Monday, February 20, 2012

Presentation Ideas

Two places that I felt revealed important truths about the American Dream and the American Identity, are the Rankin House in Ohio and Mt. Rushmore.
The Rankin House is a national landmark for it's use as one of the more important Underground Railroad stations.The Rankin House is located around Ripley Ohio and overlooks the Ohio River.The house was built in 1825 after Rankin moved his family form Kentucky to the free state of Ohio, it still remains in almost it's original state today. Due to his fierce opposition to slavery and how close it was to the river it became a prime stopping point. They were proud of never having lost a "passenger". It is said that most of the 2,000 escaped slaves who traveled through Ohio stayed with the Rankins. Rankin also taught, preached, wrote and traveled to talk about the importance of abolishing slavery. I think this specific place fits the thesis because it helps to identify who we are as Americans. Americans fought long and hard to find their own identity and in that the identity of slaves. Our country has worked to overcome our past of slavery and now we are a united people, all with the same opportunities and liberties. Most of this wouldn't be possible without the people like the Rankins who risked their lives for others to prove a point of what is right and wrong, not matter where you are from or who you are.

On a national level there is Mt. Rushmore. The original idea was to carve the likeness of famous people into the stone to promote tourism in the area. Along with Washington, two republicans and one democrat were chosen to be carved, so that "America will march along the skyline". The presidents were chosen to represent the first 150 years of American history, and also because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory. Millions of people go to see it one a yearly basis, so it is a huge area of tourism. It is often depicted in media, such as movies and TV shows due to its immense size. This historic place I feel fits the thesis because it represents some of the greatest presidents of our time. The presidents that helped lead our country to where we are today and gave us the possibility of having an American Dream. It also is important because America is about independence and individuality and that represents that.

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