Although this site has been created primarily for my students, everyone is welcome. In these pages you'll find many sources of information.
The Online Resources section below has numerous links that are of current interest. For more links to material on just about any topic you're looking for, use the E-Links button above. Linked off of that page are pages containing hundreds of links to sites covering a number of topics.
Visit often ... I update frequently! Hope you enjoy the site!
Quote of the Month
For Jefferson, there was one step crucial to creating a genuine natural aristocracy. The poor and rich had to have equal access to a good education. That's why, despite being something of a libertarian, he repeatedly proposed that the state pay for universal primary education as well as fund education at later stages. He was met with opposition from many quarters, mostly those wary of big government or higher taxes. Yet interestingly, one of his most ardent supporters was an old friend and political opponent, the conservative John Adams. "The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people, and must be willing to bear the expenses of it," Adams wrote. "There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people.”
Numbers of the Month
Teachers across the country are striking and protesting en masse, shutting down school systems and putting pressure on state lawmakers to meet their demands. Of most concern is low pay, and pension and health care cuts. School boards and superintendents in some states have taken a highly unusual step - helping their teachers go on strike - pointing to just how awful the situation is. Many students are joining teachers in protests, expressing extreme disappointment in their legislative representatives.
Faced with crowded classrooms, budget cuts, personal spending on school supplies and what they see as a general lack of appreciation, teachers are demanding better pay and increased education funding. Education is one of the top budget items in every state, so it's not surprising that teachers want to have a say.
Teacher quality is the most important school-based determinant of student success. Recruiting, developing and retaining high-quality teachers are therefore essential to improving student achievement. School budget cuts make these tasks far more difficult. Teacher salaries make up a large share of public education spending, so funding cuts inevitably restrict districts’ ability to expand teaching staffs and supplement wages.
States play a large and increasing role in education funding. On average, some 46% of school revenues in the US come from state funds. Local governments provide another 45%. The rest comes from the national government. States that rely heavily on local property taxes instead of state funding to fund education, often have larger funding disparities between school districts in the state. Currently, most states provide less support per student for schools - in some cases, much less - than before the Great Recession and some are still cutting..
Then and Now
April is National Poetry Month.
April is Cancer Control Month.
April is Confederate History Month.
April is ASPCA month.
04/01/1933 - Nazi Germany began persecuting Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.
04/01/1960 - The first weather satellite, TIROS I, was launched from Cape Canaveral.
04/01/1970 - President Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television.
04/01/2018 - April Fools’ Day
04/01/2018 - Easter – Christian
04/02/1513 - Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed in Florida.
04/02/1792 - Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the US Mint.
04/02/1846 - President James Polk appointed Nathaniel Hawthorne surveyor of the Custom House, a position that provided the fodder for his irreverent preface to The Scarlet Letter.
04/02/1917 - President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy."
04/02/1982 - Several thousand troops in Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain.
04/02/2005 - Pope John Paul II died.
04/03/1860 - The Pony Express began service between St. Joseph MO and Sacramento CA.
04/03/1882 - Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph MO.
04/03/1948 - President Truman signed The Marshall Plan, which allocated more than $5 billion in aid for 16 European countries.
04/03/1968 - The day before he was assassinated, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "mountain" speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.
04/03/1996 - Unabomber Ted Kaczynski was arrested.
04/04/1818 - Congress decided the flag of the US would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star added for every new state of the Union.
04/04/1850 - The city of Los Angeles was incorporated.
04/04/1949 - Twelve nations, including the US, signed the North Atlantic Treaty.
04/04/1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. There had already been two attempts on King's life and, just the day before he had said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life, but I'm not concerned about that now."
04/04/1969 - The original Star Trek was cancelled. It lives for eternity, however, in reruns.
04/05/1614 - Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.
04/05/1621 - The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth MA on a return trip to England.
04/05/1792 - President Washington cast the first presidential veto.
04/05/1887 - British historian Lord Acton wrote, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
04/06/1830 - Joseph Smith organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette NY.
04/06/1896 - The first modern Olympic Games formally opened in Athens.
04/06/1909 - Robert Peary and Matthew Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole.
04/06/1917 - Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.
04/07/1862 - The Battle of Shiloh ended.
04/07/1948 - The World Health Organization was founded.
04/07/1966 - The US recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.
04/07/1969 - The Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.
04/07/2018 - World Health Day
04/08/1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.
04/08/1946 - The League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time.
04/08/2018 - Hanamatsuri (Flower Festival) – Buddhism
04/09/1682 - French explorer Robert La Salle reached the Mississippi River.
04/09/1895 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
04/09/1963 - British statesman Winston Churchill became an honorary US citizen.
04/09/1996 - President Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law.
04/10/1866 - The American SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was incorporated.
04/10/1912 - The RMS Titanic Set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
04/10/1925 - F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was first published.
04/10/1974 - Golda Meir announced her resignation as prime minister of Israel.
04/11/1846 - Smith County was founded as a county in Texas.
