The following lesson plans accompany the display and complement classroom use of the exhibit panels.
Herblock believed that a strong democracy is dependent upon an informed electorate. He believed that a strong education is what gives people the opportunity to reach their highest potential, to become respectable leaders and to live as productive members of society. Herblock viewed teachers, students and their education as a top priority in the future of the nations. His legacy lives on, teaching and inspiring through his political cartoons, and in his grant, foundation and scholarship programs.
The Civil Rights Movement was one of Herblock’s chief concerns. He illustrated the history and dialogue of this turbulent era in American society. His cartoons show us who we were as Americans, as well as the lessons to be learned from the Civil Rights Movement. Looking at Herblock’s political cartoons over seven decades we realize he was one of those people that fought long and hard to make us a better people. Herblock’s cartoons continue to resonate and will speak to us about these crucial events in our history for many generations to come.
Herblock believed in the greatness of America. His life and work was, in itself, an exercise in freedom of speech, freedom of the press and equality. Herblock used his talents to present important questions and challenges that words alone cannot: We must vote, meet our civic responsibilities, pay taxes and expect the best of our elected government officials to work on behalf of all the people. The clarity of his message and artistic style were perfectly fused, providing transparency, a humorous and telling look at our leaders, ourselves and the world.
President–watching was part of the job of being a political cartoonist, and Herblock insisted that no president was “above caricature or comment.” From Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, Herblock took every opportunity to let our presidents know he was right there with a keen eye and a bottle of ink. He spent most of his time at the Washington Post where he worked from 1946 to 2001. Over seven decades Herblock portrayed thirteen presidents with characteristic humor, intelligence, and a passion for good government.
“Ever Green”, the latest addition to the Herblock Traveling Exhibitions displays Herblock’s powerful cartoons about the environment, a subject he began addressing during the Twenties and the Great Depression. Herblock cared deeply about the environment. His work on issues about wildlife, wilderness and natural resources are as relevant today, as they were in the past. Many of his cartoons on the world’s most fragile and precious treasures, were produced shortly before his death at age 91 in September 2001.