Friday, June 29, 2007

Does Your President Have the Highest Approval Rating?

Is it Truman? Reagan? Kennedy? or Clinton?

My latest offering over at American Presidents Blog takes a look at a Wall Street Journal graphic offering regarding presidential approval ratings and how the graphics could be used in the classroom.

Come see how your guy stacks up!

Many thanks to the Wall Street Journal for activating my “how can I use this in the classroom” brain and many thanks to my fellow Georgian, Pastor Bill over at Provocative Church for providing the clue that this article existed.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blogger Choice Awards Nomination

I found out earlier in the week that I have been nominated along with 25 plus pages….that’s PAGES….of other education-like blogs for a Bloggers Choice Award. Thanks to MBOH over at Secondhand Thoughts.

So far the top vote getter for education has a hundred or so votes….I have eight. Just thought I’d alert any readers out there that you can make your voice known by heading over to vote.

I started out on page 22, but because of kind readers I have moved up to page 4, however I'm still 120 votes behind the leader. I guess you move up as you receive more votes. So……..are you going to let me languish at the back of the pack, or are you going to send a vote my way?

This link carries you directly to the page to vote for me. Hopefully I’ll have to come back in and change the link often as I move up in the ranks. You do have to set up a profile to vote but it doesn't take that long and there is no cost involved.

Make sure you visit Secondhand Thoughts too because he’s up for an award for Best Blog About Stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

13 Factoids Regarding the Treaty of Cahuenga

Have you ever wondered if you are simply passing history by as you go about your daily commute to work, to school, or just simply running your errands?

Thousands of people drive past 3919 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, California everyday, and they don’t realize they are driving past what many historians define as the most important place in American history west of the Mississippi River.

Keeping with Thursday Thirteen tradition here are are thirteen factoids concerning Campo de Cahenga my wordless offering for this week.

1. The original structure was a simple ranch house on the Rancho Verdugo belonging to Tomas Feliz. Sometimes it is confused with the nearby Rancho Cahuenga (now part of Burbank).

2. Following the Battle of Cahenga Pass in 1845 John Sutter of Sutter’s Fort was held captive in the original ranch house.

3. The Treaty of Cahuenga is a little known treaty that was signed on January 13, 1847 prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo which actually ended the Mexican American War in 1848.

4. The Treaty of Cahuenga was signed by John C. Fremont on behalf of the United States and General Andres Pico on behalf of the Mexican government. Fremont wanted to provide an opportunity for “peace with honor” in California.

5. “Peace with honor” meant Californians would stop fighing and hand over their arms. Californians who wanted to leave the territory and move further south into Mexico were allowed to do so if they wanted to. If they stayed they had to agree to follow the laws of the United States, however, they were not required to swear an oath of loyalty until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago was signed a year later.

6. Following the treaty signing a great fiesta was held.

7. With the signing of the Cahuenga treaty came the end of Manifest Destiny. American had finally secured all lands west from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacfic. Also, the stroke of a pen gave birth to the territory and later state of California. (My students are always so happy when we reach this point because they have been waiting all year for the United States map to finally look like the one they are familiar with).

8. The original structure was, as many historical places were allowed to do in the late 1800s, allowed to deteriorate. It was finally demolished in 1900.

9. The original foundation was located when the Metro Red Line subway was being built. It dates from 1795-1810 when the structure was simple farmhouse.

10. The house shown in my wordless post is a replica of the original. The picture I’ve posted here is from an old postcard image of what the original might have looked like.

11. Today the building houses documents related to the treaty and other items. Each year on January 13th the signing of the treaty is reinacted.

12. Many thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s Wordless offering. Many of you asked great questions, took advantage of my hints, and exercised your brains a bit. If you didn’t particpate this week maybe you can next week.

13. I try to reward the person or persons who correctly identify my image with a link (the blogging equivilent to gold stars). This week’s link goes to Grift Drift of Drifting Through the Grift who when I left him a comment that he had correctly identified Campo de Cahuenga responded, “That was fun, Teach!”

I’m glad Grift Drift. I’m really glad.

You can find out more about Thursday Thirteen and locate other participants by linking here.


Thursday Thirteen Participants

1. Kellie
2. Starrlight
3. Dane Bramage
4. Alasandra
5. Di

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wordless 28

This is an important home in American History. The first hint is that it is not the home of an American president.

What happened on this piece of property?

Last week’s explanation can be found HERE

You can learn more about Wordless Wednesday HERE

Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. And Miles To Go...
2. elisheva@writeme.com
3. Alison
4. Jarid and Caydon\'s blog
5. Freelance Cynic
6. Patois
7. ruth
8. Donna
9. jenn in holland
10. Starrlight
11. Moving Mama
12. toni
13. Babs
14. Friday\'s Child
15. Forever Parents
16. Villager
17. Jeremy
18. mama k
19. Kapachino
20. Our Happy Happenings
21. Nancy Liedel
22. ExPat Mom
23. Our Seven Qtpies

Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!

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More Memeness: The Clean Up

Yesterday I posted my response to two blog memes...this post is to tag other folks and to list others who are participating…..there’s always some type of clean up to do with these things so…….

Thanks again to Ed over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub for tagging me to post 8 random facts about myself.

The following is a list of eight bloggers I’m tagging to post 8 random facts about themselves:

Graycie over at Today's Homework
Frumteacher over at Frumteacher
The Tour Marm over at The Educational Tourmarm
Mister Teacher over at Learn Me Good
Matthew Tabor over at where else? Matthew K. Tabor
Ms. George over at Ms. George and the ELA
Ms. M over at Ms. M's Apples
The Portable Princess over at The Portable Princess

The rules are 1. Let others know who tagged you. 2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. 3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. 4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

I can’t wait to find out more about these interesting bloggers.

Again…thanks to Damien over at Riley Central who invited me to come out from behind the cartoon picture. I took his invitation and cheated a little with my response.:)

I hereby tag and challenge the following blog owners to come out of the shadows as well, however, we will understand if they choose not to…..some of us have jobs on the line, etc.

Dennis Fermoyle over at From the Trenches of Public Ed.
Polski3 over at Polski3's View From Here
Butterfly Angel from Butterfly Angel
Ed from Millard Fillmore's Bathtub (one good meme deserves another, eh?)
Bellezza from Dolce Bellezza

FINALLY…..

Here is a list of some bloggers who have come out of the shadows and posted a picture (some more or less…) of themselves.

Check it out….you might find your next great read!

Gayla at Mom Gadget Char at Essential Keystrokes Paul at Reflections Rob at 2Dolphins Zep at The In-Sect Ingo at Stixster Stevie at Lost In Cyberspace The Paper Bull at (oddly enough) The Paper Bull Lisa Sabin-Wilson at Just A Girl In The World Dawud Miracle at dmiracle.com Wendy Piersall at eMoms at Home Dennis Bjorn Petersen at The Beta News Randa Clay at Randa Clay Design Drew McLellan at The Marketing Minute Becky McCray at Small Biz Survival Phil Gerbyshak at Make it Great! Steve Woodruff at StickyFigure Dave Olson at Live the GREAT life that you desire Greg at Become a Remote Control SEO Ariane Benefit at Neat Living Blog Genesis at the At Home Mom Blog Armen at iFFECT.NET Mihaela Lica at Online Public Relations Tara at Graphic Design Blog Doris Chua at Home Office Women Edward Mills at Evolving Times Tony D. Clark at Success from the Nest Jonathan-C Phillips at SmartWealthyRich Karen at A Deaf Mom Shares Her World Lisa Gates at intrinsic life design Rammel Firdaus at rammelfirdaus.com Carol at Pentimento Adam Kayce at Monk at Work Thomas at Technical Blogger Tammy Lenski at I Can’t Say That! Chris Brown at Branding & Marketing Rory Sullivan at Hamelife Derek Wong at Going The Wong Way Embuck at embuck.com Ms. Q at QMusings Shelley at This Ecclectic Life Damien at Riley Central Elementaryhistoryteacher at History Is Elementary

Once you have participated let me know and I will add you to my list here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Two Memes for the Price of One

During the last several days two friends have tagged me requesting that I post certain things. Damien over at Riley Central wanted me to come out from behind my cartoon drawing and provide a real picture of myself.

Actually a link to a recent picture of myself is somewhere on this blog. I’ll leave it to you to determine where it is….if you so choose. :)

I believe I am also supposed to link to those who are also participating and I promise to do that in my next post. I didn’t want this become too lengthy. I will also tag others for the second meme and post the rules for 8 random facts in my next post as well.

To satisfy Damien’s request I have posted some earlier pictures of myself that also fit the second meme I was tagged for……

Ed over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub recently tagged me for 8 random things about myself. So here goes……

1. I’m lefthanded, but I don’t turn my wrist like many left-handed people do to write. I hold the pen or pencil just like a right-handed person does. I turn the paper almost sideways……sounds funny, but it works for me. Actually I have many different ways I form my letters depending on my mood. Sometimes my writing is straight up and down, sometimes it is slanted, other times I print, and then I also write in cursive. I wonder what a handwriting expert would tell me about myself.

2. I had the same pet from age 8 through age 19…..a wonderful little sheltie we called Lady. She made every step with me when I was home and when I wasn’t she would follow Mom or Dad. She was a wonderful pet and even today I think of her often. I’ve mentioned before that my dad managed a lumber yard and our house was on the grounds. This is a picture of Lady and I riding on my golfcart. Some kids had go-carts…I had a golf cart.

3.When I was under my mother’s control she limited me to one Coke per day. Once I left home for college it was Katie-bar-the-door. I drink far too many. A couple of years ago I began to wean myself from them by switching to Diet Coke. This week I’m reverting back to my mother’s policy of one or none per day. Unsweetened tea is now my drinking savior….yes, I know…..now I need to cut out caffeine.

4. If I am really, really interested in something I will do a fantastic job. If I don’t want to do something it will barely get done if ever…….

5. I think of myself way too much and don’t always put others first. Dear Hubby suffers from my selfishness most of all.

6. I’m incredibly shy…..yeah, I know….here I am putting my words out in the blogosphere for all to see, but I really am. Even if I know everyone in a room I find it very difficult to walk up to a group and immediately join in the conversation. I usually find a wall to hold up or a chair to sit in by myself and allow others to join me. I think my actions result in folks often thinking I’m rude or don’t want the company. Of course, sometimes in a school building it’s good to be the aloof one…..I am always the last to hear the latest gossip.

