Daily History: February

Get a daily dose of history to prompt discussion. Help your children gain an appreciation of historical figures and events that have impacted our world. A daily historical fact is typically chosen from History.com then additional videos, quotes, and/or facts are used to promote thought (THINK) and discovery (DISCOVER) but this month we removed “Discover” and added an African American who has contributed to our society in honor of Black History month. Enjoy!

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    February 1, 1902 (Langston Hughes) & 1790

    1902 ~ Langston Hughes, an American poet, playwright, and author, was born in Joplin, Missouri. Shortly after graduating high school, his well-known poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, was published. He attended Columbia University for a short period of time then later completed his degree on a scholarship to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Read more about Hughes at Biography.com and watch how he contributed to the Harlem Renaissance below. His poem, “The Weary Blues” was published in Opportunity Magazine in 1925.

    1790 ~ The Supreme Court’s Gavel is Put to Use 
    explains that the first session of the U.S. Supreme Court occurred with Chief Justice John Jay of New York presiding. This event took place almost two years after the US Constitution was written, which requires Supreme Court justices who have a lifetime appointment. Article III, Section I states, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour….”. 

    THINK: In 1790, only six judges were appointed. How many are there today?

    DISCOVER: Who were the original judges and who appointed them? Learn at MountVernon.org.

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    February 2, 1848 & 1975 (Donald Driver)

    1975 – Donald Driver, a retired American football player, celebrity, and children’s activist was born in Houston, Texas. Biography.com states, in 2009, he became the Packers all-time leading receiver with 596 catches. He has also been a co-host and won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2012. More importantly, he created The Donald Driver Foundation that helps homeless families and supports education. Watch the video below to understand why Driver has a desire to help homeless families.

    The Mexican-American War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This Treaty can be thanked for Western US expansion. Learn more at History.com. Watch the video and write down which states the US received and how much we paid for them.

    THINK ~ What can you buy today with the amount of money that was paid for this land? What do you think that amount is equal to today? Check out the inflation calculator to see how your answer compares. How does that amount compare to companies worth like Facebook?

    DISCOVER: President Polk is known for his belief in Manifest Destiny, the belief that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory to enhance its political, social, and economic influence. (Dictionary.com) Watch the video below and learn about US expansion in the west. Answer the questions: 1. Who was Winfield Scott? 2. What trouble started after the Treaty of Hidalgo? 3. What is your opinion of Manifest Destiny?

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    February 3, 1821 & Mary Mcleod Bethune

    Mary McLeod Bethune was not born today but is being recognized for her impact on improving the lives of African American children through education. Born on July 10, 1875, near Marysville, South Carolina, she became one of over a dozen children from a mother who was once enslaved. As a girl, Mary picked cotton and did any job that helped her family survive. As a determined young woman, she did domestic (housework) while completing Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina where she graduated in 1893. By 1904, she started a school in a shack and later created the Bethune-Cookman College in 1923. From 1936 to 1943 Bethune was chosen by President F.D.R to be the director of the National Youth Administration in the Federal Council on Negro Affairs, otherwise known as the “Black Cabinet”. Her life was dedicated to helping African American youth through education and programs that helped promote their success. Read more about her at Biography.com and/or watch the video below.

    1821 ~ Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol, England. Biography.com explains that she suffered from a medical disease in her mid-20’s and believed she would have been better off with a female doctor. This event motivated her to become the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States from Geneva Medical College where they accepted but viewed her as a joke. She was shown prejudice but refused to give up her studies. Read more at Biography.com or watch the video below about her amazing perseverance, which led her to later establish the U.S. Sanitary Commission in 1861 when Lincoln was president.

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    February 4, 1913

    Rosa Parks was born today in 1913. This brave woman can be credited for sparking the Civil Rights Movement and is why she has the nickname, “the First Lady of Civil Rights”. Read more at Biography.com and/or watch the video below.

    THINK ~ How would you feel if you were told to sit somewhere because of your appearance? Do you treat others differently who looked differently than you? When you think of someone you look up to, have they shown prejudice or acceptance of all?

    February 4, 1789 ~ George Washington was elected as the first U.S. president and runner-up John Adams became the first vice president. Good thing they were friends! Read more at History.com.

    THINK ~ George Washington is known for him humility. What does humility mean to you?

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    February 5, 1920 and 1934

    Georgia Gilmore was born in 1920, as well as, Hank Aaron 1934. Both were born into poor families in Alabama and experienced discrimination. At a young age, Aaron was recognized for his football and baseball talent. At 18, he began playing in the Negro Baseball League and four years later, he began playing for the Milwaukee Braves. At 23, he won the National League MVP award after leading the Braves to win the World Series.For almost 20 years, Aaron was chosen to play on the All-Star team but faced racial discrimination since he began playing only 7 years after legendary Jackie Robinson took the field in 1947. In 1974, he did the unthinkable and broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. He played for two more years then retired at 42 with 755 career home runs. Watch the video below to learn more about legendary Hank Aaron.

    Georgia was a Civil Rights activist who was involved in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycotts with Rosa Parks. Biography.com says, “Gilmore had worked as, a nurse and midwife, also obtaining a position as a cook at National Lunch Company in Montgomery.” Watch the video below and see how Gilmore influenced positive change due to her attitude and heart.

    Think twice before you do some things, because some things you do, you will regret it later. And so by me being able to control my temper, I made a lot of friends that I never thought that I would have, white and black. Georgia GilmoreBiography.com

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    February 6, 1911

    The 40th president, Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. His family was poor but had a great childhood and is known for playing football in both high school and college. He worked as a sports radio announcer and soon became a Hollywood actor. While acting, he became an active spokesman for the Screen Actors Guild, which is the American union for people who work in film and television. His speaking skills improved while traveling nationwide and hosting a television program, General Electric Theater. Reagan’s gregarious personality and speaking abilities are two reasons why he became California’s governor and later won the presidency at 69 years of age. Reagan was the oldest president until Donald Trump. Learn more about Reagan at History.com or at RonaldFoundation.org.

    Today we celebrate reggae with the birth of Bob (Nester) Marley in Jamaica in 1945, as well as, singer Natalie Cole in 1950 who was the daughter of the famous crooner Nat King Cole. Marley can be thanked for making reggae well-known in America. He was the lead singer in the band, Wailing Wailers in Jamaica. Watch the video below to learn more about him and to experience reggae if you’re not familiar with it. The following video is about Nat Cole and his impact on music.

    THINK ~ (Marley Video) What do you think about reggae? How is it similar and different to the music you listen to today?

    THINK ~ (Cole Video) How do you think Nat Cole influenced his daughter’s desire to sing? Do you think his music or Marley’s better?

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    February 7, 1775 & Robert Smalls

     1775 ~ Ben Franklin publishes, “An Imaginary Speech” in London. History.com explains his speech defends American courage and that we are much stronger than the British think. You can read his speech at foundersarchives.gov.

    THINK ~ How do you think American’s compare to other countries today in bravery and perseverance? How do you think technology and social media is affecting bravery? Would you be able to survive if you were lost in the woods without a phone and food?

    In thinking about Franklin’s stance on American bravery, today we recognize the bravery of an overlooked African American, Robert Smalls, who was born on April 15, 1839. Smalls was born into a hard life of slavery but his courage led him to become a ship’s sea captain during the American Civil War. In an Atlanta Black Star article, “10 Black Heroes Who Normally Go Unrecognized During Black History Month, but Shouldn’t” by A. Moore, he writes, “Smalls freed himself, his crew and their families from slavery on May 13, 1862, when he led an uprising aboard a Confederate transport ship, the CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor, and sailed it north to freedom. His feat  successfully helped persuade President Abraham Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army.” (atlantablackstar.com). Watch the video below to learn more about Smalls and his impact our nation.

    THINK ~ What do you think made Smalls so motivated to change not only his life but the lives of all slaves?

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    February 8, 1968 and Ralph Bunche

    1968 ~ Gary Coleman was born in Illinois. As a child, he suffered multiple health problems stunted his growth. Despite being 4’8″, he used his gregarious personality to become a well-known actor who is famous for his line, “What’choo talkin’ about Willis?” from the television series “Different Strokes. Read more at Biography.com.

    THINK ~ What other people do you know who have overcome health problems and used them to become stronger mentally?

    Ralph Bunche ~ The first African American Noble Peace Prize winner. who was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 7, 1904.  Bunche’s parents died when he was only 10 years old in New Mexico. His grandmother moved them to Los Angeles, California, where Bunche learned to do whatever odd jobs he could to help support the family. On top of his hard work outside of school, he was continually awarded for his academics and athletic ability at school. He earned an athletic scholarship to USC and graduated summa cum laude in 1927. Read more at NobelPrize.org or Biography.com.

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    February 14, 1818

    At a later age in life, today, February 14, was chosen by Fedrick Douglass to celebrate his birth. Born as a slave

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    February 23, 1868

    W.E.B Du Bois was born in Massachusetts.

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    February - Ben Carson

    Ben Carson was born on September 18, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan.  His mother worked three jobs to raise him and his brother, Curtis. HIs mother promoted reading and the idea that reading allows you to learn anything. In middle school, he began going down a bad path, but after almost harming his close friend with a knife due to his anger, he went home and read the Bible and chose a new path. After earning a scholarship to Yale and earning his medical degree at the University of Michigan, he became a neurosurgeon. His calm hands, intelligence and desire to help children, earned him the position as the most world re-known neuro surgeons who became the youngest director of pediatric surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. In 1987, he and his colleagues performed a 22-hour surgery on seven-month Siamese twins who were joined at the head. Learn more about Carson at Biography.com.

