American History Review

Kathyrn Sackman w studentsI touched on the dreaded math word problem, stressed out over the rules of grammar, and expressed my intense dislike of cursive writing in earlier posts.

Today we’re going to look at what we were supposed to know in Second Semester American History.

I had Miss Kathryn Sackman and Mrs. Lois K. McKinnis for history. I think the former taught American History, and the latter had World History – or it might have been the other way around. The thing I remember best about Miss Sackman was her jet-black hair.

Nearly got ulcers

Phyllis Hansen commented on another post, “I was so scared of Ms. Sackman I nearly got ulcers in the first month of school, but I developed a great love for history from having had her as a teacher.

In the Class of 1965 reunion bio, Nancy Jenkins Wilson said Miss Sadler and Miss Sackman were her most influential teachers. David Spradling echoed that: “Miss Sackman influenced me the most. She taught me that learning could be fun as well as a challenge.”

Miss Sackman retired in 1972 after 20 years in the Cape school system. Her obituary in the July 8, 1992 Missourian reported that she died on her 87th birthday in 1992. She was the daughter of John Theodore and Barbara Louisa Juden Sackman. Miss Sackman was a graduate of Central High School and Southeast Missouri State University. She did research at Columbia University in New York City and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and received a master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt.

Are you ready for the test?

CHS American History Review Guide c 1964I broke the page into two pieces to make it easier to read, but you will probably still need to click on the image to make it larger.

“Discuss the date, causes, leaders, events, and results of every war the U.S. has entered since 1865.” A variation says to “Review causes, events, results of each of the following wars: Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War.”

Kids back then had it easy: look how many fewer wars they had to learn. In fact, I’m not sure we ever made it all the way through World War I; I’m positive we didn’t discuss Korea.

Discuss present day problems

CHS American History Review Guide c 1964“Discuss fully present day problems concerned with: Elections; Education; The Mississippi River; Science; Foreign Policy; The Census; Segregation, labor.”

The problems of the CENSUS ranked right up there with problems of SEGREGATION?

Now that what I used to cover as news has grown enough whiskers that it has become history, I’ve gained a real appreciation for the past. The difference between what we memorized in school and what I find interesting today is discovering His Story and Her Story, not the name of some obscure, long-forgotten treaty, bill or politician.

Tell me the story about Louis Houck’s ghost whistles instead.

18 Replies to “American History Review”

  1. Who else taught history because I don’t remember having either of those fine ladies?
    I didn’t develop a love of history until my 40s when it became fascinating because of the “story and repercussions” instead of having to memorize a useless list of names,dates , and treaties! Thank god they invented multiple choice tests or I would still be in detention.

  2. Miss Sackman’s report card grades comprised two components. The first was on the notebook in which students were required to copy the questions from the chapter review and answer them. The second was test results. The two averages received equal weight in the final calculation.

    In the Fall quarter at least one student refused to do the notebook, but aced all of the tests, receiving an M for the quarterly effort.

    Towards the end of the second quarter Miss Sackman made a mistake by asserting 18 million people (the US population at the time) died in the Civil War (it is true that all eventually did). The student’s notebook for that quarter contained only a comment on the error.

    The following day, Miss Sackman stormed into class, and in an emotional harangue stated that some students thought her an unfit teacher. She then sought a referendum on the issue. John Brandt was delegated to be the vote counter. She turned her back and asked how many thought her a good teacher. Most raised their hands. Then she asked for the hands of those of different persuasion. Surprisingly, despite being sophomores, there were a few who voted with the rebel.

    John, ever a student of the female psyche, quickly assessed the situation and reported that there were no negative votes. Miss Sackman then proceeded with Reconstruction.

  3. If memory serves me correctly there was a history teacher by the name of Vivian Kies, this would have been in the late 40’s, in the same time period of Aileen Sadler and Grace Williams and Mary Z. Reed.

  4. I’m with Brune on this high school history business. Hated it then, too much mindless triva. Those pre test questions Ken posted, what a joke! Started liking it while at SEMO and continue to this day. I don’t recall who I had for history but I think they were all bad teachers, just wanted to jam facts and figures down your throat to be regurgitated on call without really learning anything or making you want to learn anything.
    Just one mans thoughts

  5. Miss Sackman was one of the very best teachers I had at Central. Alas, I got Mrs. Muegge for second semester. Totally boring. Mrs. Tilly Dale Williams was a terrific World History teacher because she had personally visited many of the locations she taught about. Miss Sadler rounds out my favorite teachers.

  6. Had Mary z Reed for English but don’t believe she taught history. Could have been Mrs Kies. Sounds right.

  7. Grace Williams was a math teacher, Miss Sadler and Miss Reed were english teachers, only Miss Kies was a history teacher. I only meant that they were all teaching at chs at the same time.

  8. I have Miss Vivian Kies for World History in my Sophomore year. She was a good teacher, but in my Junior year, I had Frank Nickell for American History. Yes, that is the Dr. Frank Nickell who is now a retired professor of American History from SEMO. He made American History very interesting because his emphasis was always what we should learn from the mistakes of the past. Anyone that paid attention in his classes would be able to readily recognize the unlearned lessons of history being repeated today. His favorite type of test began with the words, “In a clear and concise essay, please explain the significance of …(some person, event, or law)”. It was not necessary to remember all the details of such, but to have an understanding of the subject. Thanks to him, I have a very clear understanding of our government and the place of the U.S. in the world. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. George Santayana

  9. I never had a world history class, or any history class for that matter, that made it to WWII except for a rush at the end of the year. Never was sure why that was.

    1. Ahh, so it’s NOT just me! I’ve always wondered about that. World History class simply ended with “Hitler was a bad, bad guy. Have a nice summer! see you in September!” I completed high school and college without ever hearing about the Holocaust. I only became aware when I saw a documentary on TV in the 70s.

  10. Ha! Laura,
    It was because they all got mired down in the Nina, The Pinta, And the Santa Marie era and the semester was over by the time we got past WWI That’s why it was so boring until we got to college or learned on our own. History is a fascinating study as is geology but never learned any of that in high school, some at SEMO.

  11. Mr.Schwab was my history teacher for both World and U.S. He was low key, but made it enjoyable. Miss Kies for Civics (required) was another story…very terse, and she reamed me out and belittled me so for wearing my gloves in class during a cold winter day! I felt like climbing into a hole. From Mr. O’Connell, who taught economics, I learned that one could make money by putting it into a savings account that paid interest, rather than in a checking account. I in turn told my parents. They then followed his advice. Back then interest paid MUCH better than now, of course, so it made a real difference!

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