Teacher studies Vietnam

Rodney Hurd

Rodney Hurd, Richfield, was selected to attend a seminar on the Vietnam Conflict held in July in Chicago, Illinios. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History sponsored the weeklong seminar. Hurd was the only teacher chosen in Utah from hundreds of applicants to learn about this era of American history. 

Participants of the seminar were able to attend classes at Cantigny Park. The park is home to the Army’s First Division Museum. The museum has displays depicting the First Division’s fighting during World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The museum also has outdoor displays of military equipment used by the Army in all of its conflicts and training. 

John McNamara, senior education fellow for GLI hosted the seminar. As part of the seminar, Robert K. Brigham of Vassar College was the chief instructor. He covered the causes of the conflict starting in the 1890s to reunification in 1975. Key topics discussed and covered with primary documents included French involvement in the Geneva Accords, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Tet Offensive, the fall of Saigon and what Vietnam looks like today. Brigham has made countless trips to Vietnam and authored nine books on United States policy and the conflict. 

Other highlights of the seminar included a visit to the National Veterans Art Gallery near downtown Chicago. The teachers participated in a discussion of the conflict with Lt. Col. Ned B. Ricks who commanded an air cavalry unit in Vietnam. As part of the experience, attendees also enjoyed a Chicago pizza dinner with a dozen combat veterans who shared their experiences of having served in Vietnam. 

The seminar had 34 teachers from across the United States, which included a former Red Cross volunteer and marine infantryman that were stationed in Vietnam. Hurd was one of three Marine veterans at the seminar. He contributed by describing the Cold War and how Vietnam impacted military service just after the conflict.

Hurd teaches American government, United States history, world civilization and world geography. He also teaches concurrent enrollment courses and is an adjunct professor for Snow College Richfield. He has taught North Sevier High School students for the past 13 years and been with Sevier School District for 23 years.

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