Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Experience History Through Sounds and Personal Accounts

To me, making history come to life for a student who is blind or visually impaired is the way to go. There are a few web sites that can bring sound to any history lesson.

BBC4 Audio Interviews A-Z

The BBC has built a wonderful site that includes excerpts from the BBC's extensive archives of interviews with authors, politicians, playwrights, architects, and other major cultural figures, from 1937 to the present. Among them: Albert Speer, George Bernard Shaw, Bob Marley, Werner Heisenberg, Alfred Hitchcock and many others. You will need the RealPlayer from Real Systems Inc. to listen to the audio on this site.

Click here to visit the BBC4 Audio Interviews site:

The History Channel

This cable network is known for its historic programs on a variety of topics, and now their videos come to the internet. On The History Channel - Video / Audio site, you can watch videos of PRESIDENT McKINLEY INAUGURATION, Funeral of John F. Kennedy, Sound barrier broken, and the Launch of space shuttle Columbia. The audio and video on this site stream in Windows Media (R) so you shouldn't need any new software.

Click here to visit The History Channel's Audio/Video site:

First person accounts of History

The Dalton Gang's Last Raid, 1892

It reads like a Hollywood script, but its all true: on October 5, 1892 the Dalton Gang rode into the small Kansas town of Coffeyville with the audacious objective of simultaneously robbing two banks. Unfortunately, they were recognized as they strode into town. The alarm was raised and the townspeople armed themselves.

An observer described the scene as the citizens opened fire through the banks' full length windows:

"...Just at this critical juncture the citizens opened fire from the outside and the shots from their Winchesters and shot-guns pierced the plate-glass windows and rattled around the bank. The battle then began in earnest. Evidently recognizing that the fight was on, Grat Dalton asked whether there was a back door through which they could get to the street. He was told that there was none^DEL Reaching the hall on the outside of the counter, the firing of the citizens through the windows became so terrific and the bullets whistled so close around their heads that the robbers and both bankers retreated to the back room again. Just then one at the southwest door was heard to exclaim: 'I am shot; I can't use my arm; it is no use, I can't shoot any more.'"

Most of what you read about historic events was written by someone who read what someone else wrote about it. Here is a diverse collection of short first-hand, eyewitness accounts of what proved later to be important events. Vivid, uncensored testimony from someone there at the time. Make up your own mind.

Click this link to visit the EyeWitness to History site:

JFK Video: The Dallas Tapes

This website is "a project to share historic video that aired on Channel 4 [in Dallas] after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The video includes exclusive television coverage -- most from the KRLD-TV/KDFW Collection at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza." Includes video of Kennedy's arrival in Texas on November 22, 1963, Kennedy's breakfast speech in Fort Worth, Lee Harvey Oswald's death on November 24, and more.

Click this link to visit JFK Video: The Dallas Tapes.

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