04/11/1921 - Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax.
04/11/1945 - During WWII, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
04/11/1968 - President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
04/11/2018 - Yom HaSho’ah begins at sunset – Judaism
04/12/1606 - England adopted as its flag the original version of the Union Jack.
04/12/1861 - The American Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
04/12/1961 - Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing.
04/12/1992 - Euro Disneyland opened in France.
04/12/2018 - Bun Pi Mai through the 14th – Buddhism
04/12/2018 - Lailat al Miraj (The Prophet's Night Journey to Jerusalem and Ascension) begins at sunset – Muslim
04/13/1598 - King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV who declared France entirely Catholic again.
04/13/1742 - Handel's Messiah was first performed publicly in Dublin.
04/13/1943 - President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
04/13/1964 - Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for Lilies of the Field.
04/13/2018 - Thomas Jefferson’s birthday
04/13/2018 - Vaisakhi (New Year) – Sikh
04/13/2018 - Isra and Mi'raj – Muslim
04/14/1828 - The first edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language was published.
04/14/1865 - John Wilkes Booth shot and mortally wounded President Lincoln while attending a play at Ford's Theater.
04/14/1939 - John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath was first published.
04/15/1865 - President Lincoln died several hours after the shooting by John Wilkes Booth.
04/15/1912 - The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic less than three hours after striking an iceberg. About 1500 people died.
04/15/2018 - Rubber Eraser Day
04/15/2018 - Equal Pay Day ... This is the day when women's wages catch up to men's wages from the year before. It’s later this year than in the past several years.
04/16/1862 - A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.
04/16/2001 - Israel launched an air strike against a strategic Syrian radar station in Lebanon.
04/17/1492 - Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella gave Columbus a commission to seek a westward passage to Asia.
04/17/1521 - Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms to face charges stemming from his religious writings.
04/17/1961 - About 1500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.
04/17/1975 - Phnom Penh fell to communist insurgents, ending Cambodia's five-year war.
04/17/2018 - National Theft Day (Income taxes are due.)
04/18/1775 - Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning American colonists that the British were coming.
04/18/1946 - The League of Nations went out of business.
04/18/1978 - The US Senate voted 68 to 32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
04/18/2018 - Paul Revere Day
04/18/2018 - Yom Ha'atzmaut begins at sunset through April 19th – Judaism
04/19/1775 - The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
04/19/1933 - The US went off the Gold Standard.
04/19/1993 - The 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco TX ended as a fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in.
04/19/1995 - A truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
04/20/1971 - The Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
04/20/1999 - The Columbine High School massacre took place in Littleton CO.
04/20/2018 - Feast of Ridvan (through May 1st) – Baha’i
04/21/1836 - An army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.
04/21/1910 - At the age of 75, Mark Twain died in Redding, Connecticut, on the reappearance of Haley's Comet ... which had last appeared in the year he was born.
04/21/2018 - San Jacinto Day
04/21/2018 - The Annual Aggie Muster (The Aggie Muster began on June 26, 1883. By 1902, it had evolved into a celebration of Texas’ Independence on San Jacinto Day and the two became officially linked in 1922.)
04/22/1590 - Henry VIII took over the throne of England after the death of his father, Henry VII.
04/22/1864 - Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on US coins.
04/22/1952 - An atomic test conducted in Nevada became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network TV.
04/22/2018 - Earth Day
04/23/1564 - The supposed birthday and, 52 years later, the date of death for William Shakespeare.
04/23/1985 - Coca-Cola announced it was changing the secret formula for Coke.
04/23/1992 - McDonald's opened its first fast food restaurant in Beijing.
04/23/2018 - St. George's Day
04/24/1800 - Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
04/24/1877 - Federal troops left New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South.
04/24/1898 - Spain declared war on the US after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.
04/24/1970 - China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, The East is Red.
04/24/1980 - The US launched an abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of 8 US servicemen.
04/23/2018 - Tax Freedom Day … the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels, meaning the average American will work 113 of 365 days this year just to pay their varied taxes.
04/25/1859 - Ground was broken for the Suez Canal.
04/25/1945 - Delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
04/25/1990 - The space shuttle Discovery deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
04/25/2018 - Administrative Professionals Day
04/25/2018 - World Penguin Day
04/26/1607 - An expedition of English colonists, including Captain John Smith, went ashore at Cape Henry, Virginia, to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
04/26/1964 - The African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.
04/26/1986 - The world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union.
04/27/1805 - A force led by US Marines captured the North African city of Derna on the shores of Tripoli.
04/27/1937 - The nation's first Social Security checks were distributed. And, we've been increasingly more dependent since then!
04/27/2018 - Arbor Day
04/27/2018 - Dan Wè Zo, alias St Louis Cleimeille – Voudon
04/28/1789 - There was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty as the crew of the British ship set Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific.
04/28/1926 - Harper Lee was born in Monroeville AL. She would soon befriend Truman Capote, her model for Dill in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
04/28/1945 - Italian partisans executed Dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, as they attempted to flee the country.
