Saturday, May 24, 2014

world's faster female ice hockey player

At the senior dinner at Berkshire School this May the quest speaker was Olympic Silver Medalist Kendall Coyne.  I was lucky enough to teach her during her senior year at Berkshire, and then as you can see I was honored to have my picture taken with her.  She and her accomplishments are awesome.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Topics Question due May 9, 2014

   Read the question asked and post your answer by clicking onto the comment section.   Goggle Chrome or Internet Explorer work much better to write on this blog.  It is a goggle blog so the goggle platform will be the easiest for you.

Question:       The first amendment to the US Constitution protects the freedom of religion as well as the freedoms of expression.  Please read this amendment carefully, along with Article IV Section I of the main body of the Constitution, ( full faith and credit clause).  What is your opinion on the constitutionality of same sex marrigage?

Article IV

Section 1

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.  And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Article [I]13

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Finishing my 35th year as a teacher at Berkshire School feels quite different than other years.  As I get older my energy seems to be draining faster, and I find myself wishing I could spend time with my wonderful wife.  I love the kids who are as inspirational as ever, but I am longing to live a less stressful existance.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Should the US have joined the League?

Should the United States of American have joined the League of Nations in 1919?  
President W. Wilson

Senator H. C. Lodge

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sports and Politics Homework

Homework---Write a one paragraph account of a moment in your personal sports history that is special to you.

Put this on the WFG blog at
by Tuesday for all of us to read in class.

Behind the Badge Homework

Your homework is to check out one of these organizations in your community and tell us something about the organization.  Write one or two paragraphs explaining the P.D.  or  the F.D. or the E.M.S. in your town.  Submit these paragraphs on the WFG blog at this location by Wednesday for us to read them in class.

Medical Services

Firefighting Services

Law Enforecment

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


It has occurred to me that the students at Berkshire School where I am a history teacher are the reason I have stayed teaching for 35 years. What great feeling when a student says hello and you can see the genuine happiness in their eyes.  This experience just happened for me as a Post Grad Senior girl saw me in passing and greeted me with friendship.  One of us is 60 and the other 18, yet her expression of friendship was perfect.  Small gestures are not small gestures they are great inspirations to continue on.  Thanks Aly Hall, you made my day.
another example of a former student making it all worth it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Trivia Night Bonus Question

Tell the crew in Trivia Night Headquarters where the photographer was standing when the picture was snapped--not what the picture is of -- where the person taking it was standing.




Monday, January 6, 2014

Paper topic ideas

Write two or three sentences that describe your term paper topic and submit it on the WFG blog for our consideration. Be prepared to support your idea in class.
 Topics Must be from 1865 to 2014 and be related to the History of the USA

Reconstruction Plans

Which plan for reconstruction do you feel was superior:  Lincoln's 10% plan or The Wade Davis Bill?
Make sure to give your reasons.

This is due on Thursday, January 9th  2014

President Abe Lincoln

Senator Ben Wade (OH) & Representative Henry Davis (MD) 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

map for exam review

Know these Locations for the Fall Exam

1 .St. Lawrence River                                             21. Gettysburg 
2. Mississippi River                                                 22. Proclamation Line of 1763

3. Jamestown                                                           23. Vicksburg

4. New Orleans                                                        24. Ohio River

5. Florida                                                                 25. Hudson River

6. New York City                                                     26. Trail of Tears Destination

7. Boston                                                                  27. “Bleeding” State

8. Ohio                                                                     28. Atlanta

9. Baltimore                                                              29. Washington State

10. Plymouth                                                            30. Andrew Jackson’s Home State

11. Hartford                                                             31.  Mason Dixon Line

12. Pittsburgh                                                          32. Thirty-six thirty line

13. Sheffield Ma.                                                     33. Locke’s Model tried here

14. The Alamo                                                         34. Great Salt Lake

15. The Missouri Compromise Line                        35. Savannah

16. Saratoga                                                            36. Chicago

17. Sacramento                                                       37. Great American Desert                                              
18. Lake Champlain                                                38. Gadsden Purchase

19. Lake Erie                                                           39. Maine

20. Rio Grande River                                              40. St. Louis

Monday, November 11, 2013

Expanding southwest

Do either one of the following questions on this blog.
E and H periods your entry is due Friday Nov. 15th
F period your entry is due Saturday Nov. 16th.

1. Compare the attitude of James Polk to that of Abraham Lincoln in regards to war with Mexico in 1846?  Which of these American leaders reflected the feelings of most United States citizens at the time?

