The Library of Congress has started a new blog called Unfolding History. The blog is written by the staff of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The purpose is to highlight interesting manuscripts and their backstories or greater historical context.
The first Unfolding History blog post features a couple of 1972 documents from Nixon’s CREEP (Committee to Re-elect the President). In the blog post you can read the orginal documents (you can also download them for free) and learn a bit of the context of them. In this case we learn how the CREEP responded to Vice-Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver’s comments unfavorably likening President Nixon and his allies to a football team.
Applications for Education
Reading the first entry in Unfolding History sent me down a rabbit hole of reading about some of the people mentioned in the manuscripts. It also got me thinking about how I might incorporate the manuscripts into a classroom discussion. In this case, there were two things that I’d focus on with my students. First, I’d ask them if the stereotype of the “big, dumb” football player would be employed in political campaigns today. Second, I’d have them look at the security notes on the second document and have them discuss how similar information is protected today (readers who are my age or older may notice the note about “no carbons” and have memories of using carbon paper they’ll have to explain to students).