Magazine article Humanities

We the People

Magazine article Humanities

We the People

Article excerpt

OUR FOUNDERS BELIEVED THE STUDY OF HISTORY AND CITIZENSHIP SHOULD BE AT THE CORE OF EVERY AMERICAN'S EDUCATION," said President George W. Bush as he announced the NEH initiative We the People on September 17. "We are bound by ideals, and our children must know those ideals. They should know about the nearly impossible victory of the Revolutionary War, and the debates of the Constitutional Convention. They should know the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, and how Abraham Lincoln applied its principles to fight slavery."

To help Americans make sense of their history and the world around them, NEH has launched an initiative, We the People. The initiative will build knowledge by encouraging scholars, teachers, filmmakers, curators, and librarians to submit grant applications that explore significant events and themes in our nation's history and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America. Proposals for the We the People initiative will be evaluated by NEH's grant review process. Application forms are available at www.neh.gov. NEH will also present an annual lecture on "Heroes of History." The lecture, to be given by a noted scholar, will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the lives and deeds of our nation's heroes.

As the first part of the initiative, NEH is sponsoring a nationwide essay contest for young people on "The Idea of America." High school juniors are invited to write a twelve-hundred-- word essay on a topic that challenges them to think about the tenets that define and unite our nation. The deadline for submission is November 18, and the winner will receive a $5,000 prize and be honored at the "Heroes of History" lecture. Five runners-up will receive $1,000 prizes. Information about the contest and the initiative can be found at www.wethepeople.gov.

For nearly forty years the National Endowment for the Humanities has provided Americans with the tools they need to be good citizens. …

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