Teaching Untaught Histories

Teaching Untaught Histories brings our NPS education rangers into your classroom to share compelling Social Justice stories rooted in - or linked to - the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Each account focuses on a pivotal national issue that played out right here in San Francisco. We frame the programs with essential questions, supported by inquiry lessons based on historical analysis and critical thinking skills. We focus on areas of the curriculum that best meet your learning goals for your students, and determine our in class time according to your availability

Please click here to complete an application for Teaching Untaught Histories.

Topics for 2019-2020


A Question of Color

How in 1897, did John Harris, an African American, win his suit against Sutro Baths for its discriminatory policy of “whites only” only a year after the landmark Plessy vs. Ferguson decision? We look at the activism of San Francisco’s African American community and California’s groundbreaking landmark 1897 Civil Rights Act, predating the National Civil Rights Act by 67 years. Supplement for unit on Plessy vs. Ferguson, roots of Civil Rights legislation


We Are All Americans

People of Japanese ancestry faced a deep moral dilemma in the 1940s when confronted with the military draft while their families were incarcerated in concentration camps without due process. Why did individuals make the choice to join or resist? What drove others to register as a Conscientious Objector or to resist the draft? How were families and communities affected? Supplement for unit on 1940s incarceration, Conscientious Objectors; in partnership with the National Japanese American Historical Society


Uprooting Chinatown

When 1890s San Francisco’s power elite tried to remove the Chinese community and their places of cultural significance far from the city center citing health concerns, the community fought back through the courts. Learn about this legal protest and nationally significant cases that originated here, including the 1890 case of Wong Kim Ark and the enduring definition of citizenship. Supplement for unit on citizenship and the constitution, 20th century social history


Honorable Duty

African American soldiers fought in US expansionist wars in the Pacific during the 1890s and into the early 20th century at the height of Jim Crow. We consider the contradictions of fighting other people of color across the world through the eyes of the Buffalo Soldiers and the African American press. Why did activists such as Ida B. Wells object to military service for African Americans? How did African Americans voice support fo individual soldiers while simultaneously opposing US policies of white supremacy? Supplement for unit on the Spanish American War, War for Independence in the Philippines, and American expansionism in the Pacific


Last updated: August 28, 2019

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