Kids & Teens
Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children February 2020

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

in this issue

6 min.
breadbasket to the world

America’s Great Plains has been called both the nation’s “heartland” and its “breadbasket.” In fact, so much food is grown in the Midwest that there is enough to help feed other nations. A lot of that is thanks simply to great natural resources. Public policies and economic advances also have played a part in advancing good agricultural practices. Without a series of inventions, though, U.S. agriculture could not have achieved the efficiency needed to make farming work on a large scale. Settling the Prairie Before the early 1800s, most Americans settled along the Atlantic Coast and lived on self-sufficient farms. A family’s members grew almost all their own food, tending the crops by themselves or with the help of a few animals. Many families also grew extras of one or more crops.…

1 min.
the furrow

Successful inventors in agriculture weren’t just smart engineers. They also were savvy businesspeople. They actively marketed their products to farmers. And they aimed to build customer loyalty. One continuing example of that is Deere & Company’s The Furrow. The magazine began publishing as “A Journal for Farmers” in 1895. Most early articles were basically “advertorials.” They were pieces that read like articles but that really were advertisements. For example, an issue in 1897 offered a glimpse “in and about a great plow factory.” Over the decades, the magazine evolved. A 1943 cover featured a farmer as “America’s No. 1 War Worker.” A 1976 issue celebrated America’s Bicentennial with a “commemorative album” on farm mechanization. The November 2019 issue includes articles on cover crops, bioenergy, precision farming for organic farms, and more. The…

6 min.
from farm to table

The food people buy in supermarkets are the end product. How did those products get there? Producing large quantities of food begins with the ability of farmers to plant, grow, and harvest large crops. Over the centuries, Americans have contributed innovative ways to make agricultural production faster, easier, and more efficient. The first patent issued in what would become the United States was granted to Samuel Winslow in 1641. Winslow was given a 10-year exclusive right to produce salt. Salt only could be produced by evaporating or boiling sea water, which was a slow process. Winslow found a method to do it more quickly. His process was invaluable because in an age before refrigeration, Americans relied on salt to preserve food. Less than 10 years later, ironworker Joseph Jenckes designed an…

6 min.
a healthy start

Did you eat cereal for breakfast this morning? If so, you’re in good company. Americans buy about 2.7 billion boxes of cereal a year. That’s about 14 pounds of cereal per person annually! But breakfast hasn’t always been a simple bowl of cereal. Prior to the 1890s, the first meal of the day was heavy and hearty. Families who could afford it ate a daily breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, gravy, pancakes, and toast. Then along came Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. He introduced some radical ideas about healthy living. He was a medical doctor who saw himself as a health reformer. In 1876, he became the superintendent of a health institute in Battle Creek, Michigan. A few years later, he and his brother, Will Keith, renamed the facility the Battle…

1 min.
the meat guy

Dr. James Salisbury (1823–1905) had certain ideas about healthy eating. Similar to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Salisbury believed that diet was tied to good health. Unlike Kellogg, however, Salisbury believed that eating fresh fruits and vegetables caused digestive problems. His prescription? Eat meat! During the Civil War (1861–1865), Salisbury treated Union soldiers suffering from chronic diarrhea. He prescribed a diet of coffee and chopped-up beef. Years later, in 1888, he introduced Salisbury steak (ABOVE). It was chopped beef formed into patties, which were then broiled and served with a brown sauce. Diarrhea is loose, Salisbury recommended that his “steak” be watery stools. eaten three times a day! The dish is made today with a mixture of ground beef, breadcrumbs, minced onions, and seasonings. And, yes, it is then covered with brown gravy!…

3 min.
experimenting with plants, peanuts, and ice

The Plant Wizard Shasta daisies. July Elberta peaches. Santa Rosa plums. Those items are just three of the more than 800 new strains and varieties of plants developed by Luther Burbank (1849–1926). Burbank was a famous botanist and horticulturist. Whenever you eat a baked potato or French fries, you’re probably eating his best known creation, the Russet Burbank potato. Burbank used horticultural techniques to create new and better varieties of plants. In his California gardens, he conducted countless experiments with fruits, vegetables, grains, grasses, and flowers. First, he selected plants with the best traits. Then he crossbred them. For example, he might take two types of plums and transfer pollen from one plum to the other one. The resulting plant would combine the best characteristics of the two original plants to produce a better,…