The preservation of our nation’s history comes in many ways. We fund museums and libraries so that historical documents and other artifacts will always be looked after. We invest in commemorative coins and other memorabilia so that milestones will be properly celebrated and always remembered. Our children learning about the events that occurred throughout our history. We make sure that they know certain figures from Abraham Lincoln to Rosa Parks. This is so that they’ll understand the stakes, struggle, and consequences that our heroes have faced in order for us to enjoy the freedom we have now.
Another way to ensure that our nation’s history will never be forgotten is through the tireless work of nonprofit organizations. These are four nonprofits dedicated to preserving a part of the history of the United States.
American Association for State and Local History
In 1904, the American Historical Association launched the Conference of State and Local Historical Societies. This group’s purpose is to gather the leaders of state and local governments as they work towards the preservation of our history. But the organization expanded from there. In 1940, the Conference officially evolved into the American Association for State and Local History or the AASLH.
The heart of the AALSH’s work is the Public History Research Lab. Through this program, they train, equip, and collaborate with history scholars, museum leaders, advocates, and other members of the community. Together, they discover documents and artifacts that shed light on the history of their respective states and towns. They gather data and stories and share them with the public through print and digital publications. They host conferences, seminars, and other events to gather everyone. Ultimately, the mission of the AALSH is to empower professionals and organizations. And they do this by helping them in their cause for historical preservation.
American Battlefield Trust
Battlefields are major parts of our nation’s history. They’re the places where our forefathers fought for their lives and the bright future of our country. So, really, it doesn’t surprise us that there’s a whole organization that is dedicated to the preservation of American battlefields.
The efforts to preserve the battlefields began in 1987. It’s when the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites was founded. Civil War historians and enthusiasts exerted dedicated work. Thus, more people realized the importance of preserving the battlefields. Thus, more organizations were founded. This is to expand their preservation work. In 2018, the American Battlefield Trust was established. Its purpose is to be the umbrella organization that oversees the work of its constituents.
American Battlefield Trust’s programs include publishing Hallowed Ground magazine. It also provides classroom resources to share more information and lessons about U.S. military history. They also hold special events and tours for historical enthusiasts.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is also another nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preserving historical sites. But they do so much more than that. They also make sure that they share information and stories with students, history enthusiasts, and community members. One of the ways that they do so is through the publication of Preservation Magazine.
The dedicated efforts of the National Trust have been going on for 70 years now. They work with organizations and entities such as Main Street America, the National Trust Insurance Services, and the National Trust Tours. Through the collaborations with these groups, the National Trust proves that preserving our history won’t be possible without collective efforts.
The United States Capitol Historical Society
At the start of 2021, the riots at the United States Capitol dominated the news. News sites and social media were flooded with images of people swarming this historic building. By seeing such images, we are reminded of the importance of this building in our nation’s history. In truth, it’s so much more than just a building. It’s a symbol of democracy and the independence that our forefathers fought so hard to achieve and protect.
Fortunately the United States Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) is here to preserve the stories from this building. Founded in 1962 and chartered by Congress, the USCHS create educational materials such as the book, We, the People: the Story of the U.S. Capitol. They also work in refining the civics education that’s currently mandated in students’ curriculum across the country.
These four organizations symbolize dedication and sheer love for our country. They are dedicated to identifying, preserving, and promoting historical sites, artifacts, and other aspects. Without them, it would be significantly harder to ensure that our history will always be remembered.