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    February 20, 1895

    Frederick Douglass died on this day and was born in February he did not know the exact date.  He later chose his birthday as February 14, 1818. He was born a slave in Talbot county Maryland and was owned by the Auld family. The wife of his owner, Sophia Auld, taught Frederick how to read and write until her husband told her to stop. Douglass continued his learning through other white children in his neighborhood. HIs desire to learn and read anything he could get his hands on, promoted his ability to spread about freedom. On December 3, 1838, Douglass escaped slavery after his third attempt with the help of Anna Murray and abolitionist David Ruggles in New York. He married Anna, they changed their last names to Douglass, and moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Douglass became an active speaker and writer against slavery. He wrote three autobiographies and met with President Lincoln and President Jackson. He broke many barriers such as being the first African American to be placed on a presidency ballot as Vice President and marrying a white feminist after his wife’s death.

    THINK ~ If you were a Douglass, would you have visited Auld’s after the 13th Amendment was ratified?

Daily History: July

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    July 30, 1916

    Prior to going to NYC my daughter asked, “Nana said the Statue of Liberty torch use to be open. Why can’t we go up there today? So in January, we found something interesting to add to July, The Tom Black explosion, which occurred over 100 years ago. History.com explains, “The Tom Black explosion can be compared with the force of a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that could reportedly be felt as far as Maryland, rocked Jersey City, New Jersey. Plate glass windows in buildings in NYC and Brooklyn were blown out, the Brooklyn Bridge shook and the nearby Statue of Liberty was pummeled in shrapnel.” Similar to the Los Angeles earthquake in 1994, this explosion occurred on an early Sunday morning when people were sleeping (2:08 am) and caused $20 million in damage, which is about $50 million today. With only 3.91 miles between Jersey City and NYC, the impact in NYC was intense and is the reason why the Statue of Liberty’s torch suffered such extreme damage that it could no longer be open to the public. Read more at History.com. Watch the video below to see why the explosion occurred.

Daily History: January

Daily History: January

Get a daily dose of history to prompt discussion. Help your children gain an appreciation of historical figures and events that have impacted our world. A daily historical fact is typically chosen from History.com then additional videos, quotes, and/or facts are used to promote thought (THINK) and discovery (DISCOVER).

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    January 45 BC ~ New Year's Day Begins

    Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, begins the 365 Day, 12 month Julian Calendar with the assistance of Greek astronomer, Sosigenes of Alexandria.  Understanding that the Earth takes 365.2422 days to rotate around the sun, helped in creating his calendar Due to a misunderstanding, the first calendar had a leap year every three years instead of four. Julius’s adopted son, Augustus, corrected the leap year and changed it to every four years. This calendar was accepted by the most powerful empire at the time, the Roman Empire, and was adopted by other civilizations as well. Today we use the Gregorian Calendar, which is very similar. Watch one or both videos below to learn more about both calendars.

    THINK: Every year people like to make New Year’s Resolutions. The definition of New Year’s Resolution from Cambridge Dictionary is, “a promise you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year”. Parents, read the article from parents.com to help guide your younger children. Older kids: Think about one goal you would like to achieve in each area (physical, mental and social) this year. Write your goals down and list actions to complete to achieve them.

    DISCOVER: The Ancient Babylonians were the first to celebrate a New Year’s ritual by holding a festival called Akitu. Learn more various New Year’s festivals at History.com and/or watch their video below. Write down other cultures New Year’s traditions and when they celebrate it after reading or watching the video below. What do you do to celebrate New Years? How can you integrate other cultural traditions into this New Year?

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    January 2, 1788

    Georgia enters the union and becomes the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and the first southern state to sign. History.com explains, Georgia got its name from England’s King George II in 1733 when English philanthropist James E. Oglethorpe traveled up the Savannah River and established Georgia’s first permanent settlement–the town of Savannah.

    THINK: What is Georgia’s nickname? (HINT: it’s a fruit) Name two other southern states.

    DISCOVER: Go to Goergia.govAwesomeAmerica, and/or watch the video below to learn at least five interesting facts about Georgia. Write the facts down and share them with family or friends.

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    January 3, 1961

    President Eisenhower ends diplomatic relations with Cuba by closing the American Embassy in Cuba. Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, led a communist regime which the US government did not agree with. Americans were not allowed to travel or purchase Cuban goods for 50 years. It was not until July 2015 that the US and Cuba renewed relations and opened embassies in both countries. Americans can once again visit Cuba and see a country that is known for its communist government. Read more at History.com.

    But Castro is not just another Latin American dictator-a petty tyrant bent merely on personal power and gain. His ambitions extend far beyond his own posposshores. ~ JFK, October 6, 1960

    THINK: Communism is a form of government and economic system where the government, not individual people, own land, factories, and machinery, so the people are expected to share the wealth they create. (KidsBritannica). How would you feel if the U.S. government owned your home and controlled what job you did in the future?

    DISCOVER: Watch one or both videos below. Why did the US not like Fidel Castro? Who was Alan Gross? What US President renewed relations with Cuba?



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    January 4, 1896 & 1999

    1896 ~ Utah enters the union as the 45th state. Go to AwesomeAmerica and/or Utah.gov to learn more about Utah.
    1999 ~ The Euro debuts. The Euro is the European currency, similar to our currency, the dollar. Prior to the Euro, each European country had their own currency. So if you traveled between Italy, France, and Spain, you would need to exchange currency. Purchasing items was much more difficult due to constantly changing exchange rates. The Euro created one currency to be used in all European countries to make buying goods and services easier. England is the only country who refused to eliminate their currency called the pound and sterling. Read more at History.com. Watch the Euro video below to learn about what the Euro looks like and which countries use it in the European Union.

    THINK: If you travel to Europe, where do you go to get Euros instead of dollars? Do you think the dollar or Euro is worth more?

    DISCOVER: Go to US Treasury and look up the current Dollar to Euro and Dollar to Pound exchange rates. Write down the current exchange rates. How many dollars equal a Euro? How many dollars equal a pound? How many Euros equal a Pound?
    Older students: Learn what factors affect the exchange rate. Watch the video below.

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    January 5, 1933

    The creation of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco begins. It was completed only four years later on May 27, 1937. This landmark bridge was the longest bridge span in the world until 1964, when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in NYC was completed. At the time it cost $35 million, which was a tremendous amount the time but is meager in the Silicon Valley today. The wealth of the Silicon Valley can thank this bridge as well as the Bay Bridge for allowing commuters to drive into San Francisco from the surrounding suburbs. Watch the quick 3 minute video below to learn more.

    THINK: The building of the bridge was a dangerous feat. Can you guess what type of metal was used to build it? Would you have helped build the bridge? Explain.

    DISCOVER: How many cables are on this suspension bridge? Where is the longest suspension bridge today? ( GoldenGateBridge.org) How long is the Golden Gate Bridge compared to the longest suspension bridge today? Compare the length of the Golden Gate Bridge to the distance you travel to school each day. Is it longer or shorter?

    45-minute video about the bridge

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    January 6, 1412

    Joan of Arc was born in Domremy, France as a peasant girl. By the age of 12, she had visions from Saints to help France against England. As a teenager, she chopped her hair and dressed as a man because she believed God wanted her to fight for France. At 17, King Charles VII gave her armor and a horse to join the French army after she predicted the French would lose the Battle near Orleans. While fighting for France she was injured then later captured by the Burgundians (East Germanic vandal tribe) then sold to the English. She was tried for sorcery and heresy by the church and abused in prison. She was convicted and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, at only 18 years old. In 1456, the Catholic Church declared Joan a saint and the French celebrate her feast day on May 30. Read more at Mr. Nussbaum. Watch the KidsBritannica video below.

    One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying. ~ Joan of Arc, Brainy Quote

    THINK: What do you think Joan’s quote means? What do you believe in (your morals, values)? Share this with family or friends.


    Older students: Go to biography.com and watch the videos and read more about how Joan was put on trial for cross-dressing and heresy.

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    January 7, 1789

    First US Presidential election took place. Voters cast their ballots to choose state electors who were only white men who owned property in 1789. This system called theElectorial college is still used today. George Washington won but was not sworn into office until April 30, 1789. Read more at History.com. George Washing ran unopposed in the 1789 and 1792 elections. Each electoral college member placed two votes. One for George Washington then another for who would become the Vice President. If someone had run against Washington and lost, he would have become his vice president. Good thing Adams and Washington got along!

    THINK: If you ran against your enemy and lost. Would you be willing to work under them? Explain. What are ways you could learn to get along so you could do what is best for our country?

    DISCOVER: Washington was elected for two terms. At the end of his second term in 1796, he wrote a letter of resignation but did not give a farewell speech. Read his letter at ourdocuments.gov. What point are some key points he made about our country? What do you think a letter says about his character versus giving a public speech? Today, presidents have speech writers who write their speeches for them. What is your opinion on a president speeching the words of others instead of their own? What do you think our Washington would have thought about that?

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    January 8, 1790

    President Washington delivered the first State of the Union address to Congress in New York City. The State of the Union address is a speech the president gives each year about issues facing our country and how the country (union) is doing. The Constitution requires this type of summary in Article II, Section 3, Clause 1. It states, “The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”Read more about his address at History.com or read his address at UCSB.edu.

    THINK: Why do you think Washington gave his address in New York City instead of Washington D.C.? Why do you think the Constitution requires a State of the Union?