7. During the 2002 school year I was awarded the Walmart Teacher of the Year for our area. It really meant a lot to me since it came from community votes….students and parents. I received the award (a bona fide Walmart vest and $500) at our end-of-the-year awards ceremony for students. Everyone managed to keep it a secret. I was shocked to say the least especially since I hardly ever go inside a Walmart.

8. I took piano lessons from age 8 through the age of 18. Every year I participated in the National Playing Auditions. My teacher, a wonderful lady by the name of Mrs. McIntyre, was a member of the National Playing Guild. For the auditions I had to learn by heart several classical pieces and perform them for a panel of judges that would provide us with a set of scores. It began to get a little nerve racking…..Mrs. McIntyre said they were actually judging her and not me, but I was the one that got the certificate. They were lovely things with my name written all formal like in great sweeps and curly-qs. Mom proudly framed every one in and around our piano. The last year I participated I played 10 different pieces for the judges. The piano in the picture….this is probably 9th grade…was old even when I played it. It was my mother’s and had seen better days. When my grandmother bought it it was actually a player piano. The hardware and rollers were taken out and it became a self-player. It’s still around in my father’s basement waiting patiently for someone to play it back to life. I’d love to recapture my piano playing abilities….Dear Hubby gave me a fantastic keyboard last year….I’m hoping over the summer to peck around on the keys some.

So there you have it….a few pictures and a few random facts. Now….are you going to try to search around for the recent picture?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

For Your Weekend Reading Pleasure

The Education carnival is up over at What It's Like On the Inside hosted by the Science Goddess. She’s done a great job of creating a narrative with all the submissions. There are many interesting topics and as usual everyone has an opinion.

The Georgia Carnival is up over at my other place….Georgia On My Mind. Head on over and find out how loneliness can kill you, read about the adventures of a hairy-assed (his words, not mine) husband as he visits a girly, girly tearoom, and since it’s is summer discover three great book reviews….one is called The Political Brain. That’s what we need in politics anyway...more brains!

Have a great weeked!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just Another Indentured Servant?

During most of the time I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia many moons ago I was either hugely pregnant or I was toting a baby around. The ongoing situation was not very condusive to sightseeing in and around my temporary home while Dear Hubby was in the Navy.

There I was in a veritable hotbed of history---one location even bore my maiden name---and I, historical freak that I am, was stymied by motherhood.

Now before you get the wrong idea let me state Dear Son was welcomed with open arms and ample lap. I simply look back on those two years spent in and around the sights of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Jamestown, and can’t believe I allowed so many historical gems to slip through my fingers.

I did manage to make it to Williamsburg, but another place I toured was the Adam Thoroughgood House the subject of my wordless entry this week.

Frumteacher correctly identified the location while The Tour Marm finally linked the house and my hints to a news story concerning the height of Americans. When I heard the story I began to wonder how it could be used with students. Then I remembered my visit to the Thoroughgood house. I was the tourist that asked the stupid question regarding how small the furniture in the house was. I think my question was, “Did ya’ll cut this stuff down? It looks like doll furniture?”

It did. I’m only slightly over five feet and I towered over the table and chairs. The docent informed us that during the early colonial period people were much shorter and the furniture would have been normal to people living in the 17th Century.

Now let’s take a look at the news story from Good Morning America yesterday.

A study completed by the University of Munich and Princeton University found the U.S. had the shortest population in the industrialized world and the reason may have to do with way people live.

From the Daily Kent Stater back in March:

In the United States, the current average height of an adult man is 5 feet, 9 inches, and for an adult woman, it is 5 feet, 3 inches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the Netherlands, though, men average 6 feet tall while the average woman is 5 feet, 7 inches, according to the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

What’s that you say? So what? Well…….

What if I shared pictures of colonial furniture from the 17th century and discussed why things appear so low to the ground?

What if I then shared the news story?

This could possibly be an interesting way to pose an ongoing mystery for students to work on for several weeks. Why were early colonists so short? How did Americans get the distinction of being the tallest? All year long we could refer back to the story and analyze new information in relation to the growing height of Americans. Finally….how did America loose their title? Again, another mystery would be posed.

Ok….if that doesn’t float your instructional boat Adam Thoroughgood is a great early colonist for students to learn about. Many of my students tend to think about indentured servants as no better than slaves themselves. Thoroughgood’s story was common of many young men in England during the late 1600s and early 1700s. Since he was the seventh son of an Anglican vicar he was not the first born son and had no hope of an inheritance even though his family was very prominent in Kings Lyn, Norfolk, England, so at age 18 he sailed for the colonies as an indentured servant.

Once he worked his contract he was able to own land and he became very involved by serving in the House of Burgesses, Governor’s Council, and Justice of the Court. Records indicate he was also a captain in the milita. After Virginia became a royal colony many places were renamed or named for the first time. Thoroughgood is given credit for naming New Norfolk County (later the city of Norfolk) in 1624 after his home in England.

Thoroughgood increased his land holdings when he returned to England and persuaded 105 new colonists to sail back to Virginia with him. For his trouble he received 5,000 acreas and his actions insured George Washingon would be born as one of the new colonists was Augustine Warner, Washington’s early ancestor. The ancestor of George Mason, another important Patriot, was also in that colonist group.

Thoroughgood died at an early age (36). The Adam Thoroughgood House…though it bears his name…was not a place where he ever lived. It is believed it belonged to his son. Unfortunately Thoroughgood’s grave along with others from the time period is now submerged in the water and mud of the Lynnhaven River. Some unconfirmed stories state swimmers in the early 1800s could still feel the tombstones with their toes.

The house itself is a symbol of upward mobility in early American society and shows how architecture did change over time. While there were some alterations to the structure during restoration in 1957 the brick is a common building material used in Virginia at the time the house was built. The chimney on the north side is set within the wall in order to warm the house again north winds while the chimney on the south end of the house is on the exterior.

So, I'm going to print out those articles about Americans getting shorter and I'm going to head to the basement and stuff the copies in my Early Colonization unit book. You never know....they might come in handy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

13 Plus Pictures of Monmouth




These pictures were taken at Monmouth in Natchez, Mississippi. It is the former home of John A. Quitman. I wrote about him a few days ago....HERE.

This is my 28th week for Thursday Thirteen. You can find other Thirteeners HERE

You can see more current postings from me HERE.



Thursday Thirteen Participants
1. Lady Rose
2. Joan
3. Susan Helene Gottfried
4. pussreboots
5. Nancy Bond
6. L-Squared
7. Lisa (qtpies7)
8. Starrlight

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wordless 27



This house is very important in the study of early colonial life in Virginia.

Where is it? How does it connect to a recent news report involving The Netherlands?

Join in Wordless fun HERE

Sorry…no wordless last week, but HERE is the previous explanation post regarding the hanky.

Update: Thanks for playing along….you can find the explanation for this WW HERE

Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. And Miles To Go...
2. Sue
3. Mz. Jackson
4. maiylah
5. Comedy Plus
6. Moving Mama
7. Isabelle aka Tricotine
8. the birds & the beads
9. Patois
10. Principled Discovery
11. Freelance Cynic
12. jenn in holland
13. Gaby
14. Starrlight
15. letha

Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!

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Pin Money


Head on over to the American Presidents Blog for my latest post regarding this picture and how it connects to a trust fund that was set up for First Ladies of the United States.

The strange thing is that it was not activated for seventy-seven years.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Paul Potts...OH MY! A Diamond in the Rough

This young man and his story should remind us all that we shouldn’t judge others by their first appearance. His story is a shining example for our students…..step out….take a risk.

What an amazing voice….what an amazing story!

These videos are taken from the Britain's Got Talent television show. Simon Cowell and the other judges are looking for an unknown act to appear in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

I think they have found their act.

Potts told the Wales on Sunday newspaper: "I don't think they were expecting very much. I'm a bit short and overweight and had a cheap old suit on and the hairdresser had used a number two on my hair instead of a four so it made me look a bit bald."

Watch the videos. Notice Cowell’s face and the other judges as well as members of the audience…..PRICELESS!



See Paul win the semifinal singing my absolute favorite song…..Also amazing.



I can’t wait for his first CD!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Red Skelton Pledge

Last year I was honored to lead our entire fourth and fifth grades in the recitation of the Red Skelton Pledge for an end of the year program for parents. Students researched flag history, flag facts, important times our flag has flown, and even researched who Red Skelton was. Students presented their research with posters and power points including a demonstration on how to fold the United States flag. Our cafeteria was filled with evidence of student research and a few of the power points were presented at our program to much acclaim.

Our fourth and fifth grade choir sang several patriotic song and as the finale we recited the Red Skelton Pledge for parents. I was honored to lead the children in this since I had taught almost every single child in the 200 strong member group. It was a real thrill to work with the fifth graders again after not being their teacher for almost a year. In order to learn the proper way to recite The Red Skelton Pledge I gave each student the script that follows:

The Red Skelton Pledge of Allegiance

I

Me; an individual; a committee of one

Pledge

Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity

Allegiance

My love and my devotion

To the flag

Our standard; Old Glory; a symbol of courage and wherever she waves there is respect; because your loyalty have given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody’s job

United

That means that we have all come together

States

Individual communities that united into fifty great states. Fifty individual communities with pride, and dignity, and purpose. All divided by imaginary boundaries; yet united to a common cause; and that is; love of country…of America.

And to the Republic

Republic---a sovereign state in which power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders; not from the leaders to the people

For which it stands

One Nation

Under God

Meaning; so blessed by God

Indivisible

Incapable of being divided

With liberty

Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life; without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation

And justice

The principal and qualities of dealing fairly with others

For all

For all---that means, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

I recited the actually words of the pledge and students recited the explanation portions that are bolded. I worked with four different homerooms of fifth graders and four different homerooms of fourth graders everyday for two weeks to get them used to the wording and used to which areas of the speech should be emphasized. During the last week of practice the entire 200 member group got together to practice for a few minutes each day. At first it was slow go…..I was worred we would end up sounding more like a musical round than a spoken speech in unison.

We finally ran out of practice time and the big event was moments away.

I knew that the kids wanted to do a good job and I knew my seven other colleagues were depending on me to make us all look good. I had taken the words to the pledge and placed them on power point slides so that as the students and I recited the pledge our audience could see the words as well. Our practice paid off.

Two hundred voices recited the entire Red Skelton Pledge in total unison just as it should have been….no mistakes. At the end the kids cheered more than the parents. Then we invited everyone to stand with us and to recite the pledge again.

It was a great way to end the year.

Here is Red Skelton performing his pledge as he did on his show in 1969.



