The "Government Programs and the Welfare of Citizens" Project, AKA "THE GOVERNMENT KINDA SUS" PROJECT

ASSIGNMENT: This project will involve RESEARCHING an episode from the relatively recent history of the United States in which the United States performed actions that may not have been in the best interest of its citizens.  In addition, students will be ASSESSING THE VALIDITY OF SOURCE INFORMATION gained in research.

THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS:  The following list shows the project topic assignments for all students. If your topic is assigned in error, please see Mr. B. as soon as possible. Students will be asked to research, analyze and report on their topic for the rest of the class. :

TOPIC 3rd PERIOD 4th PERIOD
Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment   Hanna A.
Project MKULTRA   Abby
Project SHAD   -
Human Radiation Experiments   Ciara
Operation Big Buzz   -
Poisoning Alcohol   Emalee
McCarthyism of the 1950s   Hanna W.
Operation Paperclip   Zane
Gulf of Tonkin Incident   Star
Operation Northwoods   Starr
The Church Report   -
Cointelpro   -
Watergate   Mark
Iran-contra Affair   Gabby
  • Experimentation on Citizens:  U.S. government experimentation on citizens-
    • The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment:  Did the government infect poor black men with venereal disease for over 40 years?
    • Project MKULTRA:  Did the government conduct a 20 year experiment where soldiers and students were given various drugs, hallucinogens and other mind-altering substances?
    • Project SHAD: Did the government really use chemical warfare on our own soldiers?
    • Human Radiation Experiments: Did the government expose thousands and thousands of citizens to radiation over a 30 year period, just to see what might happen?
    • Operation Big Buzz/Drop Kick/Big Itch: Did the governement really conduct multiple experiments in the U.S. to test biological warfare using bugs?
    • Poisoning Alcohol: Did the Federal government really poison the alcohol that was sold by the public during Prohibition in the 1920s and '30s?
  • Limiting Civil Liberties:  Government limiting the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.
    • McCarthyism of the 1950s:  Was EVERYONE a communist in the 1950s?  McCarthy thought so and did what he could to find them.
  • Foreign Policy Issues: Control or manipulation of foreign agents and government to further United States interests.
    • Operation Paperclip: Did we really recruit a large number of Nazi war criminals to help us design the Atomic Bomb during World War II?
    • The Gulf of Tonkin Incident: Did the United States government invent a military skirmish that eventually led to the Vietnam War?
    • Operation Northwoods: Did the CIA commit acts of terror within the U.S. and blame it on Cuba, so as to justify military action against Cuba?
    • The Church Report: Was the CIA responsible for poisoning and assassinating a number of South American leaders in an effort to destabilize governments?
  • Control of the Press and Information
    • Cointelpro: The FBI, through the program called "Cointelpro," targets 2000+ prominent citizens for smear campaigns.
    • Watergate:  Did the President cover up office break-ins that he conducted to further his own campaign?
    • The Iran-Contra Affair: Did we sell arms to Iran in exchange for hostages? Did the CIA get the money for these arms by selling illegal drugs in our country? What did the president know?

RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION:  Students will be required to research their topic and give a short presentation regarding their topic which outlines (at a minimum) ALL of the following information:

  • The history of your event/program.  Give basic information regarding what happened, when (dates), how and why? Who was responsible for the program?
  • Students will be expected to create at least a THREE SLIDE PRESENTATION that contains THREE IMAGES from your story, along with brief explanations. Please locate PHOTOGRAPHS, NEWSPAPER HEADLINES, POLITICAL CARTOONS, etc. These will be demonstrated during the presentation for the class.
  • Here is a listing of the REQUIRED THREE SLIDES:
    • SLIDE ONE: BACKGROUND SLIDE, this slide tells the DATES and background information regarding this conspiracy. Who is involved? What is happening? How is the public being fooled/lied to/harmed?
    • SLIDE TWO: EVIDENCE, this slide outlines some of the evidence (either real or claimed) that leads to the conspiracy being unmasked or discovered.
    • SLIDE THREE: CONCLUSION, this slide indicates whether the conspiracy is TRUE OR FALSE, and why.
  • Provide detailed information regarding how the government was involved. What did/does the government claim they were doing?
  • How were U.S. citizens harmed, deceived, used, limited, deprived of freedoms or not informed?

FORMAT:  Presentations will be given in the THREE SLIDE FORMAT, which will include LARGE IMAGES that illustrate your issue. TO FIT THE CONSPIRACY MEME THEME, YOUR IMAGES SHOULD TAKE UP THE WHOLE SCREEN, with your comments in isolated boxes on top of your images. SEE IMAGE BELOW. You should also include 1-2 brief paragraphs on each slide explaining the situation. You will provide more details in your presentation that answer the questions above.

SUBMISSION: Please SHARE your completed slideshows with Mr. B., so that he can link them for the other members of the class!

PRESENTATION: The goal with our presentations is to get the information to the other students in the classroom about what actions the government took and what they told the public. In the long run, I would like to facilitate discussions on this topic.

GRADING: The presentations will be judged based on three criteria: 

  1. PRESENTATION: Professional and well illustrated presentation: How well does the student present their information, visuals, etc. How confident was the student in their presentation? TOTAL= 50 pts.
  2. INFORMATION imparted on the presentation: How thoroughly does the student address the required points above and impart that information to the rest of the class. How knowledgeable does the student appear to be on their subject? TOTAL= 50 pts.