On September 8, 1966, NBC aired the first episode of a show that lasted only three seasons. The network could not have predicted that the show, whose introduction announces a five-year mission, would spawn a franchise that would persist for 50 years and have a profound effect on culture and science.
Of course, the show was Star Trek. And, to celebrate its birthday, here are some easily digestible bullet-pointed factoids:
-The show was created by Gene Roddenberry and starred William Shatner as the dashing Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as the logic-driven Spock and DeForest Kelley as grumpy doctor Leonard McCoy, who resumed their roles in the movies of the 1980s. In the reboot films, those roles are played by Chris Pine, Zachary Qunito and Karl Urban.
-Desilu Studios, the company founded by famous TV couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, produced the show, and the call to go ahead with production was made by the Lucy herself. She was running the company following her divorce from Arnaz and decided to pull the trigger because she she thought Star Trek promised something different from the average TV fare.
-Trek fans have been devoted from the very beginning. Due to low ratings, the show was threatened with cancellation in the second season, but a write-in campaign by fans helped keep it on the air for a third. All these years later, fandom is still strong.
-Roddenberry, hoping to break from the tired tropes of TV, intended Star Trek to explore topics that weren’t normally allowed on the air. “You really couldn’t talk about anything you cared to talk about. It seemed to me that perhaps if I wanted to talk about sex, religion, politics, make some comments against Vietnam, and so on, that if I had similar situations involving these subjects happening on other planets to little green people, indeed it might get by, and it did.”
-Which brings us to …
Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura engaged in what is often referred to as the first televised interracial kiss. This was, of course, controversial in 1968, and there were efforts to avoid showing the actors’ lips touching before the scene was allowed to run as written.
-The Original Series, or TOS, predicted and even directly influenced many technological developments, including mobile phones, computer tablets and plasma TVs. For example, Martin Cooper, inventor of the first cell telephone, said that the Star Trek communicator was the inspiration for the now-ubiquitous device.
-From over-budget to big profits: The pilot for TOS went over budget and cost $616,000 ($4.7 million in 2016 dollars), and then was scrapped by NBC, before greenlighting the series. The 2009 reboot movie brought in $385.7 million.
Besides those found in the links above, here are some more resources you can beam up from eLibrary:
Modes of transportation are influenced by many factors, including economic resources, population density, geography, climate, and tradition. If you’re from the United States, you probably get around primarily in a private vehicle, but that’s only one of many modes of transportation used every day by people around the world.
The following photos are from the CultureGrams photo gallery.
Can you guess where each photo was taken?
We’ve posted the answers in the comments section of this post. Check them out and tell us how well you did!
“I never in my life felt more certain that I am doing right than I do in signing this paper…If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”–President Abraham Lincoln, on signing the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
The Republican Party’s platform in the 1860 election specifically pledged not to extend slavery any further westward into the territories. When its candidate Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States, it led to the secession of eleven slave-holding Southern states and the beginning of the Civil War. In a letter to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, dated August 22, 1862, he wrote: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.” Despite this letter, just one month later, on September 22, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln’s executive order basically stated that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be freed. It applied to some 3 million of the 4 million slaves in the United States at the time, and allowed them to join the Union Army.
While Abraham Lincoln is often viewed as the Great Emancipator, his ultimate political aim was to restore and preserve the Union. But as a politician, he was also acutely aware of public opinion. Lincoln’s stated views on slavery, and how they evolved over time to include the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, are reviewed below
Lincoln Wasn’t an Abolitionist.
In a speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, on Sept. 13, 1858, Lincoln said, “Slavery is an unqualified evil to the negro, to the white man, to the soil, and to the State.” While Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, it was sanctioned by the “the supreme law of the land,” the U.S. Constitution, which he had sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” as President. In his first inaugural address, on March 4, 1861, he stated “I have no purpose directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so.”
Lincoln Didn’t Believe Blacks Should Have the Same Rights As Whites.
Though Lincoln argued that the founding fathers’ phrase “All men are created equal” applied to blacks and whites alike, this did not mean he thought they should have the same social and political rights. His views became clear during an 1858 series of debates with Stephen Douglas, his opponent in the Illinois race for U.S. Senate. In their fourth debate held in Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, after Douglas had accused him of supporting “negro equality,” Lincoln made his position clear. “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.”
Lincoln Thought Colonization Was the Best Way to Confront Slavery.
For much of his career, Lincoln believed that that if a majority of the African-American population would leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America, it could resolve the issue of slavery. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852 and in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, Lincoln said, “My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” As president in early 1863, Lincoln also discussed with Register of the Treasury Lucius E. Chittenden his plan to “remove the whole colored race of the slave states into Texas.”
