Jan 102024

Thomas Paine

Common Sense was published by Thomas Paine in 1776. He first published the 48-page pamphlet anonymously because what he was propounding was treason against England. Some experts believe this small pamphlet was one of the major influences regarding America’s Revolutionary War. At least a half million copies were sold, and the proceeds were donated to George Washington and the Continental Army. Idea: Paine’s words are very stirring. Older children would enjoy reading and discussing some of the passages. The pamphlet can be found at: Project Gutenberg.

Jun 112024
Committee of Five

Committee of Five

Continental Congress in 1776 organized the Committee of Five to write the Declaration of Independence. The committee was comprised of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, John Adams, and Robert Livingston. The group met and decided that Thomas Jefferson would write the first draft. He worked on the document over the next few days, and then the group edited his work. The committee presented their work to the full Continental Congress on June 28, 1776. Children could view a bas relief of the five at: Committee of Five.

Jul 042024

United States celebrates Independence Day. It declared itself free of English rule in 1776. Interestingly, only two people, John Hancock and Charles Thompson, signed the Declaration of Independence that day. Most of the representatives signed the document on August 2, 1776. Idea: Children could read Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags: The Story of the Fourth of July Symbols by James Cross GIblin and Ursula Arndt. Children could plan and carry out a Fourth of July parade. They could also learn more at: Fourth of July.

Aug 022024

flagDeclaration of Independence was officially signed in 1776. Most people believe the Declaration was signed July 4, 1776. However, only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed a draft on that day. Fifty delegates were at the official signing on August 2. Five more people signed the document before the end of the year. One more person signed it the following year. Children can examine a GREAT table of information regarding the signers of the Declaration of Independence at: Signers.

Dec 192024

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine published the first of a series of pamphlets called The American Crisis in 1776. His goal was to improve morale of both citizens and soldiers. His words were and still are very effective. His first words were:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…”

The last of the pamphlets was printed December 9, 1783. Children can view the entire work at: The American Crisis.

Dec 252024

General Washington and his army secretly crossed the Delaware River in 1776 and surprised the British troops in Trenton. The American victory was a milestone in the Revolutionary War. A number of children’s books have been written about the event. Lynne Cheyney’s When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots is an excellent book. They can visit the Washington Crossing State Park site at: Washington Crossing.