    DISCOVER: Which presidents have given memorable State of the Union addresses? Read the article from The Washington Post or RealClearPolitics. Choose one of the speeches and read or watch it. What is one point the president said that made it memorable?

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    January 9, 2007

    Steve Jobs reveals the iPhone in 2007, which was years ahead of its time. It became the first cell phone to combine a touchscreen phone that merged the capabilities of its ipod (music), a camera, and web browsing. Six months after he revealed the phone, thousands of people stood in lines for hours to purchase the phone that was hundreds of dollars more than a typical cell phone. The price was $499 and $599, while its competitor, the Blackberry, was sold for about $240. Read more at History.com. Watch the video and learn what other products Jobs revealed on this day.

    Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.
    ~ Steve Jobs

    THINK: The brilliant mind behind Apple, Steve Jobs, was known for his dedication and creativity. His quote reminds people that working with others is important in business yet he was known for his his lack of social skills that often rubbed people the wrong way. Do you know anyone who is brilliant creatively but has a hard time in social environments like parties? What other inventors can you think of who had this same personality trait? 2. Jobs quote lets us know that

    DISCOVER: 1. This day is the beginning of Apple’s yearly fall technology revealing. When Steve Jobs was alive, he was known to wear his famous Levi’s, black turtleneck and tennis shoes. Who is the person who replaced Steve Jobs? Read Times article to learn. 2. The iPhone led to the downfall of the Blackberry. This typically happens when new, better inventions are revealed. What is another inventions that you can think of that faded away once a new one was created? Think about a wide variety of technology from cars to music players.

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    January 10, 1776

    Thomas Paine published the first writing that challenged the British government’s right to rule over the colonies in America. His writing was called, Common Sense. Paine’s ideas were considered extreme at the time. Even leaders like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were not as sure as Paine was separating from Britain.  COMPLETE!!!!!

    But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families. ~ Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    THINK: Paine makes the point that the British were treating Americans like enemies instead of its family. Have you ever treated a family member worse than a stranger? Do you sometimes feel family can be meaner to each other than their enemies? Explain.

    DISCOVER: Paine’s writing is what began the idea of separating from Britain to form a new union.

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    January 11, 1757 & 1908

    Alexander Hamilton and Alice were born on this day. Alexander Hamilton was born in 1757 and is well-known for writing Federalist Papers. He went to Kings College, now known as Columbia, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was a Lt. Colonel to George Washington who later made Hamilton the first U.S. Secretary of Treasury. He worked as a lawyer after the war and worked was a key delegate in creating the U.S. Constitution who was a federalist that believed in a strong central government, meaning the federal government, not the states had more power. Hamilton designed the U.S. Treasury Department and believed it was important that the U.S. paid back its debts from the Revolutionary War. Hamilton was a strong supporter of Jefferson, which made his opponent Aaron Burr upset. Watch the video below to discover what Aaron did to Hamilton.

    THINK: What would happen today if someone shot another person in a dual?

    DISCOVER: Write down four things Hamilton did to help develop our country. Go to Biography.com to read more. What were some of his personal accomplishments? (ex. graduated Kings College) What are some of your future goals?

    Alice Paul was born in 1885 in New Jersey. She was a famous suffragist who was born into a Quaker family. A suffragist is someone who fights for women’s rights. She was an educated woman who was one of the key founders of the National Women’s Party that led a movement to give women rights such as voting. She began fighting for women’s rights while attending graduate school in London then continued when she returned to the United States. She was arrested in both London and in the U.S. for protesting. Read more about Alice at Biography.com.

    THINK: Would you fight for the right to vote? Explain.

    DISCOVER: 1. She was part of the first movement to picket the White House. Who was president at the time? 2. Who was the other woman who led the National Woman’s Suffrage with Alice?

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    January 12, 1986

    The Columbia Space Shuttle was launched and piloted by the first African American man, Charles Bolden. In 2009, Bolden was nominated by President Obama to become the NASA administrator. Learn more about Bolden at NASA.com. The Columbia shuttle also carried the first Latin American, Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz.  Dr. Diaz was born in Costa Rica and became a U.S. citizen in 1977. Read more about Diaz at NASA or Time.

    THINK: After watching Bolden’s video, does fear of failure stop you from doing your best? Explain. After watching Diaz’s video, what do you do to follow your dreams?

    DISCOVER: Find out a list of firsts in space. Choose one of the astronauts to learn more about at NASA. 1. Who was the first man in space? 2. Who was the first American man in space? 3. Who was the first woman in space? 4.Who was the first American woman? 5. Who was the first African-American in space? 5. Who was the first African-American woman in space? 6. Create your own question and look it up.

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    January 13, 1794 & 1975

    Under George Washington’s presidency, Congress adds two new stars to the flag for Vermont and Kentucky. The original 13 stars and stripes became a solid fifteen. Over time the U.S. flag has changed due to adding more states to the union.

    On this exact day and year earlier in France, the French abolished slavery. This is 71 years prior to the U.S. abolishing slavery.

    THINK: 1. How many stars and stripes are on the current U.S. flag? Do you know what they represent?

    THINK: Why do you think the U.S. abolished slavery so much later than the French?

    Why was there a worldwide slave trade for centures?
    DISCOVER: What other great ideas did we get from French thinkers, especially when writing our Bill of Rights.

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    January 16, 1919

    Selling alcohol became illegal on this day when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified (passed into law). This is known as prohibition because the amendment prohibits,  “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” People, especially women, believed stopping the sale of alcohol would decrease violence, but the opposite occurred. Instead, alcohol was sold illegally and created more corruption because it was illegal to purchase. The Great Depression helped bring back alcohol because the government realized they could tax it and earn revenue to boost the economy. Read and watch more at History.com.

    THNK: What other illegal substances cause violence because it is illegal to purchase these items? In 2016, California legalized the sale of marijuana. What are the negatives and positives to legalizing a drug like marijuana?

    DISCOVER: How many amendments are there? Have other amendments been repealed, or taken back besides the 18th amendment?

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    January 17, 1994

    The largest Earthquake in Los Angeles history occurred killing 54 people and causing over $20 billion dollars in damage. Luckily it was at 4:31 am when most people were sleeping so children were not in school and the roads bridges and roads that were destroyed had few vehicles on them. Read more at History.com.

    DISCOVER: Watch the video below to learn what has been done to reinforce buildings in LA  survive another massive earthquake. What is retro-filling? What are some materials engineers use to reinforce buildings?

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    January 18, 1919

    Post-World War I peace conference begins in Paris. Read more at History.com, which explains that the Allied powers, France, Great Britain, Italy, and the United States, met to begin negotiations on how the Axis powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey would pay for the war. Germany became the big loser in the negotiations where President Wilson did not agree with how harsh the Treaty was toward the Germans. Unfortunately, Wilson was correct because the Treaties harshness led the Germans to become angry, which led to WWII.

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    January 19, 1809

    Edgar Allen Poe was born today. He is one of the most famous authors in history due to his poetry and short stories. He is known as the “father of the detective story”. In high school, all American students are exposed to his writing which includes the dark horror stories, “A Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lost his parents at the young age of three. He himself died at the young at of 40. Read more about his interesting life at History.com or read some of his poetry and stories at Poestories.com.

    THINK: Why do you think he wrote such dark stories? Do you think his ideas are linked to his real life? Explain.

    DISCOVER: 1. Read Alone below and think about how it relates to Poe’s personal life. 2. What other artist, writers, painters, dancers, actors, etc, who you are familiar with, have led unhappy lives, but created works of literature, music, art, or films that are admired today?


    by Edgar Allen Poe published in 1875

    From childhood’s hour I have not been
    As others were — I have not seen
    As others saw — I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring —
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow — I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone —
    And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —
    Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life — was drawn
    From ev’ry depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still —
    From the torrent, or the fountain —
    From the red cliff of the mountain —
    From the sun that ’round me roll’d
    In its autumn tint of gold —
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it pass’d me flying by —
    From the thunder, and the storm —
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view —

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    January 20th

    The ratification of the 20th Amendment on January 23, 1933, moved Inauguration Day from March 4th to January 20th. Therefore, presidents who won the presidential election starting in November 1936, took their oath as president on January 20th in the New Year. President Franklin D. Rosevelt was the first president 1st, 2nd, and 3rd president to be sworn on this date, although his first inauguration was the original March 4th date. Presidents following FDR, who were not sworn in on January 20th include Vice Presidents who replaced presidents such as Harry Truman, Lynden Johnson, and Gerald Ford. The other exception is when the date is moved from Sunday the 20th to Monday the 21st, although, all presidents following FDR had at least one Inauguration Day on the 20th except Gerald Ford who served less than two years after taking over Nixon’s presidency. Inaugural addresses (speeches) set the tone of how a president plans to conduct business during their time in office.  Go to Presidency.ucsb.edu to read U.S. president’s complete addresses or view archives of them at ourdocuments.gov or archives.gov . Learn more about their inaugural addresses such as Kennedy’s, which he began writing in November after his nomination. View his complete speech at Presidency.ucsb.edu. The Washington Post’s article, The 10 Most Famous Inaugural Addresses includes some of the speeches in the videos below which begin with the most recent speeches to FDR’s first speech in 1937.

    THINK: If you were to become president, what are three changes you discuss during your inaugural address?

    DISCOVER: Who said what?!  Watch the videos below or search the quotes online for president Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Kennedy, Truman, and FDR.

