Bounty’s crew mutinied in 1789. Captain Bligh was attempting to transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies when the crew mutinied. Children could read a concise but interesting account at: Bounty Mutiny.
George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States in 1789 in New York City. Idea: Present Presidents are inaugurated in January in Washington, District of Columbia. Children could try to figure out why George Washington’s inauguration was in April (instead of January) in New York City (instead of Washington, DC). They could also read a transcript of his speech at: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/inaugtxt.html.
James Madison suggested the Bill of Rights in 1789. He realized that many people felt the new Constitution was not strong enough without some statements about individual rights. The Bill of Rights added the first ten amendments to the Constitution and became effective December 15, 1791. Children could read a kid-friendly version of the rights: Bill of Rights.
France celebrates Fête de la Fédération, also known as Bastille Day. In 1789 the Bastille fell to the rioting people, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. France is a bit smaller than Texas, and the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay, and the English Channel all border the country. Almost 66 million people live in France. Paris is the capital. Idea: Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities gives great insight into the French Revolution.
Department of State, under the name Department of Foreign Affairs, was created by Congress in 1789. Older children could visit the department’s website at: http://www.state.gov/.
United States War Department was created in 1789 by Congress. In 1949 it was renamed the Department of Defense. Children could visit the department’s website at: http://www.defense.gov/.
Treasury Department was created by Congress in 1789. Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. Most historians feel he expertly guided the department through its infancy into a well-established part of the government. The Treasury Department is responsible for:
- Making currency
- Collecting taxes, duties, and money owed to the government
- Paying US government bills
- Monitoring national banks
- Publishing reports on state of treasury
Over 100,000 people work in the Treasury Department. Children could visit the department’s website at: Treasury Department. Who is the current secretary of the treasury?
United States Post Office and the office of Postmaster General were created by Congress in 1789. Today the Post Office employs 700,000 people to deliver 213 billion items. Children could find some interesting fun facts about the post office at Post Office.
Office of Attorney General was created by Congress in 1789. The attorney general heads the department of justice, which acts as the chief legal department for the country. Children can learn more at: http://www.justice.gov/.
First United States Congress met in 1789. One of their first acts was to start the process to adopt the Bill of Rights. Congress told George Washington to submit copies of the Bill of Rights to all the states so that each state could begin its ratification process. New Jersey on November 20, 1789, became the first state to ratify the document. The Bill of Rights was finally adopted on December 15, 1791 when Virginia ratified the amendment. Older children can find out more at: Bill of Rights.