History

Celebrating America’s Birthday

Celebrating America’s Birthday

In the spring of 1776, overwhelming support for independence swept through Britain’s thirteen North American colonies. Fiercely opposed to tyranny and taxation without representation imposed by their British colonizers, the colonies banded together and elected to take action in their struggle for freedom. On July 2, the colonies voted in [...]

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Patriotic Place Names Sometimes Display Patriotic Spirit

The Fourth of July holiday is coming up, and Americans all across the United States will be celebrating with all manner of patriotic events to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the nation’s Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776. But expressions of patriotism don’t end with the [...]

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How a Quiet Pennsylvania Town Changed U.S. History in 1863

From July 1 to July 3, Americans are marking the 150th anniversary of what is arguably the most historically pivotal and symbolic battle of the country’s bloody 1861–1865 Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1863 the small college town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, became the site of the largest battle [...]

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The Constitutional Convention

Download this article as a .pdf Against a backdrop of geographic and political factionalism, unpaid troops and a weak economy only beginning to recover from years of war and trade embargoes, devising a new form of government is a considerable challenge. That was the situation facing the United States in [...]

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Immigration: The Making of the American People

Immigration: The Making of the American People

The story of the American people is the story of the world’s peoples. Throughout the United States’ history, hopeful immigrants have arrived to establish new lives in a new world. Whether fleeing oppressive regimes, seeking economic opportunity or simply pursuing personal dreams, each new arrival contributes to the American mosaic. [...]

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Memorial Day: Reflection and Celebration

Of the two official United States holidays recogniz­ing the commitment of members of America’s military services, Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while defending their country. The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May, as weather is turn­ing warm and most schools and universities are adjourning [...]

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What is Earth Day?

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day, April 22, is the annual U.S. celebration of the environment and a time for Americans to assess the work still needed to protect the natural gifts of our planet. Earth Day has no central organizing force behind it, though several nongovernmental organizations work to keep track of the [...]

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America Savors Its Music During Jazz Appreciation Month

Each April, the United States celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), an opportunity to savor a major American contribution to world culture. Initiated by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, JAM aims to focus public attention on the music, and on the many talented composers, musicians and other contributors [...]

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America Goes Green for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day offers the Irish and non-Irish alike the opportunity to celebrate “Irishness” in a variety of ways — some authentic, some innovative, some downright tacky — but none has proved more widespread or enduring than the annual parade. In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day parades are wildly [...]

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13 New Historic Landmarks Celebrate U.S. Diversity

U.S. officials March 11 announced the designation of 13 new national historic landmarks that recognize a more complete story of America. The new landmarks include an Alabama bridge that was the site of “Bloody Sunday” during the civil rights movement, a 400-year-old historic district showcasing the influence of Spanish culture [...]

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