2. Why do Americans "Remember the Alamo" and forget Goliad in reference to the Texas war for

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Social Security

 Should the United States Government use tax revenues to support socially, both legal residents and citizens of the country? Prior to 1933 this was not done, but the "New Deal" of F.D.R.'s administration commenced with programs to offer funding and programs to help those in need. Was this activity constitutional??

Entry due Tuesday November 12th

I copied the below from the Oyez, Oyez web page:


Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
Steward Machine Company
Facts of the Case 
The Steward Machine Company challenged the validity of a tax imposed by the Social Security Act. The Act established a federal payroll tax on employers; however, if employers paid taxes to a state unemployment compensation fund (created by the states subject to federal standards), they were allowed to credit those payments toward the federal tax.
Did the Act arbitrarily impose taxes in violation of the Fifth Amendment or subvert principles of federalism?
In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that the tax under the Social Security Act was a constitutional exercise of congressional power. The Court found that the tax was uniform throughout the states and did not coerce the states in contravention of the Tenth Amendment. The Court took note of recent unemployment statistics from the years 1929 to 1936, maintaining that "[i]t is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose narrower than the promotion of the general welfare. . .The nation responded to the call of the distressed."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jackson and $$$$$$$$$

This is to be posted before class on November 5th.

"What role did Jackson's financial policies play in the economic boom and financial panic of 1837?"

This is to be posted before class on November 5th.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Con Law Dred Scott Assignment



Slaves in America

             The American Civil War

Dred Scott was the Plaintiff in a 1857 case that has been called, "the self inflicted wound" on the US Supreme Court. Is this an accurate description of the legacy of the Taney Court???  In the best one or two paragraphs ever written give us your opinion on this statement. This is due October 31--Trick or Treat?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First Case of the new term!!

The United States Supreme Court, which starts their new session on the first Monday of October every year, has decided to hear a case that questions the governments restriction on the amount of money a private citizen can donate to a political campaign.  What is your opinion on this matter?  The idea of the law is to limit any one person's influence from being too great in an election, but the plaintiff feels this in a prohibition of his rights under the first amendment's protection of our freedom of speech.
Current Court Members

Oct 8, 2013 6:00am
WASHINGTON — The issue of campaign finance returns to the Supreme Court today in a case brought by an Alabama businessman who wanted to contribute more money during the last election cycle.
“This case is about freedom of speech,” says businessman Shaun McCutcheon. “It’s about my right to make contributions to the candidates I choose.”
In the 2012 election cycle, McCutcheon contributed a total of $33,088 in congressional races across the nation. He abided by the base limits set by federal law. Currently individuals may contribute $2,600 per election to a particular candidate committee and $32,400 to a national party committee.
But McCutcheon wanted to give money to more candidates and was blocked from doing so by aggregate campaign contribution limits set by federal law.
Those limits in a two-year cycle are $48,600 to a candidate committee and $74,600 to a non candidate committee.
“I am a conservative activist and I want to support candidates and committees that agree with my views,” McCutcheon says. He says he is happy to stay within the base limits, but “as a donor, I don’t think I should have to stay up all night seeing if I have hit an aggregate limit. I’m just a donor practicing my free speech under the First Amendment.”
In the last cycle McCutcheon had settled on the number $1,776. That’s the amount he would have given to 12 other candidates for Congress, if he hadn’t been stopped by the aggregate contribution limits.
Joined by the RNC, McCutcheon argues that that the cumulative contribution limits impose an unconstitutional burden on core First Amendment activity.
He says that an individual should not be limited in how many candidates, parties or PACS he can contribute to within the base limits.
Jones Day attorney Michael Carvin agrees.
“The rationale of the cap makes no sense,” he says. “If I can give 10 $2,500 contributions without corrupting anybody, what difference does it make if I make a hundred $2,500 contributions?”
In the area of campaign finance, the Supreme Court has distinguished between limits on expenditures and limits on contributions. In the Citizens United case, the Court struck down independent spending limits for corporations and unions, but it has — so far — consistently upheld federal contribution limits.
“For more than 70 years, federal law has generally limited the amounts that individuals may contribute to political candidates, political-party committees, and non-party political committees for the purpose of influencing elections for federal office,” writes Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. in briefs defending the aggregate contribution limits. “Both Congress and this court have recognized that such limits are an important tool in combating corruption and the appearance of corruption in federal politics.”
Verrilli argues that rich donors like McCutcheon are not prohibited from contributing to as many candidates, parties and other committees as they want. If McCutcheon chooses to support more candidates, he just has to give less to each.
Campaign finance reform advocates are fearful that the Roberts Court might limit or overturn precedent regarding individual contribution limits. They argue that without aggregate limits, some individuals might try to circumvent the base limits and pour money into the system.
“Without aggregate contribution limits, individuals would be free to cut million-dollar checks to candidates and their parties via joint-fundraising committees,” says Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
She says she fears the Court will take a step backward.
“It was huge contributions of this sort during the Watergate-era that led to the passage of the challenged federal campaign finance laws in the first place,” she says.

