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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and ChildrenCobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children July/August 2018

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues


access_time4 min.
how to change history

Want to change history? Start by giving a speech. I’m about to give you the one best secret to a great speech. Invented by geniuses thousands of years ago, this trick gets people to hang onto every word you say. And, more important, to remember those words. And yet, few people know it. But wait. Do speeches really matter anymore? With Twitter and Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram in people’s faces, do we even listen to speeches? Can they still change history? Ask Barack Obama. Or Donald Trump. In 2004, Obama was a state senator from Illinois. Hardly anyone knew him. That’s when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention, the meeting where Democrats nominate their candidate for president of the United States. There, Obama gave the greatest speech of his life. He told…

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editor’s note

We couldn’t possibly include every major inspirational speech in U.S. history in this issue. Instead, we selected a variety of famous speeches from different moments in the nation’s history and explored their messages. Due to space limitations, in most cases we only included the most famous portions of each highlighted speech. But we encourage you to read the full text or to listen to recordings of these speeches, many of which are available online. Most of the speeches in this issue appear because they have stood the test of time. Although we remember them for their words and sentiments, the circumstances in which they took place also are important. One speech encouraged Americans to join a revolution for change. Another speech encouraged support for nonviolent change. Other speeches offered a moment…

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a revolutionary spark

Patrick Henry stands out as an American who understood the power of words. His ability as an orator stirred his fellow Americans to take action. It was action from which there was no turning back. Henry was the child of a Scottish immigrant who settled in the British colony of Virginia. As a young man, Henry made a name for himself as a self-taught lawyer. In 1765, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. Shortly after Henry was sworn in, word arrived from Great Britain that the Stamp Act had passed. The Stamp Act was an effort to impose a tax on the Colonies. The British Parliament enacted the law to try to make the Colonies help bear the expenses from the French and Indian War (1754–1763). It planned to…

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“a farewell”

After fighting in a war for independence, the 13 American Colonies successfully severed their ties to the British king across the Atlantic Ocean. But the Colonies still faced uncertainty. They had to join together to establish a new government. Nobody knew what that government might look like. Some believed that a king leading the new country would be best. And who better to crown than the general who had led them to victory? As the commander in chief of the Continental Army, George Washington had earned the respect of nearly everyone in the new nation. Many Americans were terrified of what would happen without him in charge. Washington himself did not support such as plan. He refused any suggestion to be made king. He had been careful not to overreach his…

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another farewell

George Washington’s famous Farewell Address wasn’t a speech. On September 19, 1796, American Daily Advertiser, a Philadelphia newspaper, published Washington’s announcement that he would not run for a third term as president. He hoped his 32-page handwritten address would be taken as it was printed, without needing further comment. In it, Washington offered some famous advice. He reminded the people of the United States that a federal government was necessary to keep the nation intact. He warned them against the dangers of dividing into political parties. And he advised them to choose national unity over local identity.…

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a few words

After 72 hours of unrelieved tension and waiting for battle results, news finally reached President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. The North had prevailed at Gettysburg. Privately, Lincoln was disappointed that his generals did not follow up their victory by pursuing the Confederates as they fled south. Publicly, he sent the Union army “highest honors” for its “great success.” He sensed that the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 would be a turning point in the Civil War (1861–1865). The citizens of Pennsylvania also grew aware of their new place in history. They moved quickly to create a national cemetery for the nearly 8,000 soldiers who lay dead at Gettysburg. A dedication ceremony was planned. Lincoln received an invitation to attend. He was not asked to deliver the major speech of…