There was a reason why Red Skelton felt it was necessary to present something so serious on a comedy hour. The year was 1969 and the Vietnam War was being protested daily. Images of our flag being drug through the streets, worn, trampled, and burned were presented almost nightly on the news. Also the Supreme Court cases Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett had been decided six years earlier which removed prayer from our public schools.

Mr. Skelton was using his freedom of speech as well….but how prophetic his final words were. You see, the words ‘under God’ were never in the pledge that was originally approved when Congress added the pledge to the United States Flag Code in 1942. ‘Under God’ was added in 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a bill to include the words in the pledge. This was in reaction to the Red Scare during the McCarthy Era. For many people thoughts of Communisim lead to thoughts of Atheism since Communist governments regulate religious practices.

President Eisenhower supported the words ‘under God’ being added to the pledge after hearing a sermon from Rev. George Docherty that was also attended by many in the National Press Corps on February 7, 1954. In his sermon Rev. Docherty lamented, “Apart from the phrase ‘the United States of America’, it could be the pledge of any republic. In fact, I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer and sickle flag in Moscow.” News spread, and public opinion began to immediately support the addition of ‘under God’ to the pledge.

I can’t wonder but think how the pastor’s sermon would be interpreted by today’s National Press Corps.

As you might already be aware the Pledge of Allegiance was banned from public schools on June 26, 2002, in a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals due to the fact that the phrase ‘under God’ is an unconstitutional establishment of a religion. Naturally there was plenty of outcry. Attorney General John Ashcroft condemned the decision and stated, “[the Justice Department will] spare no effort to preserve the rights of all our citizens to pledge allegiance to the American flag.”

Two years later on June 15, 2004, the Supreme Court of the United States in an unanimous ruling said the phrase ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance could remain intact as a patriotic oath in public schools. However, the ruling was based on a technicality since it was found that the gentlement who filed the original action did not have the legal right to do so. The court did not actually rule on the constitutionality of the ‘under God’ phrase nor on the ‘separation of chuch and state issue.’

In January, 2005 a new lawsuit was filed (Michael Newdow, et.al. v. John Carey, et.al in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California on behalf of three unnamed families. Federal Judge, Lawrence Karlton, ruled in September, 2005 that it is unconstitional for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

In strong reaction the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a proposed Pledge Protection Act (H.R. 2389) to ‘protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop school children and others from reciting it.' It failed to be voted on in the Senate.

Todd Akin, a Representatives from Missouri, introduced H.R. 699, or the Pledge Protection Act, in January of this year. It is currently awaiting review with the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

This is a very tense issue. The Pro/Con Website has an excellent presentation on every side of this issue including poll results and the text and supporting documents for the lawsuits mentioned above.

I would like to point out that when we presented our program for parents they were fully informed about what we would be doing, and any student who did not wish to recite the pledge was not required to do so. Every public school student has this right because of a lawsuit filed in 1943 that states public school officials cannot make students recite the pledge. Also, during the course of our learning the Red Skelton Pledge I discussed the current legal actions concerning the words ‘under God’ and the course of history that caused the words to be added in the first place. I don’t really see how you can teach the history of our flag and of our pledge without getting into this issue, and most states include teaching the history of our flag in their state standards. It should not be left out, however, some parts of the issue are a little over the heads of nine and ten year olds.

Many stated in our discussions, however, if someone objected to the wording why couldn’t they simply not say the words, or if they object to the pledge all together why couldn’t they simply sit and not say it. Some didn’t understand because through the years they have known many students who didn’t stand to say the pledge, and to them it wasn’t a big deal. Many inquired about saying it anyway if it was ever cut out from our morning routine by state and school officials.

They wondered what would happen if they stood on their own did it anyway.

Basically the concensus was, “I don’t mind it you don’t say it, but don’t keep me from doing it if I want to.”

13 Things Concerning the Display of the Flag

Today is Flag Day and to honor Old Glory I am presenting a few facts about flying the flag. Take a trip about the Internet and you will see various lists of flag facts and flag etiquette. The best place to go to make sure you are following the U.S. Flag Code is, of course, the U.S. Flag Code seen here.

1. The only people that can order flags on government buildings to be flown at half staff is the President or Governor of each state.

2. Burning a flag is considered to be the only dignified means of disposing of it once it is no longer serviceable or repairable.

3. If your flag is weather worn or otherwise dirty it is acceptable to wash or dry clean it.

4. If a flag touches the ground you do not have to destroy it. If it is dirty….have it cleaned.

5. The Flag Code does not prohibit any individual from having the flag draped across a coffin. The deceased does not have to be a veteran to have the flag draped on their coffin. The Union or blue field should be at the head and over the left shoulder.

6. When a coffin is draped with the flag it should be removed before the casket is lowered into the grave, and it should not be allowed to touch the ground.

7. When festoons, rosettes, or drapery is desired, bunting of red, white, and blue should be used, but never the flag.

8. Though it is not part of the flag code custom affords the flag a position of superior prominence as part of the audience, in a position of honor at the audience’s right.

9. When flags of other nations are displayed together they should be flown from separate staffs of the same height. They should also be the same size.

10. When the flag is displayed along with state or local flags the U.S. flag should be flown in middle and should be presented higher than the other flags.