Get the supreme court's web page by clicking here. 
by going on the web page and typing McCutcheon into the search engine you can see the questions of law as posed.

This assignment is due on Friday October 11th.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Go Morgan and James

James and Morgan--this space is for your post--Class members please comment on James' essay which will tell
us how the American Revolution began and then became the American Revolutionary War.  (If you are in Morgan's class please comment on Morgan's)
Good Luck James & Morgan

James and Morgan: Please have these posted by Friday's class.

Click here to read about the Am. Rev. War.
Berkshire's Team USA Memebers want to Know

Jimmy McKee
Mr. Gulotta
Adv. US History
10 October 2013

Revolution to War Essay
               When the American people were beginning to get tired of the taxes and enforcements the American Revolution began. Many people were willing to try and get rid of the laws that parliament had imposed on the colonies. Others were wanted to fully break away from England and form their own country. As the British continued to input more and more regulations the number of people that wanted to separate from England increased. Many factors then sparked a war between the patriotic Americans and the mother country of Great Britain.
               Before there was any real thought of the colonists becoming a separate nation, the French and Indian war was being fought. The English were fighting against the French and their allied Indians. The French had occupied most of present day Canada and part of the Midwest. With the English trying to expand their territories westward there was bound to be a clash between the two rivals.  Many colonists wanted to expand westward as well and some joined in and fought against the French. With the British victory in the war came a vast new piece of land north of the colonies in Canada as well as much of the Midwest towards the Mississippi river. The war also brought great debt to Britain. Britain chose to regain the money lost in the war by taxing the colonists on just about everything. The French and Indian war was the key starting point in the American Revolution.
               In this new conquered land there were over 200,000 Indians ready to rebel against anyone who tried to come in and settle on their own land. Many uprisings against the west-seeking colonists were conducted by the natives and posed a threat to many people in America. To respond to these vicious Indians the British sent over 10,000 men in order to protect the American colonists. What angered the colonists and sparked some revolutionary fire was that they wanted to expand west and the mother country of Britain was not allowing anyone to go past the Appalachian Mountains. Britain created a barrier along the Appalachian Mountains lined with soldiers called The Proclamation line of 1763. On top of the colonist’s restricted expansion they were also forced to pay for some of the costs that it took to have 10,000 British soldiers stationed in America. The angered colonists weren’t happy that they had to pay for something that they didn’t even want on their land in the first place.
               After the war Great Britain was in immense debt and needed a way to make back the money they had lost in the war. George Grenville was in charge of the British Treasury after the British victory and was looking to regain as much wealth as possible. Grenville decided to impose taxes on the colonists. These new taxes were strictly enforced within the colonies. This was the end of Salutary Neglect for the colonists and British tax collectors. In the past years, colonists had simply paid off and bribed the tax collectors. Now, Britain wanted to gain as much money off the colonies as possible and have tax collectors be strict and forceful.
               With Britain needing money after the war they had to tax many things that the colonists sought after and often sold. The first tax that was put in that truly angered the colonists was the Stamp Act. This tax was put on everyday items that the colonists savored. Everything that was printed was to be taxed under the Stamp Act. Everything that the colonists bought that was printed had to have a special stamp on it to show that the tax had been paid. The colonists were angry about the tax and began to believe that if parliament had the power to tax their paper products then they could tax almost anything they wanted in the colonies.
               When parliament enforced the Stamp Act the colonists believed that something needed to be done. At first, in order to rebel many merchants throughout the colonies refused to buy imported goods. The colonists sent representatives from each state to one of the first congresses within the colonies. The Stamp Act Congress was held in New York City. The British merchants were greatly affected by the Stamp Act and its rebellions and the British sales to America fell by a large amount. Eventually parliament repealed the Stamp Act after a year. This was one of the first times that the colonists refused to follow the laws of their mother country. It was also one of the first times when the colonies came together as a unit. They began to realize that if when they chose to rebel that Britain would always respond. Some feeling of a revolution was beginning to brew when Benjamin Franklin went to London and warned the House of Commons that a rebellion was likely.