    “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”
    “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”
    “As a nation, we all go up or else we all go down as one people.”
    “Today we can declare: Government is not the problem, and government is not the solution. We—the American people—we are the solution.”
    “Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man — a charter expanded by the blood of generations.  Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience sake. ”
    “Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of the individual and his freedom in the exercise of those abilities of his.”

    DISCOVER #1: Choose your favorite address from above and share why you liked it with your family or class.  #2: Ask your parents and peers their opinions these Presidents. Why do they like or dislike each of them? Remember that these are only OPINIONS and everyone has the right to have one even though you may not agree. There are no right or wrong answers to opinions. As Americans, we are fortunate to live in a country where we have the right to express our opinions and beliefs.

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    January 21, 1977

    President Carter made good on his campaign promise and gave an unconditional pardon to “draft dodgers”. The “draft” is a time when men are required to join the armed forces because the United States is in a crisis. Draft dodgers included over 100,000 men who fled to Canada or hid from the government in the late 1960’s to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War. Prior to Carter’s pardon, men caught for evading the war were given prison sentences or forced into military service. Carter’s pardon freed them of their sentences, although, America lost about 50,000 men who became permanent residents of Canada. Read more at History.com. The video below is trailer for the hour long PBS movie “The Draft”, which discusses the U.S. draft and its effects on Americans.

    THINK ~ Do you think it is fair that the government can draft, or require men to join the military if they do not agree with the war that is being fought? Explain. At the same time, do you think it is fair for those men to receive the benefits of living in the United States if they refuse service? Explain.

    Selective Service Act video

    DISCOVER ~ 1. The “Selective Service System”, is a government system that requires US male citizens and immigrants ages 18-25 to register with the military. This does not mean they are registering to join the military. It means that the government can call upon them in case the United States is in a crisis. Go to SSS.gov to discover the reasons to register as well as the benefits and penalties of registration.  1. What is one benefit of registration? 2. When was the last time a draft occurred?
    2.As of today, the U.S. government has upheld the belief that all able-bodied male citizens must fight if our country is it is under attack, although, what if we are not under attack on our soil like the Vietnam War? Go to Debate.org and read the “yes” (for) and “no” (against) debate regarding the draft. What is your opinion?
    3. In Israel, military service is required for both men and women once you turn 18. Men are required to serve for three years and women about half. Ari Bussel’s article, “Mandatory Military Service Works in Israel”, explains how Israel’s system works. Unlike the U.S., Isreal is under constant attack from other countries, so their citizens must be prepared to fight at any point. Do you think it would benefit our nation if all men and women ages 18-21 received training? Explain.

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    January 22, 1440

    Ivan the Great was born in Moscow, Russia. He was one of the longest ruling Russian leaders who received the nickname, “Gatherer of Lands”. His nickname comes from tripling the size of Russia. His childhood is like a Hollywood movie. Learn about this story at Encyclopedia Britanica.com.

    Watch 44-minute video from History.com by “Russia: Engineering an Empire” to learn about Ivan III, the Great, and the leaders that follow.

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    January 23, 1997

    Madeline Albright becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of State. This position, along with 15 other department heads are in the president’s cabinet. A president nominates who they want as their department heads then they are confirmed in the Senate. The Secretary of State is the head of the U.S State Department and the first U.S. department created in 1789. This department is in charge of international relations and negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign countries.

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    January 24, 1848

    Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Northern, California! Where would the west be if it wasn’t for a mad rush of people from the mid-west and East who hoped to find their riches in gold? The irony behind this rush is that John Augustus Sutter, a Swiss immigrant who can to the Mexican California in 1839, did not want others to know about his accidental discovery. Read more about why he wanted to keep it a secret at and what happened to his town, New Helvetia, at History.com.

    The Indians began to be troublesome all around me, killing and wounding cattle, stealing horses, and threatening to attack us. I was obliged to make campaigns against them and punish them. ~ John Sutter, Brainyquote.com

    THINK: What do you think Sutter did to punish the Indians? Do you think it was fair to punish them? Prior to the government giving him 50,000 acres of land in the fertile Sacramento Valley, whose land do you think it was? Do you think the government had the right to take land from people who called it their home?

    DISCOVER: Did many Americans gain wealth from the Gold Rush? How did the Rush change the West? Watch the two-hour documentary to learn how the Gold Rush changed the West and created hope.

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    January 25, 1905

    1905 – The World’s largest diamond was discovered in South Africa. Imagine stumbling upon a 3,106-carat, 1.33 pound diamond… Ouch! History.com explains that this diamond called the “Cullinan” (the name of the mine owner) was discovered at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Cullinan gave the diamond to King Edward VII as a birthday gift and was later cut into 9 large stones and about 100 smaller ones. The largest stones; the “Star of Africa”- 530 carats, the “Star of Africa II” – 317 carats, and the “Cullinan II” are all on display in the Tower of London. Go to History.com to read the rest and learn where the Cullinan I & II were placed.

    THINK ~ 1. What would you do if you found a diamond of this size and quality?

    DISCOVER ~ 1. Go to the Cullinan-Diamond.com to learn interesting facts about the diamonds. What does the legend say about Frederick Wells, the man who found it? How much are the diamonds worth?
    2. Some sources say the diamond was found on the 26th versus the 25th of January. Could this be due to the time zone in Gauteng, Africa? Go to WorldTimeZone.com and discover the time difference from where you live.

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    January 30, 1948

    1948 – Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi, India by extremist, Nathuram Godse. In 1869, Gandhi was a born into an upper-class family in Porbandar, India. He became a lawyer then experienced racial segregation while working in South Africa on a train. Despite being born into a wealthy family and being well-educated, he was not allowed to sit with whites on the train. Even after purchasing the ticket! This racial injustice led his desire to promote civil rights. Watch the video below to learn about his life of non-violence to fight racial segregation and civil rights.

    THINK ~ What other civil rights leaders followed Gandhi’s idea of Satyagraaha, or non-violent non-compliance (being willing to suffer so that the opponent can realize the error of their ways; NewWorldEncyclopedia.org)?

    DISCOVER ~ Gandhi was born into the privileged class in India but he spent most of his life working with the “untouchables”. Learn about the Indian caste system and how segregation in each class exists today. Go to BBCnews and read, What is India’s caste system?Mr. Dowling.com, or Mr.Donn.org. Answer: 1. How many castes are there in the caste system? 2. What is the system like today? 3. How did Gandhi affect the system?

    Go to History.com to learn about these other interesting events

    1835 – shots are fired in the House of Representatives & Andrew Jackson escapes assassination
    1882 – FDR is born
    1933 – Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany

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    January 31, 1865

    1865 –  The 13th Amendment finally passes in the House of Representatives to abolish slavery. It passed the US Senate in 1864 but died in the House of Reps. Luckily the 1864 election created a stronger Republican house, which passed the amendment by 7 votes. Despite passing today, it did not become a law until December 1865 since the states had to ratify it. Read more at History.com.

    1950 – Truman announces the development of an H-bomb (hydrogen). After the Soviets (Russia) detonated their own Atomic bomb in Kazakhstan, the US decided to fund the creation of a more powerful weapon, the H-bomb. Read more at History.com. What does the H stand for?


    THINK: Where did the US use the atomic bomb? Do you think it’s important for the US to have the most powerful weapons?

    DISCOVER: How much money goes toward US defense each year? How much goes toward education?

Daily History: December

Daily History: December

Get a daily dose of history to prompt discussion. Help your children gain an appreciation of historical figures and events that have impacted our world. A daily historical fact is chosen from History.com then additional videos, quotes, and/or facts are used to create questions to help you THINK and DISCOVER. Historical dates are from History.com’s This Day in History and most quotes are from BrainyQuote. This History.com’s video embedder does not work consistently so links are given to watch their videos.

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    December 1, 1955

    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her courage spurred the Civil Rights Movement. Learn more about her at RosaParks.org or Bio.com. Parks is proof of what one person’s strength can do since four days later, protests began that would not stop until African Americans received the rights they deserved centuries prior.

    People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. ~ Rosa Parks

    THINK: 1. What is something you would like to change that you feel is unjust? Explain. 2. Have you ever stood up for someone who treated unjustly? What did you do?

    DISCOVER: After watching the video, answer these questions. 1. How long after Rosa Parks boycott did the Supreme Court rule end segregation on municipal? 2. Rosa had to move to Detroit Michigan to find work. Who did she work for from 1965 to 1988? 3. Her notoriety (fame), made it hard for her to get work in the south. Why do you think people did not want to hire her?

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    December 2, 1804

    35-year-old conqueror, Napoleon, crowns himself French Emperor in the presence of Pope Pius VII at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, Read more about Napoleon at History.com or Biography.com.

    A leader is a dealer in hope. ~ Napoleon
    Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools. ~ Napoleon
    Read more quotes at Brainyquote.com

    THINK: What do Napoleon’s quotes mean? Think of a time when you wanted to give up but decided not to give up hope and continue trying? Write it down or share it with someone.

    DISCOVER: Watch the video below. 1. What is the Napoleonic Code? 2. Why did the other powers in Europe despise him? 3. What was the name of the final battle that got him exiled to the Island of St. Helena? 4. What do you think Napoleon was a war criminal or military genius? Explain.

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    December 3, 1967

    Surgeon Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant on a human in Capetown, South. The surgery was successful but 53-year-old South African man, Lewis Washkansky, who received his heart from a 25-year-old female. Unfortunately, he died 18 days later from pneumonia. The pneumonia was caused by the drugs he had to take so his system would not reject the heart. Heart transplants have improved along with the medicine patients must take, but they are rare due to lack of donors. Read more at History.com.

    THINK: As an American, you will be asked to be an organ donor at the DMV when you get your drivers license. How do you feel about donating your organs if you were to lose your life, in an accident, but all your organs were in still good working order to help save the lives of various others who need organs like a heart, liver, and kidneys?

    DISCOVER: Doctors began heart transplants in the 1950’s in the United States and the first successful one was on a dog in Stanford in 1958. Learn more about the history of organ transplants at Columbia Surgery. Which doctors were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1958 for their advances in medical science?  When did the first human heart transplant took place in the United States?

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    December 4, 1945

    1945 ~ The U.S. Senate approves US participation in the United Nations. The United Nations is an international organization created to help negotiate differences between conflicting countries to avoid wars. This idea was devised to avoid a repeating the history of WWII. The first major countries to join were France, China, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. Read more at History.com.

    By strengthening the three pillars of the United Nations – security, development and human rights – we can build a more peaceful, more prosperous and more just world for our succeeding generations. ~ Ban Ki-moon

    THINK: Do you think the United Nations does enough to help avoid wars and problems between countries? Do you agree with Ban Ki-moon’s quote? Explain.

    DISCOVER: Watch the video below. 1. How many countries were represented when it was first created? 2. How many are represented today? 3. Do you think it’s important to have an organization like the United Nations?

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    December 5, 1945

    Five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is an area that is shaped like a triangle if you connect the dots between Miami, Florida to Puerto Rica and Bermuda. The five Navy planes were doing a routine training when they lost their bearings (sense of direction) because their flying instruments (compasses) stopped working.  This seems strange since the leader of the squadron had been flying in the area for over six months. Unable to figure out how to get back to their naval based, their planes ran out of fuel and disappeared. These five planes are part of over a dozen planes and ships that have disappeared without a trace in the Bermuda Triangle. Then again, the Michigan Triangle, an area between Lake Michigan and Wisconsin have also had multiple disappearances. Seeing that thousands of ships and airplanes have traveled over the Bermuda Triangle, it is not surprising that both ships and airplanes have gone missing. Plus the Gulf Stream current is extremely strong, so finding a ship or plane that goes down is almost impossible to find. Read more at How Stuff Works or History.com.

    THINK: Do you think the Bermuda Triangle is strange or scary? Explain.

    DISCOVER: 1. After reading How Stuff Works, what is another name for the Bermuda Triangle? 2.Why do you think their compasses may have stopped working properly? Learn how compasses work to find out why they weren’t working.

    How Compass works -Magnetism Lesson for Kids from Montgomery Primary School on Vimeo.

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    October 6, 1865 & 1884

    This day reminds Americans about two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Without Lincoln, who knows if our country would still be divided and if the 13th Amendment would have passed eight months after his death. Without, George Washington who knows if Americans would have won the Revolutionary War. Washington’s heroism and humbleness should be a figure every American child should embrace.

    1865 ~ 13th Amendment was ratified, which ended slavery. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 100 years later that the Civil Rights movement gave African Americans real freedom.  Read more at History.com.

    1884 ~ The Washington Monument was completed 45 years after George Washington’s death. This monument is viewed millions each year. Read more about the Washington Monument at History.com.

    THINK: What other United States monuments can you name? Have everyone in your family or class write down as many as they can think of on a separate sheet of paper then see who came up with the most.

    DISCOVER: Watch the BrainPopJr. video below. What are five symbols that represent our country? Create a symbol that represents you.

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    December 7, 1941

    Pearl Harbor, the US Navy Base in Hawaii, was attacked by five Japanese dive bombers and 360 Japanese warplanes. History.com states, “Five of the eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men.” This attack led President Roosevelt and Congress to declare war against Japan, which forced the US to enter WWII against Japan, Italy, and Germany. Over the next four years of fighting, 400,000 more American lives were lost, which was a small part of the 60 million lives that were taken during this bloodshed.

    “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” ~ President Rosevelt

    THINK: What does infamy mean? What historical event will live in infamy in your mind besides WWII? Think about events that have occurred since you have been born. Have any historical events affected your life? Imagine what life was like children living in Europe during WWII.

    DISCOVER: 1. Watch one of the videos below and write down five interesting facts about WWII then turn them into questions. 2. Ask your parents or teacher the questions and see how many they get correct. Before you know it, you’ll be teaching them history. 3. Then ask an adult if they knew anyone who fought or escaped Hitler’s terror. 4. Learn more 10 Eye-Opening Facts About WWII at National Geography Kids UK.

    Just the facts

    LYFTeacher’s personal favorite for older kids

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    December 8, 1925

    Samy Davis Jr. was born in Harlem, New York and was taught music and dancing at a young age since he traveled on the road with his father who was an entertainer. Davis became a natural entertainer, which is why he became part of the Rat Pack whose main members included himself, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. He his not only respected for his talent as a comedian, actor, singer, and dancer, but for his ability to overcome racism while becoming a legend. After being drafted to fight in WWII, he experienced racism from white soldiers, but he used his ability to perform to win over those who were prejudice. Unfortunately Davis was also known for smoking and died of throat cancer at only 64. 

    The ultimate mystery is one’s own self. – Sammy Davis Jr.
    You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear. ~ Sammy Davis Jr.

    THINK: 1. What does one of his quotes mean? Has your fear stopped you from getting better at something? 2. Can you name another entertainer who used their fame to break racial barriers? 

    DISCOVER: What is the Rat Pack known for?  Learn who the other two members of the group were at ratpack.biz. What do you think about their music and constant joking? The video below includes Johnny Carson, who had a  late night talk show for years. 

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    December 12, 1913

    1913 ~ Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was recovered in Vincenzo Peruggia’s hotel room in Florence, Italy. He stole the painting from the Louvre Museum in Paris on August 21, 1911. It was the second time it was stolen from the Louvre, where it remains today. Peruggia was a museum worker at the Louvre who stole it with others who were dressed as janitors. This was the second and last heist (robbery) of what can be considered the world’s most famous painting. In 1962, the Mona Lisa was assessed at $100 million, which would make it worth about $780 million today! This makes it the most expensive painting in the world. On this same day in 1980, American oil tycoon (a wealthy, powerful person in business) Armand Hammer paid over $5 million for one of Da Vinci’s 30 plus notebooks that contain notes and drawings filled with his ideas. Read more at History.com.

    Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. ~ Da Vinci

    THINK: 1. Do you think a painting should be valued at such a high price? 2. If someone were to steal her, they would not be able to show it to others without getting caught. So why do you think someone would want to steal a famous painting and keep it? 3. What would you rather own, Da Vinci’s 30 notebooks or the Mona Lisa? Explain.

    DISCOVER: 1. Who is the Mona Lisa? After watching the first video below, what are your thoughts? 2. Watch the second video and write down three interesting facts about Da Vinci. What other famous paintings did he create?

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    December 13, 1642

    A Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman, became the first European explorer to discover New Zealand. Prior to this day, Tasman discovered an Island Southeast of Austria that is now called Tasmania. They named New Zealand after the Dutch province New Zeeland. New Zealand was not occupied by many Europeans until England annexed it (added it as their own territory) in 1840 and set up the first European settlement at Wellington. Read more at History.com.

    THINK: If you were a local native who heard horns and foreign men walking on your land, how would you react? How do you think the local New Zealand natives reacted when Tasman did this? Find out what happened by reading more at History.com.

    DISCOVER: Go to National Geographic Kids and learn more about New Zealand. Write down three reasons why you would like to visit. For older students, go to CIA.gov to learn more about New Zealand’s economy and life as a typical New Zealander. Do you think it would be a fun place to live? Explain why or why not.

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    December 11

Daily History: November

Get a daily dose of history to prompt discussion. Help your children gain an appreciation of historical figures and events that have impacted our world. A daily historical fact is chosen from History.com then additional videos, quotes, and/or facts are used to create questions to help you THINK and DISCOVER. Historical dates are from History.com’s This Day in History and most quotes are from BrainyQuote. This History.com’s video embedder does not work consistently so links are given to watch their videos.

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    November 1

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    November 2, 1777

    Commander John Paul Jones set sail from Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the USS Ranger. He led the first mission to raid British warships in the Irish Sea during the Revolutionary War. Despite being born in Scotland, he fought bravely for Americans freedom against England. Read more at History.com.

    I have not begun to fight ~  John Paul Jones famous quotes

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    November 3, 1957

    The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, which housed the part Siberian Husky space dog, Laika. Laika had electrodes attached to his body to help scientists learn how space travel affects mammals. Twelve more dogs were launched into space before sending the first Soviet man, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961. He orbited Earth one time on Vostok 1 before landing safely. The Soviets remained ahead in the Space Race until 1969. Why is that? Read more at History.com.

    THINK: Would you want to go to space? Why or why not?

    DISCOVER: Who were the first American in space? Who was the first woman in space? Who was the first African-American in space? Who was the first American woman in space? What does NASA represent? Go to NASA.gov and explore things like Journey to Mars or watch NASA TV and learn something new about space travel.

    Match the Astronaut to the quote!
    Choose either Sally Ride, Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin, or Alan Shepard. Go to AZ Quotes for help.
    ”That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
    “Looking at the earth from afar you realize it is too small for conflict and just big enough for co-operation.”
    “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.”
    “When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon I cried.”

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    November 4, 1922

    The first step to King Tut’s tomb was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter. History.com informs us that Carter arrived at the Valley of the Kings in Egypt in 1891 after most of the Ancient Egyptian tombs had been discovered. Carter found the hidden step close to King Ramses VI tomb who was a much more well-known pharaoh in Ancient Egypt. 18-year-old King Tut may not have been a famous during his reign, but when Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered King Tut’s inner chamber on November 26th, he became one of the most well-known king’s, because his untouched tomb was filled with treasures including King Tut’s pure gold tomb that in the Cairo museum in Egypt. Read more at History.com or watch their video about Tutankuham.

    Items Discovered in Tut’s Tomb

    THINK: Grave robbers are people who break into tombs to steal artifacts and even the bodies of the dead but luckily King Tut’s tomb was hidden so robbers did not find it. What would you do if you do if you found an ancient tomb filled with treasures?

    DISCOVER: 1. What do archeologists do?

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    November 7, 1867

    Marie Curie, the first Nobel Prize-winning female, was born today in Warsaw, Poland. The first prize Marie won with her husband, Pierre Curie in 1903 for their discovery of spontaneous radioactivity After his death, she won a second Nobel Prize in 1911 for producing radium as a pure metal and is still used as a radioactive compound used to treat cancer tumors. Her discovery of both radiation and plutonium have allowed us to treat cancer, have X-rays, sterilize medical instruments, produce energy at nuclear plants, and more. She continues to be the only person to win prizes in both two different fields, physics and chemistry. Another amazing fact is that her daughter, Irene, won a prize with her husband, Jean Frederic, in chemistry in 1935.  Read more at NobelPrize.org,  Biography.com, or FamousScientist.org.

    Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. ~ Marie Curie
    Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. ~ Marie Curie

    THINK: 1. What does she mean by, “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas?” Do you focus on what other people are doing or what questions and ideas you think about that can improve our world or your life? 2. What does she mean about fearing the unknown?

    DISCOVER: Go to KidsHealth.org and learn about radiation therapy. How is radiation used to treat cancer? What are the side effects of radiation?
    Learn more about cancer and how radiation works below.

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    November 8, 1864, 1892, 1960, and 2016

    Today is an election day for 2016 just like it was in 1864, 1892, and 1960. In 1864, Lincoln became President for a second term. In 1892, Grover Cleveland became the first and only president to serve two terms that were NOT consecutive. He was president from 1885-1889 then from 1893-1897. During the 1888 election, Cleveland would have won if the election was based on popular vote, but the electoral college gave the race to Benjamin Harrison instead. In 1960, John F. Kennedy was 43 when he became the youngest nominated US President. Today, November 8, 2016, a close neck and neck election will choose the next president. Either Hilary Clinton whose husband was a two-term president or Donal Trump.

    THINK: Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest president to serve our country, but JFK was the youngest to be nominated. How can that be?

    DISCOVER: Play a game using LYF’s President Questions. You can guess, Google, and/or play against someone else. Check your answers with LYF Teacher’s President Question Answers. For a quick game match the quote with the president below. Choose from Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, John F. Kennedy, and/or Donald Trump. Before you try to match, pick your favorite quote, then decide if your favorite president out of the group said it!

    1. No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
    2. Criticism is easier to take when you realize that the only people who aren’t criticized are those who don’t take risks.
    3. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
    4. Sometimes I wake at night in the White House and rub my eyes and wonder if it is not all a dream.

    Quotes sources: Brainyquote and Inc.com


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    November 9, 1989

    East Germany opens the Berlin Wall and the next day German citizens begin tearing it down after 28 long years! Watch the video below to learn about why this wall was built and what it symbolized. Read more at History.com.


    Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall! ~ President Reagan, June 12, 1987

    THINK: What would you do if you were not allowed to leave your country and your country gave you little freedom?

    DISCOVER:1.  What form of governments were in East and West Germany? Go to Kids Britannica. 2.  What form of government does Germany have today? Go to National Geographic to learn about Germany.

    Watch the 1.5 hour video from the History Channel if you have time.

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    November 10, 1969

    Sesame Street aired for the first time after 18 months of production. Producer Joan Cooney and psychologist Lloyd Morrisett, the creators of this brilliant idea, took even longer to make their idea come to life with the right team. Through the financial support of the Carnegie Corporation, the Children’s Television Network was born. Sesame Street also received support from the US, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation because of the cost to produce it. This became the first television show that used research and curriculum to both teach and entertain children. With the creativity of writer, Jon Stone and experience of Captain Kangaroos producer, David Connell, the show took off. The following year in November 1970, the show was featured on the cover of Time Magazine with Big Bird covered in fan mail he had received. Even President Nixon congratulated Cooney on the show. Check out Sesame Street’s fun interactive webpage and watch the brief history of a few shows below.

    Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself. ~ Big Bird

    THINK: What do you think about Big Bird’s quote? How can you turn your bad day into a good one? How can you help people around you turn their bad day into a good day?

    DISCOVER: The Children’s Television Workshop produced Sesame Street from 1969-2000, then the Sesame Workshop took over in 2000. 1. Learn about what production is. 2. Learn about Joan Ganz Cooney at Biography.com. What are interesting facts about either Ms. Cooney or production and share them with friends or family.

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    November 11, 1918

    On the 11th month, the 11th day, and at the 11th hour World War I ended.  Armistice Day, a day of remembering was created to commemorate the end of the war and remember the fallen soldiers. Even though the war ended and the Treaty of Versailles was signed, by the 1940’s, Germany was gearing up for World War II. In 1938, before World War II,  Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday. By 1954, President Einsenhower legally changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to include all American soldiers. Watch History.com’s quick summary about Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day below.

    The seed of revolution is repression. ~ President Woodrow Wilson
    The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. ~ Wilson

    THINK: Woodrow Wilson was president during World War I. What do you think his quotes mean? Why is leadership important on the battlefield? 2. Do you know anyone who is a veteran? How can you thank them for their willingness to fight for your freedom?

    DISCOVER #1: Watch History.com’s World War I “Bet you didn’t Know” video below or use link if embedder isn’t working. Write down three things you didn’t know about the war then turn them into question. Ask your teacher if they know the answer. If they don’t know, teach them what you learned:)

    DISCOVER #2: Learn more about World War I by watching the videos below by Crash Course and Epic History, or go to Crash Course to find more videos. You can also use Study.com, history 104. Answer: What was the Treaty of Versailles? Who were the big 3? What were the names of the big 3 leaders? What country dropped out of the treaty and switched sides during the War?

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    November 14, 1840

    French Impressionist Claude Monet was born today on 1840 in Paris, but his family moved to Normandy when he was young. As a teenagers he was well-known in his town for drawing and even selling caricatures, exagerrated drawings. He did not last long in art school because  he did not like the style that was taught and wanted to paint nautre. Monet, along with other artist, began a new style of painting known as Impressionism. During his lifetime he created over 2,500 paintings and pastels and many of them are on display in museums worldwide. Learn more about Monet at or watch an additional video HERE. 

    Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. ~ Monet

    THINK: Today, many people try to analyze art. Monet’s quote mentions that people should enjoy his art instead of trying to understand the meaning behind the image. When you look at nature do you try to analyze it or do you simply love it? How can you compare his paintings to looking at nature?

    DISCOVER: 1. Learn more about impressionism at Impressionsim.org. Who are three other famous impressionist artists? Watch the video below for more.  2. Try to draw your own impressionist landscape like Candy Cooper’s art lesson below inspired by Van Gough’s Starry Starry Night painting.

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    November 15, 1867

    Today in 1876, the first stock ticker was used at the New York City Stock Exchange. Prior to this, mail and messenger were the only ways to buy or sell stock, which had been around since 1792. Edward Calahan invented the ticker machine by reconfiguring William Morse’s telegraph to print stock quotes on paper tape. By 1869, Thomas Edison improved the machine and was able to use the money he made to open his lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he created the light bulb. It was not until 1960 that this ticker retired and was replaced by a computerized one. Learn about the history of the stock market in the first video below.

    Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it. ~ Peter Lynch, Brainy Quote

    THINK: 1. How did Calahan’s invention change the way stocks could be traded? 2. If you were a ship owner and captain in the 1600’s, would you prefer having investors back your voyage or would you prefer taking a risk to gain all the profits or losses from your trip?

    DISCOVER: After watching the 1952 video above. 1. What is the stock market? How is money traded on the stock market? 2. Choose at least 3 stocks to follow based on brands and items you like or use every day. Pretend you have $10,000 to spend on those stocks. Track them for a month to see if you would have made or lost money. How is the stock market like and unlike gambling?

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    November 16, 1973

    President Nixon supports the creation of an oil pipeline stretching from the North Slope of Alaska to the port at Valdez, Alaska. By June 20, 1977, two million barrels of oil a day began flowing from the pipeline. This pipeline decreased US dependence on foreign oil but did not meet our nation’s needs. Nixon wanted to eliminate US need on foreign oil due to constant conflict in the middle east, which continues to be a problem today.  Read more at History.com.

    THINK: The US continues to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Think of two inventions that have decreased our oil usage? (Hint: What items do you use that are powered by oil?)

    DISCOVER: Go to Trans-Alaska Pipeline and learn three facts about it. What are ways your household can decrease oil usage?

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    November 17, 1558

    At the young age of 25, Queen Elizabeth began her rule in England. Her father was King Henry VII and her half sister was Queen Mary I, who disliked her. Unlike Queen Mary I, Elizabeth proved that a woman can rule exceptionally well. She chose her country over having a family of her own and treated her country as though it was her child. Elizabeth’s 44-year reign brought great prosperity to England. Read more at History.com.

    Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind. ~ Queen Elizabeth I, Brainyquote
    I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything. ~ Elizabeth I

    THINK: Queen Elizabeth I and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1979 – 1990) were two strong women who served England. Why do you think the United States has not had a female president or even vice president?

    DISCOVER:  1. Learn more about Queen Elizabeth I. Share five facts that make her remarkable with your friends or family. 2. Read about Margaret Thatcher at Biography.com, then draw a Venn diagram to compare and contrast her to Queen Elizabeth I.

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    November 25, 1844

    Karl Benz, the brilliant mechanical engineer, was born in Germany. He invented the world’s first internal-combustion engine that allowed automobiles to be powered by gas instead horses or the steam engine used in America. In 1886, his three-wheeled “motorwagon” was invented and by 1893 the four-wheeled racing wagon was released. Read more at Biography.com

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    November 26, 1941

    President Franklin D. Rosevelt signed a bill, making Thanksgiving a national holiday every 4th Thursday in November after he made people upset two years in a row by declaring it the 3rd Thursday in November. Read more at History.com where they inform you that Thanksgiving was originally called “Lecture Day” in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies where the held a mid-week church lecture as a post-harvest celebration to show thanks for their food. History.com reminds readers that, 1621, marks the first Thanksgiving Day as you know it when Plymouth governor William Bradford invited the Indians to join them in a three-day festival. By 1777, the first Continental Congress declared the first American Thanksgiving after the victory at Saratoga, then in 1789, Washington made November 26, a day of national Thanksgiving. I wasn’t until 1863, whenAbraham Lincoln declared this day of thanks on the fourth Thursday in November.

    Daily History: October

    Get a daily dose of history to prompt discussion. Help your children gain an appreciation of historical figures and events that have impacted our world. A daily historical fact is chosen from History.com then additional videos, quotes, and/or facts are used to create questions to help you THINK and DISCOVER. Historical dates are from History.com’s This Day in History and most quotes are from BrainyQuote. This History.com’s video embedder does not work consistently so links are given to watch their videos.

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      October 1, 1890

      Yosemite National Park was established. As a California native, Yosemite is a treasure trove of beauty and wonder. From the Redwood forests to the soaring waterfalls, it is a must see as an American. There is a reason why it is mentioned in This Land is our Land. Learn more at History.com.

      There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods…and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred. ~ President Theodore Roosevelt

      redwood-carTHINK: If you have been to the Redwoods, what did you think about when you saw them? If you haven’t, look at the image. How old do you think the tree must be to be so large?

      DISCOVER: 1. How old are the large Redwoods? 2. What bug is harming them?  3. Look up Half Dome. Who was it formed?

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      October 4, 1957

      The Soviet Union launched  the first artificial satellite named Sputnik into space. This began the space race between the Soviets and Americans. Sputnik was a volleyball sized satellite that orbited the Earth about every 98 minutes and weighed about 184 pound. Unfortunately, it lasted less than four months in space before falling out of orbit and burning in the Earth’s atmosphere. The most intriguing part is that Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to the Earth, which were strong enough for transmitter radios to pick up. Sputnik 2 was launched a month later with a dog, Laika, on board. The United States launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, a few months later in January 1958. The Soviets continued to lead the space race until the Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July 1969. Read more at History.com

      THINK: Are you interested in going to space? How do you think space exploration has benefited Earth and/or humans?

      DISCOVER: After watching the video. 1. What are the 4 types of satellites? What do each of them do? 2. What are two things satellites do for us? What have they taught us about Earth? 3. Go to the The International Space website. Explore NASA’s page and watch the Space to Ground weekly update. This is perfect for students interested in Space.

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      October 5, 1947

      President Truman becomes the first president to give a televised speech. His speech discussed food conservation for post war Europe. A few prior presidential speeches were recorded, but not televised like the video below of Truman’s First Address in 1945. Truman became president on April 12, 1945, after President Frederick D. Roosevelt died from polio. Truman was FDR’s vice president for only 82 days, then became the 33rd president. He took office during World War II and quickly ended the war after dropping an atomic bomb on Japan on August 6, 1945. Learn more at History.com.

      It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. ~ Truman
      You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break. ~ President Truman

      THINK: 1.  What do you think Truman’s quotes mean? Do you feel you need to get credit for the things you do or they did not happen? 2. Do you think everyone deserves a break? Do you feel you are better than other humans? If so, what qualities do you have that make you more important? If all material items and wealth were form our world, what would you do to remain valuable in our world?

      DISCOVER: During Truman’s 1947 speech he discussed food conservation to help post war Europe. During World War I and II war Americans had to ration food, but it ended with the war. Unfortunately, some countries like Britain had 14 years of food rationing, which didn’t end until July 4, 1954.  Learn about food rationing during World War I and II at History.com. What would you eat if you had to ration food? Can you think of something that you should try to conserve? Think natural resources. How can you help our planet or others by conserving?

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      October 6, 1889

      Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture. Learn more at NPS.gov. Watch the video to understand more about his invention.

      A genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework. ~ Edison
      I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it. ~ Edison

      THINK: What would you do without motion pictures? How much television and video do you watch? What did you think Edison’s first motion picture?

      DISCOVER: Why do you think it’s called motion picture? What is really being recorded? Go to Scratch from MIT and make a quick movie. Or use your own phone to make a

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      October 7, 2003

      Arnold Schwarzenegger became California’s governor after the current governor, Gray Davis, was recalled. A recall is when citizens petition to replace a current elected official who they do not agree with. The California Constitution allows citizens to recall state and local officials including judges in appeal and trial courts. After an officials is recalled, another election is held. Schwarzenegger is the famous actor from Austria who married the President Kennedy’s niece, Maria Shriver. Shriver’s mother was John F. Kennedy’s sister. Schwarzenegger ran as a Republican, while his wife comes from a Democratic family. California re-elected him after his first term and he served from 2003-2011. Learn more at Governor’s Library or History.com.

      The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.~ Schwarzenegger
      Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. ~ Schwarzenegger

      THINK: Who was the other California governor who was an actor? Would you want to run the 5th largest economy in the world? What type of problems do you think a governor of such a large state has to deal with?
      DISCOVER: Have you seen any movies with Schwarzenegger? Go to IMDB and view the list of movies he’s been in. Watch one of his movies over the weekend. Do you think he preferred being a governor or an actor? How are both jobs similar and how are they different?

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      October 9, 2012

      Malala Yousafzai is shot by the Taliban for speaking out against the Taliban. All she wanted was an education, but the Taliban no longer wanted to let her go against them.

      Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world. ~
      Malala Yousafzai

      THINK: What does Malala’s quote mean?
      DISCOVER: Hearing Malala Yousafzai’s remarkable story is a great way to understand innocent Muslim’s fight against terrorism as well. She simply wanted to go to school, but the Taliban thinks females should remain in the home and not be educated. Watch Malala’s complete story to understand her fight for education before she was shot. Write down two things that shocked you about life in Pakistan.

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      October 10, 1913 & 1845

      Two history items involving water occurred today. The US Naval Academy opened with only 50 students and 7 professors in Annapolis Maryland. Read more at History.com. The Panama Canal was completed which created a waterway to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Panama is a country in Central America that was controlled by Columbia until 1903 when the US helped them gain their freedom.

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      October 11, 2002

      Former president Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace prize for his variety of acts to promote peace.

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      October 13, 1845

      Texas ratified their state constitution, so Congress could vote and allow them to become the 28th state in the United States.

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      October 14, 1964

      Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Noble Peace Prize for his non-violent movement to show political leaders that all Americans deserve equal Civil Rights.  At the age of 35, King was the youngest person to be awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1964. Younger laureates have won the Noble Peace Prize, since King including the youngest, Malala Yousafzay, who was only 17 when she shared the honor with Kailash Satyarthi on October 10, 2014.The first Noble Prizes were awarded in 1901, and are always recieved on December 10th, to commemorate the death of Swedish chemist, Alfred Noble, who left over 250 million dollars to fund the Noble Prizes. The video below is King’s acceptance of the award on December 10, 1964. He donated his prize money of about $55,000, to the civil rights movement. Read more at History.com.

      I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results. ~ Alfred Nobel
      Worry is the stomach’s worst poison. ~ Nobel

      THINK: As of 2016, 97 Noble Peace Prizes have been given. If you were to nominate someone today, who would you choose and why? What character qualities do you think come with winning a Peace Prize? After reading Nobel’s quote above, do you think his money has been used properly? Why do you think he was skeptical?

      DISCOVER: Learn more about Alfred Prize at Biogrraphy.com. 1. Why do you think he left his fortune to fund the Nobel Prizes?  2. Go to NobelPrizes.org and find out how many awards have been given and what categories they are given in. Who are some of the most famous winners that you know?

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      October 17, 1989

      The deadly 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Fransisco causing over $5 billion in damages. It quake was televised because the 3rd game of the World Series was about to begin between the Oakland A’s and the San Fransisco Giants. it hit during the Read more at History.com.

      THINK: What would you do if an earthquake or other natural disaster struck your city/town? Do you have a plan?

      DISCOVER: What items should be part of a natural disaster kit? Think about one item of comfort you might want in addition to basic needs?

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      October 18, 1867

      Alaska was purchased for two cents an acre from Russia, or $7 million. It was believed to be a bad deal until gold was discovered and the Klondike Gold Rush began. We can thank President Andrew Johnson’s secretary of state, William Seward for this brilliant “bad deal”. Check out the Klondike bar in the ice-cream section and notice what their image resembles. Read more at History.com or learn more about the Klondike Gold Rush at PBS.org.

