Choose from one of the following controversial decisions. You will be writing your essay as one of the participants in the decision (so it will largely be in first person). The paper will have three parts: explain the background leading up to the/your decision, the decision itself, and the aftermath.

Ex: The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. You could write the paper as Roger Taney. Explain the buildup to the case, why you made the decision you did, and the aftermath. Or you could write the paper as Dred Scott, explaining why you chose to sue, what happened during the case, and the aftermath.

The paper MUST include the following criteria: one primary source, one secondary source, a works cited page, and in-text citations.

Here are the controversial choices you can choose from:

  1. Investigate President Harry Truman’s decision to desegregate the U.S. military in 1948.
  2. Investigate the actions/decisions of Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long in limiting the number of European Jews who were permitted to enter the United States during World War II as they attempted to escape Nazi persecution. 
  3. Investigate President Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision to send U.S. troops into Vietnam in 1965.
  4. Schenck vs. U. S. (1919) During World War One Schenck mailed circulars to persuade draftees not to report and serve in the military. He maintained a freedom of speech defense and the court ruled against him. Investigate the court’s decision.
  5. In 1925 John Scopes was a high school science teacher arrested for violating Tennessee’s law prohibiting the teaching of evolution. Scopes’ defense was the First Amendment (free speech). He was found guilty.  Investigate the court’s decision.
  6. Buck vs. Bell (1927) The case ruled that forced sterilization of “feeble minded” females was constitutional.  Investigate the court’s decision.
  7. Clay vs. United States (1971) Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) was drafted and refused to serve because of religious objections to war. He claimed status as a conscientious objector due to his Muslim religion. The court ruled against him. Investigate the court’s decision.
  8. Investigate the U.S. Government’s (president, congress, and the courts) decision to place Japanese-Americans into internment camps during World War II.
  9. Investigate the integration decisions made in East Texas by Judge William Wayne Justice
  10. Investigate the decision to add “sex” among the prohibited discriminations in the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  11. Investigate the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas (declared all sodomy laws to be unconstitutional)
  12. Investigate the National Women’s Party’s decision to protest in front of the White House of women’s suffrage.
  13. Investigate Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta’s decision to organize boycotts

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