Local Professor and Historian Shares Knowledge with Students

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Local Professor and Historian Shares Knowledge with Students

Patrick DiFilippo, AP Teacher

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” Abraham Lincoln delivered these prophetic words in an antebellum speech to his Illinois Republican colleagues in 1858.

On Friday December 7, Saint Xavier University History professor Dr. Graham Peck came to Oak Lawn Community High School to share his vast knowledge of Lincoln and the politics of the antebellum period with Patrick DiFilippo’s Advanced Placement United States History Classes.

Dr. Peck, recently authored a book Making of an Anti-Slavery Nation about both the Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois and the national debates over slavery. Dr. Peck’s discussions centered on creating a timeline of slavery issues from the Constitution to the beginnings of the Civil War. Students answered questions, worked in groups, analyzed primary sources, and drew connections between historical events.

The students were really very receptive to this in-depth analysis of the time period.  Junior Cara Stupay commented, “He really helped expand my knowledge of this unit, especially when he went into detail about the debates between Lincoln and Douglas.”

These learning opportunities will continue for both students and staff in the future.  There are plans for further interactions between Dr. Peck and Oak Lawn Community HS.

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