Emancipation Was a Military Strategy.
Lincoln didn’t see the Civil War as a struggle to end slavery, but as an effort to preserve the Union. But as the war dragged on into its second year in 1862, thousands of slaves had fled Southern plantations to Union lines. Since slaves made up a majority of the South’s labor force, Lincoln viewed emancipation as a way to weaken the Confederacy, while at the same time providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion. By the end of the war, over 200,000 African-Americans would serve in the Union Army and Navy. He issued the preliminary proclamation to his Cabinet on September 22, and it was published the following day. On September 24, Lincoln addressed a cheering crowd from a White House balcony: “I can only trust in God I have made no mistake….It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it.”
The Emancipation Proclamation Didn’t Actually Free the Slaves.
Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union. In practice, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, since the only places it applied were those where the federal government had no control–the Southern states that had seceded and were currently fighting against the Union. The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution in order to make slavery illegal. Nearly eight months after Lincoln’s assassination, on December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery throughout America, and fulfilling Lincoln’s original proclamation that “all persons held as slaves…are, and henceforward shall be free.”
To learn more about Lincoln’s views on slavery, the social and political climate that led to his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, its impact on the Civil War and the eventual passage of a Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, check out these Research Topic pages available on ProQuest’s eLibrary:
“I demand that football change its rules or be abolished. Brutality and foul play should receive the same summary punishment given to a man who cheats at cards! Change the game or forsake it!”
The escalating violence and the number of injuries and deaths in the early history of American football led to rule changes and equipment improvements aimed at making the game safer, both at the collegiate and professional levels. However, football players—as well as athletes in other sports—continue to put themselves at risk of injury every time they participate in a practice or game.
In the past couple decades the risks associated with repetitive head injuries have come to the forefront. Mike Webster, a Hall of Famer who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974 to 1990, became the first former NFL player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)–a progressive degenerative brain disease–after his death at the age of 50 in 2002. The release in 2015 of the movie “Concussion”, which chronicled the work of forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who performed autopsies on former NFL players, put the public spotlight directly on this serious issue.
A recent addition to SIRS Issues Researcher’s list of over 340 Leading Issues—Concussions in Sports—is one that any student who participates in sports—as an athlete and/or fan—can relate to. It provides young researchers with an in-depth look at this problem that affects all athletes—from those participating in youth leagues to the professional athlete. The Concussions in Sports Timeline provides a history of the issue and a list of key events that have had an impact on past and current players, and highlights efforts to improve player safety and continue research on concussions and their effects.
Here we are, right in the middle of the 100th anniversary of World War I (1914-1918). Those of you who read these blogs may have noticed that eLibrary has been posting occasional entries relating to various topics of the “Great War.” I have been perusing many articles and books about the First World War and was searching around on Amazon for something else to read when I came across the book “Above the Dreamless Dead.” It is a unique mixture of poems from the Trench Poets of World War I and artwork from today’s finest cartoonists. The collection was edited by New York Times bestselling editor Chris Duffy. Thinking that this book would be a great resource to use in schools for teaching both history and poetry, I reached out to First Second Books for an interview with Mr. Duffy. Here are the questions and responses from that interview:
1. First of all, what made you want to compile a book of WWI poetry in graphic form?
2. Have you always been interested in WWI? [Mr. Duffy answered both questions at once]
Mr. Duffy: The idea came from editor Calista Brill at First Second. She called me up one day and said “We have this idea for a book to round out our season.” She described the idea of current cartoonists adapting the work of the Trench Poets as part of the centennial of the start of World War I. She asked if maybe I would edit it, but she had someone else in mind if I said no. I thought it was a pretty bad idea at first and I almost passed–I mean, what do we have in common today with men who lived in muddy trenches and watched their buddies die (and who died) a hundred years ago? Didn’t seem like a great fit with the cartoonists I know, who are for the most part sheltered from war. Then I started reading a lot of World War I poetry just to see. There’s a lot of it, the best of it is amazing, and all of it is compelling–and I started to really see how visual and narrative a lot of it was/ is. Then I started thinking about cartoonists who have spent their careers engaging with war and related themes–Pat Mills, Sarah Glidden, George Pratt, Peter Kuper, Garth Ennis, just to name a few. The project started seeming like a GREAT idea. In the end, I think the book is both about the poetry and about cartoonists of today engaging with the past and with a specific group of writers.
