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Writing the First Draft of History

Duration: 50 minutes

Elementary, middle, and high school teachers and administrators

Oral histories are a rich resource to learn the details of a person’s life or an event from different perspectives, and to get a first impression of the impact on others. Nearly 700 people have been interviewed about the events surrounding the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Participants will listen to short clips from oral histories to hear the direct experiences of family members, first responders, and those who had close association with the event. This session will examine how oral histories can play an important role in understanding history through the voices of those who lived it.

Barbara Black is Chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources at Flight 93 National Memorial and is responsible for managing visitor services, the Flight 93 Oral History Project, and care of the Memorial Tribute Collection. Prior to joining the National Park Service in 2004, she assisted in the efforts in planning for the Memorial and preserving the tributes left immediately after the crash of Flight 93. Ms. Black has held positions with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the University of Illinois. She received an M.S. and B.S. from the University of Illinois in American History and Museum Studies.