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Students get local lesson in history...

From a 1918 map of France to radios that broadcast President Roosevelt’s dire message of war against Japan, Kenmare’s fifth-grade students got a history lesson that can’t be taught in a classroom.

6/20/17 (Tue)

Donning dapper hats . . . Kenmare’s fifth-grade class poses for a photo with vintage hats following a tour of Pioneer Village on Thursday. The tour was part of a history lesson that teacher Terese Schmidt had been teaching. Students from left include: Connor Beckedahl, Jadon Mahlum, Jack Zimmer, Travis Burtch, Joshua Mariner, Logan Stroklund, Aiden Melin, Jacob Livingston, Chloe Grindeland, Alexia Holter, Sophia Mitchell, Taylor Stanley, Grace Ones, Ashley Hall and Baylie Mohagen.

By Marvin Baker

From a 1918 map of France to radios that broadcast President Roosevelt’s dire message of war against Japan, Kenmare’s fifth-grade students got a history lesson that can’t be taught in a classroom.

Fifth-grade teacher Terese Schmidt took her students to Kenmare’s Pioneer Village Thursday for a tour of the village’s military building, as well as other sites on the complex.

Schmidt said they had been studying world history since the semester began and part of it included World War I, World War II and Vietnam.

When the young students arrived, one of the first things they looked at were the uniforms of area service members who had served in either world war.

However, the highlight for them seemed to be the hats and helmets.

All of them wore, or tried on the head gear that Soldiers and Sailors wore during their time in service.

Aiden Melin and Sophia Mitchell were fond of the Sailor hats, Jack Zimmer and Logan Stroklund rendered a salute while wearing Army dress hats and Grace Ones, Chloe Grindeland and Jadon Mahlum donned World War I helmets.

Jadon declared “these helmets are heavy and Grace had a wide smile while standing in front of a newspaper with the banner headline, “War is over!”

Jadon also put on a World War II helmet which is much different than the previous war and is lighter. Still, he suggested it’s heavy and thick enough to make bullets ricochet.

Curator Bryan Quigley pointed out what it is like for the wounded to be carried on a stretcher.

He called for four volunteers who became the Soldiers carrying the stretcher with a wounded Soldier in it.

Quigley instructed one of the students to lie down on the stretcher on the floor while telling the others to pick it up and carry the “wounded” Soldier.

They did and all kinds of comments came floating out.

Four others took a turn and still four others, while a new volunteer became the “wounded” Soldier.

Then Quigley explained to the students what it was really like to carry the wounded and how difficult it may have been because the stretcher was about wide enough to accommodate the young students.

“Now think about what it must be like with a full grown person,” Quigley said. “And they’re wearing all that gear.”

The students looked at newspaper front pages from both 1918 and 1945, papers that announced the end of both world wars as well as announcement of the wars in 1917 and 1941.

Some of the students looked at a 1918 map of France and the learned the significance of that nation during World War I and the vital role the United States played in France during “the war to end all wars.”

Schmidt took particular interest in a radio exhibit that was near the military exhibits.

She told her students that these radios were around long before Internet streaming or satellite radio.

Many of the radios pre-dated World War II and only had an A.M. dial, while others also carried a shortwave dial.

“People used to sit around these radios and listen to music, theater, books were read and news events heard,” she said. “And that was only if the signal would come in. Sometimes there was no signal.”

The students later toured the Niobe Hall where numerous exhibits were displayed.

When the students entered the building, Quigley said, “Do you know who Lawrence Welk is?”

None of the students knew. Quigley explained who Welk was and that he played on that very stage early in his career.

Welk, a native of Strasburg, played Big Band music, the kind that was heard on the vintage radios. He had gone to California and for many years had his own TV show that aired across the nation for 31 years, ending in 1982.

Some of the students looked at old catalogs while others seemed fascinated with the Niobe jail.

Schmidt’s students got a look at real history, a “classroom” complete with exhibits and information about why the event or artifact was significant.

And for those adults who may be interested in seeing the same exhibits, the annual Pioneer Day is coming up July 9 when all the buildings will be open and various events will be taking place... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!