3. Why do you think that WWI has been a neglected topic in classrooms over the decades?
Mr. Duffy: I really don’t know, but I’m asked that a lot. I think people feel a distance there and want to bridge it. I highly recommend anyone read the work of the war poets and writers to bridge not only the distance between them and the past, but with them and soldiers in general.
4. What is your favorite WWI poem?
Mr. Duffy: “As the Team’s Head Brass” by Edward Thomas. It’s a home front poem. A soldier, probably Thomas, watches a ploughman at work and every time he passes by they exchange some words–about the war, the weather, the tree that fell that the ploughman can’t remove because all the younger men are at war. It’s an everyday scene but the poem is about life, death, alternate worlds, young love, death, and maybe a great tragedy to come. I believe it’s Seamus Heany’s favorite World War I poem, so I feel pretty good about my choice. It didn’t make it into the book; several cartoonists turned it down when offered. Maybe I should have pushed harder!
5. Who is your favorite WWI-era poet?
Mr. Duffy: Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, and Edward Thomas. But it’s hard to choose.
6. Are you yourself a graphic artist?
Mr. Duffy: I draw and make comics, but not professionally.
7. Any ideas on how educators could use Above the Dreamless Dead to get the discussion started with students concerning both poetry and WWI?
Mr. Duffy: I think it would be a good follow up to a unit on World War I–maybe the students could read one poem, talk about it, and then look at the adaptation and discuss the choices the cartoonist made. I also think it’s a good opportunity for students to research one poet–his life, war experience, and career. In one way or another World War I was a huge part of every one of the poet’s lives. In many cases it ended their life. But I’m not a teacher, so beware of these tossed-off suggestions!
8. Why do you think WWI inspired such an outpouring of poetry, whereas other wars do not seem to have generated such literary creativity, especially in poetic form?
Mr. Duffy: I don’t know. I postulate that poetry was something read and written by more people at that time than after. I have also read that this was the first generation of young British men to benefit from big education reforms–the average soldier would have been more literate than in previous wars. But I don’t know the whole story about why!
9. If you could go back in time and say something to one of these Trench poets, what would it be?
Mr. Duffy: That’s a little too ahistorical for me. We can’t go back in time. You have to read to learn about them.
10. With the tremendous amount of poetry produced during and after WWI, are there any more such anthologies in the works?
Mr. Duffy: I hope so! Not by me, but I think poetry is a rich topic for cartoonists.
(Thanks to Chris Duffy and a special thanks to Gina Gaglinao of First Second Books for setting up the interview.)
The best review I can give for the book is this: I was in my basement reading it when my son Josh, who has ZERO interest in poetry but likes comic books, stopped and asked what I was reading. I told him a little about the book and showed it to him. He said something like, “Hmmm. Interesting.” Later that evening, when I walked past his room, I saw him sitting in his “gaming chair” reading “Above the Dreamless Dead.”
If you wish to contact First Second Books to ask about ordering this book for your classroom or school library, please follow this link: First Second Books
During this 100th anniversary of World War I, please use the many resources available in ProQuest’s eLibrary to learn more about the War to End All Wars:
America and World War I (Research Topic)
British Poets of World War I (Research Topic)
Canada and World War I (Research Topic)
Canadian Poets of World War I (Research Topic)
Common Core ELA: History/Social Studies (Research Topic)
Common Core ELA: Reading Literature (Research Topic)
Poetry (Research Topic)
ProQuest Research Topic Guide: World War I (Research Topic)
Trench Warfare of World War I (Research Topic)
World War I: A History in Documents (Reference Book)
And just some of the Research Topics for WWI-era poets:
A great way to foster critical thinking and engaged learning in your students is to help them learn to ask good questions, to push beyond the obvious, to see purely factual data points in a broader context. Asking good questions promotes independent thinking, stimulates curiosity, increases understanding, and helps people see how seemingly disparate ideas connect.
We encourage teachers to use CultureGrams to promote critical thinking in their classrooms. There are many ways to do so. You might ask students, for example, why many major metropolitan areas are often located in coastal areas or near major waterways. Take Australia, China, Canada, or Brazil, for example. Look at where many of the largest cities are concentrated. Why aren’t the cities scattered more evenly across these countries? The answers to these questions may vary, depending on the country. You could discuss the significance of trade and access to foreign markets; the importance of water to sustain life and as a means of travel; the influence of history, geography, and climate on settlement and growth; etc. Encourage students to ask why things are the way they are. This can lead them to insights they may not have had previously.
You could also ask students to think about what countries in a particular region have in common besides just occupying a particular part of the world. Have students think about the many of the island nations of Oceania, for instance. Do they share common geographical features or similar climates? Are there common languages, a common religion, or similar cultural attitudes? How do their economies compare? What common challenges do countries in Oceania face? Also, what differentiates countries in the region? And what is the impact of these similarities and differences on the region as a whole?
