Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First semester history review crossword

Find it here! Unfortunately, one of the clues fell off the page, so "Stalin" will not have a corresponding clue.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Here at Loften Academy, I do my best to keep some semblance of a school routine during the long break. Mainly, because we are usually behind by this point but also because I find Baker does so much better with structure (and so do I). Here is a great resource for Thanksgiving "stuff" for all ages, including printables and clips on the history of the holiday. Enjoy! May we all be thankful this season.
Mama's Learning Corner

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colorful Commentary & Background to Gettysburg Address

In 1932, Dale Carnegie wrote a short biography on our sixteenth President called Lincoln the Unknown.  It is unlike any other Presidential biography I have ever read.  Short yet chocked full of interesting detail that I did not learn in other biographies about him.  One of the stories in this book that remains with me months after reading it is background information to the Gettysburg Address (typed below).  Since our children have memorized it, I thought that they would enjoy hearing more information about it - to help it and our President come to life.  And, being that Thanksgiving is next week, you could also talk about the fact that Lincoln was the one who made the first Thanksgiving Proclamation.  - Julie

The following autumn, {after the battle of Gettysburg} the Cemetery Commission decided to dedicate the ground, and invited Edward Everett, the most famous orator in the US to deliver the address.

Formal invitations to attend the exercises were sent to the President, to the Cabinet, to General Meade, to all the members of both houses of Congress, to various distinguished citizens, and to the members of the diplomatic corps.  Very few of these people accepted; many didn't acknowledge the invitation.

The committee had not the least idea that the President would come.  In fact, they had not even troubled to write him a personal invitation.  He got merely a printed one.  They imagined that his secretaries might drop it in the waste-basket without even showing it to Lincoln.

So when he wrote saying he would be present, the committee was astonished.  And a bit embarrassed.  What should they do?  Ask him to speak?  Some argued that he was too busy for that, that he couldn't possibly find time to prepare.  Others frankly asked, "Well, even if he had the time, has he the ability?"  The doubted it.

{...couple of pages of details that I'm too lazy to type...}

Edward Everett, the selected orator of the occasion, made two mistakes at Gettysburg.  Both bad - and both uncalled for.  First he arrived an hour late; and, secondly, he spoke for two hours.

Lincoln had read Everett's oration and when he saw that the speaker was nearing his close, he knew his time was coming, grew nervous, twisted in his chair, drew his manuscript from the pocket of his Prince Albert coat, put on his old-fashioned glasses, and quickly refreshed his memory.

Presently he stepped forward, manuscript in hand, and delivered his little address in two minutes.

Did his audience realize, that soft November afternoon, that they were listening to the greatest speech that had ever fallen from human lips up to that time?  No, most of his hearers were merely curious;  they had never seen nor heard a President of the United States, they strained their necks to looks at Lincoln, and were surprised to discover that such a tall man had such a high, thin voice, and that he spoke with a Southern accent.  They had forgotten that he was born a Kentuckian and that he had retained the intonation of his native State; and about the time they felt he was getting through with his introduction and ready to launch into his speech - he sat down.

What!  Had he forgotten?  Or was it really all he had to say?  People were too surprised and disappointed to applaud.