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Suggested Activities

Arts and Literature
Science & Technology
Social Studies

Arts & Literature

Pretend you are a driver on the Gold and Glory circuit and make a diary of your journey on the road from town to town, race to race. Follow the maps provided on the website or create your own course. If you create your own, what features will you include?

Pretend you are a reporter and write a newspaper account of a Gold and Glory Sweepstakes event. Be sure to include descriptions of all sights and sounds, not only of the car engines and the track, but also the people in the bleachers, the food stands, the fireworks, and all the other spectacular scenery you might imagine.

Listen to an early jazz piece from the 1920s or early ‘30s. What mood do you think the composer was trying to convey? How did the composer do this? Which instruments did he/she use in order to create the desired sound? What instruments and techniques would you use to create a sad mood? A happy mood? A thoughtful mood?

Design a poster or newspaper advertisement for the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes during the race's heyday in the 1920s.

Compare a sports report from the 1920s or ‘30s to an article from a current newspaper. How does the reporter describe the events? What are the differences you notice? What are the similarities?

Pretend that you are a reporter and you will interview one of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes drivers. What will you ask? How will you prepare?

Find pictures of automobiles from the 1920s and ‘30s. If you were designing a racecar, which car would you modify? Why? Sketch your design and describe why you made the changes.

Write and enact a play depicting Charlie Wiggins and the drivers at the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

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Calculate the average speed for a car in the 1920s and compare it with cars of today. How many miles could drivers travel on a gallon of fuel? What fuels were used in the 1920s and today?

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Science & Technology

Compare and contrast the engineering of a racing car built in the 1920s and '30s to a car built today.

Purchase a wooden racecar kit from a hobby store. Build the kit and customize it. Design a track and race your creations.

Compare the clothing and car safety features for a racecar driver in the 1920s to a driver today. How has technology, including design and materials, changed?

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Social Studies

Begin a discussion about barriers that may still exist for African American racecar drivers. What barriers might exist for other minorities and women? Why?

Compare the clothing worn by spectators from the 1920s to spectators today. How is attending a race different today?

Research a current racecar driver you admire and report on his or her career path.

Visit a library and hunt for information on the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes in old newspaper microfilms. Also look at the important news of the day, as well as the advertisements of the era.

Compare the prize money offered at the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes to prize money offered today. What other rewards to drivers receive? What recognition was important to drivers of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes?

Look back at other major sporting events in the African-American community during the 1920s and ‘30s. How were the heroes of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes similar to other popular black athletes, such as the members of the Negro National League baseball teams, or the Harlem Globetrotters basketball squad? Why have some of these teams persisted, while others have ended?

Investigate why John Dillinger was interested in fast cars. Who else in his era might have been?

Discuss the role and status of athletes in the 1920s and today. What do reporters say about them? What about fans? How are they treated? The same? Different?

What was your community like in the early years of the 1900s? What was happening in state and local government? What was happening in the arts? What drove the local economy? How has your community changed?

Interview an older person in your community. What memories does he or she have of those years? How do they compare with your experiences growing up today? What do they recall about race relations in your community?

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