This Day in United States Democracy

U.S. History Final Project-Ms. Loza

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Project Overview

Throughout the year, we have examined the meaning of American democracy and how it has evolved since Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. For your final, you will work in groups to explore the evolution of American democracy. In groups of 3-4, you will research a milestone in the evolution of U.S. democracy. You will research the event, and create a presentation on how the event strengthened and/or limited the evolution of democracy in our nation.


  • Your group will conduct research on how a specific event helped to further democracy, or hurt democracy in the United States. You will use the research questions below.
  • Using the research, you will produce a video that recreates or reports on your "Day in U.S. Democracy". You must use Adobe Voice, iMovie, or a free movie making app for your video. No powerpoint or prezi accepted.
  • You must type out the answers to the questions.
  • Provide a works cited page (four sources).
  • You must also print out and turn in your script.
  • You will be given AMPLE class time to complete the project. There will be three "check in" dates to determine your progress. Ms. Loza must sign off on each day that your group was on task and making progress on the project.

Research Questions

Be sure to support each answer with question with examples from your research. Each answer needs to be complete (no “yes” or “no” answers). Each answer should be AT LEAST a paragraph long.

Works Cited-You must also include a Works Cited page in proper MLA format, using 4-6 sources. One may be your textbook, two can be proper Web sources (no Wikipedia, etc.). If you are unsure about the source, please ask.

1. What was the event or milestone? Describe the specifics of the event. Who were the people involved? Where did the event take place? Are they people who are usually associated with political power in the country? Include background/s on the major people involved (discuss at least two people).

2. Did the milestone guarantee or deny any rights, protections, or privileges? To who? Be specific.

3. Was this milestone a contribution, a setback, or both, in the evolution of American democracy? How so?

4. How were these rights, protections, or privileges secured or denied? By who? (one person, the government, etc.). Was there a sacrifice or cost involved by those involved?

5. What was the result of the milestone? Who or what was impacted the most?

6. What does this milestone teach us about American democracy? Does your group feel optimistic or pessimistic about American democracy? Support your answer with support from your research.

Video Presentation

Your group will produce a video segment on your event. Your production must be a 5-10 minute segment that creatively tells the audience about you "day in U.S. democracy". Your production should answer the research questions through storytelling, NOT by reading out the questions and answers. This project is NOT intended to be a poster or Powerpoint, it needs to be performed as a documentary or news segment ( Adobe Voice, iMovie, etc.)

Choice #1: News style video. Imagine that the Panther Report has asked you to produce a segment on your milestone titled “This day in United States Democracy”. This format should include interviews, images/visuals, and music to tell the story.

Choice #2: Documentary style. This format should include images/visuals with voice-overs, music, and titles to tell your story.

  • Every person's voice or body must appear in the video.
  • You MUST print out and turn in the script you used.
  • The video should tell the story in a cohesive, creative way.
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This Day in Democracy Possible Topics

You must choose from the following milestones. If you have another idea, it must be approved by me. Milestones must be finalized on Monday May 11th, no changes will be allowed after this day.

1. 1831 Nat Turner Rebellion

2. 1838-39 Trail of Tears

3. 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

4. 1848 Seneca Falls Convention

5. 1848 Dred Scott vs. Sanford

6. 1850 Fugitive Slave Act

7. 1859 John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry

8. 1862 Homestead Act

9. 1865 Freedmen’s Bureau

10. 1865 Juneteenth

11. 1879 Trial of Standing Bear

12. 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

13. 1886 Haymarket Square Affair

14. 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee

15. 1890 Jim Crow laws take root in the South

16. 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson

17. 1895 Ida B. Wells published the Red Record

18. 1898 U.S. vs. Wong Kim Ark

19. 1900s Indian Schools are established

20. 1907-08 Gentlemen’s Agreement

21. 1908 Restrictive covenants on housing

22. 1909 NAACP is established

23. 1912 The Lawrence Textile Strike (Bread and Roses)

24. 1915 National Women’s Party is formed

25. 1921 Tulsa Race Riot

26. 1925 Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters formed

27. 1927 Gong Lum vs. Rice

28. 1927 Buck vs. Bell

29. 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act

30. 1942 Executive Order 9066

31. 1942-43 Sleepy Lagoon incident and Zoot Suit uprising

32. 1946 Mendez vs. Westminster

33. 1947 Jackie Robinson integrates Major League Baseball

34. 1955 Murder of Emmett Till

35. 1957 Little Rock Nine

36. 1961 Freedom Riders

37. 1963 Dr. King writes the “Letter From a Birmingham Jail"

38. 1964 Freedom Summer

39. 1965 United Farmworker’s grape boycott campaign

40. 1966 Black Panther Party’s 10 Point Plan

41. 1966 Heavyweight Boxer, Muhammad Ali refuses to go to the Vietnam War

42. 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech by Dr. King

43. 1968 The Chicano Student Blow Outs

44. 1971 26th Amendment raised voting age to 18 yrs.

45. 1972 Roe vs. Wade decision

46. 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties March

47. 1973 Wounded Knee Uprising

48. 1978 Harvey Milk, first openly gay candidate elected to public office.

49. 1981 Sandra Day O’Conner becomes first woman to sit on Supreme Court

50. 1982 Plyer vs Doe

51. 1992 Los Angeles Uprising

52. 1994 CA Proposition 187

53. 1996 CA Proposition 209

54. 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

55. 2009 Sonia Sotomayor becomes first Latina on the Supreme Court

56. 2010 Arizona House Bill 2281

57. 2011 the Occupy Wall Street movement

58. 2014 the #Blacklivesmatter movement

59. The Warren Court decisions

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Important Dates

May 2-Introduce topic, pick groups, topics, and dates. Assign roles and begin brainstorming.

May 5-Computer lab S206

May 6-Ipad in class

May 10-Ipad day, check in #1

May 13-Computer lab S206

May 16-Library, check in #2

May 18-Library

May 20-Computer lab S206, check in #3

May 23-Computer lab S206

Presentation dates (group due dates):

The day of your final

Presentation Order

Period 3 Wednesday 6/1

1. 1992 LA Uprising

2. Jim Crow Laws

3. Freedom Riders

4. Freedom Summer

5. Jackie Robison

6. Mohammed Ali

Thursday 6/2

1. the Black Panther Party

2. CA Prop 187

3. the Chicano Student Blow Outs

4. the Little Rock Nine

5. the Freedom Riders

6. Trail of Tears

7. Jackie Robinson integrates MLB

8. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Group Roles

Historian/Scribe (1-2 people)
  • Responsible for dividing up research questions among group.
  • Assists group with accurate research, ensures that sources are valid.
  • Responsible for typing out research questions in proper MLA format. Makes sure they are handed in on time.
  • Responsible for creating MLA works cited page.
  • Assists with video production & script.

IT/Creative Director (1-2 people)

  • Coordinates and selects technology. Ensures video is done and working
  • Responsible for creative direction of the video.
  • Responsible for images and music. Directs the script.
  • Responsible for editing.
  • Assists with research questions.
  • Responsible for typing out script and handing it in on due date.

Google Docs: Research Questions

Your group can use the link to collaborate on the research questions. Each member of your group will need a gmail account to contribute to the document. Copy and paste the questions and create your own google doc.

Rubric-Please have a member of your group print out the rubric and turn in on the day of your presenation

Group grades

Period 3

1992 Los Angeles Uprising

Freedom Riders

Freedom Summer

Jim Crow Laws

Jackie Robinson integrates MLB

Mohammed Ali refuses to go to war

Period 6