11. When the national anthem is played and the flag is not displayed the audience should stand and face the music. If the flag is displayed the audience should stand and salute the flag.

12. When the flag is to be flown at half staff it should raised to full staff briskly and then lowered to half staff slowly. At the end of the day it should be raised again to full staff before finally lowering it to the ground. On Memorial Day the flag should be at half-staff until noon.

13. Typically the Flag is flown from sunrise to sunset. It it is to be flown twenty-four hours a day it should be be illuminated

Meet up with more participants in Thursday Thirteen HERE

See my post about the Red Skelton Pledge HERE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two Days in the Mountains

No wordless this week…..I spent the last two days in the mountains close to Cherry Log, Georgia. Two days of no computer and no television.

There will be more wordless puzzles next week.

Last week's explanation can be found here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

John A. Quitman: From the Halls of Montezuma

John A. Quitman is one of those American citizens who left his footprints across many different aspects of United States history, however, very few people today know his name.

He’s the type of man from the early 1800s whose life can be used to teach backcountry settlement, planter philosophy, and political machinations from Manifest Destiny through the election of James Buchanan. Those machinations include a rabid belief in state’s rights, the annexation of Cuba, and Congressional actions during the mid-1850s…a very turbulent time.

Quitman began life in New York and, after settling on a law career he headed to Natchez, Mississippi along with his friend John McMurran to see what the richest city in America had to offer two young blades. He quickly joined many different men’s organizations including groups against dueling and gambling. He and McMurran both married into the very wealthy Turner family by wedding sisters. McMurran and his wife lived at Melrose….I’ve written about it here. Quitman and his wife eventually settled at Monmouth one of the oldest homes in Natchez, and one of the most beautiful bed and breakfast inns there today.

If you haven’t guessed yet John A. Quitman is the owner of the hanky I posted for my wordless entry this week. The story goes that Eliza Quitman made the hanky for her husband and gave it to him as he left for war. Notice how large it is. Apparently the hanky wan’t only good for blowing his nose…..Quitman also used the hanky to signal his men on the battlefield. Doesn’t this make perfect sense? There were no cell phones or telegraph during Texas Independence or the Mexican American War. What better way for Quitman’s men to spot him on a chaotic battlefield? It sounds like a good story, but I haven’t actually found any hard evidence to support it. It is proudly framed and placed on the wall at Monmouth and holds a prominent place in the tour.

The Mexican American War was the first test of Manifest Destiny. It was caused by a desire Americans had to expand westward to the Pacific Ocean. Manifest Destiny did not sanction violence, but it did not take into account that hundreds of people were already living in the western territories. In 1835, the U.S. offered to buy California from Mexico for 5 million. It was refused. In 1845, 25 million was offered but refused. Another cause of the Mexican American War was the annexation of Texas. It was a slap in the face for Mexico….They were still stinging from the fact they had lost Texas to begin with. Borders became a hot-button issue and, Mexico threatened war. Without getting too wordy here once the war began Quitman was one of six brigadier generals apppointed by President Polk to command voluntary regiments. He didn’t let anyone down.

By the time Quitman was commanding men at war he had already studied at seminary, acted as a tutor in the classics at Hartwick Seminary, and served as a professor at Mt. Airy College. He had practiced law, served as a trustee of the academy and state university for Mississippi, and served in the Mississippi state legislature. For a time a quirk in state law allowed him the governorship, in 1836 he raised a body of volunteers to help the Texans in the fight for their independence, and as a “sideline” he owned four large plantations though they were not all developed and operating at the same time.
Once in Mexico Quitman seemed to be everywhere. He immedately reported to General Zachary Taylor at Carmago and was noticed when he fought at the Battle of Monterey when he successfully assaulted Ft. Tenerice before advancing into the city. During the siege of Vera Cruz Quitman led an assault against Alvarado along with the naval forces of Matthew Perry (yeah, that Matthew Perry). He was also at Puebla where his actions led to him being brevetted major-general and eventually he received a sword from Congress that is shown at Monmouth today. The sword is one of only fourteen swords ever awarded by Congress.

Quitman’s war contributions are best remembered from the Battle of Chapultepec where the castle was stormed on two fronts. Quitman eventually entered Mexico City by the Belen Gate. The picture posted below shows Quitman leading Marines into the city. Notice Quitman is missing a shoe.

The following is taken from The Aztec Club website which is the original organization of men who fought in the war. Quitman was their first president. At the website it states:

In his classic two-volume work, The War With Mexico (Macmillan Co., NY. 1911), Justin Smith, perhaps the pre-eminent historian on the Mexican War, wrote:

“When the first thin streak of dawn glimmered forth behind the gray volcanoes, and our cannon at Belen Gate garita were on the point of opening fire, a white flag and an invitation to enter the capital reached Quitman. First, making sure there was no deception, he advanced; and after stopping about half an hour at the citadel he moved forward under a splendid sun to the grand plaza, which fronted the palace and cathedral, with [Persifor] Smith’s Brigade, the Marines, the New York volunteers and Steptoe’s battery.

As a triumphal procession the command looked rather strange. Quitman and Smith marched at its head on foot---the former with only one shoe; and behind them came troops decorated with mud, the red stains of battle and rough bandages, carrying arms at quite haphazard angles.

