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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 February 2016

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_time1 min.
editor’s note

I believe that most COBBLESTONE readers have heard of Ellis Island, the U.S. immigration station in New York Harbor. But are you as familiar with Angel Island, the U.S. immigration station located in San Francisco Bay? Both islands provided a way to control the flow of immigrants to America’s shores, but there are a few differences. Angel Island was open for a shorter amount of time and processed fewer immigrants than Ellis Island did. Angel Island’s immigrants mostly came from Asian countries on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, while Ellis Island’s immigrants mostly came from Europe and traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps the most important difference is that instead of welcoming immigrants, Angel Island was set up to enforce laws that restricted them. Editor…

access_time5 min.
louie share kim, paper son

Fourteen-year-old Louie Share Kim arrived at the Angel Island Immigration Station from Guangdong Province, China, in 1916. He had traveled alone on a journey that took nearly a month to cross the Pacific Ocean. He had little schooling, no job skills, and no place to live, and he did not speak any English. Yet his family pinned all their hopes on him to become a success in America. His father made sure he even looked American in his passport photograph by making him wear a suit and tie. But Louie Share Kim really had two fathers—or so it seemed. The Chinese Exclusion Act, in effect from 1882 to 1943, stopped all Chinese laborers from entering the United States. Only diplomats, merchants, students, teachers, visitors, and those claiming U.S. citizenship were able…

access_time6 min.
closing the door

More than any other country, the United States is a nation of immigrants. In search of land, jobs, political refuge, and religious freedom, millions of people from all over the world have looked to America to provide the opportunity for a better life. Immigrants have, in turn, helped to settle and build the United States, weaving together a rich diversity of cultures and people. But the path for all immigrants was not the same. Initially, there was plenty of room and opportunity for new settlers to the United States. By the late 1800s, however, difficult circumstances in other parts of the world led to larger waves of immigrants trying to enter the country. Competition grew between “native-born” Americans and newcomers for jobs and land. The open-door policy toward immigrants began to…

access_time2 min.
chinese hopes

The Qing dynasty had ruled China for nearly 200 years, but it began to decline after Great Britain defeated China in the First Opium War (1839–1842). Corruption, natural disasters, oppressive taxes, and food shortages caused by overpopulation led to an exodus of people from Guangdong Province in southeast China. Many Chinese went to Southeast Asia. Others decided to journey to America, which they called Gam Saan (“Gold Mountain”), after gold was discovered in California in 1848. By 1852, as many as 25,000 Chinese had come to try their luck in the goldfields. Most of them were men who hoped to make their fortunes and return to their families in China. At first, the strangers from the Celestial Kingdom (as the popular press referred to China) were welcomed. The newspaper Alta California…

access_time3 min.
island of many uses

Angel Island’s role as an immigration station is just one part of its history. Consider this: In April 1775, militia groups in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, fired the first shots in the American Revolutionary War. In August 1775, a Spanish explorer arrived off the coast of California. He sailed into a large bay and anchored his ship in the cove of a large island. The Spanish crew explored the area and gathered information. The ship’s captain, Juan Manuel de Ayala, put Angel Island, Ayala Cove, and San Francisco Bay on the first maps. Angel Island appeared uninhabited by people when the Spanish arrived. By the early 1800s, however, Russian fur traders in search of sea otters had traveled far enough south to establish a storehouse there. In 1814, the British also…

access_time1 min.
a beacon of light

Most ships today are equipped with modern technology to help sailors safely navigate their vessels. But just 50 years ago, such machines providing instant information did not exist. Until they did, lighthouses, built on points of land close to the shore, served as beacons of safety. A lighthouse was equipped with a lantern room at the top of a tall tower, which reflected and projected light for miles out to sea. The flashing lights, particularly at night or in bad weather, alerted approaching vessels that they were near land. They also lit up dangerous obstacles as ships attempted to enter a harbor safely. In California’s San Francisco Bay area, heavy fog is an especially serious problem. Angel Island’s location near the mouth of the bay made it a logical site for…