1) Our topics for the historiography presentations and the rubric (yes, the EXACT same one i handed you in class) are found here:

2) Class reading excerpt; discuss the overall historical view of the following excerpt:

“Consider Christopher Columbus, who might well have looked forward at some point during his life to the 500th anniversary of his great voyages, envisaging it as a celebration of himself, his men, and the ships they sailed, as well as the monarchs who sent them on their way. Columbus could hardly have anticipated that what historians would choose to remember when the anniversary finally did roll around in 1992, was the near genocide he had set in motion by unleashing the forces of imperialism, capitalism, technology, religion, and especially disease upon civilizations that has few defenses against them.
Columbus’s reputation, in turn, would hardly have been what it was had it not been for the decision of the Hongxi emperor, in 1424, to suspend China’s far more costly and ambitious program of maritime exploration, thus leaving the great discoveries to the Europeans. A strange decision one might think, until one recalls the costly and ambitious American effort to outdo the Soviet Union by placing a man on the moon, completed triumphantly on July 20, 1969. It had been, President Nixon extravagantly boasted, ”the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation.” But then, after only five more moon landings over the next three and a half years, Nixon suspended the manned exploration of space altogether, leaving future discoveries to be postponed indefinitely. Which emperor’s behavior will seem stranger 500 years hence? It is difficult to say.
Humility is in order, therefore, when trying to assess the Cold War’s significance: the recent past is bound to look different when viewed through the binoculars of a distant future.”

Excerpt from “The Cold War: A New History” pgs. 259-260. By John Lewis Gaddis; Penguin Press, New York, NY. 2005.