Another fruitful area of exploration might be to ask students how the content in one CultureGrams category impacts the content in another. How does the land and climate in a particular country influence the economy? How has a country’s history shaped its linguistic or religious development? How do a culture’s attitudes about family affect how they view dating and marriage?
And lastly, you could ask students to compare statistical data between two or more countries. What does the data reveal? How can the differences in data be explained? For example, below is a customized table that provides data related to health and life expectancy for Belgium and Uganda. What does the data reveal? What might be some of the root causes for the differences in the numbers?
To be clear, teachers will need to monitor these kinds of activities/discussions to make sure that students are coming to sound conclusions and not speculating wildly about cause and effect. But that process in itself can be useful in teaching students how to analyze factual information.
Of course, there are many other areas in CultureGrams that you could use to foster critical thinking, but we hope this gets you started thinking of some of the possibilities. Please let us know if you have any great ideas on this topic or if you come up with interesting activities that foster critical thinking.
Explore the benefits:
- A cleaner, more streamlined, and modern appearance
- Design optimized for viewing on mobile devices as well as desktops (i.e. responsive design)
- Focus on the most valued content and features
- Integration with Google Drive and Google Classroom
- Design aligned to other popular ProQuest products like CultureGrams and SIRS Discoverer
- Continued access to all the great SIRS content
See the 13 New Leading Issues out of 345+ added by our editorial team covering complex social topics:
- Biological and Chemical Terrorism
- Concealed Weapons
- Concussions in Sports
- Conflict Minerals
- Education Reform
- Executive Pay
- Government Ethics
- Indigenous Peoples
- Islamic State Group (ISIS)
- Religion and Science
- Religious Minorities
As evidenced by these tweets, educators are excited about the new integration between SIRS and Google Drive and Classroom!
For more details about the interface update, visit the SIRS Issues Researcher support page.
Share the good news with your colleagues! Tweet about the new SIRS Knowledge Source @ProQuest.
We celebrate the U.S. Constitution each year during the week of September 17, in honor of its signing on September 17, 1787. The Constitution’s significance on U.S. government and laws is momentous and central to our rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Do today’s young students understand the importance of the U.S. Constitution? Do they know where and when it was written? Can they name a few of its creators and signers? Can they name and define any of the constitutional amendments? Would they understand how the Constitution and its amendments impact our daily lives?
In honor of Constitution Week, SIRS Discoverer’s September Spotlight of the Month highlights the product’s constitutional content and provides students an easy way to research the Constitution and its amendments. Perhaps you and your students could celebrate Constitution Week with a fun research assignment. There are several amendments out of the 27 that seem to be cited most often. How about asking your students to choose one and learn more about it?
The 1st amendment establishes our right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. What does this mean for us? We can worship as we choose, we can express new and different ideas with no repercussions, and news outlets can report on what is happening in our country and our world. Question: Before the Revolutionary War, did colonial America have freedom of the press?
The 2nd amendment, which protects the right to own guns and use them for self-defense, may be the most debated of all of the constitutional amendments. Question: Where did the concept of “the right to bear arms” originate?
Following the Civil War, the 14th amendment was ratified. It legally protects the citizenship rights all Americans, regardless of race, and details those who are entitled to U.S. citizenship. Question: What “codes” did some Southern states create in response to the 14th amendment?
The 15th amendment guarantees people of all races the right to vote. It was the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments, which were adopted after the Civil War. Question: What state first ratified the 15th amendment?
The 19th amendment gives women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, helped to draft the amendment. Question: What two women pioneered the women’s suffrage movement by organizing a meeting in Seneca Falls?
Visit SIRS Discoverer during the month of September. Your students will definitely learn some facts about the Constitution. Who knows, you may learn something, too!
It must have been a huge relief for Lewis and Clark and the members of the Corps of Discovery to see a river where the current would be in their favor for once, pushing them forward to their destination to the Pacific Ocean. Instead of rowing and poling against the current like they had on the Missouri River for over 2,000 miles since leaving St. Louis, the expedition had now come upon the Clearwater River on the other side of the Rocky Mountains near present-day Orofino, Idaho. Until that moment, it had been anything but smooth sailing. And they had just crossed 200 miles of the worst terrain they had ever come across. It took them 53 days to cross the Continental Divide from the headwaters of the Missouri in Montana and over the Bitterroot Range. The last 11 days of this leg of the expedition they faced starvation, dehydration, and frost bite.
