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Press Release
Press Release · Thursday, September 26, 2002

Press Release
September 26, 2002
New Educational Web Site Fosters Dialogue About Democracy

College Park, MD — An exciting new web site created by the National Archives and National History Day, Inc. www.ourdocuments.gov transports students and educators back in time to 100 critical moments in our nation's history. See the original speeches, international treaties, Supreme Court cases, patent designs and Constitutional amendments that changed the course of history. Read transcriptions and historical interpretations of these documents.

www.ourdocuments.gov is part of a history and civics initiative announced by President George W. Bush in a White House Rose Garden ceremony on September 17, entitled Our Documents: A National Initiative on American History, Civics and Service.

The web site will introduce students to a national history contest where they have a chance to win awards and scholarships. Teachers can use web site lesson plans to help meet education standards and create their own lesson plan for a chance to win a national competition. Information on local teacher workshops and curriculum materials also will be featured on the site. The recent U.S. History National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report showed that students exposed to primary sources in the classroom perform better on history tests. This web site will provide teachers with important primary sources that can be actively used in the classroom to improve curriculum.

Teachers can click on the web site "Toolbox" to find:

  • a comprehensive annotated timeline,
  • suggestions for applying the 100 milestone documents to this year's National History Day's theme of "Rights and Responsibilities in History,"
  • methods for using primary source documents in the classroom,
  • ideas for constructing National History Day Projects using primary source documents,
  • document-specific lesson plans.

Information on teachers' workshops and student and teacher competitions is also featured on this web site.

Each week, www.ourdocuments.gov will feature three new documents beginning with the Lee Resolution of June 7, 1776, a simple document resolving that the United Colonies "are, and of right, ought