Middle School History Department Hosts Inauguration Watch Party
History teachers Joseph Spencer, Paul Camargo, and Andy Hulm provided historical context, fun facts and space for Chandler Middle School students to watch the 46th presidential inauguration and address.
More than 30 Middle School students attended between classes and during their break time. Mr. Spencer noted that President Biden's speech, at 20 minutes, was one of the longest addresses in American history. He also noted that the longest speech to date has been by William Henry Harrison, 9th president of the United States, who chose to forego an overcoat and gloves on a 48 degree inauguration day. He died 31 days into his presidency from pneumonia.
While most students in attendance were under ten years old during the last inauguration, teachers remarked on past ceremonies' differences. Because of the pandemic and security concerns, the procession or parade that usually takes place on Pennsylvania Avenue after the address was cut short this year. They also talked to students about the symbolism behind the colors that are worn by those in attendance. During moments of disunity in the nation, officials have worn purple as a symbol between both parties - Republican red and Democrat blue.
This semester, and throughout all three grades, the history department will coordinate lessons that correlate with the significance of the inauguration. 8th graders will be studying the American Constitution later this week, and 7th graders studying the Renaissance and Enlightenment will talk about how these ideas impacted American democracy. In the coming weeks, 6th graders will look at ancient Greece and Rome and the beginnings of democracy and the election process throughout history - who has been included and those left out of the election process.
"Teaching history prepares students for citizenship and civic engagement and while a presidential inauguration only happens once every four years, it was special sharing this historic event with Chandler students," says 6th Grade history teacher Andy Hulm.