Much of the study of the Cuban Missile Crisis focuses on the Soviet–US confrontation. However, it is important to remember that the UK was the third nuclear party involved in the crisis. This excellent article from Total Politics examines the role played by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during the Cuban Missile Crisis - it seems he was more closely involved than is typically thought.
A fascinating story this one - twenty-one German soldiers entombed in a perfectly preserved World War One shelter have been discovered 94 years after they were killed. You can read about it here in The Telegraph.
Most teachers are aware of the history film dilemma. There are an increasing number of really good ‘history’ films out there, both the reasonably accurate and the laughably inaccurate, and all types offer a chance to invigorate a bit of classroom work on the relevant topic. But with increasing pressure on classroom time - much of it seeping away due to January modules, university open days, the odd snow day, field trips by other departments – it really is difficult to justify devoting whole lessons to the showing of a film (if it ever really was, but who hasn’t occasionally taken refuge in one!). One solution, of course, is the glorious ‘watch this film’ homework, worth setting for the looks of bemusement followed by delight on student faces. That’s one homework that gets done! But solution number 2, and a more collective one, is the History Film Club. Some of my sixth form historians have set one up after school on a Monday evening, using the interactive whiteboards as a decent substitute cinema screen, and it is not only proving quite popular but is provoking interesting discussions afterwards. First off was “Valkyrie”, the controversial Tom Cruise vehicle.read more...»
A neat interactive timeline here charts the development of the arms race and subsquent negotiations and treaties on disarmament.
Here’s a great starter activity from Andy Lawrence using tutor2u’s Wipeout Challenge quiz format…read more...»
The 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism is well covered in these interactive BBC resources, including video clips from the news archives:
If you missed the superb Into the Storm last night, then it is well worth catching on BBC iPlayer.
Loads of reenactments of key WW2 events in there for students, including Dunkirk, the War Cabinet, Yalta and the bombing of Dresden. The 1945 General Election is also featured prominently.
According to the programme guide:
Jeremy Vine marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by looking at its history, from construction in 1961, to the day it was finally breached on 9 November 1989.
Jeremy visits the city to examine what remains of the Wall and speaks to those who lived on both sides - East and West. He visits some of the key locations in the Wall’s history including Checkpoint Charlie; the Brandenburg Gate; Bernauer Strasse, which was cut in two in 1961; and Mauerstrasse, where the largest remaining section of the Wall exists today. Jeremy explores why the Wall went up in the first place, why it came down and asks whether the psychological scars of a divided Germany still remain.
The programme contains firsthand testimony from Germans who escaped from the East and those who helped them. It also considers what it was like to live in a state controlled by the secret police or Stasi and hears from a political reformer who was held in the notorious Hohenschönhausen prison. He considers to what extent the phenomenon of “ostalgie” or nostalgia for life in the former East Germany still exists, particularly as some former Stasi and government officials have prospered since the Wall came down 20 years ago.
There are interviews with escapee Joachim Neuman, who spent two years working on tunnels under the Wall to bring his girlfriend to the West; and escapee Irmgard Muller, who escaped from East Berlin under a false passport to be with her husband. We also hear from West Berliner Horst Seeliger, who was in East Berlin on November 9 1989, and one of the first people to cross back through the border into the West; and Vera Lengsfeld, an East German reformist politician who was imprisoned by the Stasi.
Additional contributors include historian Frederick Taylor; Sunday Times journalist Peter Millar and veteran BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan, who both covered the fall of the wall; and Ben Bradshaw, Secretary Of State for Culture, Media & Sport, who was a young BBC reporter in Berlin in 1989.
On the 80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash, the Guardian has produced this excellent interactive guide to the events in 1929.
This ten-minute You Tube video gudies students through the events immediately following the appointment of Alexander Dubcek as leader of the Czech Communist Party.read more...»
A terrific resource from the BBC archive has recently been updated and upgraded. The Berlin Wall archive contains a rich collections of video and audio clips explaining the entire history of the Berlin Wall. An essential AV resource.
The Polish challenge to the Soviets from Lech Walesa’s Solidarity trade union is described in this 10 minute You Tube video.read more...»
Here are links to a series of new interactive quizzes for GCSE History courses that cover the Arab-Israeli conflict.read more...»
Test your knowledge of key names, events and concepts in the history of the Cold War with these four “wildcard”-style quizzes. We give you a partially completed term. Your task is to complete it.read more...»
Here is a collection of interactive multiple choice quizzes which help students test their knowledge of the Superpower conflicts:read more...»
This You Tube video explains the events of the 1856 Hungarian uprising…read more...»
This excellent short CNN video tells the story of Checkpoint Charlie…read more...»
This ten-minute newsreel video tells the “official” story of the Allied Berlin Airlift…read more...»
Help your students decide whether Truman should have dropped the bomb with this source-based activity from the Learning Curve
Here is a revision mutliple choice quiz for GCSE history students covering the Second World War and the events of D-Dayread more...»
If you are looking for primary evidence on the Women’s Suffrage Movement take a look at the excellent selection from The British Library’s site Learning: Dreamers and Dissenters.
Two short videos from YouTube take take students through the background to, and events of Bay of Pigs in April 1961…read more...»
Events, dear boy, events. And the Cold War period was packed full of them - so many in fact that GCSE History students can be forgiven for confusing Potsdam with Prague or Detente with the Domino Effect.
Here are a couple of revision crosswords which you might use with students to help reinforce core knowledge of what happened and when during the Cold War. There are two crosswords - one with 10 clues and one with 20 clues.
Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing these resources which we are about to make available as part of a comprehensive PuzzlePack on the Cold War for GCSE History students
Do you have students who don’t know their Arms Races from their Eisenhower?
Here is a matching activity which can be used to help students test their knowledge of the main historical characters involved in the Cold War. There are two puzzles - one has 10 people listed; the other has 15 people. The aim is to match the person with the clue!
A discussion forum for students, run by History educators for students
The Shatila refugee camp was established in Lebanon to temporarily house Palestinians who had fled from what became Israel during the 1948-49 war. The refugees have never been able to return. This slideshow from the BBC looks at life within the camp and makes reference to the massacre that took place here during the Israeli invasion of 1982.
Another great resource from the BBC that will aid revision on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Watch them here.
Here is a new resource that will help with student revision of the history of Russia between 1900 - 1924 (GCSE History)read more...»
Here is a new resource that will help with student revision of the Cold War for GCSE Historyread more...»