Research topic: 150th anniversary of Juneteenth day in Civil War history

June 19, 1865, is considered one of the most significant U.S. Civil War dates. It’s the day the last of the slaves in the country were freed. Called Juneteenth day, the date is still celebrated, and 2015 marks its 150th anniversary.

Discuss Juneteenth in your next research paper. (Credit: TRGGR Radio)

Discuss Juneteenth in your next research paper. (Credit: TRGGR Radio)

For good research paper topics for your Civil War history, American history or African American culture class, consider writing about the historical significance of Juneteenth and its many ways to celebrate.

History of Juneteenth

The history of Juneteenth makes a good term paper. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves were free as of January 1, 1863. But as the Civil War raged on, it took two more years for the news to spread. The last slaves to become free in the United States were in Texas, a region further west of the states that experienced the bulk of the war. Texas still had 250,000 slaves. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, accompanied by thousands of federal soldiers to enforce the new law, arrived in the city of Galveston, Texas where he read General Order No. 3, which declared: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

“Juneteenth” is a combination of the month and date, it’s also known as Independence Day or Emancipation Day. The first official Juneteenth celebration was in Austin, Texas in 1867. Texas later declared the date a state holiday, and the day is now officially observed in 43 states.

Commemorate the meaning of Juneteenth

Another idea for a term paper is to discuss various ways of commemorating the significance of Juneteenth. For example, Texan Sam Collins, chairman of the Texas Historical Commission State Board of Review and member of the board of advisers for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is also a descendent of slaves from Galveston. In 2005 Collins purchased Stringfellow Orchards, a plantation where his ancestors were slaves. He preserved the property and its historical significance. “We must never forget what Juneteenth meant to the former enslaved people,” he said in “Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day,” by Laura Saunders Egodigwe, posted June 19, 2015, on TheRoot.com.

Collins added: “Some people still suffer today in various forms of bondage; Juneteenth is a celebration that may give those people hope that they, too, may one day be free.”

Juneteenth Is for Everyone

Kenneth C. Davis, a prominent American historian, wrote an opinion piece in New York Times saying that we should not think of Juneteenth as an “African American” holiday. “That perception unfairly diminishes the fundamental significance of Juneteenth,” said Davis in  “Juneteenth Is for Everyone,” posted on June 19, 2015. “The day should be recognized for what it is: a shared point of pride in the symbolic end of centuries of racial slavery — a crime against humanity and the great stain on America’s soul. As meaningful as Independence Day itself, Juneteenth completes the circle, reaffirming ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ as the rights of all, not a select few.”

Books about Juneteenth

Many books have been written about Juneteenth. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis, shows the events of that important day through the eyes of a little African American girl. The book was reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler in “Black History Month Brings Forth Good Books,” posted in Topeka Capital-Journal February 2, 2015. Dobler said, “Beautiful watercolor illustrations depict the day, under the hot Texas sun, that a little girl and the other slaves on the cotton plantation learned of their freedom. Singing, prayer and joyful shouts could be seen and heard in the fields and around the campfire into the night. The next day everyone awoke to a time that would be all different now.” The book includes a list of historical dates, a time line of Juneteenth celebrations, glossary and resources for further research.

For more information, check out Questia’s library on African American History. 

What are some other significant events of Juneteenth? Share with us in the comments.

Research paper topics: American inventors and innovation

The innovation process doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Those American inventors such as Thomas Edison were often driven and inspired by rivals who were just as capable but who have not always gotten the recognition they deserve. The history of innovation is filled with jealousy, near misses, warring egos and the luck of timing.

Research American inventors for your next term paper. (Credit: National Geographic)

Research American inventors for your next term paper. (Credit: National Geographic)

The National Geographic Channel miniseries American Genius, explores several inventors and how their competition drove them to success. If you’re looking for science and technology research paper topics, you should take a look at the episodes in this miniseries. Read more

800th anniversary of the Magna Carta for your research paper

June 15, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. What began as a peace treaty has evolved, for many, into the originator of liberal democracy.

Learn more about the Magna Carta. (Credit: Mums do travel)

Learn more about the Magna Carta. (Credit: Mums do travel)

The historical event is a good time to look back at what the Magna Carta meant when it was first written and what it means to us today. Read more

Research topics on aging and the elderly

If we live long enough then we all have something in common — aging. The elderly, often defined as someone over age 65, now comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population and are projected to rise to 20 percent by the year 2050. For your next term paper you might consider research topics on aging such as age discrimination or aging and sexuality.

Learn more about aging and gerontology. (Credit: eHow blog)

Learn more about aging and gerontology. (Credit: eHow blog)

You might even want to take a course on gerontology which is the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging and elderly people. Read more

Questia Reading Room: Our picks for summer leisure reading

It’s summertime and you have the itch to read something, but definitely not a textbook. Not sure which book you want to read?

Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

Check out our selection of favorites that will keep your attention without making your brain hurt – FREE for the next month! Read more

Research topic: Tackling gun violence in America

Gun control is a topic that is very divisive in our country. No matter where you stand on the issue, for the families and friends of those who die from gun violence in America, the topic is deeply personal.

Learn more about gun violence for your research paper. (Credit: HBO.com)

Learn more about gun violence for your research paper. (Credit: HBO.com)

The HBO documentary, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, personalizes the statistics by profiling eight of the estimated 8,000 people who died during that time period. Read more

Republican Party drops Iowa straw poll as your research topic

Political news was abuzz this month when the Republican Party officially dropped the Iowa straw poll. Due to the political poll’s non-binding results and continued irrelevance, the GOP political party decided not to hold the poll in August 2015, ahead of the 2016 Presidential election.

Learn more about the dropping of the Iowa straw poll. (Credit: CNN)

Learn more about the dropping of the Iowa straw poll. (Credit: CNN)

A good research paper topic can be to discuss the history of the Iowa straw poll, its relevance and its dissolution. Read more

Research paper topic: Famous historians

The topic of “historians” for a term paper is daunting because it’s so vast. You could write about famous historians, historians of a certain era throughout history, historians who specialize in a certain topic, problems faced by historians, or debate about historical facts from one historian to another.

Learn more about famous historians. (Credit: Goodreads)

Learn more about famous historians. (Credit: Goodreads)

Here are some interesting research paper topics you can find on history websites or in history books. Read more

Research paper topic: Drunk driving could be stopped with new technology

Despite years of media efforts, countless check points, the call for stricter laws and the creation of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), there are still people driving under the influence of alcohol. So while drunk driving statistics have gone down, lower is simply not good enough.

This latest technology could stop drunk driving. (Credit: NHTSA)

This latest technology could stop drunk driving. (Credit: NHTSA)

Recent new technology from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) may be the answer to stopping drunk driving all together. Read more

Research paper ideas on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, WikiLeaks issued a statement that it would pay a bounty of $100,000 to whoever would reveal the remaining chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). If you don’t know what the TPP is, that’s because this massive international trade agreement is being negotiated in secrecy. WikiLeaks has been able to disclose a few chapters from the TPP and is determined to inform the public on the rest of the agreement.

Learn more about what the TPP Agreement means. (Credit: Natural Health 365)

Learn more about what the TPP Agreement means. (Credit: Natural Health 365)

It is believed that the remaining 26 chapters contain provisions that will change how we work, live and conduct business. If you’re looking for business-related research paper ideas, then be sure to investigate the TPP. Read more