               After Parliament repealed the Stamp Act they felt that they needed to still show their authority over the colonies. Britain decided that it would be right to input more taxes on the colonies to show their superiority over them as well as regain money. Charles Townshend had become the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Quickly, he had issued the Townshend Acts that taxed many of the household items that were imported daily to the colonies. One of the things that was taxed was tea, which would become very important to the revolution later on. The colonists also had to fully provide the British soldiers stationed in the colonies with supplies and fulfill their needs. Again the colonists were angered by the newly imposed taxes and many refused to import British goods. The British export values fell greatly when the colonists rebelled. The atmosphere in the colonists was increasingly resistant to parliament. Colonists adamantly believed that they should not be taxed in anyway by parliament if they were not being represented in the British government. They began to preach “No Taxation Without Representation.” At this point the revolution was beginning to become more and more of a reality.
               Britain was again very irritated at the colonists’ non-importation agreement and in response sent British troops to Boston. These soldiers patrolled the streets and were to keep the rebellions under control. The colonists constantly messed with the soldiers, shouting and taunting them. Then, one night in March 1770 some colonists were throwing snowballs and heckling the British soldiers. The soldiers responded to the annoyance and fired shots. Five colonists were killed in the event. Thanks to Sam Adams the event was portrayed as a devastating attack on the colonists. He made it seem like the heartless British soldiers fired with for no reason other than to kill innocent civilians.  Sam Adams was a master of propaganda and manipulation and portrayed the British soldiers as bloodthirsty and aggressive towards the colonists. Although this was only partly true many colonists believed Adams and his telling of the story. This fired up the colonists and created more animosity between the two sides. The revolution at its climax and was beginning to shift into a war. Although this was not a battle Sam Adams made it seem like the British were trying to start one.
               Finally Britain was getting the idea that it might be right for them to give something up. The Townshend Acts were repealed. However, In order to show that parliament still controlled the colonies Britain kept a small tax on tea. With the revolution in full swing there was a dislike towards the East India Company, who was struggling to sell their tea because of the colonists movement. When Britain decided that they needed to sell their tea fast they brought it right to the colonies. This would turn out to be a terrible mistake. In Boston, Sam Adams organized a group of people who carried out the Boston Tea Party. They boarded the British East India Company’s fleet and threw overboard many boxes of tea into the harbor. The Boston Tea Party sparked the colonists and the response of England would only make The American Revolution worse.
               The response of the British was aggressive and fierce. The Boston Tea Party had then forced parliament to input the Intolerable Acts. Britain was trying to punish the colonies and more specifically the city of Boston. To start, Britain closed the port of Boston, which greatly affected the colonists' economy in that they were unable to trade. This angered colonists and cost them money. Britain also disallowed the colonies to have town meetings, which was the only true form of government in the colonies. On top of all this the British soldiers in America were allowed to live in the homes of the colonists for free. These new Acts caused the colonists to later come together and finally fight back against Britain.
               At this point the colonists were furious with the Parliament. Massachusetts was especially angry with Great Britain and made a proposal to stop all trade with Britain. The proposal had gone through with the First Continental Congress and all trade with Britain was banned. The colonies also agreed that Britain had no right to tax the colonies. The American Revolution had finally reached its tipping point and the Americans were ready to take action and go to war.
               For a while, the people of Massachusetts began storing and hiding military needs for war. The American Revolution had officially turned to The Revolutionary War, without Britain even knowing it yet. However, when Britain heard the news of the hidden weapons they took action. They made an attempt to cease the weapons and stop the Americans. This into a battle when Paul Revere made his famous night ride and screamed “The British are coming… The British are coming.” The next morning the British soldiers and an American Militia met at Lexington. When the British reached Concord many Militiamen, who were ready to fight, approached them. The Battle of Lexington and Concord was a major moral victory for the Americans in that they stood up to the British and did not back down. At this point many Americans were all for the Revolutionary War and wanted to separate from Britain
               After the battle the Second Continental Congress met in order to discuss how to move on with this war. George Washington demanded a national army to defend the colonies. With this army came a final declaration of War.
               The final step towards The Revolutionary War was in The Declaration of Independence. The states were told to all form their own government in order to start to become a new nation. The Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson and approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It stated that America was its very own separate nation of states. The colonies were no longer politically related to Britain. The people who chose to sign The Declaration of Independence were traitors to the English King and could be killed because of their act of treason.
               At this point, the American Revolution had developed into the Revolutionary War. Although the first shots were fired at the battle of Lexington and Concord, many events took place along the way in order for the colonists to be convinced to break away from the King and become The United States of America.