In early August of 1805 Meriwether Lewis and three other expedition members left William Clark and the main group on the Beaverhead River in Montana and headed west toward Lemhi Pass, a low grassy gap on the Continental Divide along the Montana-Idaho border, where they were in search of Sacagawea’s tribe, the Shonshone. Sacagawea was a member of the Lemhi band of the Shoshone, but had been kidnapped when she was 12 years old by a group from the Hidatsa tribe after a battle between the two tribes. Lewis and Clark decided to take her on as a guide because they knew that they could not get over the Rocky Mountains without the help of the Shoshone. She knew the language and knew the lands that lay ahead of them.
When Lewis and his men made it to Lemhi Pass they were expecting to see a far-reaching plain to the west with a river flowing to the Pacific Ocean. What they saw instead was what they had been seeing since they had made the grueling portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri River: miles and miles of jagged, snow-covered peaks. The men’s spirits immediately sank because they knew that fall and winter weather were not far behind and the mountains seemed to go on endlessly. But they at least had accomplished one goal of the expedition: finding the western-most source of the Missouri River. Soon after going over the pass, Lewis and his men ran into members of the Shoshone and were escorted to their chief, Cameahwait, who by coincidence turned out to be Sacagawea’s brother. Soon after an initial negotiation for horses and other supplies, William Clark and the rest of the expedition arrived with Sacagawea. After a brief emotional reunion with her brother, she helped translate and negotiate for the horses. They were now ready to tackle the rest of the Rockies. But now came the hard part: crossing the Bitterroot Range.
On September 11, after camping for two days for much-needed downtime at an area now called Travelers Rest near present-day Missoula, Montana, they began to ascend the Bitterroot Range on the Lolo Trail with a Shoshone guide named Old Toby. And it was on this trail where they faced their biggest challenge of the expedition.
Snow began to fall six to eight inches at a time. Along with this hazard, much of the trail was filled with downfall, making the trek an arduous clambering over and ducking under timber in thigh-deep snow. Several times they lost the snow-covered trail and had to double back. Provisions were running short. Their horses became weaker each day. And still, at each mountain pass, when the view permitted, the mountains and snow-capped peaks seemed to never end. And each time, the men’s spirits sank even deeper. At times, starvation became an issue, at which point they had to kill and butcher a horse to survive. On September 16 William Clark noted in his journal: “Began to Snow about 3 hours before Day and Continued all day … by night we found it from 6 to 8 Inches deep … I have been wet and as cold in every part as I ever was in my life, indeed I was at one time fearfull my feet would freeze in the thin mockersons which I wore . . . men all wet cold and hungary. Killed a Second Colt which we all Suped hartily on and thought it fine meat.” Finally, 11 days after they left Travelers Rest, they emerged out of the Bitterroots into a wide plain near present-day Weippe, Idaho. They had made it out of the Rocky Mountain alive.
It was here they met the Nez Perce tribe, who turned out to be a warm and welcoming people, who fed, clothed, and nursed them back to health. The tribe also instructed them how to use fire to hollow out trees to make the canoes they would use to continue on their way on the Clearwater River.
On October 7th, 1805, two months after they had crossed over Lehmi Pass on the Continental Divide, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery shoved off the banks of the Clearwater leaving their past troubles behind and with a strong current in their favor. Here they would proceed to the confluence with the Columbia River and on to the Pacific Ocean.
Here’s a start to your research:
Comparing Notes With Lewis and Clark
The Corps of Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clark
The Corps of Re-Discovery
Lewis and Clark in Montana and Beyond
Lewis and Clark National Historic Landmarks in Montana
Montana: The Magazine of Western History
Today marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha celebrations for over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. The holiday, meaning “Festival of the Sacrifice”, commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son and is celebrated during the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. People visit friends and family and exchange gifts. Many families slaughter a sheep on this day as a symbol of the story of Abraham. Tens of millions of animals are sacrificed around the world in the first two days of the celebration. Families who cannot afford their own animal may join other families and pool their money together to buy an animal. The meat from the sacrifice is shared with family and friends, but a portion must also be reserved for the poor.
The holiday takes place following the the Muslim Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. In Saudi Arabia, the government declares a 12-day holiday that includes the days of the Hajj and the following Eid al-Adha holiday. Traditionally, Eid al-Adha festivities lasted about 4 days. Today, celebrations range in length between different countries–ranging from as little as 3 days (in the Philippines), 9 days (in Gulf states) and 12 days (Saudi Arabia). Learn more about some of the different countries that celebrate Eid al-Adha with CultureGrams: see Egypt, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.