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On 7 January, 2016, I asked Google, “what religion is Barack Obama”? After considering the problem for .42 seconds, Google offered more than 34 million “results.” The most obvious answer was at the top, accentuated by a rectangular border, with the large word “Muslim.” Beneath that one word read the line, “Though Obama is a practicing Christian and he was chiefly raised by his mother and her Christian parents…” Thank you, Google.
The executions on Gallows Hill were the climax of one of the most famous events in American history, but the hangings themselves are poorly documented. The precise location and events surrounding the executions have been, until this point, generally lost to history. Read here to find out how a team of experts was able to uncover the exact location.
American women’s roles during World War II were much more complicated than the iconic Rosie the Riveter image suggests. The popular poster does, however, serve as an intriguing starting point for discussing a more complex history, one which reveals ongoing attempts by those in authority to rein in disruptive and unruly women.
$50 Gift Certificate Holiday Giveaway Enter here: Mudpuppy Holiday Giveaway . Christmas in America Written by Callista Gingrich Illustrated by Susan Arciero Regnery Kids 10/12/2015 978-1-62157-345-6 44 pages Ages 6—9 “Ellis the Elephant is back! In Christmas in America, the fifth in Callista Gingrich’s New York Times bestselling series, Ellis …
At its root, Islam is as much a Western religion as are Judaism and Christianity, having emerged from the same geographic and cultural milieu as its predecessors. For centuries we lived at a more or less comfortable distance from one another. Post-colonialism and economic globalization, and the strategic concerns that attended them, have drawn us into an ever-tighter web of inter-relations.
What value does the story of Henry George, a self-taught economist from the late nineteenth century, hold for Americans living in the early 21st century? Quite a lot, if we stop to consider the ways in which contemporary American society has come to resemble America in the late-nineteenth century, a period popularly known as the Gilded Age. As in our times, that era was marked by a dramatic increase in income inequality. It also witnessed a sharp and disturbing rise in the numbers of Americans living in poverty, even as Wall Street boomed and overall productivity soared.
Words and Pictures by Peter Catalanotto and Pamela Schembri
November 11th is Veteran’s Day. How will our country come together to honor the men and women who are veterans? How will our children?
A holiday is a day set aside for remembrance and celebration and in the case of Veteran’s Day, to recognize with respect those who served in all of the Armed Forces in peacetime and in time of war.
Children for the most part know there is a military component to our government and that it is the duty of the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army to protect our country.
Whether it is serving in military operations abroad or helping people in our own country during times of devastation, it seems more than appropriate to put a face, via picture books, and there are many of them, to those individuals and their families who over time have put service to their country front and center, sometimes at great cost.
It is not unusual for many young children today to have a dad, mom or both serving in the military. Certainly most children have a grandparent or other relative who was or is a veteran.
Children may ask how do we celebrate Veteran’s Day? How do we honor a grandparent, parent, brother, sister or for that matter, any relative or friend who “stood and served” at home or abroad either today or in the past?
There are as many ways as there are veterans. It may be with a simple “thank you,” attending Veteran’s Day parades, visiting forgotten veterans or a more simple and local version of the ritual of remembering those who have died in service to their country which the President of the United States does each November 11 as he visits The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery with the laying of a wreath honoring veterans everywhere.
The most important lesson I think we impart to our children, as they grow and mature, is that freedom is a tremendous gift, and as with all gifts, it comes with a price.
I think that when we model something as valuable to our children, whether it is the importance of reading or an acknowledgement of the veteran on November 11th, it signals to our children the importance of these men and women and their contribution to our country’s past and future, which can set a lasting legacy of example for each future generation of young Americans.
And so, to my father, my own two brothers and to all veterans past and present, thank you for your service to our country!
