St. Albans High School teacher Sarah Gallagher researched the life and service of Corporal Leroy Ferguson as part of Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. In honor of Veterans Day, Mrs. Gallagher’s eulogy and profile of Corporal Leroy Ferguson will be published at NHDSilentHeroes.org. In addition, a lesson plan inspired by the Silent Hero, In Their Boots: Understanding the Effects of Trench Warfare, is on the World War I page of National History Day’s website and will be featured in the upcoming publication, Great War, Flawed Peace, and the Lasting Legacy of World War I.
Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Memorializing the Fallen program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms. By researching the story of a Silent Hero®, an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, program participants can be the voice of these Americans who died a century ago.
In June 2019, Gallagher joined 16 other extraordinary educators as they traveled through Europe, walking in the footsteps of history. Using their research, teachers created lesson plans, Silent Hero profiles, and eulogies now published on NHDSilentHeroes.org.
Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War I in American classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary. Using primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities, students are transported into the past to examine the war and its legacies, which transformed the history of twentieth century.
“This partnership with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library has allowed us to take extraordinary educators to battlefields and memorials of Europe,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Their unique experiences will now help teachers bring history to life with the materials they produced for use in classrooms around the world.”
Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials. They are accompanied by research about Silent Heroes of World War I who are honored at cemeteries in Europe.
About National History Day®:
NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.
About the United States World War One Centennial Commission:
The World War I Centennial Commission was created by Congress in 2013 to provide educational programs, public outreach, and commemorative events, regarding America’s involvement in World War I. The Commission is building the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Information on the Commission can be found at ww1cc.org.
About the Pritzker Military Museum & Library:
Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, located in downtown Chicago, is a nonprofit center where citizens and soldiers come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum & Library feature an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, the archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts and oral histories, and museum exhibits. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, visit www.pritzkermilitary.org or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook.