Constitution Day: Not Just for History Teachers Anymore

| By Nicole Albrecht | Any social studies or history teacher knows what the month of September brings: many national holidays that fall during the school year and are required by their administration to cover in their lessons. One of the most popular of these national holidays is Constitution Day, which is September 17th and … Read more

Stars, Stripes, and History

Posted on June 27, 2016

By Candy Jones-Guerin

Our Nation’s largest birthday celebration is just around the corner and we’re excited to get the party started!

On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, we don our red, white, and blue to pay homage and celebrate with food, friends, and fireworks.

There are also a lot of lesser known facts about this important day. Take note of these and surprise whomever you celebrate with.

Did you know…

  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
  • Including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, a total of three US presidents have died on July 4th. James Monroe is the third president to share this fate.
  • According to author Kenneth C. Davis, July 2nd is the real day of Independence, but it’s celebrated on the fourth because that’s when congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration.
  • Due to concerns about cracking the iconic instrument, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year, to mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.

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Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and U.S. History for July 4th

Posted on June 22, 2016

By Debra Kirby

How will you celebrate U.S. Independence Day on July 4? Many mark the occasion with picnics, parades, and fireworks. For some though, July 4 provides another reason to celebrate: It’s the day they officially became U.S. citizens. Every year immigrants who have spent years waiting (and sometimes thousands of dollars on legal fees) choose this special date to raise their hands and pledge allegiance to the United States of America. One of the requirements for citizenship is that they successfully pass a civics quiz.

We’ve provided six of the 100 potential questions used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services here. How many can you answer correctly? (See answers at the end of this article.)

  • Who was President during World War I?
  • The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
  • Who is Chief Justice of the United States now?
  • How many amendments does the Constitution have?
  • When was the Constitution written?
  • The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

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Sending Birthday Wishes to the “Father of our Country”

Posted on February 18, 2016

Did you know that according to the then-used Julian calendar, George Washington’s birthday was actually February 11, 1731?  It wasn’t until Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar that his birthday was moved 11 days later to February 22.

The “Father of our Country” was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States (1789-1797) and during that time shaped the course of our country. From the Revolutionary War to the Constitution, George Washington made his mark on history.

Take some time this month to browse Gale’s titles about the life and times of this great American figure and while you are there, let us know how you implement these resources in your classroom!

American Eras: Primary Sources: Development of a Nation (1783-1815), 1st Edition
February 2015
This volume in the student-friendly American Eras: Primary Sources series documents the dramatic period when the federal government and the U.S. Constitution were established. This volume features personal letters, memoirs, laws, sermons, speeches, works of literature, and many other primary source types. Together these sources show the diversity of the American experience.

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