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Editorial 150 Years of the American Annals of the Deaf: Rétrospectifs In looking back to 1847 and the establishment of the Annals , I am deeply impressed by the optimism and competence of its founders, and also somewhat awed by their success. We can try to examine our predecessors for a variety of reasons; to understand their motives, to appreciate their efforts, to respect their accomplishments, to build on their successes, to avoid their mistakes, to better interpret the present, to build for the future. However, it is not possible to put ourselves in their place completely. We recreate a past that is filtered through the prism of the present. We live in a world and country that people 150 years ago could not have imagined and we are far removed from their experiences. Certainly, their concentration on the Five R's— Religion, Reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic, and Rules of Conduct —is different from today's curriculum. Still, there are consistencies and lessons from which we may draw. The most noteworthy accomplishment is the very existence of the Annals today. It is the only American educational journal to survive the American Civil War of 186165 , and, as most readers are aware, is the oldest existing educational journal in the United States. As noted in the 1947 letter, reprinted in this issue, from Leslie Dunlop of the Library of Congress, to Powrie Doctor, Assistant Editor of the Annals, at least 68 educational journals had been published in the United States prior to the first issue of the Annals. One survived the Civil War, only to cease publication in 1866. The continued existence of our journal was due to the determination of educators of the deaf. There were times when the Annals almost did not survive . Alter the first flush of excitement, the teachers at the American School had written pretty much everything they wanted to express and, discourage by a lack of scholarly contributions from sister institutions, decided in 1850 to suspend publication. Fortunately, the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf (CAID), in its first national meeting in 1850, took up responsibility for the Annals, thus changing it from an institutional to a national publication and ensuring its continuation. The Annals ceased publication in 1861, the first year of the Civil War, but like so many other journals, did not resume immediately after the end of the war. It wras not revived until the first national convention in 1868 of the second major organization in the field, the parent of the present Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf. The Annals has published continually since 1868 and today is the official organ of the two organizations. From its inception, the Annals has published articles from authors with different perspectives and philosophies. xVIore than one commentator has noted the willingness of early editors to publish material with which they did not necessarily agree. I believe this has been one of our most significant legacies. At present we have more than 30 professionals from different disciplines who review manuscripts submitted for publication. I am gratified by their ability and willingness to evaluate submissions on the basis of their professional quality, regardless of possible professional differences of opinion. I have had the honor of following nine editors of the Annals. They are: Luzerne Ray* Samuel Porter Lewellyn Pratt Edward Allen Fay Irving S. Fusfeld Ignatius Bjorlie Leonard Elstad Powrie V. Doctor McCay Vernon *Also spelled Rae. 1847-1854 American School for the Deaf 1855-1861 American School for the Deaf 1868-1870 Gallaudet College 1870-1920 Gallaudet College 1920-1943 Gallaudet College 1943-1945 Maryland School for the Deaf 1945-1948 Gallaudet College 1948-1969 Gallaudet College 1969-1990 Western Maryland College Of these, three stand out in my estimation for particular praise. These are Edward Allen Fay, Irving S. Fusfeld, and McCay Vernon. Edward Allen Fay became editor in 1870 at the age of 27 and continued for 50 years, until 1920. He brought stability to an enterprise whose existence was not assured. Of the triumvirate of Bell, Gallaudet, and Fay, he was the least known, but perhaps the one true scholar. A Renaissance Man, he earned a Ph...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
pp. xiv-xv
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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