Thursday, December 4, 2014

Penny War

Penny Debate: Should the United States keep the penny or get rid of it?

The U.S. Cent, or penny coin, has almost no purchasing power today. The cost of making the pennies (1.26 cents each) is higher than face value, and the melt value of pennies ranges from more than 2.4 cents for the pre-1982 copper pennies, to nearly a full cent for the zinc pennies. However, the penny is a very sentimental coin to most Americans, and many people fear that eliminating the penny would raise prices because things would need to be rounded to the nickel.

Love them or Hate them pennies don't seem to be going away any time soon.

Read this article and then make a 'T' chart showing the pros & cons of the 1 cent coin.

Are pennies still accepted as 'legal tender?'

Has the United States gotten rid of coins in the past?  What was a 'hay' cent?

Are foreign countries like China melting down our old pennies for the copper?

What coins are currently in circulation? Who is on them?  Why? Should we keep them?

Is there an Obama Coin?  How much is it worth?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is located in the upper bay just off the New Jersey coast, within the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. Between 1892 and the early 1950s, nearly 15 million people streamed through Ellis Island in search of a new life.  Here are the stories of those extraordinary immigrants, largely in their own poignant words. Coming primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe, and from widely diverse backgrounds, the émigrés represented in this remarkable volume recount their adventures with dignity, wit, and unflagging honesty.

What factors 'PULLED' these immigrants here?  'PUSHED' them?

What did immigrants bring with them?  What would they contribute?  What is their legacy?

What do Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty mean today?

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Will Fight No More....

Chief Joseph made a promise to his dying father to never give up his peoples land where he would be buried. Joseph never signed a treaty giving this land to the US Government but they took it anyway. In an attempt to keep his people free he made a desperate run to Canada to join up with Sitting Bull. He came up 40 miles short.

Do you wish he had made it?  Why or not?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day

What did you do this weekend to celebrate Labor Day? Did you grill out or go to the pool? How many of you went downtown to see the WEBN fireworks? But do you know the real history behind this holiday? Watch this video to find out and then answer these questions in your notes:
1) Who proposed labor day?

2) In what American city was it first celebrated?

3) Which President made Labor Day a national holiday? Why?

4) What has happened to America's once great labor force today?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Crucible

The Crucible is a 1953 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693.  

In the 1950's the fear that communists both outside and inside America were working to destroy our way of life created a reaction known as the Red Scare.  Pop culture reflected this fear of communists invading and taking over Americans minds.

Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists.[1] Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities.

A little known senator from Wisconsin, Joseph R. McCarthy charged that more than 200 communist agents had infiltrated the highest levels of our government. The charge provoked a furor and a witch hunt that quickly spread to all levels of American life.

Compare and Contrast the Salem Witch Hunts to the McCarthy Era. Who was persecuted and what was the evidence? What recourse did the accused have? Which was more dangerous: the accusation or the actual witches?

Who was Edward R. Murrow and how did he respond to these allegations?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Alphabet Soup

Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 inauguration came at a somber moment in American History. The U.S. economy had hit rock bottom. Many Americans wondered if they would ever find work again. How did FDR try to reassure the American people?

When FDR pledged a 'New Deal' he had only a vague idea how he intended to combat the Depression.  The New Deal had countless programs, labeled an “alphabet soup” by its critics. Most of these New Deal acts were passed within the first 100 days of Roosevelt’s Administration and were intended to provide Relief, Recovery, and Reform. 

How was the label ‘Alphabet Soup’ meant to criticize FDR’s New Deal?

Confused?  Why do you think FDR tried so many different programs?

Friday, March 7, 2014

You Can't Make a Monkey Out of Me

In 1925, a biology teacher named John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in defiance of Tennessee state law. His trial became an epic event of the twentieth century, a debate over free speech that spiraled into an all-out duel between science and religion. Featuring two of the century's greatest orators, attorneys Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, the Scopes trial was America's first major media event, with hundreds of reporters and live nationwide radio coverage dispersing the sensational news. Outside the courthouse, a circus atmosphere prevailed as a chimpanzee in a suit and hat vied with fire-and-brimstone preachers for the crowd's attention. Monkey Trial explores the dramatic moment when a new fault line opened in society as scientific discoveries began to challenge the literal truth of the Bible. Often humorous and at times frightening, the story of two value systems colliding resonates today.

What is the Separation of Church and State?

What was Scope's true motivation?