No less astonishing looked the city, for sidewalks, windows, balconies and housetops were crowded with people. Except for silence, the countless white handkerchiefs and the foreign flags, it might have been thought a holiday. Before the palace, which filled the east side of the plaza, the troops formed in line of battle. Officers took their places at the front, and when Captain Roberts hoisted a battle-scarred American flag on the staff of the palace at seven o’clock, arms were presented and the officers saluted.

Soon, loud cheering was heard. A few squares away the commander-in-chief, escorted by cavalry with drawn swords, had reached Worth’s command, which had stopped at six o’clock by orders opposite the high ash trees of the Alameda. A clatter of galloping hoofs folllowed; and in another moment, amidst the involuntary applause of the Mexicans, General Scott, dressed in full uniform and mounted on a tall, heavy bay charger, dashed with his staff and Harney’s dragoons into the grand plaza—his noble figure, gold epaulets and snowy plumes, resplendent under the brillant sun, fitly typifying the invisible glory of his unkempt and limbering army…

In stentorian tones the commander-in-chief appointed Quitman Governor of the city…”

You can see Major-General Winfield Scott’s official report here.

Some sources state that Quitman is the only American to ever rule from a national palace. Also, the actions of the Marines at Chapultepec is what earned them the line “from the halls of Montezuma” in the Marine Anthem (I wrote about "the shores of Tripoli" here).

Once Quitman returned to Mississippi he was governor once more. In 1856 he was named at the National Democratic Convention as a possible vice president nomination, but was not nominated. He served in Congress where he claimed states had the right to secede. He is also credited with being one of the first to bring up the idea of the Confederate States of America. Quitman’s work came to an end tragically after attending a dinner for James Buchanan. Poison was suspected after several men fell ill. Quitman lingered for sometime but eventually died from what some state was National Hotel Disease.

What’s that?

Ah, another story for another time.

Georgia Carnival 11

The Georgia Carnival is up over at Georgia On My Mind.

There are many interesting bloggers featured over there. Some highlights include the following:

How many times have your kids already said I’m bored this summer? 30Plusteacher has the answer. In fact her answer is great for any boy from 6 to 96. Check out her post from Best Practices in EducationBoy Boredom: A Way to Stop the Madness.

Lillinda from Life As I See It makes her Georgia Carnival debut with her post Summer School. It’s not what you are thinking, but any female with males in the house can certainly understand where she’s coming from

Are you of the opinion that pastors have it down and all thought out? Pastor Bill gives us Five Reasons Why I Won't Lead My Wife. His post is very honest and I’m sure many men could see themselves in the pastor’s shoes

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be addressed by the correct title once someone has mastered the requirements for a certain level in their professional life. Audacity gives us some background concerning the word colonel in That's Ms. Colonel to You.

There are many other interesting blogs on the Georgia Blogroll as well, and more are being added each week.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Two Carnivals and a Few links

The 53rd History Carnival is up at American Presidents Blog. There are many great history bloggers featured and wonderful articles presented, but these really stood out to me for various reasons.

1. How should history be taught? Beginning to end, end to beginning, by themes, by haphazard “chapter” hopping? Personally it depends on the age of your student. I believe my nine and ten year olds need history presented to them chronologically since it is the first time the curriculum is being offered to them. They don’t have the sequencing skills to skip around. Danny muses over this very issue in a well written post called Failings of Narrative History.

2. Frumteacher also writes about the teaching of history and is striving to make the subject relevant and interesting for his students in History and Irony.

3. Ever wonder why the rest of the world is so down on America? A Mile in My Enemy's Shoes is rather long, but it is a thoughtful look at American foreign policy. Whether you agree or not…it’s well written.

4. I love to visit the blog Walking the Berkshires. I just don’t get by as often as I would like. Greenmantim often writes about little known events in history that interest me. This month’s History Carnival included his post A Bright, Smart, and Successful Affair. It’s all about the first capture and destruction of an enemy war vessel by Americans in war.

5. Do you think the former Confederate states could ever have a legal reason to obtain an apology for illegal acts of annexation, invasion, or being part of the USA against the will of its citizens? Sounds far-fetched, I know. I’m certainly not of that mind, but M at World History Blog has written about a Georgia citizen who had a very important role in a post Civil War annexation that could set precident.

5. Passing It On included a post from his series about writing your own personal history.

The 122nd Education Carnival is up over at The Education Wonks. Like the History Carnival the entries are many. Here are some of my favorites listed by topic, but you need to head on over and choose your own.

1. Teacher certification...Do we need it? Can the process be fixed?

2. Why do some English learners "get it" and others don't?

3. The Department of Education Should be Abolished

4. History does have a place in the math classroom. I say BRAVO!

5. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Should fourth graders learn to spell it?

6. 22 absences out of 35 days, and the teacher should "make sure" the student passes?

7. When I was your age, television was called books. Mrs. Cornelius has once again made a great point. We are of the same era, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Many thanks to Jim for visiting this week and leaving his link to two very good articles he’s written about teaching the Civil War using You Tube. His website Teaching the Civil War With Technology begs for a complete exploration, however, the article here and here deals specifically with using You Tube. I’ve added Jim’s website to my history blogroll.

Other additions to the blogrolls include
Riley Central

A Difference

Changing High School and

Unscripted Learning in my education category.

Under the category for resources I’ve placed the following:

Voice of the Shuttle—this is a webportal for humanities research. There are many major categories to make your search easier for the sites you need.
and finally…..

