Letters to the Editor

Should the Federal Government Fund History Teaching?

Alfred Elkins, September 2009

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To the Editor:

Why can’t the federal government keep its hand off the teaching of American history? It is not the place of the Senate to authorize $150 million to have students learn about itself.

In the “News Briefs” page of the May 2009 issue of Perspectives on History, an item described the erroneous legislative push. In another item on the same page, a report by the Civil War Preservation Trust is described. This report lists endangered Civil War battlefields “and what can be done to save them.”

Perhaps the $150 million (the $500,000 in federal funding for National History Day in 2009 is OK) proposed for teaching American history could be better used to save endangered Civil War battlefield sites. This is a switch worth thinking about.

—Alfred Elkins
Bronx, N.Y.