Happy Bill of Rights Day

As you all know, the Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.  It was written because many founding fathers did not want to approve the Constitution without a bill of rights.  The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison.

Even though we are no longer talking about the Bill of Rights in class, the Bill of Rights still echoes in our lessons today.  The Federalists and Anti-Federalists did not agree on a Bill of Rights.  Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights while the Anti-Federalists believed that a bill of rights was very necessary to protect our individual rights.

The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.


The 218th Anniversary of George Washington’s Death

On this day in 1799, George Washington, the first president of the United States dies from pneumonia.

At 10:00 p.m. on December 14, 1799, George Washington died at Mount Vernon, Virginia.   His last words were reported to be: “I feel myself going. I thank you for your attentions; but I pray you to take no more trouble about me. Let me go off quietly. I cannot last long.” Washington was only sixty-seven years old.

Washington had been so admired by his friends and enemies that even  Napoleon’s French armies and the British channel fleet paid respect to his memory after learning of his death.  America mourned for their father for two months.  Americans constantly expressed their sorrow in resolutions of Congress and of State legislatures, in mentions in town meetings, in the pages of newspapers and in hundreds of funeral processions and solemn eulogies in every corner of the nation.


Very Cool Map on Immigration

I just found this really cool map on immigration.  The map is a visual of immigration from 1850-2010.  What makes the map so awesome is you can see where people were migrating to during any time.  What I really find interesting is how immigration is changing.  For example, not many Irish are migrating as they once were.  Click here for the map.

See the interactive graphic here University of Richmond/Digital Scholarship Lab



Jefferson vs. Hamilton

Before George Washington retired as president he warned the young nation not to create political parties.  He believed there should be one political party in America and it should be the American Party.  But two of Washington’s top advisors, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, created divisions that helped form the first two political parties found in the United States.

Want to watch a rap battle between Jefferson and Hamilton?  Click here!

Below is a clip from the HBO series “John Adams” It shows a conversation between President Washington’s cabinet members Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton and recently returned from France, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The conversation the two men are having is about  Hamilton’s proposed assumption of the revolutionary war debts of the individual States under the authority of the Federal government and the formation of a National bank. These issues were some of the fundamental and foundational ideological differences between the origins of the “Federalist” and “Democratic-Republican” parties.



What Did You Eat for Thanksgiving?

Classic Thanksgiving dinners usually include turkey or ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy or sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows.  On the side, a person might find squash or green beans and cranberry sauce. Finally, there could be rolls and pumpkin pie. But does Thanksgiving have to include these foods?  Most of us share many different holiday traditions that calls for an eclectic menu.  What foods did you eat for Thanksgiving.

After the meal, what does your family do?  Prepare to shop, do the dishes, start decorating for Christmas, watch football?

Comment and share your holiday with us.


History of Thanksgiving

The year after the Pilgrims wrote the Mayflower Compact and landed on Plymouth Rock they celebrated the very first Thanksgiving.  You may remember the story, the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to a dinner to celebrate the first successful harvest. The year before more than half of the Pilgrims had starved to death due to the harsh winter and lack of food.
The feast included duck, goose, lobster, clams, mussels, chestnuts, walnuts, corn, pumpkin, squash, carrots, and peas.
Sounds like a pretty good meal to me.  I wonder what they ate for dessert?
Check out this video of the history of Thanksgiving…