Articles about history, for students, and about teaching history, for teachers ...

A virus circles the world, killing 1% of the population or more, particularly the elderly … and people just go about their business. Even in countries that understand contagion, no one healthy stops working, and neither do most of the sick. In fact, if you suggest staying home, most people think you’re crazy. Why manufacture

This week in history: Kublai Khan

Friday, 15 May 2020 by

This week in 1260, Kublai Khan became ruler of the Mongol Empire. Grandson to the well-known Genghis Khan, Kublai was the empire’s fifth Khagan, or Great Khan. Kublai succeeded to the throne after the death of his eldest brother, Mongke. The latter died in 1259 without naming a successor, and almost immediately Kublai’s younger brother,

Independent Press Award

Monday, 11 May 2020 by

I am very proud to announce that my second novel, Secrets of Hominea, just won an award: Distinguished Favorite in the Juvenile category of the Independent Press Awards. Secrets of Hominea is a magical novel for middle grade readers (4th through 8th grade), using fantasy to teach history and science. My first novel, The Jericho River, won several awards, including first place at

This week marks the traditional reckoning date for the fall of Troy, in 1183 B.C. The ancient Greeks calculated the date centuries later, and it may not be far off. Whatever the timing, the city’s fall offers a frightening warning for our world in 2020. We know about Troy because of a blind ancient Greek

Last week, I posted this article that had 3 real theories on the origins of April Fool’s Day, and 3 fake theories. Below are the 3 true theories: 1. In 1582, France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March to January. People who still celebrated in March were mocked as

Historians debate the origins of April Fool’s Day, with three possible explanations. Which of the following are real; which three are actual theories for the holiday’s origin? In 1582, France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March to January. People who still celebrated in March were mocked

This week in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published her anti-slavery novel, UNCLE TOM’S CABIN. Beecher Stowe was a teacher at Hartford Female Seminary in Connecticut. She originally published her most famous work as a 40-week serial in “The National Era,” an abolitionist periodical. Publisher John Jewett saw potential and proposed that Stowe turn the serial

This week in 1804, the Louisiana Territory transferred from French to U.S. sovereignty, with the change marked by a ceremony in St. Louis. The territory had actually changed hands before, from France to Spain and then, as late as 1800, back to France. France’s First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte (later emperor), had planned to reestablish a

This week in 1781, the Articles of Confederation went into effect in the United States, following ratification by the 13 colonies – a.k.a. states. Work on the Articles had begun in 1776, around the time of the Declaration of Independence. Completion took a year and a half, until November 5 of 1777 – for two

This week in history: Huaynaputina

Friday, 21 February 2020 by

This week in 1600, South America experienced the most violent volcanic eruption in its recorded history. The volcano known as Huaynaputina, in Peru, exploded, and the impact was global. The surrounding area was devastated, of course – much of it buried in six feet of volcanic ash and rock. But the eruption also altered global

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