United States declared war on Germany in 1917, bringing America into World War I. The Allies (United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia) fought the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The war informally ended on Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) on November 11, 1918. The Treaty of Versailles formally ended the war on June 28, 1919. Children can learn more from the resources at: http://www.neok12.com/World-War-I.htm
RMS Lusitania sank in 1915. It was torpedoed by Germany, and 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, died. The ship was traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. The United States protested the action, but Germany countered that the ship held munitions for England and was fair game. The sinking created anti-German feelings in the United States, and America declared war on Germany on April 4, 1917.
Berlin Wall was built in 1961. Before the wall was built, people from East Berlin were escaping to West Berlin. The wall was built to deter any more immigration. It was torn down starting November 9, 1989.
Cologne Cathedral, in Cologne, Germany, completed construction in 1880. Building had started in 1248. However, work was suspended in 1473. Centuries later, construction started again. A World Heritage Site, the cathedral hosts about 20,000 visitors per day. Children could learn more about the Cologne Cathedral at the World Heritage site: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/292.
Germany celebrates Unity Day. East Germany and West Germany had been two separate countries for 45 years. When they combined in 1990, they took West Germany’s name, the Federal Republic of Germany. Slightly smaller than the state of Montana, Germany has a temperate climate. Over 81 million people live there, and Berlin is the capital.
Martin Luther in 1517 nailed his 95 Theses, also called the “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. His actions and the actions of others started the Reformation. Older children could read a transcription in English of his statements at: Luther 95 Theses.
Kristallnacht transpired in Germany in 1938. Mobs of Germans demolished thousands of homes and businesses owned by Jews. Books and Torahs were burned. More than 30,000 Jews were arrested, and almost one hundred people died. Kristallnacht, “Crystal Night,” was given its name from the sound of window glass breaking. Older children could read Kristallnacht: The Nazi Terror That Began the Holocaust (The Holocaust through Primary Sources) by James M. Deem.
Berlin Wall was opened in 1989. The almost 28-mile long wall was built in 1961 to separate East Berlin from West Berlin. People celebrated when they could freely walk from one part of the city to another.
Clarinet was invented in Nurnberg, Germany, in 1690. Idea: The music teacher or a child studying the clarinet could perhaps show how the clarinet works. The children could look at other woodwind instruments.