Sites: The Textbook: A History of The United States
The Powerpoints

Morgan Handwerker
Section H
American Revolution Paper
The seeds of the American Revolutionary war were planted during the French and Indian War. Because of the war the British sent troops to America to protect the colonies. However, during this time England was amounting large debts because of the different wars they were constantly fighting. Due to the fact King George III left British troops in America to use as a tax enforcer the British felt as though it was only fair that the Americans pay for it. To accomplish this task Parliament assigned George Grenville, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to find a way to come up with the money.
            In order to come up with these new funds, Grenville decided to pass various taxation acts applicable to the American colonies. First, he replaced the Molasses Act with the new Sugar Act. While the Sugar Act lowered the cost of the tax by almost half the pence it ended up being more money because the Sugar Act was enforced unlike the Molasses Act. Next Parliament and King George III produced the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act required colonists to pay domestic tax on everyday items. The colonists were furious they had to pay England for everyday items, such as a newspaper that were made and sold in the colonies. Eventually the Stamp Act was repealed due to the effect the non-importation association, put in place by the Stamp Act Congress, had on the British economy. After the Stamp Act was repealed King George III still attempted to show his power over the colonies by issuing the Declaratory Act. As more and more taxation acts were passed the colonists became more and more livid that an assembly, in which they had no representative, was taxing them. Based on this, the slogan “No Taxation Without Representation” became coined. The colonists were also angered because they felt as though their voices and interests were not being represented which took away some of the liberties that would give them equal rights to British citizens.
            While many protests against the British were peaceful one protest group was not. The Son’s of Liberty, a group who later became soldiers in the Revolutionary War, showed their anger in violent way towards the tax collectors. Created and Led by Samuel Adams the group often tarred and feathered tax collectors. Another source that drummed up more protests were the propaganda surrounding the Boston Massacre. While only five colonists were murdered in the Boston Massacre, newspapers and other forms of communication made the event sound as though English soldiers were outright murdering innocent colonists. Even the name, the Boston Massacre, is a form of propaganda because calling it a massacre makes it sound like dozens of people were murdered even though it was only five colonists killed.
During this time the British East India Company has a surplus of tea that they could not afford to sell in England because of the tax. In order to generate money the British government allowed the British East India Company to sell their tea directly to American colonists. To the British it seemed like everyone would win: the British would generate income based on the tax Americans had to pay on British tea, the British East India Company could avoid a tax, and the Americans would get cheaper tea. However, the Americans had established an economy based on smuggled tea and having a new British tea supplier made the colonists feel like the English were trying to cut into this newfound market. In protest Sam Adams and other Bostonians dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped large amounts of tea sitting on boats in the Boston Harbor into the water.            
In retaliation for the Boston Tea Party the English passed the Coercive Acts which: closed the Boston Port, took away the right to elect Governor’s Council from the Assembly, the right to hold town meetings, stated that capital crimes could be tried in England or Nova Scotia, and British troops could take over taverns and live free of charge in private homes. Also the Quebec Act was passed which extended the Quebec province that the British won in the French and Indian war. Extending the providence cut off land claims made by Massachusetts and Virginia. Also the Quebec Act gave special privileges to the Catholic Church and established a government with no representative assembly in the province.
Due to Massachusetts’s outrage they called for a Continental Congress to be formed. Twelve of the thirteen colonies sent a total of fifty-six delegates to Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia. The Congress accomplished many things, most notably: the decision to once again form a non-importation association which called for no trade with Great Britain, and the Declaration of Rights and Grievances which explained why the colonies were upset and that only the states own assemblies could tax the colonies.
At this point the colonists from Massachusetts decide to collect a stash of arms that would be stored in Concord, in the event that they need to fight the British for their freedom. When the colonists learned of a pre-emptive attack on Concord by the British the militia attempted to stop them at Lexington. Although the militia was unable to stop the Red Coats at Lexington they were able to stop them at Concord. These battles showed King George III and Parliament that the colonists are serious about their independence if their demands of having equal rights and privileges of Britishmen were not met.
When the English eventually refused to treat the colonists as equals; the Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration Of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson. By officially declaring independence it showed that the colonists were prepared to live up to the famous words of Patrick Henry, “give me liberty or give me death”.