles. I suggest you read the Wikipedia entry about this 1950 film by clicking on this link. While imperfect, I think you would enjoy this movie. Click the red button to start the movie.

Recommended History Podcasts

Click on this link to read a handout I prepared on podcasts related to history that I have subscribed for free through the iTunes Podcast service. I do not claim to listen to all the episodes obviously. However, I go through and select episodes of particular interest. I do make sure to download all episodes and went into the settings for my podcasts so that past episodes that are played do not automatically become deleted. Apple does that by default so that your hard drive is not becoming overloaded with media that you may not ever play again.  While this is not a big issue with most audio podcasts, some video podcasts have enormous file sizes simply because it takes more room to provide them. Several of my personal favorites are the video podcasts from NASA. If you subscribe to the HD quality video podcasts, individual episodes can exceed 200 MB. Fortunately, most recent personal computers are increasingly providing standard hard drives of a terabyte or more.  As a history teacher, I like to keep all the episodes for future reference. I think of them as my personal library like some people like to collect movie DVDs.

In 2013, Apple reported that a billion people world-wide have subscribed to a quarter-million podcasts in 100 languages, and that more than eight million episodes have been published in the iTunes Store thus far. Searching for podcasts through the iTunes Store can be a challenge. The following list is merely a sample of the history podcasts. They were enough of an interest to me to subscribe.

Many of the podcast shows can be subscribed to through iTunes, Google Play Store, and other mediasubscription services. Since I am most familiar with the Apple media ecosystem, the following podcasts are available through the Apple iTunes store.  These are identified by the iTunes name appearing in the title line for the podcast. Formal subscription to the podcasts are not required for some of the series. With these podcasts, go to the podcast web site and click on the show to immediately listen to it. A few of the podcasts are available through the iTunesU in the Apple iTunes store.  Those podcasts are identified below with iTunesU. These will not appear in the search window if you look in the Apple iTunes Podcast page. You need to select the iTunesU library instead.

Using iTunes makes subscribing process easier for the podcast series. If the iTunes name appears in the podcast title line, go to the iTunes web site after you have downloaded the software to your computer (available for free from http://iTunes.com). Type the name of the podcast into the search window within iTunes and a window will open with information about the podcast. Simply click on the “subscribe” button within this window and the podcast series is automatically downloaded to your iTunes library account. New ones are automatically posted in the future. If you use another subscription service other than iTunes, or if the podcast show is not listed in the iTunes directory, you may need to enter the “subscription link” address by copying this link URL into your podcasting software (like iTunes, Juice, iPodder, or other RSS radio podcast client). This link is different than the URL for the web page.

Click on this link to download the my directory of favorite history podcasts you can subscribe for free through Apple iTunes. These should also be available through the Google Play Store as well.