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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 2017

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_time2 min.
editor’s note

Take a look at the “wanted ad” on the opposite page. Would you want a job that fit that description? Would anyone? It’s not real, of course, but it captures the harsh truth about what many child laborers faced 100 years ago. Back then, some children began working at the age of five. Although not all children worked in the early 1900s and some children worked to earn spending money, most poor and immigrant children worked because they needed to help their families. Wherever they labored—in homes, factories, mines, or fields—they didn’t have time to play or to go to school. Around the turn of the 20th century, people began to take notice of the situation. They were horrified by the physical and moral dangers that child laborers faced. They believed that…

access_time1 min.
notice workers needed

Must work 10–14 hours a day Must work 6 days a week (most Sundays off) Must be at least 5 years old Conditions Are Dangerous! Be prepared for: •poor air quality •maimed or lost body parts from machinery accident •weakened eyesight from poorly lit sweatshop •bad back or joints from sitting or standing all day •general fatigue resulting from working all day If injury occurs, job will be terminated Also must be willing to lie to inspectors about age and reason for working Apply Within We hire children because they are small, are easier to control, and can be paid less FAST FACT Today, individuals must be at least 14 years old to work. To work in dangerous occupations, a person must be at least 18 years old.…

access_time6 min.
working days

“Childhood should be a time for young people to be nurtured and allowed to play and learn.”“Childhood should be a time for young people to work to keep them out of trouble and to build character and discipline.” Which of the above two statements sounds better to you? Historically, children did not have much say in the matter. The idea that childhood should be a special time when boys and girls are cared for and allowed to play and learn is relatively new. Instead, most American children’s days were filled with work. Beginning at early ages, Native American children were taught useful skills to help their communities. When Europeans first came to live in North America, those children also kept busy helping their families survive. Even the youngest children were assigned chores,…

access_time6 min.
dear mama letters from a mill girl

Lowell, Massachusetts, on the Merrimack River, was founded in the 1820s as a textile manufacturing center. Powered by the river’s 30-foot waterfall, the great mills housed thousands of machines that processed raw cotton into thread and then wove the thread into cloth. Mill owners needed many workers to operate those machines, but they didn’t want to pay too much for labor. They found the perfect labor force—mostly teenage girls and young women from the farms of New England. Life on farms had given girls and women experience in cloth production. They saw mill work as a way to help their families by sending money home as well as an opportunity to earn a little money of their own. To help attract female workers, mill owners built boardinghouses near the mills. A respectable…

access_time5 min.
champions for reform

Imagine that instead of going to school 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, you went to work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, 12 months a year. In the late 1800s, some reformers grew concerned about the negative impact that working under such conditions had on working-class and poor children. Those children did not go to school, and they did not have much time to play. Reformers brought the issue of how children were exploited to the government’s attention. They also rolled up their sleeves and made change happen. In 1889, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr opened one of the first settlement houses in the United States. They found and fixed up a house in a poor, immigrant neighborhood in Chicago. Addams…

access_time1 min.
behind the lens

Jacob Riis was one of the many urban reformers who helped to expose the awful conditions endured by children. Riis was 21 years old when he immigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1870. He initially found work as a carpenter, but he also experienced times of poverty and hunger when he was unemployed. He became famous as a writer and a lecturer. His writing and his photographs of conditions he saw in New York City were published in a best-selling book, How the Other Half Lives in 1890, followed by Children of the Poor in 1892. After reading How the Other Half Lives, future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, at that time New York’s police commissioner, introduced himself to Riis. The two men became good friends. Riis was determined to…