Headlines In Context: Comparing the Watergate Scandal to Russia’s Election Meddling Investigation

| By Debra Kirby |

Keeping up with current events can be a full-time job—never mind understanding the history behind what’s in the headlines. Take the ongoing coverage of the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections for example. This story seems to change daily—sometimes hourly. Even if you’re checking in multiple times per day and managing to keep up with the basics, references to historical events and underlying facts relayed by experts and political pundits can leave you wanting to learn more.

For instance, a number of commentators, when discussing the recent firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump, have referenced similarities to Nixon’s firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Is that a valid reference?

To get the background details needed to better understand what’s behind these and other references, start your research with U.S. History In Context, where you will discover in-depth coverage of such topics as:

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Marching into History

By Debra Kirby

I have always admired the brave men and women who, throughout history, have taken a stand for their rights and the rights of others, often at significant inconvenience and sometimes risking their lives. Saturday, January 21, I had a chance to be part of history by participating in the Woman’s March on Washington. Fortunately, the inconvenience for me was not significant, nor was there any risk to my life. It was an exhilarating experience to be among so many people who took the time and traveled from sometimes great distances – including other countries – to stand up for the rights of women, minorities, and the environment. Here are a few of my observations on the experience:

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Hidden No Longer

By Debra Kirby

Sometimes it takes a critically acclaimed movie to shine a light on extraordinary achievements. This has proved to be especially true when the subjects of those achievements are women or members of minorities. The movie Hidden Figures, based on a book of the same name, has recently generated interest in three African American women who played important roles in the U.S. Apollo Space Program. As is often the case, once you start digging into the details around historic events or people, you discover many related interesting facts and stories. When your sources include Gale databases you can spend hours exploring and learning.

Here are some of the facts I found when I began my journey to learn more about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson—the fascinating women whose stories are told in Hidden Figures.

  • Katherine Johnson began her career as a “human computer” at the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), NASA’s predecessor. Before the age of electronic computers, NACA employed hundreds of women mathematicians as human computers. Men with similar qualifications were classified as professionals; women were sub-professionals. Black mathematicians were segregated in their own office and loaned out to various divisions as needed. (Read more about Johnson in Biography In Context.)

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How Well Do You Know Your Presidents?

By Traci Cothran

Who served as both Vice President and President of the United States, without having earned a single vote in the election?

Gerald Ford, that’s who!

museum1
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Last week I traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, and visited The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During this 2016 election season, it was a breath of fresh air to wander amidst all the exhibition reminders of Ford’s “character,” “integrity,” “teamwork,” and how he “led by example” – detailing his life from his days as a Boy Scout, to college football player, to Navy man, and into his long career in government.

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Why We Choose Gale

By Jenny Wirtz, Teacher Librarian, Ankeny High School

In Iowa, we are fortunate to have the support of Area Education Agencies (AEA) that assist the local K-12 school districts. One of the services that our AEA provides to us is access to many high-quality resources at no cost to our district, including several Gale products. However, I still choose to spend a portion of my shrinking budget on three specific Gale Databases because I believe they offer the best experiences for our high school students. What puts Gale above the competition? I believe it is their quality content, appealing layout and design, and above all the seamless integration between the Gale products and other tools we use such as Google Drive, Google Classroom, and EasyBib.

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A Quick Quiz for Mind and Body Health

Posted on May 5, 2016

By Debra Kirby

There are only so many variations a fitness instructor can use to keep things fresh in an indoor cycling class (aka spinning class). This editorial manager by day, spinning instructor by very early morning, has found the perfect way to keep her students interested and alert — the daily quiz! Fortunately for me, through the wealth of information available in the Gale databases our team produces, I am never at a loss for material! Here are a few questions and answers I’ve used to keep my students on their toes in recent 6:00 am classes:

Q: What organization was the precursor to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?

A: The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), established in 1942 (U.S. History In Context)

Q: What country is the native home to lemurs?

A: Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa (Science In Context)

Q: Who standardized level measurement in cooking?

A: Fannie Farmer (Biography In Context)

Q: What famous poet was known as the Belle of Amherst and what actress portrayed her in the play of the same title?

A: Emily Dickinson & Julie Harris (Artemis Literary Sources)

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Women Unite!

Posted on February 17, 2016

I love learning about history, and there’s nothing like having the entire month of March devoted to the often overlooked contributions of women.I take my middle-school daughter to historic sites (sometimes with her feet dragging), and it’s great when she connects to historic figures to further understand what she reads about in books.  Here are some notable women we’ve “met” in our travels:

  • A Deborah Sampson re-enactor was our tour guide along Boston’s Freedom Trail. She related her fascinating story – dressing as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War – as we toured some of the sites of the American Revolution.  Years later, she fought for – and eventually received – a soldier’s pension.

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Content Updates for Gale’s In Context (week ending 11/13/2015)

Posted on November 16, 2015

Take a look at the new resources now available in many of your favorite In Context products:

Biography In Context
New homepage spotlights were added in the past few weeks that include:

  • Country music star Carrie Underwood who recently co-hosted the 2015 Country Music Awards with fellow artist Brad Paisley.
  • Native American leader Geronimo, in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
  • Actress Jennifer Lawrence will be appearing in the final installment of the Hunger Games series, Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 2 opening November 20.
  • New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
  • Journalist and author Ta-Nahisi Coates who won a MacArthur Genius grant this year and whose book Between the World and Me was shortlisted for the 2015 National book Award in Nonfiction.

New portal pages and a homepage video were posted including:

  • Notorious pirates Edward Teach (“Blackbeard”) and William Kidd (“Captain Kidd”)
  • Feminist writer and activist Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelly who is the author of “Frankenstein”
  • Stephen Curry, player for the Golden State Warriors
  • “The Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun
  • Video “Out There: Einstein’s Telescope”: A nod to the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity

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Educators: Here’s a Fun Way to Encourage Critical Thinking and Research Skills!

Posted on 9/28/15

By Traci J. Cothran

Looking for a great way to engage students, where they can research a topic of their choice and present their findings in a format (including digital!) that fits their skillset?  The National History Day competition does just that, by providing students with a broad annual theme within which they’ll select their own subject; encouraging them to research, use, and document primary sources related to their chosen subject; then presenting their findings by creating an exhibit, paper, performance, website or documentary.

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Content updates for Gale’s In Context (week of 8/3/2015)

Posted on August 6, 2015

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve added new content and made updates to already posted content found in your favorite Gale In Context products. See what’s there for you to access.

Biography In Context

New spotlight features have been added to the homepage that include:

  • U.S. President Barack Obama, celebrating his birthday on August 4
  • The late U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law 50 years ago
  • Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity labor union that sparked change in his country 35 years ago on August 31
  • American actress Taraji P. Henson, star of television’s Empire
  • Chris Froome, the British cyclist who recently won his second Tour de France title
  • Kailash Satyarthi, Indian children’s rights activist who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai
  • Daniel James, Jr., also known as Chappie, who became the first African American four-star general in 1975
  • Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell
  • American filmmaker and producer Brett Ratner
  • Sepp Blatter, the controversial Swiss president of FIFA (soccer’s international governing body)

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