In the beginning reader series called, 2nd Grade Friends, this particular chapter book is appropriately called The Veterans Day Visitor for in it young Emily’s grandfather or Pop Pop as he is called, is a bit surprised to learn neither Emily nor her best friend Vinni have any idea of what Veteran’s Day is! Being a veteran himself he is eager to remedy the situation. He begins by explaining that people are different and as such will choose to celebrate the federal holiday in different ways. Some may hang a flag outside their home, others may attend a Veteran’s Day parade, while still others will opt to spend it quietly at home remembering their family members who served.
Initially, Vinni offers her take on the word “veteran”, believing a veteran is someone who is a “doctor for dogs!” Good guess, but Emily’s Pop Pop is quick to rectify the honest mistake.
Volunteering to come to Emily’s class on Veterans Day as a sort of live show and tell, Emily’s initial excitement is tempered by her concern over Pop Pop’s tendency to fall asleep mid sentence!
The big “What If” immediately enters Emily’s mind as she pictures what the class reaction would be if this occurred in the middle of Pop Pop’s story? Will her classmates understand?
Most children of this age can relate to the conflict between the obvious love and respect for an older relative and the fear of being embarrassed by someone we love in front of ones peers.
Will this happen to Emily or will the lesson of respect for heroes cause Emily to extend that same courtesy to her Pop Pop? It’s a lesson worth learning not only for Emily and her classmates, but also for early readers who may find this chapter book just the ticket for Veterans Day reading infused with not just a primer of facts on a holiday, but interspersed with lessons of tolerance and respect.
By the way, if you or your family knows an older veteran, here is an opportunity for your child to become involved in getting these aging war veterans to tell their stories. No less than the Library ofCongress wants to hear their voices!
If you go to the following web site – www.loc.gov/vets it will provide tips for conducting interviews, provide a field kit with biographical data to gather and release forms.
This is the perfect Veterans Day family project and a chance for each of you to help “The Greatest Generation” tell their stories. Statistics say they are passing away at the rate of 1,000 a day so the window of opportunity to hear from this amazing group of people is rapidly closing and 11/11/15 is the teachable moment!
The durable Bond is back once more in Spectre. Little has changed and there has even been reversion. M has back-morphed into a man, Judi Dench giving way to Ralph Fiennes. 007 still works miracles, and not the least of these is financial – Pinewood Studios hope for another blockbuster movie. Hollywood roll over and die.
On the evening of September 26, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois, a presidential debate occurred that changed the nature of national politics. Sixty-five years ago debates and campaign speeches for national audiences were relatively rare. In fact, this was the first live televised presidential debate in U.S. history. The two presidential aspirants were both youthful but […]
Do you know your George Washingtons from your Thomas Jeffersons? Do you know your British tyrants from your American Patriots? Test your knowledge of the American Revolution with this quiz, based on Robert J. Allison’s The American Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.
“GEORGE LOVED WORDS. But George was enslaved. Forced to work long hours, he wqas unable to attend school or learn how to read. GEORGE WAS DETERMINED. He listened to the white children’s lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read. He read everything he could find. GEORGE LIKED POETRY BEST. While he tended his master’s cattle, he composed verses in his head. He recited his poems as he sold the fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the slave poet traveled quickly among the students. Soon, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?”[inside jacket]
Review Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is indeed remarkable. Author and artist, Don Tate, has written an amazing story which he illustrated—with gouache, archival ink, and pencil—beautiful scenes of Chapel Hill, North Caroline, circa mid-1800’s. George Moses Horton is a real person. Young George’s desire to read and write were so strong that he listened in on the white children’s lessons while working long hours for his master. With diligence and hard work, George mastered the alphabet and learned to read and then write. He loved the inspirational prose he found in the Bible and his mother’s hymnal, but most of all, George loved poetry. He wrote poems while working those long hours in the field, but without paper or pen, he had to commit each poem to memory.
