The Everett Cafe features thematic news displays on a wide range of educational topics, in addition to daily postings of headlines from around the world. Stay tuned into current events and consider how the news may impact teaching and learning.
- Censorship in the News: Travel the World, Wednesday, 10/1-Friday, 10/3
Censorship, whether moral, military, political, religious, or corporate, is the act of removing material on the basis that it is obscene, vulgar, or highly objectionable. Starting on Monday, 9/29, concomitant to Banned Books Week, the Gottesman Libraries is posting stories in the news that document the debate on censorship in different countries and different periods of time, from the early destruction of the Alexandria Library, to the Nazi book burnings, through to the suppression of intellectual thought during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ponder the following questions: Are there instances when censorship is good? What can we do to better protect our children? Why ban websites, including Wikipedia, Google, YouTube? How does suppression of information impact our work as parents, educators, and citizens?
- The Columbus Controversy, Monday, 10/13
Christopher Columbus was a fifteenth century Genovese explorer who set out from Spain to find India, but discovered the Americas, a new continent unknown to the Europeans. Determined to prove that the world was round and that he could find the other hemisphere, Columbus was joined by ninety other men on the Santa Maria flagship and her accompanying vessels, the Nina, and Pinta.
Columbus’ landing on October 12, 1492 became cause for celebration. He popularized his discoveries and arranged return voyages with success.
Though America was named after the Italian explorer named Amerigo Vespucci, a ceremony was held in New York honoring Columbus in 1791. A statue of Columbus was raised in 1892 at the beginning of Columbus Avenue in New York City. In later decades various states, including Colorado and California, began observing Columbus Day. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed every October 12 as a federal holiday, and since 1971, Columbus Day has been celebrated every second Monday in October.
Yet there remains controversy over the discovery of the Americas, as well as his treatment of the Indians. Some claim that the early Scandinavian Vikings or Irish missionaries first sighted the Americas. Others, like Howard Zinn, in A People’s History of the United States, assert that Columbus and later, the conquistadors, used murder, conversion, or enslavement to eliminate non-Christians. Also, that they brought small pox and other atrocious diseases to the new land, devastating the Taino or Arawak tribes, among other indigenous peoples. In 1990 began the first Intercontinental Gathering of Indigenous People in the Americas, which led to the proclamation in 1992 of October 12 as International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.
On Monday, October 13th the Gottesman Libraries will display stories about the voyage of Christopher Columbus and ensuing public debate.
- Boston School Busing and Desegregation, Wednesday, 10/15
Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against racial segregation in public schools in the case of Brown versus Board of Education, a federal court had found that Boston was intentionally drawing school district lines based on race.
Forced busing was an attempt to integrate schools by assigning students based on their race, rather than geographic proximity. In 1974 Judge Arthur W. Garrity used a busing plan developed by the Massachusetts Board of Education that required schools that were more than 50% white to be balanced by other races. Among the Boston districts most affected were West Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park, the North End, Charlestown, South Boston, and Dorchester. The integration plan provoked fierce criticism and led to violence, with attacks at City Hall and Boston High School. On October 15, 1974 the National Guard was deployed to mobilize Boston and restore order in schools.
Headlines of papers will portray the Boston conflict, as well as related stories about busing and the effect on education in California, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and other states.
- Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis, Wednesday, 10/22
The Cuban Missile Crisis represents a major confrontation between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War. U.S. spy planes revealed on October 16th the presence of nuclear missiles on ships and nuclear missile bases established in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy gave a public speech on October 22nd, warning that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere was seen as an attack on the United States and would require a full retaliatory response. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade against Cuban-bound Soviet ships, preventing further shipments of supplies. In response to the U.S. blockade, Khrushchev authorized Soviet field commanders in Cuba to launch tactical nuclear weapons if U.S. forces invaded. The crisis ended thirteen days later when the Kennedy Administration and the United Nations reached an agreement with the Soviets to dismantle the Cuban missiles in exchange for a no-invasion agreement and the secret removal of the American Thor and Jupiter missiles in Turkey. Cuba remained a Communist country, still embargoed by the United States, but Kennedy’s desire for peace helped end the crisis, as close as nations were to nuclear war.
On Wednesday, October 22nd the Gottesman Libraries will display stories about the Cuban Missile Crisis and its significance in the timeline of the Cold War.
- Stock Market Crash of 1929, Wednesday, 10/29
The Great Crash of 1929 stated on October 24th, “Black Thursday” and continued through “Black Tuesday”, October 29th when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed, leading people out of the Roaring Twenties, a period of rapid economic boom, into the Great Depression. With panic selling of stocks, failing banks, lost savings and credit lines, came hard times, massive unemployment, and political upheaval. The slump lasted decades and affected all Western industrialized countries; construction stopped; farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell; industries went bankrupt, among other severe economic consequences.
To avoid such widespread economic devastation, stock markets around the world instituted measures to temporarily suspend trading in the event of rapid declines. The Federal Reserve could intervene to assist failing businesses.
Still more crashes have occurred: December 12, 1914, when the DJIA fell 24.39% with the start of the First World War; October 19, 1987, a “black swan” day when, for no apparent reason, the Dow Jones fell over 500 points, followed by other global markets; September 17, 2001, the first opening day of trade after the collapse of the World Trade Center; and even more recently on September 15, 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed, coupled with a restructuring of the giant insurance company, AIG, (American International Group), and a buy-out of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America.
Join us on Wednesday, October 29th as we highlight stories about the Stock Market Crash of 1929: why it happened; what was done; and how other crashes have occurred.
Where: Everett Cafe
Last Updated: 7:26 am, Thursday, Sep 18 , 2008