Columbus Day

Columbus Day

When Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain on August 3, 1492, he planned to create a sea route to India and China. Columbus took three ships Columbus was an Italian explorer. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who ruled Spain, believed in Columbus’s plan to find China so he sailed west with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Columbus landed in the Bahamas Columbus landed in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, but thought he reached the Indies. Most Europeans scholars knew the world was round European scholars knew the earth was round in 1492. They didn’t know about the Pacific Ocean. They believed that sailing across the Atlantic Ocean would lead them eventually to China and Japan. Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean again and...

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Labor Day

Labor Day

Americans had high work standards in the nineteenth century. They worked hard and took pride in doing their job well. The Idea for Labor Day No one knows for certain who came up with idea to establish a holiday for workers. Some believe it was first suggested by Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Others say Matthew Macguire suggested it while working in New York as secretary of the Central Labor Union. Whoever thought of it, a committee of the Central Labor Union planned a demonstration and picnic in 1882. Working Men’s Holiday Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Although the organizers planned Labor Day as a holiday for all workers, it was first known as a Working Man’s...

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Independence Day

Independence Day

Did you know … The Revolutionary War started in April of 1775, over a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. At first, many colonists didn’t want complete freedom. When General George Washington and the Colonial Army began fighting for freedom in 1775, many colonists didn’t want complete freedom from England. Continental Congress meets in June, 1776 Attitudes were changing by the time the Continental Congress met in June, 1776. They asked Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston to write a formal document. Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. It gave England the reasons the colonies wanted their freedom. Continental Congress Votes...

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Pioneer Militia in the Early 1800s

Pioneer Militia in the Early 1800s

Did you know… by Sandra Merville Hart The law made every male between 18 and 45 part of the Militia of the day. This was usually one regiment plus officers for each county. Met yearly for drills Our law required every company meet once a year for drills. After this, the entire regiment met for a one day drill at the county seat or some other designated location. Special rifle regiments In addition, one or more rifle regiments had company meetings. These men wore uniforms. The rifle regiments and officers met at the county seat for “Officer’s Muster,” a two-day drill. Crowds attend annual drills All the rifle regiments met annually for a regimental drill. These Military displays drew large crowds. Everyone loved a pleasant change from the...

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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

by Sandra Merville Hart Over 250,000 people visit Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado every year. These sand dunes are the tallest in the United States. Unusual surroundings Unusual landscapes surround the impressive sand dunes. Guests find wetlands, snow-capped mountains, aspen forests, grasslands, and alpine lakes. They also see tundra, a treeless area of flat land where the ground is frozen. Sandboarding and sand sledding Slide down a 300-foot sand dune on a sandboard or sand sled, which are specifically made for sand. The sand can reach 150 degrees in summer, so plan to ride in early morning or evening in that hot season. Always wear shoes. Spring afternoons may be windy. Sandboarding, skiing, and sledding are allowed on dunefields away...

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day

  In the United States, Mother’s Day was celebrated before anyone thought of giving fathers their own special day. However, it didn’t take long for people to realize they should honor their fathers, also. The Same Idea around the Same Time Folks at the Central Church of Fairmont, West Virginia, held a service to honor fathers on July 5, 1908. Mrs. John Bruce Dodd and her five brothers were raised by her father. She wanted to honor fathers everywhere. Thanks to her hard work, the whole state of Washington celebrated Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. Washington was the first to celebrate the day statewide. A celebration honoring fathers was held in Vancouver, Washington in 1912.  Harry C. Meek spoke to Lions Clubs all over the United States to...

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