      1954 – The first transistor radio was introduced by Texas Instruments, yes that’s the same calculator company that is used by most math students to graph equations. The release of this small battery operated radio with a headphone connection can be compared to the ipod release in January 2001. Can this be considered the beginning of teens connecting their headphones to block out their parents?  Most likely. Read more at PBS.com.

      THINK: What image to you see when you hear Alaska? If you were to visit Alaska what are three things you would like to see? Why?

      DISCOVER: What natural resources does Alaska have that we all benefit from? Go to AlaskaCenter.gov and watch a few videos. If you were to visit Alaska, what outdoor activities could you do to learn about their natural resources? Watch the complete episode of Smithsonian’s: Alaska’s Call of the Wild video to see Alaska’s beauty.

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      October 25, 1881

      One of the world’s most influential painters, Pablo Picasso, was born in Malaga, Spain. He  had his first exhibit at 13 and created hundreds of paintings by the age of 19. After 80 years of pursuing his passion, he created over 50,000 works of art.  Learn more at history.com.

      Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
      Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

      THINK: 1. What do his quote mean to you? What colors do you think of when you think of being happy, sad, angry, and excited?  2. What other child prodigies do you know? Think about other artists, scientists, and inventors. What qualities do you think a child prodigy has?

      DISCOVER: Picasso and French painter Georges Braque began a Cubist movement that was spurred by the work of Paul Cezanne and African mask art. View Paul Cezanne’s art and African masks, then look at Picasso’s cubism period. Can you see how Braque and Picasso were influenced by their work? Read the article from Artyfactory to learn more.

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      October 26, 2001

      President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act 45 days after 9/11 2001. It was meant to combat terrorism but invaded American’s privacy as well. The Patriot Act expired at the end of May 2015, but the next day the “Freedom Act” was passed to renew parts of the Patriot Act until 2019. Learn more about it at HowStuffWorks. You can watch President Bush’s speech the day the Patriot Act was revealed then watch the first two minutes of the video below it to learn how parts of the act violated personal freedom. Please ignore the last 30 seconds of the second video since section 215 expired and the Freedom Act now allows only the phone companies, not the Federal government, to save phone records.

      Watch 1st two minutes since Congress allowed section 215 to expire

      THINK: What could strangers find out about you if they tracked your Internet and phone usage? After watching both videos, what are the pros and cons of the Patriot Act?

      DISCOVER: Read more about the Patriot and Freedom Act at American-historama and/or watch the video below. Do you think it’s more important to fight terrorism or keep your personal life private? Would your view change if your local airport, shopping center, or so on was bombed by a terrorist?

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      October 30, 1735

      President John Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. Prior to becoming president, he studied law and taught. At 16, he went to Harvard and is the great mind behind our government’s separation of powers between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. He served as President Washington’s vice president and beat Jefferson when he ran for president. His wife Abigail gave birth to five children. Their oldest son John followed his father’s footsteps by becoming president.

      Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. ~ John Adams

      THINK: 1. What does his quote mean to you? 2. Adams won the presidency against his longtime friend Jefferson. At the time, the candidate who lost the presidency became the vice president. How do you think they treated each other during Adam’s presidency? What do you think happened to their friendship?

      DISCOVER: 1. When did a US president get to choose his vice president? Watch the video below. 2. What are three things Jefferson and Adams had in common? Read and/or watch at History.com.

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      October 31 ~ Over 2,000 year ago

      Halloween ~ Watch History.com’s video below. If it is not working, watch it HERE.

      THINK: What is your favorite holiday? How much does your family spend on Halloween each year?

      DISCOVER: What is the most popular candy given at Halloween? Go to USAToday to discover favorites in each state. Take a classroom candy poll to find out your classroom favorites and graph them.

    Mood Boosters for Your Life and Home

    Mood Boosters for Your Life and Home

    You may prefer a sweaty 20-minute workout to release mind changing endorphins, but here a few ideas without breaking a sweat.  

    Non-sweaty Mood Boosters

    1. Hug someone you care about for a good 20 seconds to release your happy hormone (Oxytocin). The same hormone released during breastfeeding.
    2. Put on natural citrus body spray or lotion. You can also slice a lemon or orange, squeeze 1-2 Tbsp of the juice into water then smell the peel and rub it on your skin to boost your mood.
    3. Put on your favorite tunes or podcast and stretch or move around.
    4. Go on a walk, take deep breaths, and appreciate your surrounding by stopping to view the sunset, stars, architecture, and/or flowers.
    5. Read a funny article, or write 3 things down you’re grateful for
    6. Look up an inspirational quote by one of your heroes to memorize.
    7. Treat yourself to a coffee/tea/drink while reading a mindless magazines or playing a fun app
    8. Water! Drink it, soak in it, swim in it, and/or splash it on your face. Drink it if you’re tired, because your cells may need it to get moving. Splash water on your face or run water on your hands to help sooth or wake you up depending on the water temperature and your mood. If you’re lucky enough to take a shower, go swimming, or bath, enjoy the water and time to yourself.

    Ways to lift your home’s mood and happiness factor

    1. Organize ~ Throw out clutter! Toss, donate, organize, and make it fun. If you’re too overwhelmed, take baby steps by cleaning out one cabinet each week.
    2. Add Color ~ Have your kid(s) draw or paint pictures to hang in on the walls and replace each month. All you need: 2 tacks, string or something stringy like ribbon, and paperclips to start hanging up the art.
    3. Liven it up! ~ Buy live flowers that last like orchids and/or herbs that smell good. Put them in small pot by a window in the kitchen.
    4. Fresh scents ~ Get fresh air in your home no matter how cold. Buy a natural oil diffusers and fill with citrus or peppermint oil. Candles are great too, but diffusers are better on your health & safety.
    5. Visible health ~ Keep a fruit bowl filled with not so perishable fruit like lemons, limes, apples, pomegranates, and/or oranges to brighten the kitchen and promote healthy eating. Hide the bread and crackers in the drawers or cabinets and replace with a bowl of nuts.
    6. Passion ~ Keep books out that on subjects you’re passionate about. Instead of picking up your phone to FB, try picking up the book to learn something that interests you.
    7. Positive vibes ~ Use post-its or white boards to write kind notes to each other. It can be as simple as writing a To Do List for your child and on the bottom writing, “give mom a hug because she’d do anything for you”
    8. Music ~ Create mood related playlists on Spotify or another music APP. Let your kids create lists like:  Happy Morning, Dinnertime jazz, Dance Off Your Pants, Guest Party, and Bedtime playlist.
    9. Laughter ~ Always make time to laugh! Have a family game nights, watch stand up comedy, have a joke night where everyone has to bring a joke to the dinner table, make up a sports game like Finny created Blitzball in A Separate Peace.
    10. Family Time ~ Make one mealtime, family time. Ask specific questions to make the person think happy thoughts. For example: If you know your husband hates his job, don’t ask, “How was work?” Instead ask about future weekend plans, current events (that won’t get them on political rant), or create a question jar so everyone gets time to talk or give an opinion about something without feeling judged.
    Prevent Morning Madness

    Prevent Morning Madness

    If rushing and regretful words or actions are part of your morning, it’s time for a routine. Here are a few tips and personal examples to improve morning madness.

    bedtimeNight Before
    1. Review homework & study material. Keep notecards out if needed for morning review.
    2. Prepare Backpacks: All homework, permission slips, sports gear & other items are packed for after school activities
    3. Pack lunches, snacks & water bottles
    4. Have outfits laid out to avoid arguing
    5. Stick with a consistent bedtime routine. I keep a Night and Morning Routine checklist next to their light switch.

    good-morning1. Get up at least 20 minutes before your kids so you get some quiet time to enjoy coffee, read the news, stretch, workout, or do something to put you in a positive state of mood. Once you’re happy, it’s easier to make everyone else happy.
    2. Open doors, blinds, and gently wake up slow risers. Putting on upbeat music helps. Tell them they have five minutes to get up and start their checklist.
    3. Create a morning routine checklist like the one below to place by their light switch or somewhere highly visible.
    4. Write a positive note on their mirror or next to their breakfast.
    5. While they’re getting ready, get breakfast ready and review your own to do list.
    6. Discuss day during breakfast and ways they can make it great. No electronics unless they’re learning on them.
    7. Don’t forget to give hugs, kisses, and motivation before exiting the house or car!


    Evening Checklist
    1. Shower & put on PJ’s
    2. Pack lunch and/or snacks for tomorrow
    3. Put in breakfast order unless you make yourself
    4. Eat healthy snack & review for tests
    5. Make sure backpack is prepared for morning
    6. Get water bottle/cup for bed
    7. Brush teeth & go to bathroom
    8. Turn on nightlight
    9. Choose story to read & turn on night music
    10. Read, say a kind action you did today, something you want to improve tomorrow, and three things you’re grateful for.

    Morning Checklist
    1. Be happy! Put on happy music and move around if cranky
    2. Make bed and put pajamas away or in dirty clothes
    3. Get dressed
    4. Brush teeth & hair
    5. Turn off nightlight and/or lights before leaving room for breakfast
    6. Eat breakfast, review test material and/or daily history
    7. Write down one affirmation and action you will do to validate affirmation
    8. Put lunch and water bottle inside backpack
    9. Put shoes on and be ready with backpack to leave on time

    DOWNLOAD: EveningMorning Checklist