Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


The campaign and election of 1948-Digital Scrapbook
Author:
Megan Horn
Course:
American History
Time Frame:
one week
Subjects:
1948 Election

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

A Presidential Election is a very complex and unique process in our country, one that is filled with many different factors that lead to the final result. The election of 1948 is one of the most interesting and unique elections in our country’s history, not only because of the ‘surprise’ ending, but also the events that occurred during the campaign itself. This unit is designed to introduce students to the campaign and election of 1948 and also to raise awareness and bring insight to the electoral process in general.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


Missouri Standards

2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)

 

Kansas Standards

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

Technology Required:

Internet Some form of word processor (Microsoft Word) or slide show (Power Point)

Full description of activity or assignment.

Introduction

 

The presidential election in 1948 was one of the most surprising upsets in the political history of the United States, and it is also considered to be a highlight of Harry Truman’s career. Your task will be to chronicle the events of the campaign and election in a multimedia format. You will be expected to conduct your research online, and to look through primary and secondary sources. As you explore the Internet links on this page you can look for facts, quotations, examples and images that peak your interest for this topic. What you collect on your journey will be pinned together in a scrapbook for your final product and grade.

 

Instructions

Your scrapbook will contain the following:

  1. Cover- Should contain a picture, title, your name, hour and teacher’s name
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Forward- Give a brief description of the election of 1948 and what its historical significance is.
  4. Why Truman Ran in the Election? - Truman went against his family’s wishes when he chose to run for President in 1948. He claimed he felt there was “unfinished business” he needed to attend to. Write a brief article about why Truman felt this way and what he hoped to do if elected.
  5. Who’s Who in the election- Write a summary of each of the main candidates for president. Include Truman, Dewey and Wallace (make sure to include at least one picture of each)
  6. Comparing Platforms- Provide a comparison of the two main political platforms (Democrats and Republicans) and what each promised during the campaign. Also include your own reaction about the platforms compared to politics today.
  7. Media and Miscellaneous in Campaign Elections- The press and polling agencies played an instrumental role in the election of 1948. As you research their involvement include facts as well as your opinion about the part the media and polling agencies play in all major elections.
  8. Truman’s Victory Map- You will need to print off a map of the United States and color in the states each candidate won the electoral votes for.
  9. Letter of Congratulations/Note from the Author- After reading actual letters and telegrams that others sent to Truman after the election, you will write you own congratulatory letter to Truman and also add information about you learned from this assignment. Details Explore the Internet sites linked below. You are looking for facts, quotes, examples, charts, maps, images, etc. that you think are important aspects of the topic. When you find something you like, check its Web page for a copyright notice. Most of our “Whistlestop” sites will encourage students to copy things that will be used in the classroom. Copy the text, quotes, pictures you want by dragging across the words or image, then using the Edit-Copy command on the menubar. Paste what you highlighted into your document. Once you have collected your information, go over it carefully so that you can give clear and thoughtful responses for all information gathered.

The Internet Resources Why Truman Ran in the Election

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Dewey:

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Wallace:

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Comparing Platforms:

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Media and Miscellaneous in Campaign Elections:

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Letter of Congratulations

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Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

Students will be grade on the accuracy of the historical information, for the validity of their personal opinions, and for successfully “cutting and pasting” pictures and images from the Internet. Election of 1948 Scrapbook Web resources for creating a Multimedia Scrapbook