Young Historians Institute

Learn History, Question History, Create History.

The Events of 1968

Date: Monday, June 25, 2018 – Friday, June 29, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Location: National Museum of African American History & Culture

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Institute Description

History is important in our everyday lives, communities, and cultures. Therefore, it is even more important to understand why and how people produce and interpret history. The Young Historians Institute is a new weeklong course hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) for rising high school students in grades 9-12.

In our inaugural event, the institute will investigate the events of 1968, an unforgettable and groundbreaking year, not only the African American community but also the United States and the world as a whole. Participants will focus on exploring historical content while practicing the historical thinking skills that define the life and work of professional historians. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in history through interactive lectures, hands-on activities, visits to historical sites, and engagement with experts in the field.

Student Goals

  • Introduction to and the practice of select historical thinking skills: primary and secondary source analysis, historical contextualization, and historical cause and effect
  • Introduction to and the practice of college-level writing techniques and methods
  • Visit relevant historical sites within Washington, D.C.
  • Access the galleries and resources of NMAAHC and other Smithsonian museums
  • Interact with experts in the academic and public historical fields
  • Complete a creative project that demonstrates the historical skills developed throughout the institute

Registration Fees:

$100 (plus credit card handling fees)

Institute Sample Schedule (This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change.)

  • Day 1: Monday, June 25, 2018
    “What is History?”
    Morning: Interactive Lecture, Student Group Work
    Afternoon: Guest Speaker, Gallery Exploration, or Field Trip to Historic Site
     
  • Day 2: Tuesday, June 26, 2018
    “What was 1968?”
    Morning: Gallery Exploration, Guest Speaker, Interactive Lecture
    Afternoon: Interactive Lecture, Student Group Work
     
  • Day 3: Wednesday, June 27, 2018
    “What are historical skills and how do I develop them?” (Part 1)
    Morning: Interactive Lecture, Student Group Work
    Afternoon: Guest Speaker, Gallery Exploration
     
  • Day 4: Thursday, June 28, 2018
    “What are historical skills and how do I develop them?” (Part 2)
    Morning: Field Trip to Historic Site, Guest Lecturer
    Afternoon: Interactive Lecture, Student Group Work
     
  • Day 5: Friday, June 29, 2018
    “How do I use my historical skills in my classes, in my community, and beyond?”
    Morning: Interactive Lecture, Student Group Work
    Afternoon: Guest Speaker, Presentation of Projects

 

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  “History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes through the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.”

          James Baldwin, Ebony Magazine, August 1965
  • Black Panther rally in Oakland, California in August 1968. Gift of the Pirkle Jones Foundation, ©2011 Pirkle Jones Foundation
  • Coretta Scott King, family, and friends holding hands at MLK Jr. funeral service in Memphis in 1968. © Burk Uzzle
  • Thomas Smith at base camp in Vietnam. Gift of Devlin Culliver
  • Nighttime in Resurrection City on the National Mall, D.C. in 1968. Gift of Robert and Greta Houston, © Robert Houston
  • The 1968 Olympic warm up suit pants worn by Tommie Smith.
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson signing Civil Rights Bill, April 11, 1968. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.