Our first History Day workshop of the year, held yesterday at the History Center, was a fun and interesting discussion about “Debate and Diplomacy in History.” History Day staff and teachers considered the meanings of the words debate and diplomacy, the complexities of this theme for students, and the surprisingly vast array of potential topics.
A sampling of some of the fascinating topics discussed at the workshop:
- The Equal Rights Amendment. Since 1923, the federal Equal Rights Amendment, requiring equal rights for men and women, has failed to be ratified by the necessary number of states. Supporters and opponents have debated the issue for decades. It is still being debated, and three states are currently needed to ratify.
- U.S. films in European markets. In the 1940s, American filmmakers negotiated with European governments to allow more U.S. films to be shown in overseas theaters, due to falling domestic markets. Many European countries were reluctant. These new relationships changed the film industry, especially its economics.
- Loving v. Virginia. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation, or ban on interracial marriage, to be unconstitutional. The case overturned an 1883 Supreme Court decision and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States
- The Three-Fifths Compromise. During the Constitutional Convention, the delegates agreed upon a compromise that counted blacks as three-fifths of a person. This compromise, in answer to a debate regarding taxes and representation and as part of a debate between large and small states, changed the South’s representation in Congress and strengthened the stronghold of slavery in that region.
Stay tuned for more topic ideas, or attend our second theme workshop on Tues., Nov. 16.