Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How much do you know about Thanksgiving?

Who were the Indians that celebrated that first harvest feast back in 1621, which we’ve been told was the 1st Thanksgiving? What happened to them?

Many of us were taught that the first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621, when the Wampanoag (wahm-pah-no-ahg) "eastern people" or "people of the dawn." and white settlers-think Mayflower 1620- celebrated a three day harvest festival together. This was not a “Thanksgiving, “ as Pilgrims viewed such celebrations as days of worship, in which they prayed to God in thanks for a specific event. A good harvest, victory in battle during the Revolutionary war, and sufficient rain were all viewed as reasons for a Thanksgiving.

The Wampanoag had lived in southeastern New England for over 12,000 years. Within 50 years of the 1621 harvest feast, the Indians were driven from their land and many died from disease brought by the Europeans. Today, there are less than 5,000 of their descendants. You can learn more about them by going to:
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Wampanoag people Wikipedia

According to The Mayflower Society, there are tens-of-millions of individuals descended from the Mayflower passengers.

Native Blood: The Myth of Thanksgiving

History of Thanksgiving Video

Thanksgiving History from the History Channel

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Young Historians: Black Out

November 17, 2010

Dear Young Historians:

London, England was bombed at night a lot during WWII. It was called the “blitz.” In case the enemy could make it to the USA, the government ordered towns and cities to practice “black outs.” If the planes couldn’t see anything from the air, it was harder to drop a bomb. In Cavendish, “black outs” were held every few months. No light could shine through the curtains or from the barn. Air raid wardens went from house to house to make sure no light could be seen.

Today, we will do what the kids in Cavendish did during “black out.” They played games, sang, read, practiced Morse Code told stories and jokes and went to bed early.

1943 Timeline
• Americans join the Royal Air Force in round the clock bombing of Germany
• Italy joins the allies
• Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
• Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin meet at the Tehran Conference
• Jacques Cousteau invents the Aqualung (scuba)
• The Allies invade Sicily and the southern tip of Italy

Books: “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand; “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith; “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay” by Cornelia Otis Skinner (This author’s family came from Cavendish. Her father was a well-known actor. The Golden Stage Inn was originally the Skinner home.) Newberry Winner: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray; Caldecott Winner: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Movies: The Phantom of the Opera

Songs: Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como; Oh What a Beautiful Morning Bing Crosby; I’ll be Home for Christmas Bing Crosby; When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World) Vaughn Monroe

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Young Historians: Decoding

During WWII, the United States used coded messages to pass important information. Both sides tried to figure out the coded messages. The United States came up with the only unbroken coding system. They used Navajo Indians to send message in the Navajo language. These men were called “walking secret codes” by other soldiers. Today they are called “code talkers.” You can read more about them at the Code Talkers website.

Today we will be making a “Caesar Cipher Wheel" We will practice “decoding” a message as well as sending them.

1942 Timeline
• Anne Frank Goes into Hiding
• Battle of Midway
• Battle of Stalingrad
• 110,000 Japanese-Americans Held in Internment Camps. These camps would last for three years.
• The Holocaust begins in Germany
• US forces under General Eisenhower invade Morocco and Algeria
• T-shirt introduced
• Starting in 1942 through 1945, female employees at Whitman’s Candy Company secretly slipped notes to soldiers in boxes of Whitman’s Chocolate Samplers destined for military shipment. Friendships, and even a few marriages resulted.

Songs: White Christmas Bing Crosby; I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo Glenn Miller; Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition Kay Kyser; There’ll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover Kay Kyser; Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me) Glenn Miller

• Books: “The Stranger” by Albert Camus Newberry Winner: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds; Caldecott Winner: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

• Movies: Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, Bambi