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Maps and Cityscapes
People and the Humanities


This week we focus on politics and economics in the 1970s. In the Lecture, Professor Mayer examines the national aftermath of Watergate, the breakup of the Democratic coalition, the economic problems of the era, and what all this meant to the Northwest.

Maps & Cityscapes focuses on the changes that the 1970s brought to railroads across the country and in our region, while Tribal Perspectives presents oral testimony discussing the National Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and the National American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990.

People and the Humanities looks at the way the energy crisis affected the Colstrip mines in Colstrip, Montana. We also examine the legacy and importance of the first Star Wars trilogy. The Research section presents our top reading and viewing picks for this topic.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • How did the political aftermath of Watergate change the U.S. culturally? What other “watershed” moments can be found in U.S. history when public attitudes towards the government changed so dramatically? What resemblances do they bear to the post-Nixon 1970s?
  • Consider our three themes, energy development, transportation, and communication: how did each of these changed in the late 1970s? What is the legacy today of those changes?
  • How well does historical fact match general perception about the post-Nixon 1970s? If there is a disconnect, what is it and why does it exist?