This week, Americans will celebrate a truly American holiday – Thanksgiving. This short video explains the history of Thanksgiving:

To learn more about Thanksgiving, search the internet for answers to these questions!

  1. In what year did the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving? Where did they celebrate? Why did they have this celebration?
  2. Approximately how many people attended the first Thanksgiving? What groups of people were represented?
  3. Who issued the proclamation making Thanksgiving an annual national holiday? When? Who led the campaign to make it official?
  4. On what day each year is Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States?
  5. Name three popular ways to serve leftover turkey.
  6. How long did the first Thanksgiving celebration last?
  7. Name 10 foods thought to have been eaten at the first Thanksgiving and 5 traditional Thanksgiving foods that were probably not eaten.
  8. How many pounds of sweet potatoes did NC produce in 2010?
  9. Why did President Roosevelt change the date of Thanksgiving?
  10. How heavy was the fattest turkey ever raised?
  11. What happens to the live turkey given to the president each year by the National Turkey Federation?
  12. What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
  13. How many towns in the U.S. are named Turkey? Where is the closest one?
  14. Who designed the first giant balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
  15. Which character has appeared as a balloon in the Macy’s parade the most?

How many answers did you find? What did you learn?

February is Black American History Month

George Washington Carver made peanut butter popular!
(photo permission from flickr via cklucks800)

During the month of February, Americans celebrate and remember many black Americans who shaped American History.  There are many important Black Americans in our history. For example:

Martin Luther King fought for civil rights.

 Nat Turner, an enslaved African-American preacher, lead the most significant slave uprising in American history.

 Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.

Hiram Revels of Mississippi was elected the country’s first African-American senator.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger (Dec.1).

President Barack Obama, Democrat from Chicago, became the first African American to be elected president.
(information from

Another very famous black American was George Washington Carver.  He discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes.  George Washington Carver was born in Missouri at the end of the Civil War.  It was a very difficult time.  He was kidnapped as an infant, but reclaimed by Moses Carver, the man who owned the farm where George’s parents were slaves.  After the Civil War, George’s parents disappeared.  Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, reared George as his own.  While on the farm, George fell in love with nature and earned the nickname “The Plant Doctor”.

George went to school and became an agricultural chemist.  He developed better ways to farm and how to use certain crops for dyes or for other uses.  He is also very famous for making peanut butter a popluar product in the US!   As a result, Carver is responsible for making peanuts a significant crop in the Southern United States!

Click on the link below to watch a really interesting video on how you can make peanut butter.

How to make homemade peanut butter

Read more: African-American History Timeline (Civil Rights Movement, Facts, Events, Leaders) —


Remembering September 11th

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the United States experienced one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in American history.  On the anniversary of this event, many Americans will pause for a moment of silence to remember the people whose lives were lost on that tragic day.

Used with permission from NYCMarines via 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Used with permission from NYCMarines via 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

It began as a very typical late summer day for the people in New York City, New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Early that morning, several men boarded two large Boeing 767 jets at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA.  One airplane was American Airlines Flight 11 and the other airplane was Untied Airlines Flight 175.  Both jets were departing to Los Angeles.  Other men, at Newark International Airport boarded United Airlines Flight 93 departing to San Francisco, and at Washington Dulles Airport other men boarded American Airlines Flight 77 departing to Los Angeles.

“All of the jets were scheduled for transcontinental flights and carried an average of 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel. This was probably one of the major reasons they were selected, as the amount of fuel, plus impact into a building, added up to a lethal bomb.” (

The hijackers used knives and box cutters to take over the planes.  The two planes that left the Logan airport flew into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City.  The plane that left the Washington Dulles airport flew into the west side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC and the forth plane that left the Newark International Airport did not make it to the hijackers’ intended target, but as a result of courageous passengers fighting against the hijackers, this airplane crashed into a field in the farming town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A little over 3,000 people were killed that day.  In New York City, 2830 people were killed.  This includes all the passengers and crew members on both planes, people working in the World Trade Center towers, police officers, fire fighters and Port Authority police officers.  In Washington, DC, at the Pentagon, 125 people were killed, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, all 44 passengers and crew members were killed when their plane crashed in a field.  The 19 men who hijacked the four jets on September 11th were believed to be members of al-Qaeda, Arabic for “The Base.”

For more information about the September 11th terrorist attack, you can click on the link below.