In this thought-provoking article, Haltiwanger discusses the merits of using social media to engage audiences with history in memorable and tech-savvy ways.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are omnipresent in today’s world and an essential avenue for reaching younger audiences, so how can history organizations use them effectively?

Haltiwanger describes an incredible project that made national headlines by taking history to Twitter in the form of a first-person reenactment of a raid on the Missouri-Kansas border during the Civil War. The 1863 Commemorate Lawrence (#QR1863) project used a group of tweeting volunteers to virtually reenact Quantrill’s Raid on the town of Lawrence.

Using authentic historical characters and modern storytelling techniques, #QR1863 shared the Quantrill story on an unprecedented scale. This project received an AASLH History in Progress Award in 2014, and was the subject of an extremely popular session at last year’s annual meeting in St. Paul.

Twitter projects and other digital learning initiatives have taken off in the past few years and can be a valuable tool for organizations wanting to share their stories in unconventional ways and bring history into the 21st century.