Week of August 11 - 21
As President Trump goes on vacation for a couple of weeks, let’s visit the history of presidential vacations.
1) Which president was assassinated at the train station as he began what was to be a vacation in New Jersey? James Garfield
2) Which president vacationed in Grand Teton National Park because his pollster found that people wanted to see him hiking and camping out? However, he spent more time golfing which negated some of the positive feedback on his vacation. So the president preferred to go to Martha’s Vineyard instead of camping. Bill Clinton
3) Which president had enjoyed a vacation in Custer State Park in the Black Hills in South Dakota? While there the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, who was carving Mount Rushmore nearby, decided to invite the president to a ceremony to dedicate the site by flying over the the lodge where the president was staying and air-dropping an invitation to the ceremony. Calvin Coolidge
Week of August 21 - 28
In honor of the solar eclipse, here are three questions on events that followed a precise schedule just as the eclipse has done.
1. In 1883, November 18 became known as the “Day of the Two Noons” when people had to stop and set their watches and clocks to certain times meaning that some locales experienced noon twice that day. What was established in the United States as a result of this scheduled clock setting? Time Zones
2. What American invented a device called a “tasimeter” to measure minute changes in heat emitted from the Sun’s corona during a solar eclipse for the total eclipse of 1878? Thomas Edison
3. What famous American was born just after Halley’s Comet had appeared and predicted that he would “go out with it” when it came again writing, “It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together." He indeed did die one day after it appeared at its brightest that year. Mark Twain
Week of August 28 - September 4
Name these Founding Fathers based on what they did before they became famous.
A. This man, son of a deacon who was also a farmer, first worked as a Latin teacher at Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in America, in Worcester, Massachusetts before deciding to study law at Harvard because, as he wrote his father, he perceived that lawyers were capable of “noble and gallant achievements.” John Adams
B. This man attended Boston Latin School but had to leave at the age of ten because his family didn’t have money for him to complete his education. He was apprenticed to his older brother, James, who published the first independent newspaper in the colonies. After quarrelling with his brother he ran away to another city where he would attain both wealth and fame. Benjamin Franklin
C. This man was born in England and was apprenticed to his father, a corsetmaker, at which profession he worked for several years until he became an excise officer responsible for collecting duties on alcoholic drinks, tobacco and other goods. He protested to Parliament that excise officers should be paid more which was his first venture into public affairs. Later, in debt and in trouble for his writings, he left for America just in time to become involved in the battle for independence. Thomas Paine
Week of September 4 - 11
Since we’ll be discussing the founding documents this week in APUSH, answer these questions about those documents..
1) Who was only man to sign all four of the great documents of the founding period: the Association of 1774 which established a trade boycott of Great Britain, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution? He played a crucial role at the Constitutional Convention. He was a distant relative of one of the greatest generals of the Civil War. Roger Sherman
2) Which amendment was one of the original ones proposed by James Madison for the Bill of Rights but was only ratified by six states. The amendment languished for a long, long time until a college student started researching it and then began a letter-writing campaign to get it ratified. In the long period between when this amendment was first proposed and its eventual ratification, North Carolina actually ratified the amendment twice. 27th Amendment
Week of September 11 - 18
Answer these questions about powerful leaders in Congress for whom buildings in D.C. have been named.
1) Name the famous and powerful Texas representative who was the longest-serving Speaker of the House. He was known for his hideaway office in the House called “Board of Education” where he’d play poker and drink bourbon while discussing politics with other House leaders. Vice President Harry Truman was there when he got the phone call summoning him to the White House to learn that Franklin Roosevelt had died. One of the House office buildings is named after him. Sam Rayburn
2) Name this Republican who served as Senate Minority Leader and key in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed by rallying Republican support when the Southern Democrats tried to block the bill. One of his more famous quotes was when he reportedly said about the federal budget, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money." There is a Senate office building named for him. Everett Dirksen
3) Which man who served as a powerful Speaker during the 1920s was married to the daughter of Teddy Roosevelt? His support of William Howard Taft in the 1912 election instead of Teddy Roosevelt caused a rift in his marriage and she actually supported a candidate running against her husband. Another one of the House office buildings is named for him. Nicholas Longforth
Week of September 18 - 25
Answer these questions about the history of the White House.
A. Who was president when the White House was burned down by enemy troops?
B. Who was president when the White House was expanded for the construction of the West Wing which houses much of the Executive Office of the President?
C. Who was the president that had the first Oval Office added to the West Wing?
D. Which president, when told that the White House was in danger of collapsing, moved out of the White House for over two years while the entire interior of the White House was reconstructed and air conditioning, basements, and bomb shelters were added?