04/28/1952 - War with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed by the US and 47 other nations took effect.
04/29/1429 - Joan of Arc entered the city of Orleans to lead a victory over the English.
04/29/1862 - New Orleans fell to Union forces during the Civil War.
04/29/1945 - Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun.
04/29/2018 - Cassé Canari ou Wèt mô nan d'lo – Voudon
04/29/2018 - Ninth day of Ridvan – Baha’i
04/30/1789 - George Washington took office in NY as the first president of the US.
04/30/1803 - The US purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for about $15 million.
04/30/1975 - The South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.
04/30/2018 - Mangé les Morts – Voudon
04/30/2018 - Theravada New Year – Buddhism
Online Resource Links
What ISIS Really Wants: The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy and for how to stop it | ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks First of the Storm | Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group | Isis: The Inside Story | Frontline: The Rise of ISIS | Council on Foreign Relations: A Primer on ISIS Iraq | Cracks in ISIS Are Becoming More Clear | How ISIS’ Attacks Harm the Middle East
Check out Today's Front Pages. Each day, you can see the front pages of more than 800 newspapers from around the world in their original, unedited form.
Whether or not you noticed, the earth's population passed 7 billion a while back. You might enjoy NPR's wonderful video, Visualizing How a Population Grows to 7 Billion.
Check out the St. Louis Fed's presentation The Financial Crisis: What Happened?. The original video is no longer available but you can view the power point presentation.
Want to take a survey but not sure how many responses to collect? This Survey Calculator gives you the number for any given population size and desired confidence level. A reverse calculator lets you enter characteristics of an existing survey and gives the confidence interval (±X%) to apply to the results. The Survey System site, sponsored by a survey software company, also gives clear explanations of statistical significance, survey design and related concepts. Also check out 20 Questions a Journalist (and You, too!) Should Ask About Poll Results.
PBS's 30 Second Candidate allows you to view more political ads than you ever knew existed. Choose the Historical Timeline link to see how political ads have changed over the years. Start with the infamous Daisy Ad that Lyndon Johnson used against Barry Goldwater. Click on Watch Johnson ads. Then click on either the QuickTime link or the Real Video link next to Daisy.
Check out Political Compass. The site does a good job of explaining political ideologies (although with definitions different from those I use) and gives you a chance to discover your own political philosophy.
Law Library of Congress: North Korea: Collection of links to websites on North Korean government, politics and law. Includes legal guides, country studies and links to constitutions and branches of government (where available). Council on Foreign Relations: North Korea: Background, articles and opinion pieces about North Korea government and politics. Many of the articles focus on North Korea's nuclear program. From the Council on Foreign Relations, "an independent membership organization and a nonpartisan think tank and publisher."
State of the Union (SOTU): The site uses an interactive timeline to provide a visual representation of prominent words in presidential State of the Union addresses by displaying significant words as "determined by comparing how frequently the word occurs in the document to how frequently it appears throughout the entire body of SOTU addresses." The Appendices section describes the statistical methods used. Also includes the full text of addresses.
Small Town Papers: This site provides access to scanned images of recent issues of dozens of small town newspapers from throughout the United States. Newspapers are updated periodically, 2-3 weeks after publication. The site also includes a searchable archive (of articles, photos and advertisements), which covers different periods for each paper, some as far back as the 1890s. Access to the archives requires free registration.
This website serves as a centralized location to learn about the Congressional Research Service and search for CRS reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress. (CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report.) Features a searchable database with more than 8,000 reports, a list of recently released reports, other collections of CRS reports and a FAQ about CRS.
Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004: This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
Keeping the Shi'ites Straight Based on the opinion that no story has been more confusing for the Western news media to cover in postwar Iraq than the politics of the country's Shi'ite majority, this article provides a basic outline of Shi'ite religious history. Discusses the Sadr family (Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, and Muqtada as-Sadr), Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and other figures.
This commercial site presents brief information about dozens of Black Inventors from the United States. Some entries include portraits and images. Also includes a searchable timeline covering 1721-1988. Does not include bibliographic information.
Annenberg Political Fact Check: This site describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in US politics. The site provides original articles, with summaries and sources, analyzing factual accuracy in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Searchable. From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
White House Tapes: The President Calling: Three of America's most compelling presidents -- Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon -- bugged their White House offices and tapped their telephones. In this documentary project, American Radio Works eavesdrops on presidential telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics to shape history. Includes audio, a transcript of the documentary and background information on each president and the tapes.
The State of State and Local Finances: New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being. The Year of Living Dangerously: While leaders in a growing number of states appear to believe they're serving the public good by squeezing government dry, there's little question that minimizing management carries a host of dangers that directly affect the lives of citizens.
Government Debt by Country Map: Shows countries' general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP in 2012.
First Amendment Library: Provides info on Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence, including rulings, arguments, briefs, historical material, commentary and press coverage.
If you need a presentation or workshop for your group,
or the link at the top of the page.