At age 17, George and his family were split up and George was given to the master’s son. George found the silver lining in his situation while selling fruit on the University of North Carolina’s campus(where he was teased by students). George distracted himself from his tormentors by reciting his poetry. It was not long before George was selling his poetry, sometimes for money—25c—other times for fine clothes and fancy shoes. A professor’s wife helped George put his poetry onto paper and get it published in newspapers, making him the first African-American to be published. George often wrote about slavery and some poems protested slavery, which made his work extremely dangerous in southern states—some states actually outlawed slavery poems, no matter the author’s skin color. The end of the Civil War officially made George a free man, yet his love of words and poetry had given George freedom since he learned to read,
“George’s love of words had taken him on great a journey. Words made him strong. Words allowed him to dream. Words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.”
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is one of those “hidden” gems the textbooks forget about, but history should not. Tate’s picture book portrays George’s life with the grim realities of the era, yet there are moments of hope when the sun literally shines upon a spread. This is more than a book about slavery or the Civil War. Those things are important, because they are the backdrop to George’s life, but Tate makes sure the positives in George’s life shine through, making the story motivational and awe-inspiring.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is about following your dreams and then taking your dream and yourself as far as you can go, never giving up on yourself, regardless of negative influences. For those who dream of a better life, especially writers and poets, George Moses Horton’s story makes it clear that the only thing that can truly get in your way is yourself. Schools need to get this book into classrooms. Stories such as George Moses Horton’s should be taught right along with the stories American history textbooks do cover.
POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. Text and illustrations (C) 2015 by Don Tate. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.
.Full Disclosure: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate, and received from Peachtree Publishers, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Set in the 1950s during the infamous days of Jim Crow, New Shoes is a story of an African American girl who comes up with a brilliant idea to remedy the far-too-often degrading experience of buying shoes, especially for back-to-school.
I love history, especially American history. I love reading about some interesting part of history I’ve never read about before, then researching primary documents to see if it’s true. So many fascinating facts never make the cut to be included in school textbooks. Perhaps if more of them were incorporated, a greater interest in American history would result. Is it important to teach the history of our country?
On the Fourth of July, Americans will celebrate Independence Day at picnics, concerts, fireworks displays, and gatherings of many kinds, and they almost always sing. “America the Beautiful” will be popular, and so will “Our County, ’Tis of Thee” and of course the national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner” (despite its notoriously unsingable tune). The words are so familiar that, really, no one pays attention to their meaning. But read them closely and be surprised how the lyrics describe the meaning of America in three very different ways.
Over the past several decades, few fields of American history have grown as dramatically as women’s history. Today, courses in women’s history are standard in most colleges and universities, and historians regularly produce scholarship on women and gender. In 1981, historian Gerda Lerner provocatively challenged, “always ask what did the women do while the men were doing what the textbook tells us was important."
An effective counter-terrorism policy requires the identification of domestic or international threats to a government, its civil society, and its institutions. Enemies of the state can be internal or external. Communist regimes of the twentieth century, for example, focused on internal enemies.
You may have heard about the recent Pew Research Center study that shows millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 1995) fleeing Christian churches to occupy the ranks of the “nones,” those professing no religious affiliation. But how much do you know about the decade that gave birth to the millennial generation?
On 27 May 1692, Sir William Phips, the newly appointed royal governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, appointed nine of the colony’s leading magistrates to serve as judges for the newly created Court of Oyer and Terminer. When Phips sailed into Boston from London on 14 May, there were already 38 people in jail for witchcraft, and the accusations and arrests were growing daily.
Who here used to play the computer game “Oregon Trail” obsessively as a child? Let’s see a show of hands. Think back fondly on the days you used to carefully select your wagon train, hunt for buffalo, and decide whether you needed to ford the river or caulk your wagon. (Sometimes, when I am driving, I feel like I am rafting down the Columbia River and trying to avoid boulders and like driftwood and stuff. A fun fact about me, I know. If you would like to relive the magic, you can play the game here, btw. It’s not perfect but it sparked my interest in this period of American history as a kid.) Anyway. When I found out that Under the Painted Sky was about two young women – one Chinese-American, one African-American – who cross-dress as teenage boys in order to navigate the Oregon Trail – I was sold. If... Read more »
The book is a nonfiction picture book about Dr. Gordon Sato, whose mangrove tree-planting project transformed an impoverished village in Eritrea into a self-sufficient community. Dr. Sato named his project the Manzanar Project, partly inspired by the time he spent as a child in Manzanar, a Japanese Internment Camp in California.
