Minnesota labor offers both variety and depth in topics and resources for students and educators working on 2017 History Day projects. Three organizations also offer prizes to students who complete entries about working people and unions.
Every year, History Day provides an opportunity for students in grades 6-12 to choose and research historical topics. Participants create papers, plays, videos, websites and exhbits. More than a half million young researchers per year investigate and present projects at school, regional, state and national competition levels.
The inter-disciplinary program teaches students valuable skills, notes National History Day Minnesota. They learn to conduct in-depth research using primary and secondary sources; analyze and synthesize information from a variety of texts; and express what they learn in clear and creative ways.
Labor's past struggles can provide projects that clearly fit the 2018 National History Day competition theme: “Conflict and Compromise in History.” The theme aligns well with how workers have both fought and negotiated for their rights, fair pay and better working conditions.
Cash prizes will be awarded jointly by the Minneapolis Labor Review and St. Paul Union Advocate newspapers and the University of Minnesota Labor Education Service (LES) to encourage students to research local labor history topics.
Students can start the process by looking for ideas on the labor history timelines in the Workday Minnesota “Labor Education” section. Here they can find summaries and images of hundreds of local and national worker-related events and movements, from the earliest people in America through 2017 campaigns.
LES and the the two newspapers also provide an extensive list of topics and resources in the State History Day Topical Prize Catalogue.
The Twin Cities newspapers offer extensive primary sources through their online archives of back issues going back more than 100 years. The Labor Review archive has searchable issues from1907 to the present. The Union Advocate features copies of the paper from 1900 to 2009.
LES established two websites that offer ideas and primary sources for projects. Who Built Our Capitol? presents the stories of the workers who constructed the Minnesota statehouse. For example, a controversy raged in 1897 over whether the building would be constructed of stone from Minnesota or from Georgia and over the deaths of workers due to the hazardous construction site.
Minneapolis 1934 provides resources on the bloody Teamsters strike, one of several confrontations across the country that spurred passage of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, the law that made collective bargaining the law of the land. LES has produced a documentary on the strike, Minneapolis Truckers Make History. MNOPEDIA also provides information on this pivitol conflict.
For more help accessing labor sources, contact 612-379-4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Labor Review editor Steve Share provided copy and information for this article.