Holley students given trove of newspapers from historic moments since the late ’50s
‘Holley Hub’ also does podcasts of current events
HOLLEY – Holley students in a current events class led by teacher Nick D’Amuro have spent this week poring over headlines from key moments in U.S. history since the 1960s.
One of D’Amuro’s colleagues, science teacher Kristen Pelkey, handed off five boxes of newspapers covering about 60 years since 1958. These are newspapers from Syracuse that show the news coverage from historic days, including the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.; the resignation of Richard Nixon as U.S. president; many achievements by astronauts; and other key moments as well as ongoing coverage of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.
Students are looking through the stacks of papers with rubber gloves, and making an inventory of the big headlines. They are making other observations, including the prominence of cigarette advertising, the lack of women in the news, and how newspapers weren’t very critical of government leaders until the 1970s with Nixon, who resigned in disgrace.
The newspapers in the 1960s are very much in favor of government leaders, and really touted U.S. advances by astronauts as the country raced against Russia to have the first man on the Moon.
“In the 1960s, the newspapers were very patriotic and supportive of the government,” D’Amuro said during the class on Friday. “In the 1970s, the newspapers were more critical.”
There are 15 students in the class in grades 10 through 12. They meet each day for eighth period in the school library.
The batch of historic newspapers was a pleasant surprise. They were given to the science teacher, who thought D’Amuro and his class would enjoy going through the newspapers, which are considered “the first rough draft of history.”
The students have been digging into news this year, and it had been current events. The class created a “Holley Hub” podcast and has had about a dozen episodes so far. D’Amuro, who also teaches social studies, wants students to be critical thinkers and educated citizens. The podcasts are available through the Holley Hub Twitter feed.
D’Amuro said the old newspapers, covering historic events, has inspired students, and took them right back to key moments they had read about in class. With the newspaper coverage, the events didn’t feel like an event from decades ago.
The Holley students will go through the newspapers and compile highlights that they hope to share with the school community after they are done with their research, D’Amuro said.