A few weeks ago, Susan Roth, co-author and illustrator of the book, received this message from someone who had known Dr. Sato a very long time ago (reposted with permission):
A few years ago, Dr. Gordon Sato sent me a copy of your book, “Mangrove Tree” and I would like to share with you the Gordon Sato that I know. I too was imprisoned at Manzanar because I looked like the enemy. I took 24 units of UC educational courses to qualify as Provisional High School teacher at Manzanar. I was selected to teach high school Physics. Gordon Sato was a student in my Physics class. It was some forty years after Manzanar closed that Gordon Sato phoned me and said he wanted to come and see me. He told me that he had received as BS degree from USC 1951 and his Doctorate degree from Caltech in 1955. He said he was ready to go to Eritrea, Africa on scientific project to help Eritrea out of poverty. He said he called The Manzanar Project and handed me a copy of that project. I did not know of all of the scientific research he had done nor the scientific accomplishment he had achieved. While this Nisei who has dedicated his life for humanity, I want you to know the other Gordon Sato.
For a student to seek his former teacher is in itself a wonderful tribute to me. But then, at our meeting, Gordon Sato said he wanted to thank me for inspiring him to get a college education. Two little words, “Thank You” showed me a man who stands tall among all of us with courage and humility. I too had hoped that something good would come out of that place of injustice. Little did I know that I had planted a seed that would blossom into something beautiful for the world to see. That is the Gordon Sato that I know.
We love this reminder that behind every leader, innovator, scientist, and world changer, there’s a great teacher! Thank you, Gordon Sato, and thank you Tadashi Kishi!
The recent letter written by 47 Republican senators to the government of Iran about nuclear negotiations has revived talk about the classic phrase “politics stops at the water’s edge.” The tag line, arguing that partisanship should be put aside in foreign policy, is often attributed to Senator Arthur Vandenberg (R-Michigan) who used it in endorsing some of the diplomatic initiatives of the Democratic Truman administration at the start of the Cold War.
In mid-February the Public Broadcasting Service aired a four-hour documentary entitled The Italian Americans, an absorbing chronicle of one immigrant group’s struggles and successes in America. It has received rave reviews across the country. For all its virtues, however, the film falls short in at least one important respect.
Desperation set in among the Confederacy’s remaining troops throughout the final nine months of the Civil War, a state of despair that Union General Ulysses S. Grant manipulated to his advantage. From General William T. Sherman’s destructive “March to the Sea” that leveled Georgia to Phillip H. Sheridan’s bloody campaign in northern Virginia, the Union obliterated the Confederacy’s chance of recovery.
Many may already know that April marks the start of Confederate History Month, but another interesting fact is that this year marks the milestone of 150 years since the end of the Civil War. On April 9th and nationwide recognition of this event will take place in the form of ringing bells at 2:15. This time and date marks 150 years from when Union General Ulyses S. Grant met with Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to set the terms of surrender of Lee’s army.
The American Civil War, also known as ‘The War Between the States’, was bloody and raged from 1861 to 1865. It was when 11 Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America (“the Confederacy”). The Confederacy fought for its independence from the United States and opposed the end of slavery, which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the formation of the United States in 1776. -The Network Journal
Franklin D. Roosevelt broke the two-term precedent set by George Washington by running for and winning a third and fourth term. Pressure for limiting terms followed FDR’s remarkable record. In 1951 the Twenty-Second constitutional amendment was ratified stating: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…” Accordingly, reelected Presidents must then govern knowing they cannot run again.