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War, Citizenship and the Presidency

War, Citizenship and the Presidency Does it matter who is U.S. President in matters of war and peace? A vigilant and informed citizenry can compel elected officials to obey the law, increase global stability, and pursue policies which limit mass violence. How do we teach students to apply the lessons from history’s instructive moments for the good of civilization today? Key events from the Nixon and Kennedy administrations -- Watergate, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War-- illustrate the importance of clear-headed executive leadership and freedom of the press to inform the public of key issues. Young people are naturally compassionate: exposure to the stories, images, and testimonies of the abuse of power inspire curiosity and engagement. While disturbing photos and unpleasant news reports may not seem to be ideal teaching tools, used properly, they can be productive educational motivators. Assign a human face or iconic image to abstract concepts, students become engaged to learn more and take action. Understanding that a healthy democracy requires transparency in government allows ordinary citizens to ensure our executive leadership operates both ethically and legally, here and abroad.     The lessons in this collection are selected to provide quality tools for analyzing iconic moments of war and peace during the Kennedy and Nixon administrations, and inspire careful consideration of how our knowledge of these events is applicable in the 2016 election of the 45th U.S. President.
8th - Higher Ed

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