Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Teaching with artifacts

Yesterday marked the 27-year anniversary of the Pan Am 103 disaster.  On Dec. 21, 1988, a terrorist-planted bomb exploded on that flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.  All 259 on the flight were killed.  The resulting crash killed an additional 11 people on the ground.
Image result for lockerbie disaster
Pan Am flight 103, 21 Dec. 1988

We'll all certainly be discussing the attacks of September 11, 2001, with our students.  Using earlier terrorist incidents like the Pan Am 103 explosion and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing help to put that attack into historical context because the coordinated airplane hijackings on that date were but the latest incident of the use of terror by non-state groups.  This 41-second CNN clip reports that 1993 terrorist bombing:
A helpful way to introduce the subject of terrorism might be to show them a picture of this artifact.  Show them the picture of this lapel pin and ask: What symbols do you see?  What do you think each represents?  What does the word "Lockerbie" mean or signify?  Why is that date significant?  What does that circle near the bottom represent?  Why where those two colors chosen and what message do they send?  An essay accompanying the artifact's picture in the CIA Museum explains the Lockerbie explosion and story behind the lapel pin.

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