Old Magazine Articles—It’s just as it says…..if you need older sources this is the place for you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

13 Facts Concerning the D-Day Invasion

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to remember those who took part in the amazing invasion.

1. Many disagree about the meaning for the letter D. What did it stand for? Why was it used? U.S. Army manuals dating as far back as WWI used the terms H-Hour and D-Day to indicate the time/date of an operation’s start.

2. The military also used the code name Operation Overlord to refer to the movement of men, planes, ships, supplies, and equipment across the English Channel along a beach front that stretched over 60 miles.

3. Approximately 5,000 vessels transported 150,000 men and 30,000 vehicles across the English Channel.

4. Six parachute regiments including 13,000 men were transported in over 800 planes.

5. Approximately 300 planes dropped bombs along the coast of Normandy immediately before the invasion began.

6. June 5, 1944 was the designated day, but poor weather held the invasion off.

7. Over 7,500 sorties (missions) were made across the channel on June 6, 1944.

8. War planners projected 5,000 tons of gasoline would be needed daily for the first 20 days after the initial invasion

9. Planners also projected 3,489 tons of soap would be needed for the first four months after the invasion.

10. By the time dusk fell on the evening of June 6th more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were dead and wounded. 100,000 soldiers had made it ashore.

11. Within weeks supplies were unloaded at UTAH and OMAHA beaches at the rate of 20,000 tons per day.

12. From D-Day through Christmas, 1944 over 30,000 Germans were captured and sent to American prisoner-of-war camps. Many POW camps were located in the United States….33 detention facilities were located in Texas.

13. FDR offered a prayer regarding the invasion in a radio address to the nation. Michael over at American Presidents Blog has posted the entire speech. It is very inspiring to read. He’s also posted a video from You Tube that has the actual audio from the speech with various pictures from the invasion. (Once the video is activated you might see some images at the bottom of the video screen…leave your cursor off the images or the video will switch and you will be watching something else.)

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Wordless 26


Looks like some kind of hanky to me…

Why would someone frame a hanky? C’mon, take a wild guess. Winners will receive a link in my explanation post later this week.

Last week’s explanation can be found HERE
Find other wordless posts HERE

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jackson's Marriage and a Forgotten Settlement in Georgia

One area I wanted to explore while I was in Mississippi was the 553 Loop that leaves Highway 61, runs adjacent to the old Natchez Trace, and circles back around to rejoin Highway 61 again. The area is known as Church Hill and is home to the historic Maryland Settlement. There are several former plantation homes that are now private residences. They aren’t available for tours, but can be seen from the road. Visits can be made to Christ Episcopal Church which dates from 1857. One of my tour brochures I collected on our trip advises this area is one of the most beautiful and compact plantation tours in the South and is approximately four miles from Springfield Plantation.

Springfield Plantation has many things to boast about, but one of the most important things is it is the location of a presidential marriage…….a marriage complete with unending devotion and scandal. Click on over to American Presidents Blog for my complete post titled Jackson's Marriage at Springfield Plantation.

I’ve also updated Georgia On My Mind with a new post titled Changing Pockets. It concerns a rare geological formation and a former settlement turned ghost valley in the North Georgia Mountains.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Civil War Resources

I found the video below on YouTube regarding Antietam and thought I would share it. This creative work shows that YouTube has some really great uses in the classroom with students….if only we could get past those pesky blocks.

I also wanted to document a wonderful Civil War resource called Civil War Album. The picture seen here was snagged from CWA. It was taken on the summit of Kennesaw Mountain looking towards Little Kennesaw. At CWA you can click on almost every major battle and see all sorts of images and maps. This is a great source for virtual tours. I’ve been checking out the Jonesboro link quite a bit lately. I'm looking for any pictures that might have been taken during Sherman's march towards Jonesboro....when the railroads were torn up at Red Oak, Georgia. If anyone knows of any please let me know. I grew up there and the area's early history interests me.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Angelic Tree Witnesses History

Wasn't this week's Wordless entry a wonderful example of a Live Oak tree? I have never seen it, but would like to.

Californiateacherguy earns a link from me for correctly identifying the tree as the Angel Oak located in Charleston, South Carolina. A more accurate description of its location would be a wooded area along Bohicket Road on John’s Island outside of Charleston.

Tourist learn that the tree has been designated as the oldest living thing east of the Rockies (some say the Mississippi) and is 1,500 years old. However, some tree experts including Charleston’s own urban arborist state the tree is only 500 years old.

Either way…..it’s old.

Sadly, we will never know for sure. Live Oaks generally have heart rot so a core sample cannot be tested. At sixty-five feel tall Angel Oak is not that impressive. What invokes awe is the shear size of the tree’s limb span or canopy. It is an impressive 17,000 square feet. The longest limb is 89 feet long. Some limbs dip to the ground, go underground, and come back up. The picture seen below was taken from this website.

The land Angel Oak stands on what was part of an original land grant to Abraham Waight in 1717. The property remained in the Waight family for four generations. At some point the Waight family ran out of male heirs and the tree passed through marriage to the Angel family… .Martha and Justis Angel to be exact. Many state this is how the tree came to be known as Angel Oak though there are rumors that angels hang out around the tree as well.
Who knows? It makes for an interesting story.

The City of Charleston owns the tree today and maintains it along with the park it sits in.