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 you there are TWO students listed for a topic, you are NOT working together and will both submit projects separately. Students will be asked to research, analyze and report on their topic for the rest of the class. :

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment 1) Felicia, Nathan 1) Mary
Project Sunshine 2) Alejandro, 3) Kole 2) Riney
Project MK-ULTRA 4) Greg 3) Isaac
Project SHAD 5) Dyllan, 6) Cort 4) Kolt, 5)Logan
Human Radiation Experiments 7) Sawyer 6) Kassy
Big Tobacco 8) Luz 7) Adriana
Operation Big Buzz/Big Itch 9) Cody H. 8) Maddy
Poisoning the Alcohol 10) Linnae, 11)Ian 9) Jeiven
McCarthyism of the 1950s 12) Ceason 10) Abner
Operation Paperclip 13) Meeka 11) Sam
Operation Plumbbob OPEN 12) Nacona
Gulf of Tonkin Incident 14) Ryenn 13) Aylin
"Family Jewels"- CIA Operation 15) Kisa OPEN
Project SHAMROCK 16) Kelci 14) Lexie
CIA Kennedy Assassinaton 17) Tristin, 18)Tyann 15) Max
Operation Northwoods 19) Tony 16) Claire
The Church Committee Report 20) Kaylee 17) Chase
Cointelpro 21) Cody M. 18) Jordan
Watergate 22) Ben M. 19) Riley
Iran-contra Affair 23) Caitlyn 20) Taryn
Weapons of Mass Destruction 24) James 21) Hailey
  • 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 Sunshine: Did the government actually steal dead bodies to do radiation experiments?
    • 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?
    • Big Tobacco: Did tobacco companies know the dangers of cancer for cigarette smokers for decades and did they cover it up, with the help of the US Government?
    • 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?
    • "Family Jewels": Did the CIA really conspire to assassinate country leaders around the world?
    • Project SHAMROCK: Did the government use telecommunications data to spy on American citizens?
    • 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?
    • OPERATION PLUMBBOB: Did the government explode nuclear bombs just to test their effects on soldiers and civilians?
    • The Church Report: Was the CIA responsible for poisoning and assassinating a number of South American leaders in an effort to destabilize governments?
    • Weapons of Mass Destruction: Did the government invent "Weapons" in Iraq to justify a war?
  • Control of the Press and Information
    • Cointelpro: The FBI, through the program called "Cointelpro," targets 2000+ prominent citizens for smear campaigns.
    • CIA Kennedy Assassination: Was the CIA responsible for the assassination of JFK and then the coverup afterwards?
    • 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?
    • Weapons of Mass Destruction: Did we invent nuclear weapons in an attempt to start a war?

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.

REFLECTION: We will complete the REFLECTION part of this project by either completing THE CONSPIRACY THEORY BOARD as a class. If we are not able to do this, because students are being destructive to the process or students are inapproriate, we will instead complete a PERSUASIVE ESSAY to cover the reflection material instead. Here are the rules for our ESSAY:

  2. This will be a FIVE HUNDRED WORD ESSAY that has the following parts:
    • Introductory Paragraph/Thesis.
    • Paragraph 1: Explain reason #1 for your thesis.
    • Paragraph 2: Explain reason #2 for your thesis.
    • Paragraph 3: Explain reason #3 for your thesis.
    • Conclusion Paragraph.
  3. This will be a 50 point assignment and it will be due at the end of this week.