Jan 072024

flagPresidential elections occurred in the United States for the first time in 1789. Basically George Washington ran unopposed. He received 69 electoral votes. John Adams won 34 electoral votes. Therefore, according to the Constitution at that time, Washington became president, and Adams became vice president. Children can check out an absolutely amazing website and see ANY presidential election result at: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/.

Jan 082024

George Washington

George Washington gave the first State of the Union message in 1790. The Constitution requires that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Washington chose to deliver this message via a speech. So did John Adams. However, from Jefferson to Taft the messages were reports, often lengthy and detailed, delivered to Congress. Washington’s State of the Union message suggested that the military be strengthened and that a standard set of weights and measures be developed. Children can read his message, and find all the other State of the Union messages, at an amazing website: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29431

Feb 192024

George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

Presidents’ Day is a national holiday. Originally meant to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, this day honors all of our Presidents. Children could read Anne Rockwell’s book, Presidents’ Day. They could also visit the White House site to read a biography of every president, starting with George Washington, at: White House Biographies. Children could participate in some Presidential trivia. Which President served the least amount of time? Which President served the most amount of time? Which President received a patent? Which President went on to serve on the Supreme Court?

Feb 222024

Robert Baden-Powell (born London, England, 1857; died Nyeri, Kenya, January 8, 1941) established the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.

Frederick Chopin (born Zelazowa-Wola, Poland, 1810; died Paris, France, October 17, 1849) was a classical pianist and composer. He created more than 200 pieces for the piano as well as chamber music and orchestral arrangements. He played his first concert at age eight and began composing after that. He spent most of his adult life in Paris. He died of tuberculosis. His works, influenced by his Slavic background, are full of melody and rhythm.

Elisha Cooper (born United States, 1971) writes and illustrates books for children. In 2018 he earned a Caldecott Honor Award for Big Cat, little cat. Children can learn more at: Elisha Cooper.

Edward Gorey (born Chicago, Illinois, 1925; died Hyannis, Massachusetts, April 15, 2000) was an author and illustrator. He provided the odd illustrations in the books by John Bellairs and Brad Strickland. Children could learn more at: Edward Gorey.

Rembrandt Peale Self-Portrait

Rembrandt Peale (born Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1778; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 3, 1860) was a painter, mostly of portraits. He was a member of the artistic and famous Peale family. Children could view a number of his works at: Rembrandt Peale.

Horace Pippin (born West Chester, Pennsylvania, 1888; died West Chester, Pennsylvania, July 6, 1946) was a painter. The grandson of slaves, he injured his right arm during battle in World War I. After the war, he returned to the United States and worked at various jobs. He developed his artistic talents and became a famous artist. Children could view a number of his works at: Horace Pippin.

George Washington

George Washington (born Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1732; died Mt. Vernon, Virginia, December 14, 1799) was the first president (1789-1797) of the United States. He fought in the French and Indian War as an officer of the Virginia militia. He led the Continental Army to victory during the American Revolution. He helped organize the new country by presiding over the Constitutional Convention. He was elected president unanimously by the electoral college twice. He refused to run for a third term. He has been called “The Father of Our Country.” Children could visit a website at: George Washington.

Apr 302024
George Washington

George Washington

George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States in 1789 in New York City. Idea: Present Presidents are inaugurated on January 20 in Washington, DC. Children could try to figure out why George Washington’s inauguration was in April (instead of January) and 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.

Sep 262024

washington-cabinetGeorge Washington established his first cabinet in 1789.

  • Thomas Jefferson became Secretary of State.
  • John Jay was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Samuel Osgood was the first Postmaster.
  • Edmund J. Randolph was made Attorney General.
  • Henry Knox had become Secretary of War on September 12, 1789. The position was renamed Secretary of Defense in 1949.

Today the President’s cabinet is comprised of the Vice President and fifteen heads of departments. Children can learn more at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet.

Sep 282024

Battle of Yorktown commenced in 1781. George Washington and 17,000 American and French troops laid siege against General Cornwallis and 9,000 British soldiers in Yorktown at the mouth of the Chesapeake. French ships cut off his retreat into the bay. Cornwallis surrendered three weeks later on October 17, 1781. Yorktown was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Children could learn more at: Battle of Yorktown.

Oct 192024
Cornwallis Surrenders

Cornwallis Surrenders

Yorktown Day marks the surrender of General Lord Cornwallis and his troops to George Washington in 1781. This surrender virtually ended the Revolutionary War. No other major battles occurred after this date, and the official peace agreement, the Treaty of Paris, was signed September 3, 1783. Children can learn more at: Yorktown Day.