Local student selected to attend Congressional Academy

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By The Staff

Mary Kennedy from Owen County High School in Owenton was selected to attend the 2009 Congressional Academy, which is coordinated by the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Congressional Academy for American History and Civics led current high school juniors in a careful study of the pivotal turning points in American history memorialized by the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the “I Have a Dream” speech.

One hundred and two high school juniors — two students from each state — were selected to participate in the Congressional Academy. The professors conducting the Congressional Academy are among the finest scholars of American history and government.

Participating students spent two weeks in Washington, D.C., with day trips to Philadelphia and Gettysburg, studying the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement. The academy thereby exposed participants to the ideas and arguments that shaped these three great American epochs, the documents that make up our history, and the places where the history was made.

During their stay, participants were surrounded by the streets and halls, the battlefields, public places, and private lodgings where the history studied took place.

Beginning with three documents, studying in three cities, this Congressional Academy aims to understand three great turning points in American history.

Participating students saw how these key events, infused with fundamental ideas, shaped and continue to shape our national identity, our public institutions, and our public discourse. Participants in this academy joined in a conversation across time about the most important issues facing America in 1776, 1863, 1963, and today.