Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for United States History - A to Z April Challenge

One of our favorite subjects for homeschooling is history. Today we focused on what happened on this date - April 24th - in United States history. This is a special day to our family because my Mom (Sophia's and Olivia's grandma) was born on this date as well.

Celebrating my Mom's/the girls' Grandma's 83rd birthday
at Olive Garden.

In 1704, the first regular newspaper in the United States, the News-Letter, was published in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1800, the United States Library of Congress was established. President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress."

Robert Penn Warren, an American poet, was born in 1905. According to Wikipedia, he received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for his novel All the King's Men (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979. He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both poetry and fiction.

I read a poem to the girls by Robert Penn Warren called Tell Me a Story

[ A ]

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse. I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

[ B ]

Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.

Continuing with more dates, in 1913, the Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York City was opened.

Someone who was born in the same date and year that the girl's grandma (my mom) was born - in 1930 - is Richard Donner. He is an American director and producer who became famous for the creation of the first modern superhero film, Superman, starring Christopher Reeve.

In April 24, 1942, Barbra Streisand, an American singer, actress, producer, and director, was born. The girls listened to one of my favorite songs by her: "Something's Coming."

The CD cover for "One Voice" by Barbra Streisand 
that one of my favorite songs is on.

In 1990, the STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

A national holiday that we've celebrated before is Arbor Day. The earliest day on which National Arbor Day can fall is April 24th, while April 30th is the latest. It is always celebrated on the last Friday in April. This year it falls on Friday, April 26th. The next time Arbor Days falls on April 24th is in 2015.

On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. There was a snowstorm on April 23rd this year, so the trees were covered with snow. Unfortunately, the ground is still frozen and it still too cold to plant a tree. Otherwise, that would have been a good activity to do this week.

This day in United States history was full of interesting facts that we learned about as part of homeschooling. Perhaps picking a date (or dates) out each month to focus on would be a fun activity to do during the upcoming school year.

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