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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 November/December 2015

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


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editor’s note

COBBLESTONE’ pages have been filled with many Civil War themes, from famous generals to pivotal battlefields as well as looks at the more general roles played by navies, cavalries, women, and children. In this month’s issue, we explore the lesser-known (but worthy of noting) stories about the war. Perhaps after you’ve met Joshua L. Chamberlain, Robert Smalls, Tillie Pierce, and Mary Edwards Walker in these pages, you’ll be curious to do a little searching on your own to see what other stories are waiting to be discovered and shared.…

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professor lowe’s adventure

Thaddeus S.C. Lowe wanted to be the first person to fly in a balloon across the Atlantic Ocean. He had built his own balloon, called the Enterprise, but he knew he had to make an overland run to test wind currents before he attempted to sail across the ocean. He decided to start the test run in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then fly his balloon back to the East Coast. On April 19, 1861, the people of Cincinnati held a banquet in Lowe’s honor. It was an exciting occasion. There was much discussion not only about Lowe and his flight but also about the growing problems between the North and the South. Earlier that month, rebels had fired on the Union garrison at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina! People wondered where…

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dr. walker

Mary Edwards Walker was an unusual woman for her time. Born on November 26, 1832, in Oswego, New York, she grew up in a “forward-thinking” family who opposed slavery and who believed that education was important for girls. They also believed in a less-restrictive style of dress for women. In the 1800s, women wore corsets and long, heavy dresses with high collars. Mary’s family believed that the style was binding, uncomfortable, and “unhealthy.” Young Mary was one of the first females to wear bloomers under a knee-length skirt, and she later wore a pair of pants at her wedding. Her style of dress shocked people, but as an adult she argued that her outfit gave her “freedom of motion and circulation,” which was necessary in her line of work. In 1855,…

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a mechanical genius

As a young boy in Sweden, John Ericsson showed a talent for things mechanical. At age five, he built a windmill from gears and springs he found in an old clock. He worked for his father, a mining engineer, and he soon developed great skill as an engineer, too. While he was still a teenager, the Royal Swedish Army found use for his remarkable abilities. He drew detailed maps and designed steam engines. In 1826, Ericsson went to London with plans to become a great inventor. He designed fire pumps, ventilating systems, and train locomotives. Ericsson could find a practical and sleek solution to any mechanical problem. In England, Ericsson saw the importance of the British navy. The first half of the 19th century was an exciting time for maritime inventions. The…

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escape to freedom

On May 13, 1862, just outside Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, the Union naval commander of the USS Onward was about to give the order to fire on an armed Confederate steamship heading his way. Then he noticed a white flag of surrender on the steamer’s mast. The pilot of the boat was an enslaved African American named Robert Smalls, who was attempting to escape by stealing the Confederate ship! Smalls was born into slavery on April 5, 1839, in Beaufort, South Carolina. By the time he was 12 years old, his master began to hire him out to do various jobs in Charleston. Smalls eventually worked at the docks, learning how to make sails and paint ships. He also learned how to read nautical maps. Over time, he became an excellent…

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code of honor

Anew way to wage war developed in the mid-19th century. It was called “total war.” It involved not just trained troops fighting in pitched battles, but also civilians and their property. In a total war, armies sometimes attacked people on the home front, and citizens sometimes picked up guns and engaged in the conflict as guerrillas or spies. This made the Civil War confusing. How should soldiers, who were sometimes neighbors and at other times enemies, treat one another? The situation troubled President Abraham Lincoln. In 1862, he asked a German-born American lawyer and history professor named Francis Lieber to come up with guidelines for officers in the Union army. Lieber understood the dilemmas of the new kind of war. He was an older man who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars…