Thank you!

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all for your help and support.  It’s been an honor and a privilege being your student-teacher this term.  It breaks my heart that my student-teacher experience at Putnam has to end.  I genuinely looked forward to seeing you all in class every day.  There wasn’t a single day that I’ve regretted my choice to become a teacher, that’s entirely because of how welcome you’ve made me feel.  You’ve made my experience a real joy. 

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I first came to Putnam.  I’ve taken SO MANY classes and listened to SO MANY lectures about teaching, but nothing can prepare you for the first time you have to stand in front of a classroom.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for teachers like Mr. Alper who make it look so EASY.  Believe me, it’s not.  I’d like to thank Josh Alper for helping me.  I can never repay you for all of your help and encouragement.  Your advice and guidance has always been welcome, and it’s been a pleasure to teach in your classroom.  I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me.  Thank you.

Your friend,

Brad Wright


Here’s something cool for you to watch as thanks for all of your help.  BTW, it has NOTHING to do with Kennedy, Johnson, The Cold War, The Space Race, elections, primary sources, secondary sources, quizzes, assignments, campaign advertisements, education, or anything else constructive. 

It’s one of my favorite bands, they’re called Portishead.  This is a clip from a show they did in ’98 at the Roseland Theater in New York.

Ok, it’s a Primary Source, It’s unedited documentary footage. 

Thanks again!


JFK, Rice University Address

This is an excerpt from a speech that President Kennedy gave at Rice University in Houston, TX in September 1962.  In just 1 more month, the nation would be embroiled in the Cuban Missile Crisis.  In this speech, JFK states clearly why we were going to go to the moon.  It’s a 3 minute clip, and the style and amazing skill of JFK as an orator are simply amazing… Watch how he works the crowd. 

The Daisy Girl Advertisement

These are some of the political advertisements we watched on Friday March 7, and Monday March 10.  The first clip is called the “Daisy Girl” ad.  It was run on September 7, 1964, and made people so MAD that they only ran it once.  It’s probably the most famous political advertisement in history.  The voice over “We must love each other…” is President Johnson’s voice. 

Although his political opponent was never mentioned by name, people understood perfectly what he was talking about.  Barry Goldwater was an “Arch-Conservative”  (meaning VERY conservative) Republican from Arizona.  He favored the use of Atomic weapons in North Vietnam, and to fight the communists in Cuba.  It’s a brilliant ad that worked PERFECTLY.  Johnson defeated Goldwater 65% to 35% in the popular vote.

By the way… these are Primary sources. 

This second ad is less than a month old.  This ad was run by Hillary Clinton in Texas and Ohio before their primaries.  The tone between the two ads are similar.  In my opinion it’s important for you to understand how advertisers get you to buy your product.  Politicians, just like detergent makers and auto companies use images to appeal to your emotions.  The Daisy Girl, and Clinton’s 3 a.m. advertisements appeal directly to the same kind of emotions.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Demise

oswald-shot-by-ruby.jpgThe assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald has done more to start the Conspiracy Theorists than anything else. 

John F. Kennedy Jr.


This is probably one of the most famous images from the funeral of President Kennedy.  The child is John F. Kennedy Jr., who was 3 years old at the time of his father’s assassination.  He is saluting the casket of his father as it passes by.  He standing next to his sister Caroline and his mother Jackie.  It’s one of those pictures that reminds me that while the US lost a popular president, a young family lost their husband and father

The Zapruder Film

Thursday Feb 28, and Friday Feb 29 we’ll be focusing on the Kennedy Assassination.  It was an incredibly traumatic time for millions of Americans.  Many people who were alive then could tell you exactly where they were, and what they were doing when they found out that the President had been killed.  A similarly traumatic event would be the Challenger (space shuttle) disaster in 1986, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. 

Attached here is a digitally corrected, and stabilized image of the Assassination.  This video is THE primary source document of the assassination, but no video has generated more controversy and conspiracy theories than this one.

The video was shot by a man named Abraham Zapruder, who was using a hand held color film recorder, they were fairly rare for the time.  We’re very lucky that the film exists at all.   I want to warn my students that the video is extremely graphic.  If you are at all sensitive, or do not want to view the video, please feel free to avoid clicking play.

A note about the video: the black colored blocking on the sample is stabilization for the images.  It was a hand held recording, the blocking allows for a more stable image. 

A picture

An East German guard escapes to freedom

Click for the full version.  This is a picture I found when I was doing some research about the Berlin Wall.  I wasn’t able to discover what happened to this East German who ran over the border.  It’s one of those pictures that really is worth a thousand words.