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Author: Scott A. Merriman
Title: Site Reviews
Publication Info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
November 2000

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Source: Site Reviews
Scott A. Merriman

vol. 3, no. 3, November 2000
Article Type: Site Review

Site Reviews

Scott A. Merriman

Atlas of Past Presidential Elections

This site gives an in-depth look at the results of presidential elections from 1789 to 1996. It provides information about the changing number of electoral votes each state has, as well as graphical and text representations of the Electoral College. The data here can be broken down county by county and one can see who won each county and what the number of votes in each county for each candidate was for selected elections. The data is presented both in absolute numbers and percentages. One can also compare how a state's voting record changed from 1960 to the present. A very interesting and useful site as the current election remains in the news.

This web site, which is presented by the network of the same name, provides short biographies of over 25,000 personalities.  The bios are generally about one to two pages long, and provide basic information about these figures.  In addition, one can search for videos about many of these personalities and place orders for them.  Finally, one can find out what happened on this day in history.

Fed Stats

This site provides a wealth of information about the current United States. Over seventy agencies' statistics are presented here, including the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Department of Energy. This is a good place to go for statistics on the present, but many areas also have past statistics tucked away inside them. One can search for data on one's city, state, or for the entire country, and the entire site is searchable. A good site for historians, political scientists, and other social scientists.

The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century

This web site discusses the PBS series of the same name and provides additional information.  It presents a brief summary and highlights of each episode of the series. One of the best features of this site is that it includes interviews with around 20 historians, including Diane Atkinson, Paul Fussell, David Kennedy, Jay Winter, and John Keegan. Reviews of the program are also incorporated, along with a wide variety of feedback from viewers.  An interactive timeline and a set of maps, along with a list of related books and web sites, are also contained here.

The Heritage Education Network

This is an interesting website dealing with, as the title suggests, heritage education.  Heritage education is defined by the website as "the use of local cultural and historic resources for teaching the required curricula of grades K-12."  Some of the various resources used here consist of cemeteries, photographs, architecture, and physical objects.  A list of resources by state is also included, along with links to related sites.  Worksheets and glossaries of useful terms are also provided in places, together with helpful suggestions for teachers planning to use some of these activities.  A very useful site.

History Channel

This site accompanies the channel of the same name. One very interesting feature is "This Day in History," which looks at important things in history happening on any given date in many different areas, including technology, crime and the Civil War. One can also find out what happened on one's birthday and take a weekly quiz on history. The site also presents tips for teachers and study guides related to various programs. Finally, information about National History Day is included.

The Learning Channel

This web site has a variety of fascinating features. The "Flashback area" contains several compelling historical articles. At the time of this writing, the stories there included "Terrorism at the Olympics," (about the 1972 Olympics), "Music with a message," (about the songs of the 60s and 70s), and the "Countdown 100" (which is about the top 100 events of this century). One can also discover history sites in a variety of other areas, such as the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The Living Room Candidate

This web site, part of the American Museum of the Moving Image, presents television commercials from 1952 to 1996 for the presidential elections. It also contains some educational materials, including a program guide and a teacher's guide. It is interesting to note how the commercials have changed over the last 48 years, and the site also discuses how political commercials have moved from 30-minute speeches to 15-second blurbs. Transcripts of a few of the commercials are available. The site also brings in background about the elections and the candidates, as well as the results. The ads include the famous "Daisy Girl" of the 1964 Johnson-Goldwater campaign.

National Endowment for the Humanities

A good site to learn about this often embattled organization. Included here is a list of the new projects of the NEH, including "Rediscovering America," a video, available on the website, narrated by Morgan Freeman, which explains the work of the NEH. Information about the NEH's partnerships, staff contacts, and job opportunities are also listed. Of interest to many historians is the information available about their grants, on-line application materials, and a free on-line newsletter. The NEH is reaching out to a number of lesser-served areas, including tribal colleges and small public libraries, and so many different groups would profit from a visit to this site.

National History Day

This site examines the nationwide contest National History Day, in which students compete in local, regional, state and national contests. The theme for 2001 is "Frontiers in History." The site discusses past contests, presents the rules for the events, and presents a list of related links. Related curriculum and contest information is also available here. A good place for teachers to learn about a fun and exciting way for students to become part of history. A list of prizes and scholarships awarded is posted here.

Supreme Court of the United States

This is the official site of the U.S. Supreme Court. For historians, it includes a brief introduction to the Supreme Court, a list of all the justices who have served on the court (past and present) and short biographies of the current justices. It also presents information about the traditions of the court, its procedures, and the Court's role in deciding constitutional questions, all of which provide the history of those issues. For lawyers, this site provides guidelines on how one files a case in the Supreme Court, how one becomes a member of the Supreme Court bar, and the general rules of the Supreme Court. For all those generally interested in the Supreme Court, it contains a list of related websites, information about visiting the Supreme Court, and various other facts, figures and statistics.