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Union's Phi Alpha Theta Chapter Celebrates 50th Anniversary

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 22, 2003 – The Delta-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society celebrated 50 years at Union University Saturday, Feb. 22. The chapter is the oldest in the state of Tennessee.

The anniversary luncheon featured remarks from R. G. “Bob” Elliott, a charter member of the chapter, and a presentation from David Thomas, associate professor of history at Union.

In “Signs of the Past, Signs of Today: History in Children’s Literature,” Thomas stated that “fictional picture books for the elementary grades pass on historical values, images, themes, and fallacies in great depth.” He demonstrated this with examples from classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton and Jane Yolen's The Girl Who Loved the Wind.

The conference was coordinated by Stephen Carls, chair of Union’s department of history and faculty advisor of Phi Alpha Theta at Union University, with the assistance of Carol Johnson.

The anniversary celebration was held in conjunction with the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-South Regional Conference. More than 125 people attended the event which included the presentation of 16 papers by students and professors from 8 colleges and universities. The papers were judged and awards were presented in undergraduate and graduate divisions.

In the undergraduate division, the paper award winners were:

First Place: Robert Edgecombe, Rhodes College, “See Me on St. Charles: Politics, Preservationism, and the Disappearance of the New Orleans’ Canal Street Streetcar Line.”

Second Place: Joseph Webster, Union University, “Cartoons Go to War: The Use of Animated Cartoons as Propaganda During World War II.”

Third Place: Joshua Thomas Moore, Union University, “The Armenian Genocide and the Failure to Achieve Retributive Justice.”

The paper award winners for the graduate division were:

First Place: Gwendolyn Thompson, Murray State University, “Bombs Away: The Struggle for Federal Civil Defense in the Early Cold War Era.”

Second Place: Gary T. Edwards, University of Memphis, “‘Old Maid[s] and Bachelor[s]…[are] a Nuisance to Society’: Courtship, Marriage, and Social Power in Antebellum Southwest Tennessee.”

Third Place: Melinda D. Grimsley-Smith, Murray State University, “Cultural and Psychological Factors Influencing Suicidal Terrorism Among Palestinian Youth.”

Media contact: Chris Allen, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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