On Wednesday, October 2, Portland Lutheran High School history students visited the “Windows on America” exhibit at the Oregon History Museum in downtown Portland. This showcase of U.S. presidential history represented more than fifty years and over 100 artifacts and documents.
Seen as a smaller version of a Smithsonian exhibit, “Windows on America” included displays of a letter from George Washington, the only known copy of the Atlantic Charter signed by both Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill, an exact reproduction of the Declaration of Independence, a swatch of fabric from Lincoln’s Ford Theater Chair, a letter, pierced by a bullet, which was in Teddy Roosevelt’s pocket during an assassination attempt in 1912, and John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office Table and Rocking Chair.
Ms. Wolf, PLS history teacher, felt it was important for her students to see the “Windows on America” exhibit because it housed a lot of artifacts and documents connected to U.S. presidents and the issues they dealt with during their active administrations. Even though the classes are just now studying the 1830s-50s, it was important for them to see how different presidents responded to global events throughout U.S. history and how those responses shaped each presidency.
Junior Danica Roady enjoyed the exhibit and would recommend it to others: “It was interesting to go through the different presidencies, and see the different documents and stories of each president. I was excited when I saw a picture of Ronald Reagan meeting someone from Portland. I loved that particular piece because I’m named after him.”
Senior Kaitlin Howard also enjoyed the exhibit. She said: “I learned about the abundance of challenges the presidents faced, from being assassinated, to having to make tough decisions about slavery and other important issues. It showed the importance and powers that the president holds, but also the stress they go through daily.”